I am planning on camping in or near Full Moon Park this weekend then hiking the next day to Wulai. The maps suggest such a hike is do-able, though it looks like a full day.
1 Are there places to camp in or near Full Moon Park ? I have tent, but would prefer established toilets /showers.
2 Is there a bus to Full Moon Park ? Or to Sanxia, then are there taxis from there ? Or is taking a taxi from Taipei the best option ?
3 Is there a decenet trail to Wulai from Full Moon Park ? The map shows a few options - though in my experience some are far better than others.
4 If camping is not a great option, any recommendation for hotel/hot spings hotels in the area.
5 Places to eat around here, or best to bring all meals ?
Many thanks in advance.[/quote]
What you need to do is go out and buy a copy of Taipei Day Trips II (not I) as it has a chapter on this hike. It gives bus info, and as always, incredible details about starting, stopping, staying on trail etc.
The hike is about 6 hours, though if you are carrying a big pack, expect to take longer.
No need to camp out there if you just want to do the hike as TDTII gives a bus schedule to make it to the trailhead early enough to finish the hike before dark.
If you wait a few weeks you can do the hike with the forumosa hiking club. If you can’t wait, and must camp, yes, there are campsites on the road up to Full Moon Park. Several of them. Can’t miss them. There is also a pretty good hot spring hotel just a few km from the trailhead. Again, you’ll see it as you drive up to FMP.
There is only wilderness camping in FMP but it will take an hour or so to get to it meaning you will have to add another couple hours to the hike to Wulai (as it’s in the opposite direction).
The trail as far as I know (I’ve done parts of it) is very clear and easy to follow if you stay on the main route. As always, there are a million side branches which is why a book like TTDT is great. Also, make sure you have a compass. The last couple hours are completely clear and obvious as you follow the river from above.
On the last hour of the hike you pass by the magnificent swimming hole that is a second home to us in the summer. It is 5 minutes off the main trail. If you are interested let me know and I’ll give you directions.
I’d love to join you on this but not this weekend. If you are interested in overnight trips around the north let me know as I am looking for someone to do these kinds of trips too (most of the hiking club members just want to do day trips). There are a number of routes I’ve been meaning to do. All two or three days and all in the north including a couple that start right from Taipei.
Last point, please be extremely careful if going alone. In fact I would recommend you don’t as you will be out there a long time. The snakes are starting to come out and that route always has them on it.
Also, I would never set out by myself for an overnight trip in Taiwan based on a map. Not all the trails are in hikable conditions. And the maps are usually accurate but not always entirely. And distances mean nothing. It can take an hour to go one kilometre if the route is steep. But you won’t really know that until you see it for yourself.