Mt. Ping Feng ("Ping Feng Shan") is a 2-3 day hike in Taroko National Park and takes you up #65 of Taiwan's 100 Peaks. Mt. Ping Feng is a 9.9 km hike(one way) and hikers reach 3250 meters. You only need a police permit for this hike so it is quite easy to obtain. No national park permit is necessary. Here is how you do it...
Mt. Ping Feng sits in the distance at 3,250 meters.
Our group of 4 headed out to Ping Feng on a Saturday morning. We reached the trail head at around noon and started our 3.5 hour walk to the Song Lin campsite.
The Ping Feng Trail head is located next to the road right at the intersection of Routes 14 and 8. It is the "town" called Dayuling.
112km marker on Route 8 is near the trail head.
You can park along the side of the road near the 3 way intersection. You start the hike by actually hopping over the guardrail. Just look for the sign.
Distance to Peak: 9.9 kilometers
Height: 3,250 meters
Trail head to Peak : 8.5 hours
Peak to Trail head:7.5 hours
Difficulty: 3 out of 5 (a long Day 2, precarious river crossings, landslide crossing, a steep 600 meter section with ropes
As you begin, the Ping Feng Trail drops immediately down 500 meters to the river from 2545m to 1965m.
It is a nice way to warm up heading down. But, it is a tough way (up) for a tired body to end the hike.
The first river crossing is at the bottom of the initial descent from the trail head.
There are a total of 4 river crossings on the trail.
There are many kinds of trail surface on this hike including forest, gravel, and open grass fields.
Above, hugging a slope on the first day of the Ping Feng hike.
Some fun climbing with the big pack on Day 1.
The trail is well marked with flags, but there are no distance markers. Ropes are hung at some of the steeper sections.
You will encounter a big landslide along the trail on Day 1. It is a tough one to navigate across. The slide seems to be active and we guess it changes after big rains. We were able to make our way across and reconnect with the trail. Best to work together here with hiking mates.
About 2.5-3 hours from the trail head, you will come to another river crossing with a suspension bridge. From here, you are about 30-45 minutes from the Song Lin Campground.
After the suspension bridge, you will know you are 30 minutes from the Song Lin Campsite. It is all nice pine covered forest from here.
We arrived at the Song Lin Campsite 松林營地 after about 3.5 hours. You will see lots of tent spots and maybe a fire pit.
Song Lin is big and comfortable and has a water source about 30 seconds further up the trail.
There is a lot of space for a lot of tents and you are shielded from the wind. Many groups will push on 1 more hour and stay at the Gold Mine Campsite 金礦營地. We highly recommend Song Lin. You will just have to leave an hour earlier in the morning for the peak.
Heading off from the campsite to the peak.
We left at 4:00am for the peak and had an hour of darkness. The walk was easy through the pine forest.
River Crossing #4 on Day 2
Gold Mine Campsite (below) is a popular place to stay. It is 1 hour closer to the peak from Song Lin. We found it to be small and dirty. Lots of trash around. I think staying at the spacious Song Lin under the trees and on the soft pine needles is a better option.
Remnants of the gold mining that went on at one time on Ping Feng. Amazing to think how this heavy machinery was moved up here.
As you make your way through the forest, you will eventually come to the final ascent to the ridge.
This ascent is the steepest part of the hike. It is an elevation gain of 600 meters and takes 30-40 minutes. Ropes are plentiful and needed.
Arriving at the ridge. From here it is an easy 10 minute walk through the bamboo grass to the peak.
The walk to the peak. Feels great after that 600 meter ascent.
The sky opens up and you may catch some views.
The Peak of Ping Feng doesn't have much of a view, however.
But, it is a nice place to hang out and enjoy a rest and some lunch.
Heading back down. We reached the peak before 9:00am. Expect 4-5 hours walking from Song Lin. Reaching a 100 peak is always a great feeling. However, the day is far from over. Time to head back to the campsite.
Expect 12-14 hours of hiking on the second day if you are doing this hike in two days. Doing it in 3 days makes it a lot easier. You can spend a second night camping and then have a nice relaxing walk out the next morning.
Happy hiking and enjoy the mountain. As always, be safe.