Hike up the Elephant Mountain (aka Xiangshan Hiking Trail or Nangang District Hiking Trail) is a must do when you visit Taipei. The Elephant Mountain is known for having a stunning view over Taipei City. When you do the Elephant Mountain Hike you will be rewarded with the epic view of Taipei and especially Taipei 101.
It is not only a place for tourists to do a little hike, but as well a popular spot for locals to exercise (running or walking up and down the 600 steps).
It is very easy to get there and on top of all it is free. Who doesn’t like to make free activities.
The Elephant Mountain Hike
When to go
As it is free and you don’t need a ticket, you are flexible to go whenever and as often as you want. You can do the whole trip in about 3 hours, so you have plenty of time during the day or even after for other activities.
I recommend to time your arrival on top of the Elephant mountain during daylight, but at the early evening. Then wait for the sunset and until the sun went down for stunning picture opportunities. That way you can experience both, daylight and darkness, it is well worth the time you wait.
The Elephant Mountain Hike itslef
The hike itself is not too hard, if you are not completely out of shape. Without picture stops it takes roughly 30 minutes. I recommend to wear sneakers for a higher comfort on the steps (or in case it starts raining), but it would be definitely possible in flip flops. It is a steep climb up the 600 steps, you will be sweating for sure. Don’t make the same mistake as I did, so don’t wear long jeans and make sure you bring a water bottle with you. There are plenty of benches and rest stops along the hike to take a break.
There are three main spots with good views for taking pictures and enjoying the view. As long as you stay on the right on the hike you will pass them all.
The first platform was after about 15minutes. A good stop for a quick break to breath and taking the first pictures.
After that you will reach a selection of big rocks which you can climb on to have the epic view over Taipei and Taipei 101.
On top of the Elephant Mountain, shortly after the rocks, there is the main platform with a great view. When I was there, there was a big line up from locals, tourists, hobby photographers up to professional photographers.
How to get to the Elephant Mountain
It’s very straight forward to get to the Elephant Mountain hiking trail. Take the metro to the “Xiangshan Station” (one stop after Taipei 101 station), leave the metro station through Exit 2 and follow the hiking trail signs. Outside of the metro station you will pass the Xiangshan Park and then continue to walk on a street which is going a little uphill. After approx. 15 minutes you will reach the start of the Hiking Trail. At the beginning of the stairs you will see a sign with an elephant and Taipei 101 on it.
Happy hiking 🙂
Did you do the Elephant Mountain hike to have an epic view of Taipei as well?