At the risk of doing all the ‘classic’ walks in one go (the hike last weekend to Sandiaoling Waterfall is a great favorite of mine!), we’re doing another great popular favorite this weekend. During the last 15 years Loyal Son Mountain has gone from being one of the great hiking secrets of Taipei area to one of its most famous hikes, but although there are more people here these days, it’s still a wonderful short hike. Loyal Son and its two taller, bulkier, but equally exciting neighbours makes of a great hike this time of year because it’s relatively short and easy-going. You DO need a good head for heights here, plus a good pair of shoes and a certain level of confidence, but these days the trails are all completely safe if you use common sense and care.
We’ll be approaching the trio of rocky peaks (each take ten minutes or less to climb) by a new, more interesting route than the regular, direct entrance from Pingxi, and will enjoy some more rugged and exhilarating walking on the way. After the three peaks, we’ll descend to Pingxi village for a quick look at a few small places of interest there, and people wishing to head home really early (it’ll be only lunchtime then) are welcome to go back.
The rest of us will continue with a gentler but still very scenic walk up to the Guanyin Dripping Water Cave. A huge new temple now stands in front of the overhang/cave and stalagmite (in the shape of the Goddess of Mercy) , spoiling the beauty of the scene a little, but it’s still a fascinating place.
We finish the trip with the hike’s only waterfall, Lingjiao Waterfall, which is one of Taiwan’s widest (only Shifen Falls a few kilometers downstream are wider). It’s best after heavy rain, but since it’s right beside the station from where we head back to Taipei, it’s well worth a look.
This is a moderate hike, with no special level of fitness required, just a sense of fun! The climbs are steep in places but are pretty short. There are some rough stretches but nothing at all challenging by local standards, and it’s very exciting!
On Sunday a few of us will be climbing once again, to the summit of Turtle Mountain Island. We had to get permits well in advance for this trip (I sent out word on the trip about six weeks ago), so we already have no more vacancies to join this trip, but I’ll let you know how we get on, and maybe we’ll do it again some time!
See some of you on Saturday (details, as usual, to follow by email).