Girl looking at mountain scenery over dacheng trail.

Hiking Dakeng Trail #4 | Explore Taichung

I love hiking although I rarely get the chance. I try to go once a month, but would love if it was a more reoccurring part of my life because maybe it wouldn’t take me a whole week to recover after one hike up Dakeng Trail.

Quick Overview of Dakeng Trail:

Dakeng is a unique and beautiful trail in Taichung City, Taiwan. There are 10 trails on the mountain. Trails 1 to 5 are more difficult, while trails 6 to 10 are more like a long relaxing stroll. We took trail 4, the most difficult due to it’s elevation and how the pathway is built. Wear comfortable shoes, and if you have sensitive hands, wear gloves since you will be using a rope to pull yourself up for most of the hike. Also bring bottles of water and a snack, it takes around 3 to 4 hours to get from bottom to peak and back. And of-course as is the case for most places in Taiwan, bring bug-spray to keep the mosquitoes away.

How to get there:

We decided to drive to the trail to save time, but beware of Google Maps which took us on a tiny dirt trail that put our car dangerously close to an edge. Always take the main road when you can.

Parking:

This is where we parked. It’s a camping ground with food, water, bathrooms, so if you decide to stay the night in your tent, you can do so here.

Starting Point:

After parking, you’ll have to walk for around 10 minutes to get to the start of the hike.

Map of Taichung City Dakeng Hiking Trails.

All trails lead to the same peak, so you can also descend down another trail if you want. You will end up at a different area to where you parked, so unless you took public transportation, would not recommend doing that.

Inscription on map: Trail 4 is 1890 meters long, has an elevation of 475 to 805 and connects with Trail 5 at the end. It is most suitable for energetic people. Zhongzheng camping ground, Zhongshi Pavilian, toilets etc are located before the trail entrance; after crossing  Changqing Bridge, the entrance to the wooden plan road is reached.
The trail features a number of steep slopes. One 300 meter steep section is a test of the hiker’s strength and stamina and is known jokingly as “soft leg slope”. Due to the effect of tan earthquake, vegetation along the trail is limited. Walking up the mountain ridges is a test of hikers’ fitness and courage. There is little shade along the trail, but the view is outstanding.

Map of Dakeng trail Taichung.

Map of the Dakeng trails with Trail no. 4 highlighted in red.

Man ascends a wooden trail made out of logs

The start of Dakeng trail no. 4 appropriately sets out expectations for the rest of the hike.

The hike starts with a big elevation, ropes, and wooden ladder-like rungs that run throughout the hike. Sets expectations straight from the start.

Dacheng Trail, two people standing on logs

It is not easy balancing on logs for 4 hours. Wear comfortable shoes.

The beginning of the trail and our shoes to show the size of the logs. They do start to hurt the arch of your feet, as well as your calves, your thighs, your butt, and the entire rest of your body….

Dacheng trail, rope and logs on elevated mountain

Use the rope to pull yourself up the steps, you’ll need it.

Almost at the top! We used the ropes to pull ourselves up.

Girl sits on side of dacheng trail mountain and sky in background.

Take many breaks, not just for rest, but to take in the beautiful views.

Taking lots of breaks and enjoying the views.

 

The view of the mountains and the city in the distance. Also found some cool fungi and a hairy little caterpillar.

Dacheng trail near top of mountain. Wooden log path.

The trail levels off near the top leading to a gorgeous open sky

Another shot of the trail. It was a beautiful day, the sun giving the wood a golden glow.

Girl looking at mountain scenery over dacheng trail.

The view on the way to the top, is better than the view on top. Enjoy the journey there.

Last photo op close to the top of the mountain.

Sitting on dacheng trail descent.

The descent is only a little easier than the ascent. Be mentally and physically prepared for the hike back down too.

The descent. I now know why it’s called soft-leg trail. Could not go any further without sitting down and resting for a few minutes. (I also slid down and cut out around 15 steps, do not recommend.)

Formosan rock monkey holding flowers on Dakeng Trail

Formosan rock monkeys live near Dakeng trails, you might spot some on your way down!

baby monkey peering through leaves on Dakeng Trail

Can you spot the baby monkey?

As we were leaving we got a little treat and stumbled across a monkey family playing in the trees and eating berries and flowers. Can you spot the baby monkey?

Dakeng Trail No. 4

Difficulty: 4/5
Views: 4/5 (The views on the way to the top are better than the views at the peak)
Uniqueness: 5/5

 

 

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