Fire Mountain, also known as Huo Yan Shan or Flaming Mountain, is a nature reserve situated by the borders of Miaoli and Taichung. It used to be closed to the public to protect the endangered species and the sensitive ecosystem, however after significant trail restoration and improved safety features, it has been reopened for everyone.
Located around 615m above sea level, Fire Mountain (火炎山) is offers unique geological features and stunning views of the Da’an River basin and has quickly become one of the more popular hiking destinations in Central Taiwan.
As always, please be a responsible hiker and stay on the trail, pack out the garbage that you bring with you.
Hikes/Trails & Points of Interest:
There is only a single trail at Fire Mountain (火炎山) and the route will take Parkbus hikers from the parking lot of the destination to the peak and slightly beyond. As this is a Nature Reserve that has reopened in the last few years, the trail is more maintained than it used to be and is a suitable trail for beginner and novice hikers, or for anyone that is keen to check off one of the more unique hikes in Taiwan.
Fire Mountain Trail (6.3km) – This trail starts off with a short section of steps built from local stones. After about 10 minutes or so, hikers will transition onto a compact soil trail that follows a steady incline most of the way up to the peak. This trail is a 6.3 kilometer moderately trafficked ‘out and back’ trail. Migratory birds frequent the area that includes the Da’an River basin and if the timing is right, hikers will enjoy beautiful wild flowers along the trail and throughout the local area.
Points of Interest:
The Views and the Mountain / 空中走廊 – The views from atop the peak of Fire Mountain are an attraction in and of itself. The unique and jagged mountain offer a variety of photo opportunities looking out across the Da’an River and beyond. Fire Mountain is one of the “hundred little mountains” (臺灣小百岳), a list of shorter and accessible mountains promoted by the Sports Administration for recreation.
We should provide a bit of detail here. There are in fact 2 lists of ‘100 Peaks’ in Taiwan, (200!). One is a list of 100 peaks that are over 3,000 meters above sea level, known as the “Bai Yue” (台灣百岳). These are not ranked, nor are they actually the hardest hikes in Taiwan (some are!), but rather representative of the diveristy and variety of hiking expriences in Taiwan. The other is a list of 100 Peaks that are more suitable for beginner to novice hikers and can be climbed easily known as the “Small Bai Yue” (小百岳). Fire Mountain is on the list of smaller peaks.
Unique Geological Structure – The Fire Mountain (or a more direct translation is Flaming Mountain) Nature Reserve has an interesting and unique geological history. The structure of these mountains was formed by dramatic tectonic movements and consists mainly of sandstone layers with very weak cohesion. which gave the ground soil color of red, orange and yellow. Natural forces such as wind and rain have eroded these mountains, causing large sections to break off, creating jagged peaks and rock strewn slopes and valleys. Under centuries of erosion, these folds became several highland valleys among five main streams. They are dry and filled with loose rocks during dry season. However, when the torrential rain comes, the cascading water can be strong enough to carry rocks down streams.
Parkbus Taiwan offers direct and convenient transportation from Taipei to nature across Taiwan. If you’re looking for opportunities to explore Taiwan’s great hiking sites and outdoor destinations, be sure give this service a try.