Mt. Ciwei lies at the end of the Yushan Range, standing at a height of only 318m. A little history about how this mountain got its name. It was said that if you look from afar, the prominent jagged peak of Mt. Ciwei looks like the pennant (triangular flag) from the Qing Dynasty and that is how the mountain got it’s name! Ci (旗) meaning flag, and wei (尾) indicating that it’s at the end of the mountain range.
Before you can start your journey to Mt. Ciwei, you need to get to Cishan first. I’ve written a post which includes the directions to Cishan, so click here for more information! While you’re at Cishan, head towards the direction of the river and look for the bridge to get across. There is a pedestrian bridge so don’t go walking along the dangerous highway (like I almost did)!
When you’re on the other side of the river, you’ll immediately be greeted with the 1st trail head (I’ll elaborate more about the trail heads at the next section). Turn left and walk along the road and you’ll eventually pass by the 2nd and 3rd trail head. I’ve marked out the trail heads below.
As mentioned above, there are 3 trail heads leading up to the summit. If you’re feeling adventurous and willing to get yourself dirty, you can opt for the 1st and 2nd path. Both trails requires you to walk through the forest on rocky and muddy terrains and occasionally, your hands will be needed to bring you higher. If you’re just an average trekker who’s here for a leisure trek, take the 3rd path.
The 3rd path is fully paved and well-maintained. The initial trek is concrete paved with steep slopes at certain parts along the path. It’ll take you awhile before you reach the other end of the concrete path and that’s where the legendary 900+ steps awaits. This part of the trek is probably the only challenge you’ll meet during your hike up the mountain. The 900+ steps will bring you straight to the summit and the stairs get steeper as you approach the top. Take caution as you climb up the steps and grab hold of the railings for extra support.
As you’re approaching the top, you see a small lil’ Chinese hut. This hut provides some awesome views of all sides surrounding the mountain. A single trip up the mountain will take approximately 40 minutes.
I’d rate the difficulty of this mountain 2/5. It’s not a tall mountain after all and the route is straight-forward with only one way and down if you stick to the path from trail head 3. The only difficulty is like I mentioned above, the 900+ steps. The gain in elevation is very sudden and it’s not surprising for you to stop a few times to catch your breath.
All in all, hiking Mt. Ciwei makes a good workout! It’s also a suitable day trip option that you can consider if you’re visiting Kaohsiung some day! Til’ next time!
(Date visited: Sep 2016)