Hiking Elephant Mountain (Xiangshan) in Taipei

Taipei, the bustling metropolis and capital of Taiwan, is home to numerous natural wonders, including the renowned Elephant Mountain (象山登山步道). As you ascend to the peak of this mountain, a breathtaking panoramic view of the city awaits you, making it one of the most sought-after hikes in the region. If you’re looking for a truly unforgettable experience, hiking Elephant Mountain to witness the sunset is a must-do activity. The view from the top is not only the best in the city but also one of the most captivating in all of Taiwan. The sight of Taipei 101 soaring over the skyline is nothing short of magical, particularly when set against the backdrop of the lush forest that blankets Elephant Mountain. It is unquestionably one of the most photogenic locations in Taiwan.

Person taking a picture on elephant mountain taipei

Why should you go to Elephant mountain?

If you’re looking for a place to escape the chaos of Taipei and connect with nature, Elephant Mountain is the perfect destination. The panoramic view of the city is a sight to behold, and there’s no better place to watch the sunset in Taipei. The lush greenery that covers the trail leading to the top adds to the beauty of the hike and provides a refreshing break from the concrete jungle that surrounds the city.

Taipei skyline from elephant mountain on a sunny day

The hike up Elephant Mountain is also an excellent way to get some exercise and stay active. The trail is not too difficult, but it still offers a good workout, making it a popular spot for fitness enthusiasts. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see locals jogging up and down the mountain, taking advantage of the beautiful scenery to stay in shape.

Apart from the physical benefits, hiking Elephant Mountain is also a great way to socialize and meet new people. The mountain is a popular destination for both tourists and locals, and you’re likely to encounter friendly faces along the way. Many hikers also gather at the peak to chat, share snacks and take photos, creating a sense of community and camaraderie.

How hard is the hike?

While the trail consists of a lot of stairs, the hike is relatively easy and can be completed in around 15-20 minutes, depending on your fitness level. The trail is well maintained and clearly marked, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost.

The stairs may provide a bit of a workout, but it’s not a difficult hike, and people of all ages can complete it. The hike is particularly suitable for families with children, and the experience is a great way to introduce them to the great outdoors. Moreover, you don’t need any special equipment or training to complete the hike, making it accessible to everyone.

How to get to Elephant mountain?

Elephant Mountain (Xiangshan) Selfie

Getting to Elephant Mountain is relatively easy. If you’re coming from Taipei 101, you can take one of the YouBike nearby, ride for about 5 minutes, then return the bike at the park nearby the trail entrance. Alternatively, you can take the MRT Red Line to Xiangshan Station and leave from Exit 2. Continue walking alongside the edge of the park until you reach the entrance for Xiangshan Hiking Trail.

What’s beyond Elephant mountain?

The area beyond Elephant Mountain boasts an extensive system of trails called the Four Beasts Trail (四獸山步道) or Nangang Mountain Hiking Trail (南港山系). This network of trails spans 7km and includes several peaks such as Tiger Mountain (虎山), Leopard Mountain (豹山), Lion Mountain (獅山), Thumb Mountain (拇指山), Nangang Mountain (南港山), and 9-5 Peak (九五峰), each offering breathtaking views of the Taipei cityscape.

Despite the challenging terrain, the trails in the Four Beasts network are well-maintained and offer hikers several amenities for a comfortable experience. The stone paths and clear signage make it easy to navigate the trails, while benches provide a place to rest and take in the stunning views. For those interested in night hiking, the trails are equipped with lighting to guide your way, and there are water fountains and clean restrooms available throughout the network. With these conveniences in place, you can explore the network with ease, whether you’re hiking during the day or at night. However, keep in mind that the entire network can take several hours to complete, so plan accordingly to fully experience all that it has to offer.

stunning view of taipei skyline

More pictures of Elephant mountain

To give you a better sense of just how magical Elephant Mountain truly is, I’ve included some additional photos for you to enjoy. Take a look and see for yourself the stunning panoramic views that await you at the top of this incredible hiking trail.

Whether you choose to hike during the day or at night, you’re guaranteed to be mesmerized by the magic of Taipei from above. So, lace up your shoes, grab some water, and head out to experience the beauty of Elephant Mountain firsthand.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s