Tuesday’s Hike – Part I [Falls and Cows]

Ready, set, go!

Early in the morning I checked the weather report: an 80% chance of light rain on Yangmingshan. I began plowing through online maps and information to find a suitable trail for the day. I ultimately settled on Jinbaoli Trail [金包里大道] using Jyuansih Waterfall [絹絲瀑布] as a starting point. The trail once served as an important link between Shilin [士林] and Jinshan [金山].

Watercourse Trail

After riding Yangmingshan’s park bus [108] to Jyuansih Station, I set out on the trail. The beginning of the trail runs parallel to the Shanjhuhu watercourse [山豬湖圳]. Its construction during the Japanese occupation period changed the primary crops of the area from sweet potatoes and corn to rice.


On the bus ride to the trail I noticed that the upper-elevations of Yangmingshan National Park were cloaked in cloud cover. However, this section of the trail was completely clear.

Green Green Trail

The section of the trail before the waterfall runs parallel to Touhu Creek [頭湖溪]:

Touhu Creek

It wasn’t long before I made it to Jyuansih Waterfall:

Jyuansih Waterfall
Jyuansih Waterfall
Jyuansih Waterfall

I walked shortly past the area pictured below when someone behind me yelled to me asking if I lost a red umbrella… I did… I left it down by the waterfall. They didn’t pick it up because they didn’t know it was mine. Luckily I had only walked for about 5 minutes when that was brought to my attention.

Trail Trail Trail

I couldn’t resist another shot when I returned:

Jyuansih Waterfall

At this point, I was eating an especially unsatisfying peanut butter sandwich from 7-11… I looked up and saw a beautiful Formosan Blue Magpie [台灣藍鵲 (Urocissa caerulea)] sitting in one of the tree’s branches up ahead. By the time I held my camera to my eye it had already flown away, I tried to spot where it had flown to but it was long gone:

Starting to get misty...

I was now at Cingtiangang [擎天崗], in the spring of 1934, the Japanese set-up a prefecture ranch. A few signs had warned of wild cows of the area, I was seeing a lot of hoof prints and droppings, but I didn’t see any Taiwan Water Buffaloes in the mists.


I walked the trails searching and searching… I came across people and stray dogs, but still no cows!

Cingtiangang couple

What’s that in the distance? Oh, it’s just a couple taking a nap under an umbrella:

Cingtiangang Panorama

View the large
I was a few yards from the visitor center when I finally saw one [or six]:

Yangmingshan's wild cows

I was pretty far so I wouldn’t disturb them… the group pics didn’t come out so well.

Yangmingshan's wild cows

I had originally planned to take the trail all the way to Bayan [八煙], but a sign stated that there wasn’t a bus stop at Bayan. I got back on the park bus at Cingtiangang and headed back to the Yangmingshan Bus Terminal.

12 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Hike – Part I [Falls and Cows]

  1. Pingback: Tuesday’s Hike - Part II [Fog and Birds] « The Daily Bubble Tea

  2. Great photos – your shots keep getting better and better. If you shot any of them in RAW, I can probably sell them for you – I’ve got a client looking for YMS hiking shots. I’m going to head up there to do a couple of hikes in the next few days – what would you say would be the best, easily accessible hikes? It’s got to be reachable by bus as it’s for a travel magazine and most visitors to Taiwan won’t have their own transport.

  3. Thanks Craig… unfortunately, none were shot in RAW, I’m waiting till I’m done moving to clean out my hard drive before I start experimenting with RAW. As for hikes, all the ones I have featured here are all easily accessible by bus. My personal favorite is the trail going up Qixing Mountain than to Xiaoyoukeng. If you are going on Friday drop me a line, I don’t have to work on Friday.

  4. Pingback: Taoyuan Valley Hike: Taiwan Water Buffaloes « The Daily Bubble Tea

  5. Thanks so much for showing where the fish trail is. I’ve been wanting to hike it for some time now! Will be off to check it out this afternoon. Hoping to catch the magpie & ride a buffalo or two…

  6. Great post. I lived in Yang Ming Shan through the 90’s and loved tha hike you described here. My dogs gave the buffalo a very wide berth. I didn’t see the magpies very often but when I did, they were usually in loose flocks. Your pictures made me more than a little home sick.

  7. Pingback: Jinbaoli Trail in Yangmingshan |

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