Mount Shamao (紗帽山), also known as Shamaoshan, is an easy hike in Yangmingshan National Park. Possible as a day trip from central Taipei or Beitou, Mount Shamao only goes up to a moderate 643 meters high, but still offers excellent panoramic views of the Taipei mountains.
Thanks to being sheltered from the monsoons by the nearby and more famous Qixing Mountain, Mount Shamao is mostly covered in thick forest. The trail is therefore mostly shaded and would make for a better choice on a particularly sunny summer day in Taipei.
There are some spots and features along the way that make this one a little more interesting than other mountains too. You’ll come across an ancient Chen-He boundary stone, a tomb of the grandmother of a Qing Dynasty scholar, as well as the remains of the Prince’s Pavilion, built for the visit of Japanese Prince Hirohito many decades ago.
Time required: About 2 hours
How to get there
It’s easiest to start from the northern trailhead. It’s near to the central Yangmingshan Bus Terminal and MTC Bus Yangmingshan Stop, but if coming from Taipei, first head to Jiantan Station on the Taipei Metro’s red line. From here head to Zion Church on the 109, 260 or 260 Shuttle buses (30 minutes, NT$15). Head up Jianguo Street (the street to the left at the traffic lights ahead of the bus stop) and left again, then walk down to the end. You should see the trail entrance on the left, across the street (next to the hairdressers)
You’ll end at the Dapu Hiking Trail Entrance on the southern end. Head to the left down the road and catch a 230 bus heading to Yangmingshan (Shamao) at the The First Scenic Lookout bus stop. From here you can catch a bus back into the city via the Yangmingshan Bus Terminal next door.