Moss Mountain to Lotus Mountain | The peak of Lotus Mountain
Looking up to the cliffs and peak of Lotus Mountain, from near the end of the hike.

Moss Mountain to Lotus Mountain

Hike hill trails and abandoned park tracks in the hills between Moss Mountain and Lotus Mountain, topping out at 934m above the tall cliffs of the Lotus Mountain peak.

Level 5
Some tricky trails and extended climbs 5–6 hours of hiking over approx. 13–15km. (Can I do it?)

This hike is not currently scheduled

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If you’ve done any of the Moss Mountain hikes before you know the first part of this trail—up through the boulders, over the ridge and then down through the forest to the old quarry.

Just beside the quarry there is a mysterious set of stairs. On this hike we’re going to find out what’s at the top of the stairs, and we’ll then head on over the big hill behind the stairs to get into the closed/abandoned Lotus Mountain Scenic Area.

Moss Mountain
The hike goes below the cliffs of Moss Mountain. (Click for larger image)

The hike

We’ll start the hike from the back door of the Moss Mountain scenic area, just to be sure we’re able to get on the trail.

The back door trail gets us on to the main park track just before all the steep steps and stairs up through the most bouldery and scenic part of the park.

Behind all the boulders a flatter trail leads up a washed out valley towards terraced chestnut orchards. We’ll be following the valley up to cross over at a gap in the cliffs and crags.

After crossing over at the gap, a well-formed track will take us down through old-growth forest, passing a giant pine tree and coming out the back of an old rock quarry.

In the rock quarry we’ll spot a huge boulder with a Buddha carved into it, and if the timing has worked out, this is where we’ll stop for a lunch break.

Lunch break - Zhuangdaokou to Moss Mountain, 2017/2/11
At the old quarry.
Starting on the stairs
Starting on the stairs. (Click for larger image)

We’ll continue the hike by climbing those mysterious stairs beside the quarry. At the top of the stairs we’ll pass a small reservoir, and then get on to a well-formed track that leads up into the hills.

The track goes up and over the hills behind the stairs. It’s an extended climb that gets steep in a few places, finishing in shady and sparse forest near the top.

We’ll cross over the ridge and head down into the old Lotus Mountain Scenic Area. (Or depending on the group, we might do the tricky trails around the back. We’ll decide on the day.

Crossing over the ridge on the way to Lotus Mountain
Crossing over the ridge. (Click for larger image)

The trails here were well-maintained when the park was still open—wide and clear, with steps in places—but it looks like the park has been closed down for a while.

In some places the track follows along the contours of the hills, and in other places it twists and turns around crags and boulders.

We’ll get into the middle section of the park area and follow the main trail up to the peak. It’s quite a sight—crags and forested ridgelines that finish right at a huge cliff.

Views from the peak of Lotus Mountain
Views from the peak of Lotus Mountain. (Click for larger image)

From the peak we’ll use a slightly tricky trail to loop back around to the main park paths, and then head down and out to the old park entrance.

With the villages in the area closed to outsiders, it’s likely they won’t let our bus drive in to the park entrance. That means a 2km walk out to the main road to finish the hike. The bus might be able to drive in this time, but we’re not totally sure about that. The village people might stop the bus from driving up just because.

COVID-19 and participation precautions

The current precautions are minimal. Please read in full here: Operating hikes under COVID-19 precautions

Related content

Photos and trip reports: Moss Mountain to Lotus Mountain

  1. Moss Mountain to Lotus Mountain, 2024/04/05

    Moss Mountain to Lotus Mountain, 2024/04/05

    The flowers were showing all over the hills while we did this tough trail, starting off under Moss Mountain and hiking up and over a big ridge to reach the peak of Lotus Mountain—see 18 photos from the hike.

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