February 23 Mt. Datun Hike, Yangmingshan National Park

Yangmingshan National Park has 10 peaks with trails, and one of my  goals is to hike up all of them before I leave Taiwan. I have already hiked up Mt. Qixing, Mt. Zhongzhang, Mt. Miantian, and Mt. Caigongkeng. That left just one set of peaks in the western part of Yangmingshan that I had not yet climbed. This was Mt.Datun, with its three peaks.  So we set out to do the Mt. Datun hiking trail in Yangmingshan National Park..

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Jeff and Ann are standing on the south peak of Mt. Datun, with the first peak of Mt. Datun behind them.

Mt. Datun, like most of the mountains in Yangmingshan National Park, was a volcano. It was once a much larger mountain, with a caldera in its center. Much of the mountain is gone. The three peaks that remain are parts of the rim of the caldera.

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A view from the Mt. Datun hiking trail

Mt. Datun is the highest peak, at 1,092 meters (3,276 feet.) We hiked up to the top of it first. When we arrived at the summit, it was in a cloud, so we could not see anything. It was also cold, so we did not linger long at the summit.

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Ann and Harmony are standing on the platform near the summit of Mt. Datun

The clouds blew away as we were hiking up the south peak of Mt. Datun, and it turned into a beautiful, sunny day.

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Ann is pausing to eat a snack along the Mt. Datun hiking trail

We had a great view from the top of the south peak of Mt. Datun, 957 meters (2,871 feet ).

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Jeff is standing on the south peak of Mt. Datun

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Harmony hiking the Mt. Datun trail

Climbing down the far side trail from the top of the south peak of Mt. Datun was difficult. It was very steep, but there was a rope to hang onto along the side of the trail. It reminded me of the trails we had gone down in the jungle in Sumatra!

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Ann and Harmony on the trail down the south peak of Mt. Datun

The trail did not get any easier after we got down from the south peak of Mt. Datun. The climb up the west peak of Mt. Datun was also very steep, with a rope alongside the trail.

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Harmony poses on a rock alongside the Mt. Datun trail. She looks very calm and Zen like in this photo!

The view from the top of the western peak of Mt. Datun, 982 meters (2,946 feet) was also very nice. I was definitely getting tired after my third climb up a mountain, but we still had another steep, rope trail to hike down from the west peak. This is why the Mt. Datun hiking trail is considered the most difficult trail to hike in Yangmingshan National Park. Three peaks, and two of them have very steep trails!

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Cherry tree in bloom in Erziping Valley in Yangmingshan National Park

Cherry trees were in bloom in Erziping valley, which we walked through on our way back to where we could board the bus to head home.

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Taiwan blue jay in Erziping Valley

There were also many Taiwan blue jays in the valley. These are very beautiful birds, and Jeff took this great photo of one of them!


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