Map, description, and photo by Matteo
The Teapot Mt. and Banping Mt. hike in northern Taiwan is one of the best, most scenic day hikes one can find on the island. The trail start at the Gold Ecological Park near Jiufen (九份). A series of stairs will bring hikers first to a secondary road, then to the base of the “teapot” peak. Once there, one has to climb through the rocks to the narrow top, negotiate a small chasm to the stone platform to the other side, then follow some more fixed ropes down to the trail to Banping Mt. This second part of the hike is a lovely stretch of steep trail surrounded by tall grass. Some small clearings can be found and are perfect spots for a break or a picnic. At the base of the rocky ridge the last fixed ropes lead to the top of Banping Mt. The climb is very short but fairly slippery, so pay attention here.
Once on the other side the trail follows the ridge (fixed ropes are there in the trickiest, most dangerous parts), becoming gentler after a while. Its last, overgrown stretch leads to an old road. Once there, one can either turn left, then immediately right to catch the trail to Caiguangliao Mt. (very dangerous if wet!!), or turn right and head back to the Gold Eco Park or road 102 (take the steps going down on the right after a while for the Eco Park).
Once down the first set of steps, a short detour leads to a somewhat interesting exhausted gold vein which has been excavated when the gold mine was active. The whole hike is ridiculously scenic. At no point will you be able to complain about the view, which includes mountains, valley and the Pacific ocean.
Practicalities: Walking time is about 4 h, including one long stop. Make sure to bring lots of water and sunscreen if hiking in summer, for the trail does not offer any shade. Avoid this hike on a wet day, for there are plenty of places where a slip and a fall could cause severe injuries. Parking is available at the start of the hike (Gold Eco Park).
Weather sensitivity: This hike is good after rain, for it dries fast as it is more exposed. This also means that you will not have much protection if the weather change.
GPX: We don’t link to GPX files directly anymore since links get broken whenever Wandermap updates their system. Instead you need to look on the Wandermap page, below the description of the hike, in the right corner for a “Export GPS Data” button. It will then download automatically.