Qingtiangang Grassland (擎天崗大草原), also known as Sun Valley, is one of Yangmingshan National Park’s most iconic hiking, picnic and farming spots. The rolling grasslands are moderately flat, and are surrounded by various mountain trails lined with stumpy shrubs, long grass and deep forests.
Known as a ‘lave terrace’, Qingtiangang Grassland was originally formed by volcanic lava that flowed from nearby Mount Zhugao. The area eventually became the Dalingzhi Ranch, due to the fertile land being a perfect spot for tea growing and cattle farming. The cattle herds can still be seen to this day and are now administered by a local farmers association.
Juansi Falls Trail
A relatively quiet hiking path. While some might say the path is not as beautiful as others, the waterfall is rather lovely, and one of the better ones if you want to escape the crowds that sometimes form up at Qingtiangang Grassland. The Juansi Falls Trail can be started from the grassland, but it’s much more rewarding to start at the bottom and hike up!
Time required: about 1 hour
Trail to Lengshuikeng
Towards the end of the Juansi Falls Trail, you’ll see signs to Lengshuikeng, which has a hot spring and is also a convenient place to take a bus back into Taipei. Along the way you’ll pass the Milk Lake, as well as head over the Jingshan Suspension Bridge, which offers pleasant views over the hot spring river.
Time required: 20-30 minutes
If you want to do more hiking, and head to a more off-the-beaten track hiking spot, continue up the Juansi Falls Trail all the way to the Qingtiangang Grassland and join this path. The Jinbaoli Trail, known as the ‘Fisherman’s Trail’, takes hikers along an ancient trade route, used in the Qing Dynasty era to transport fish and tea. You’ll therefore come across a few surprises in addition to the spectacular views, such as deserted worship sites, old stone bridges and wooden rest houses.
Alternatively, you could take a bus to Qingtiangang Grassland and start from there.
Time required: about 1 hour
How to get there
The area and hiking are well signposted, and maps at entrances and key points help to make the routes relatively easy to follow. You may just need to keep Google Maps open to make sure you get off at the right bus stop.
To start from the Juansi Falls Trail, take a S15 bus from Jiantan Station to Juansi Falls (1 hour, NT$15). On the other end, after coming down from the Jinbaoli Trail, is Shanghuangxi Bridge bus stop. It has approximately hourly services to Jiantan Station on route 1717 (1 hour, NT$86).
There is a bus stop up at Qingtiangang Grassland, simply titled Qingtiangang, that has services to Jiantan Station on the S15 (about 70 minutes, NT$15), as well as to the central Yangmingshan bus station on 108 (about 1 hour, NT$15). Services on the S15 run about every few hours, while the 108 usually runs every 40 minutes or so.