Datun Nature Park is located at the northwest foot of Mt. Datun next to the 101A county highway (Bailaka Highway). The nature park is about 800 meters above sea level and has been restored using revegetation methods. It is known for its warm-temperate climate, broad-leaved forest, and volcanic cone.
In addition to the plant, animal and insect specimens on site, the Datun Visitor Center hosts an exhibition hall dedicated to early human activity in the Yangmingshan area, in particular the local indigo industry. Although the exhibition hall is relatively small, it is ingeniously designed to allow visitors to sit in front of the hall's large French windows and look out over the pristine lake, misty mountains, ancient trees, and open sky.
Hours of Operation: Daily 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Closed on the last Monday of each month (if a national holiday falls on a Monday, this area will also be closed on Tuesday) and Lunar New Year's Eve.
Address: No. 53-2 Checheng, Xinhua Li, Sanzhi District, New Taipei City 25243
Exhibits and models of the Yangmingshan areas' indigo history and culture.
Specimens of local plants, birds, insects, and more are all on display.
Multimedia programs about local wildlife are available for viewing (programs are played as necessary depending on the number of visitors).
Datun Nature Park parking lot No. 1 contains space for 32 passenger vehicles and 52 motorcycles.
Datun Nature Park parking lot No. 2 has space for 38 passenger vehicles.
Parking is free.
Attention please all visitors:
Daytime and nighttime temperatures differ greatly and rainfall increases greatly during the winter months. We ask all visitors to prepare warm clothing and rain gear before heading up the mountain.
For those visitors arriving by car, please do not leave your handbags or other valuables inside the vehicle.
Currently there are no public buses to this area. Visitors must arrive by car or motorcycle or consider taking Royal Bus or the National Park buses. For those arriving by bus, please alight at the Mt. Qixing Station on Yangjin Highway and continue along County Highway 101A to the Datun Visitor Center. The distance is about 2.5 km, or a 40 minute walk.
Due to the narrow mountain road, large vehicles are banned from traveling on County Highway 101A (Bailaka Road); offenders will be fined 1,500 NT.
he digging of minerals and rocks, picking of flowers and/or plants (including herbs and awn flowers), capture of wild animals and/or insects, feeding of fish and/or animals is prohibited. Carrying any of the park's natural resources out of the park is also prohibited.
Please do not litter, talk loudly, barbecue, camp, fly kites, paraglide, burn offerings/make religious sacrifices, set off firecrackers, or perform any other dangerous acts.
Entering the water and swimming is prohibited. Please do not get too close to the water's edge.
For other prohibited acts please consult the National Parks Act.
DatunService Station(click to enlarge)
Mt. Caigongkeng is located on the northern extension of Mt. Datun's main peak. A volcanic dome, Mt. Caigongkeng is 887 meters tall. Mt. Caigongkeng and Mt. Bailaka to its west are referred together as Mt. Zhentou (Pillow Mountain) and are parasitic volcanoes of Mt. Datun. A boulder on top of the summit contains magnetic components and causes compasses to malfunction and has the name of Fanjingshi, or “reverse-compass stone."
Large amounts of Rhododendron oldhamii Maxim grow atop the mountain, which is a good place for flower viewing in spring. The summit also provides good views of Mt. Xiaoguanyin, Mt. Qixing and parts of North Coast. To reach Mt. Caigongkeng visitors can start at the No. 1 trailhead next to Erziping Visitor Center on Bailaka Highway, pass by the Fanjingshi and continue on the trail to return to the No. 2 trailhead in front of the Datun Visitor Center. The entire trail is about 1.5 km. Time for completion of the trail is about 50 minutes. The beautiful scenery along the way makes it an excellent route for weekends or holidays.
Mt. Miantian is located in the west section of Yangmingshan National Park and is 977 meters tall. It has one third-order triangulation station, the mountain's shape is neatly rounded and is a standard volcanic dome. The two navigational aids (reflective panels) on the peak is one of its special landmarks. Near the summit of Mt. Miantian, the scene is quite poetic. Looking down from the top, the expansive view encompasses Tamsui River mouth and the North Coast, visitors cannot help but feel that the world is at their feet. The Miantian summit is accessible by the Mt. Miantian trailhead near the Erziping recreation area. The trail heads down, passing by Mt. Xiangtian and Xiangtian Pond and then returns to either Erziping or Xingfuliao's Liaozhen Temple and Beitou's Qingtian Temple.
Erziping Recreation Area
Located at the west side of Yangmingshan National Park, Erziping is in the saddle between Mt. Datun's main peak and Mt. Erzi. It boasts a wide, open terrain with species of wildlife and a variety of nectar-bearing and grazing plants. There are a variety of aquatic plants in the ecological pool, the best habitat for frogs. The chorus of frogs croaking and butterflies dancing in the air has become the area's most beautiful sight. The recreation area has wooden trails, pavilions, chairs and other facilities, suitable for butterfly and bird watching, enjoying the scenery, hiking, and other activities.
The Datun Mountain Range
The Datun mountain range is located at the west border of the Yangmingshan National Park and runs from north and extends south and southwest. Famous peaks include Mt. Datun's main peak, west peak and south peak, Mt. Zhongzheng, Mt. Miantian, Mt. Xiangtian, Mt. Bailaka, Mt. Caigongkeng, and Mt. Honglu. Bailaka Highway and Dengshan Road cut across the northern edge and southeastern edge of the mountain range, respectively. The west flank is crossed by the lava-dammed lake “Zhuzihu” at it’s foot, and looks out at the Qixing mountain range. The conic Mt. Datun formed about 500,000 years ago. Due to the steep conical slopes, the Datun range has been cut into many valleys by streams.
