Every time I go hiking, I try to find a trail that’s interesting and fun to climb. I’m not a big fan of just straight stairs up and down because for one, I hate stairs but also that gets boring pretty quickly. The trail I’ll be talking about today was no different.
皇帝殿步道 Huangdidian Trail
Summertime in Taiwan is hot and humid. Actually, it’s just humid all the time. My friend and I wanted to beat the heat so we woke up super early and got to the trail entrance around 7:30 AM.
Not that many people were there so we assumed we were one of the early birds. After taking a quick bathroom break (because there ain’t no bathrooms up in the mountains!) we started the climb.
Our goal was to reach Huangdidian East Peak and then depending on how long that took us, we’d decide to go back the same way or keep making a big loop over to Huangdidian West Peak. Not going to lie, the first half of the hike SUCKED. As you can see below, it was all stairs. It felt never-ending. But you know what? Since we were doing stairs, I decided I might as well make the best of the situation and focus on activating my glutes for each step I took. Kill two birds with one stone, right?
Finally, after what seemed like forever, we came upon rocks and ropes! Yay the fun begins. Usually when there are ropes involved, it means the climb is a little dangerous or requires some upper body strength to pull yourself up. This time it was merely there to keep yourself balanced and for extra support if you needed it. Nonetheless, any part of the trail with ropes was better than boring old stairs!
After about an hour, we finally reached Huangdidian East Peak. Wow. The view was amazing. Standing on a peak, feeling like you’re on top of the world, and admiring all the other mountains around you…it’s magnificent. You feel so tiny. But in a good way. Because honestly in that moment, nothing else mattered.
Out of nowhere, we heard voices coming from behind us. We thought that was weird considering no one was behind us the entire time. Luckily we bumped into them because as we were heading towards Xiaobajian Peak, they told us most people stopped at Huangdidian East Peak and turned back. If we had continued towards Xiaobajian, the trail would have gotten less and less groomed, making it difficult for us to continue on. So we decided to head towards Huangdidian West Peak instead.
Along the way we were met with more ropes and a few of those chain ladders like the ones you see on army ships. We also met a bunch of people who were going the opposite direction that we were headed. We found out that people usually start at Huangdidian West Peak and then finish with East Peak because it flows better…oh well, next time!
Huangdidian West Peak was very underwhelming. I now understand why people go here first. I mean, the view was still amazing but compared to East Peak? Doesn’t stand a chance.
Afterwards, we slowly made our descent back down to the bottom which were…you guessed it! Stairs. Going down stairs isn’t as bad because it’s a lot easier and goes by faster.
Taiwan has so many great hiking trails. I’m grateful for having the opportunity to experience the beauty of nature and for my body for allowing me to do cool things like climb a mountain.
Until next time!