by Robert Minor
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The Miaopu Trail up to Seven Stars Main Peak is the most difficult climb to the top. However, if you are looking for an easier way up (or down) from Seven Stars, another alternative and easily accessible trail in the Xiaoyoukeng Trail.
If you are coming down, follow this route in reverse.
Xioayoukeng is easily accessible by car, scooter, or bus. The small bus 108 stops and picks up there. Once you've arrived, you are just a few steps from the trailhead. The bus stop may have lines at the end of weekend/holiday days as the buses are mini-buses.. It can take almost 1 hour to get down to the Jiantan MRT station during peak periods.
Below is a picture of the bus stop with the trail behind it.
The cool thing about Xiaoyoukeng is its proximity to sulphur springs. You can smell the sulphur as soon as you get off the bus.
Walk around the area a little bit and you will see sidewalks with platforms where you can view clouds of sulphur steam seeping from the ground below. As you hike up, you will encounter more of these.
There are several fumaroles (holes with escaping volcanic steam) around. It's incredible when you start to think how much hear is being emitted.
Bubbling water below. Don't touch!!!
Back to the bus stop...the trailhead is right behind it.The trail is mostly stone and is clearly marked. It is 1.6 km to the main peak. Expect 45 minutes-1.5 hours to the top depending on your fitness.
A map below shows the trail (in blue). The bottom trailhead is for the more difficult Miaopu Trail.
The sign below talks abouts what hikers will see on the way up. Hikers can expect to see steam vents, fumaroles, and sulphur crystal formations.
The hike up to the peak is not too steep, but there are some short upwards portions. Hikers can get some pretty views of Yangmingshan Park and the rolling bamboo grass hills.
The bamboo, at times, is quite high.
Some sulphur steam vents. The sulphur makes a green/yellow colors on the rocks.
A view of the Xiaoyoukeng parkling lot where the hike began,.
Occasionally you get some nice views of the Taipei basin.
A view of the Qixing (Seven Stars) Main Peak.
More walking throught the bamboo grass.
Hikers heading down from the Main Peak of Seven Stars.
More path shots. The hike is not strenuous and thus on weekends you will see a bigger variety of hikers.
You have reached the summit!! For pictures and views of the summit, click on our Miaopu Hike Page Part 2.
A view of the peak area. It gets chilly up there so have a coat ready, especially in the winter months.
The peak marker for Seven Stars Main Peak. Xiaoyoukeng is a quicker and easier way to get up and enjoy Seven Stars Peak.
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