I and my wife recently had a chance to climb up to the Seven Star Mountain (Mt. Qixing (in Chinese) which is in the Yangmingshang National Park, Taipei, Taiwan.
Once called Grass Mountain, Yangmingshan is located in Taipei basin, and is the only National Park that has volcanic geology, which also gave birth to this beautiful mountain. Established in 1985, the park features unique volcanic landscape which no other national park in Taiwan bares and abundant fauna and flora species. Growing in water and land environments, there are more than 1,200 plant species, of which several are endemic species.
|View of the Mt. Qixing from Yangming boulevard|
Seven Stars Mountain is the top most mountain not only in the Yangmingshang National Park but also in the whole Taipei area. The summit of the main mountain is 1120m and the east peak of the mountain is around 1107m. There are mainly three major trails heading towards the main peak and we tried the Mt. Qixing east peak trail which is said to be the thoughts among three. The trail starts from just passing the Yangmingshang National Park Headquarters. At the start the elevation is just over 500m and the trail heads up all the way passing 1000m the total length of the trail up to the main peak is 2.4km. When its starts, the trial goes through the broad leaf evergreen forest and its grass lands in the top of the mountain and in the north east side of the mountain where the effect of monsoon is.
|With in the Trail|
|At the top of the mountain|
|Taipei Basin from Top|
|Roads in the park|
At the top of the mountain you could see the 360 o view of the whole area and we were not that lucky but not bad either, at the time we reached the top its in the afternoon and the sky was not sunny and filled with clouds but we manged to see the north coast with pacific ocean, Taipei basin and surrounding mountains. The entire trail was well managed and equipped with steps and sign boards, directions, benches to rest etc.,
We decided to take another trail to get down and it leads us to Xiaoyoukeng area, where the post volcanic activities are! In fact it was much shorter 1.6km to down. On the way we were able to see some unique landscapes and vegetation compositions together with post volcanic activities. The notice bard pointed us some special trees emerged in the grasslands in the valley of the mountains call bird-lime trees which sets fine examples to altitude migration. Sulphur containing smoke with that unique ordure was all over throughout the trail. We saw some sulphur crystals, bubbling water holes, fume holes, Continuous steam vents and other post volcanic activities. We never missed the rich avian fauna of the area as we could watch some comon birds in the area such as crested serpent eagle, black eared barbet, Japanese white eye, Rufus capped babbler etc.,
It was fine hike at the end we could also watched the magnificent view of the sunset to the Taipei basin. The shuttle bus of the Yangmingshan National park 108 comes there to Erziping and we took the bus from there to Yangmingshan bust station (one segment charge).