Having days off to do what you like to do makes the most out of any moment. When Sarah suggested to go hiking on our Tuesday off, we were set to head off to one of the best hikes in Northern Taiwan. It is called Stegosaurus Ridge.
It is one of those hikes that last for five hours, hiking not only on trails but also across a jagged rocky ridge. There were ropes, cliffs, and views that were breath taking. This was not an ordinary hike. This was one hike that you would tell anyone and everyone about.
Sarah and I enjoy going for hikes. With our job, we are able to have more time off than the regular person so we spend it in the outdoors. We had arranged to hike with our Taipei Hiker friends, Dory, Harrison, and some others. At the last minute, one person bailed so the rest of the hikers went off to do some rapelling. Unfortunately, we did not have the gear. With the brilliance of Sarah, we asked our good friend Jono to join us on our wonderful hike.
Description of the Hike:
Stegosaurus is a hike that is fun, grueling, intimidating, and tons of fun. From a far, the ridge line looks like a Stegosaurus. The ridge is rugged with jagged rocks all along the top. There is not much of a trail persay, but arrows painted on the rocks as you climb and ascend into the sky above the mountain tops.
There are various places to sit and chill as you sit on rocks and take in the beauty of the Northern Taiwan coastline. The trail connects to the Banping trail and the Teapot Mountain trail. They all connect to create a full day’s worth of hiking and adventure.
Along the rocky paths tend to be spots of peril. There are ropes that help guide you as you scale some cliffs. The scary part is thinking that if you slip you could eventually fall to your impending death. We were not that worried about that. It was the joy of going up and down a beautiful mountain with a cool breeze keeping us at a temperature suitable for this hike.
To Start the Hike:
The google maps location: 224, New Taipei City, Ruifang District, 北部濱海公路224號
GPS: N25 07.334 E121 52.752
You will pass by the old copper mines until you are left off at a potential spot to start the hike. Then walk down the road for about 500 meters until you walk through the tunnel. There is a fence area that is restricted with an abandoned factory. The trail has an entrance point from there.
As you hike up the trail there will be a split off to the right. The trail to the right will be going up. It will take you to Stegosaurus Ridge through a field of saw grass as high as me( 181 c.m.). If you get lost use Maps.me.
You could also start from Teapot. You could grab a bus towards Juifen and head all the way to a temple which is the last stop. There are steps to a road that leads to Teapot mountain. Honestly, it is more fun to end at Teapot, but some people may like to start there first.
As we started this hike, Jono and I had no idea what to expect. It was a long way up, cool day, and sunny for sure. Sarah was well prepared to do as much as she could. So we snuck under a fence to walk to the trail. We walked all the way to one trail head which would connect to the Stegosaurus trail.
Most of the trail is walking, but a good bit of it is climbing over the rocks as we hike up and down the ridge. These rocks were not only fun as the sense of being on top of the world is all around you, but it could also be dangerous. One wrong move, and you could fall off the mountain. As we hiked along we just enjoyed the magnificent sights that were all around us.
This is a place that you can see the whole world from. As you walk along the scales of this mountain, you are able to see the small town of Juifen to your right, the ocean behind you, Banping Mountain in front of you, and massive amounts of other mountains on the left of you. This is a long hike that can take a toll on you due to the full body workout of hiking, climbing, and sweating.
The Approaching End:
There are many moments in a hike you just feel fatigued, tired, and wanting to hit the climax of any great hike. We approached a rock wall, which we had to scale. It had ropes, but the hardest part was trusting that the ropes would not give way, or the impending doom of your life would be just a quick second as you fall to death.
So I watched Sarah and then Jono glide across the wall. As I approached I leaned back holding onto the ropes with all of my might thinking this is it. Got to glide across with ease or forever be in wonder what could be. I then step out across the rock face and crossed it holding on to the ropes one step at a time.
As we finished and just a couple hundred meters away from the pinnacle of the peak, Jono was hit with some massive cramps. Sarah and I instead went to the peak to gaze upon the world below us. We were done, and all we had left was to finish the hike with a disent down to Teapot Mountain, down some stairs, and off to a bus which would take us back to Taipei.
We had done it. We had spent 5 hours, several great photos, a good lunch, and great sights as we finished this amazing hike. I would recommend this hike to anyone. Do it in great weather, around 20-30 degrees Celcius, and make sure to bring tons of water. This is a hike that would make your memories great in Taiwan. It is fun, adventurous, and the sense of feeling just exuberant as to see the world from the top. It is beautiful.
If you are looking for some more adventures in Taiwan check out my Top 5 Adventurous Activities in Taiwan. It will help you to plan something new and adventurous to do in Taiwan.
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“Jobs fill your pocket, but adventures fill your soul.”
– Jamie Lyn Beatty-