Smangus is the most remote and mountainous area of Jianshih Township. It resides between Hsinchu and Yilan. Smangus is pristine, and home to over twenty divine red junipers. These red junipers are over 1,000 years old. The tallest is called Yaya (which means mother in Tayal) and she is 35 meters tall, 20.5 meters wide, and over 2500 years old. She is the second tallest tree in Taiwan. Her trunk splits in two and resembles two arms reaching out to hug and protect the forest. This feeling of love and protection is how she got the name Yaya. To get an idea of the size of her, if 24 adults held hands in a circle, they would barely fit around the tree. This group of trees is a breath-taking 2.5 hour hike beginning from the quaint village. The hike takes you through the magical forest to these divine trees. The main village used to be called “The Black Village’ because of its remoteness and lack of electricity since before 1979. Now it is called “the Home of God’ because of its abundant beauty and its resident’s beliefs. The quality of life has improved for the natives since these divine trees were found in 1991 due to the respectful nature and influx of tourists.
By car: Get off at Cyonglin interchange and follow the 120 towards Hengshan and Jianshih. Turn right at Jianshih Bridge and follow the 60. After Naluo and Yulao, gain entry at the Security Search Point of Siouluan. Then head down 5k to Taigang.
“Please think about your physical strength and time before traveling to Smangus.’
Hiking (to the divine trees and back) is about 5 to 6 hours.
The long drive may need an extra day’s ride.
The windy mountain road can be challenging in any condition.