Yangmingshan National Park is a mountainous area in Taipei and New Taipei, known for its volcanic activity, hiking trails, wildlife, waterfalls, hot springs, and sulfur vents. It is definitely worth a stop on your trip to Taipei.
The area known as Yangmingshan now was formed by volcanoes about 700,000 years ago, forming many mountains about 1000 meters or less in northwestern Taiwan. The park still features active volcanoes, vents, and hot springs.
The original name of the area was Caoshan (grass mountain 草山). During the Qing Dynasty, the area was used to harvest sulfur, and many of the hills were burned to help catch sulfur thieves, Qingtiangang likely being one of these areas.
Sulfur mining started in the Qing Dynasty by a British mining company who first obtained the rights to mine here in 1897. In 1927 during the Japanese era, Yangmingshan was made as the first national park in Taiwan, then known as Datunshan National Park Association.
The area around Qingtiangang to Lengshuikeng was made into a ranch for water buffalo, and grass from Japan was planted here for them to graze.
In 1950 after the ROC took Taiwan, Chiang Kai-shek renamed the park after the philosopher Wang Yangming, and called the area Yangmingshan.
The KMT kept the ranch at Qingtiangang and continued to maintain it. They also built bunkers here and kept a garrison of troops.
In 1985, after resolving many land disputes, Yangmingshan National Park was officially designated as a national park in the ROC era.
Due to its easy accessibility from Taipei and many natural attractions, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Taipei City. Most visitors come on weekends, and it has parking lots and a visitor's centers throughout the park.
The visitor's centers are open from 9 AM to 4:30 PM. However you can visit the park 24/7.
Free entrance into the park
(car parking 30-50 NT， scooter parking 20 NT)
When to Go:
Silver Grass Season: Mang Grass season goes from September to November. During this time you will be able to see silvery grass all over the mountain tops around the park.
Cherry Blossom Season: Cherry blossoms can be seen in the park from February to late March.
Snowfall: Once every few years it can snow here from December to February. The snow usually only lasts a day or two and melts away quickly.
Best Weather: In my opinion the best weather is in the summer when constant rain makes the air cleaner, and summer mornings are usually clear. Be sure to start hiking in the morning for the best views and sunshine, as afternoon thundershowers are common.
How to get there:
By Car/Scooter: From Taipei, take provincial highway 2A north to the park, where you can see the main attractions such as Zhuzihu, Qixingshan, Datunshan, Qingtiangang, etc. There are many parking lots, but car parking is limited on weekends and the number of cars allowed up the mountain is also limited. There is also paid scooter parking.
On weekends this place can be packed, and cars can be backed up for up to an hour or more, so consider taking a scooter or bus.
By Bus: From Beitou MRT Station, Take Little Bus 19 (小19), or another bus to the park.
See below for a map of places mentioned in this blog:
We are US Expats that have extensive experience living, working, and travelling in Taiwan. In our day, we had to learn many things about Taiwan the hard way. But we have come to learn that Taiwan is one of the best places in the world for Foreigners to live. Our blog does not represent the opinions of every foreigner in Taiwan. We are just trying to help others learn more about this beautiful country.