Thursday, April 17, 2014

Gold Side Mountain

"Gold Side Mountain," or, JinMian Shan 金面山, is a gorgeous mountain far in the north of Taipei. It is relatively unheard of among foreigners and even many Taiwanese people don't seem to be aware of it, making it not too busy.

The hike is like a more exciting version of Elephant Mountain. It starts off with dirt stairs, transitions into scrambling over massive faulted boulders, and peaks at the top with an outcrop of rocks that are great fun to climb all over. The mountain grants fantastic and unique view of the city. Most mountain views are in the south, so one can get a rare northern viewpoint, looking over Songshan airport to the small tip of Taipei 101 many kilometers in the distance.

Flickr Album

Cost and Time
Total: 0 TWD, ~ 2 - 3 Hours
- Walk from Xihu Station to Trailhead - 20 mins
- Hike up the mountain - ~ 1 hour
- Hike down the mountain ~ 45 min
- Walk to Gangqian station ~ 30 mins

What to Expect
Relatively interesting stair climbs - much more rugged than the typical Taiwanese mountain
- Scrambles up large, faulted boulders
- Fantastic north-south view of Taipei, on massive picturesque boulders
- Opportunities for light bouldering

Instructions Short

1. Trailhead: 25.088510, 121.568044
2. Follow signs for JinMian Shan 金面山
3. At the peak, continue straight down, following signs for MRT Gangqian station

Instructions Long

1. Go to MRT Xihu Station on the Wenhu (Brown) Line, exit 1.
2. Walk North on Lane 285, Section 1, Neihu Rd
3. Take a right on Section 1, Huanshan Rd
4. Take a left near the bus stop and the 7/11
5. Walk straight until you reach the end of the road. Take a right, followed by a left.

The Trailhead
6. Get on the trail and follow the stairs up the right side, not the ones that follow the stream.

7. Cross the small bridge and follow signs for the summit. There will be multiple rest stops along the way.

8. After one rest stop, you will approach a split. Check out the Qing Dynasty Quarry if you want, but the "Lunjian Pagoda" is the direction towards the summit.
9. When you arrive at the massive slanted boulders, you are almost there.

10.  At the summit, keep walking straight, over the large boulders, to find the trail leading down the mountain towards MRT Gangqian station.

This is the trail down the other side of the mountain. 
11. You should come out of the trail at 25.087299, 121.575811. Walk south towards Section 2, Huanshan Rd.
12. Take a left onto Huanshan Road.
13. Take a right onto Gngqian Rd.
14. Take a right onto Section 1, Neihu Rd. Arrive at MRT Gangqian station.

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