Elephant Mountain Hike

For something that is off the beaten path while in Taipei, I went on a hike on Elephant Mountain (象山).  Elephant Mountain together with three other peaks, Leopard Mountain (豹山), Lion Mountain (狮山) and Tiger Mountain (虎山) make up the ‘Four Beasts Mountains (四兽山)’ of Taipei.

This hike is popular with locals as it is easily accessible.  It’s also a popular place for photographers as it provides sweeping views of Taipei city and the iconic Taipei 101 for free :).

To get here, just take the MRT Red Line to the last stop, Xiangshan station.  From there it’s about 15 – 20 minute walk from Exit 2 to the start of the trail.  It’s a pleasant walk through a residential area and park and there are plenty of signs along the way.

Start of Elephant Mountain Trail

The hike up the mountain though is tougher with a lot of stairs.  The stairs didn’t deter elderly hikers as well as families with children from ascending the mountain.  This is because the stone step trail is well maintained and clearly marked.  Along the way, there are benches for hikers to take a rest.

Be prepared to climb a lot of stairs

I got the first glimpse of the Taipei 101 building after about 10 minutes into the hike.

The first glimpse of Taipei 101

After a brief stop, I pushed on.  I finally reached the main viewing area, 6 Boulders (六巨石) after about half an hour from the start of the trail.

More stone steps to climb

象山 (Elephant Mountain) carved on the boulder. You know you have arrived when you see this

This is the main viewing area with huge boulders where one can climb to relax and get a great view of the city.

Big boulders to climb onto to get a great view of Taipei City

A good spot for some selfies 🙂

Clear view of Taipei 101

Elephant Mountain is a nice place to chill while enjoying a panoramic view of Taipei City

This area is also popular with photographers.  Some will even come early on weekends to stake out the prime spots to get a good shot of Taipei 101!

Elephant Mountain is also a good spot for photography enthusiasts

Photographers trying to get a good shot of Taipei 101 & Taipei City

Seeing the view for myself, I can truly understand the reason for the popularity of Elephant Mountain.  The stunning view made up for all the huffing, puffing and sweat.  In fact, I believe the view is better than from the Taipei 101 Observation Deck.

View at dusk

View at twilight

Taipei City and the iconic Taipei 101 at night

Another view of Taipei 101

A viewing platform for hikers to enjoy the panoramic view

If you are planning a visit to Elephant Mountain, do make sure to wear a pair of comfortable walking shoes, bring enough water and a towel.


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