The main peak boasts a height of 1,092 meters and has a second-order triangular station. This triangular station is not open to the general public so visitors usually use the wooden pegs in front of the Datun Navigation Station (Civil Aeronautics Administration) as the summit point. On top of Mt. Datun main peak visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the Taipei metropolitan area and the surrounding mountains. To the east one can see Mt. Qixing and to the south, a bird's-eye view of the Datun south and west peaks as well as the mouth of the Tamsui River. It is the best spot to watch the “Datun sunset” and the “Datun sea of clouds” and a great spot for butterfly watching in the summer, silver grass flower viewing in autumn and star-gazing on a clear night.
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Taiwan common frog
Body surface is coarse and covered with glandular particles. Its Chinese name is derived from the black protrusions around the eyes and head. Body color ranges from yellow-brown to dark-brown. Mating season falls from winter to spring. Rarely croaks outside of mating season.
Five-striped blue-tailed skink
The backs of these young lizards are black with three to five golden vertical stripes and a vibrantly blue tail. As it matures, its body gradually turns brown and the golden stripes and blue tail fade in color. Adults have a light-brown body with red vertical stripes along the side.
The Grey treepie has a brown-gray body that is gray from the top of the head to the neck. Its wings and tail are black, and it has white spots on its wings. Its tail feathers are especially long. The center of its abdomen and upper portion of its tail are gray-white. It has a thick and powerful beak that is slightly bent downwards and a long tail. Most have bristles from the base of their beak to their nostrils. Omnivorous. Largely arboreal and highly vigilant. Commonly found in forests. Nests on high branches; chicks are slow to mature.
Taiwanese blue magpie
The Taiwanese blue magpie is a species that is endemic to Taiwan. This ferocious omnivore will attack other birds. The magpie will steadfastly defend and protect its family members. The Taiwanese blue magpies are gregarious birds. Close relatives of breeding pairs that have not yet bred themselves will help the pairs raise, watch over, and defend their chicks. This species exhibits strong nest defense behaviors and are ruthless against intruders.
Formosan rock macaque
A protected species endemic to Taiwan. Its tail is approximately 2/3 the length of its body. It weighs about five to twelve kilograms and has short forelimbs and long hind legs as well as a thick and furry tail. Its coat turns grayer in winter and greener in summer. Not commonly seen in Yangmingshan. Only reported sightings have been at Lujiakeng, Mt. Shamao, and Mt. Zhongzheng.
Formosan red-bellied tree squirrel
The most commonly seen wild animal in the forest, the squirrel has a brown body and a distinctive red-brown stomach. They can be seen climbing up tree trunks or prancing among the branches with their bushy gray tails in regions at sea level as well as in the central mountain range up to an altitude of 2,000 meters.
Latin name: Alpinia zerumbet (Pers.) Burtt & Smith
The shell ginger’s leaves can be used to wrap kuih (a Chinese cake made from ground rice flour) and zongzi (a Chinese confection made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings). The dried leaf sheaths can be weaved into rope or mats. It is common on the edge of forests and open areas in low-altitude mountains. Flowering season is from June to July. The plant is a perennial and often forms clusters.
Formosan beauty berry
Latin name: Callicarpa formosana Rolfe
The Formosan beauty berry is an excellent nectar plant. Its light purple flowers attract many insects. The fruit, when ripe, is also purple in color and is an excellent food source for various birds. Flowering season is from April to September.
Latin name: Pinus luchuensis Mayr.
The trunk is straight and tall with a rough, gray-brown bark and cracked vertical grooves which flake off irregularly. Branches are categorized into long and short boughs. Branches are whorled and grow horizontally. These trees are currently at risk of contracting pine wood nematodes and each year many trees are infected and die.
Farfugium japonicum (L.) Kitamura var. formosanum (Hayata) Kitamura
Latin name: Farfugium japonicum (L.) Kitamura var. formosanum (Hayata) Kitamura
It is one of the most representative flowering plants in Yangmingshan during the fall season. It has a typical Asteraceae head with separate outer, petaled florets and inner clustered bisexual florets; both florets are yellow. Flowering season is usually from August to October.
Latin name: Begonia formosana (Hayata) Masam.
Begonia formosana is a meaty herbaceous plant native to the tropics and subtropics. It is one of the most common plants in the mountains of North Taiwan. The begonia likes growing in clusters on shady rocks and boulders often soaked with water. It can be found near rivers and valleys in Yangmingshan.
Latin name: Eupatorium shimadai Kitam
It is an herb with single leaves growing in parallel pairs. The pinnate leaves are lance-shaped with long narrow tips. The leaves are between 2 and 7 centimeters long with serrated edges and glandular dots on their underside. Unlike other plants in the Asteraceae family, which are made up of clusters of tiny flowers, the Eupatorium shimadai’s blossom is formed from 5 small tubular flowers. The inflorescence is reddish with clustered and tight flowers. It flowers from May to July. The entire plant is fragrant.
Latin name: Machilus thunbergii Sieb. & Zucc.The tree most representative of Yangmingshan National Park is red nanmu. In spring it is adorned with red, pig foot-like flower buds, which earned it the Chinese name of “pig foot nanmu”. It often mixes together with other broad-leaved trees to form large forests.