Hikes in and around Taipei

One of the things I love about Taipei, and hence one of my regrets of not finding a job there, is the wealth of nature and trails within easy access of public transportation. I thought it would be useful to make a thread with a compilation of information on both better and lesser known walks available to residents and visitors to the city. I’ll start with the ones I know. I don’t have a clear format in mind but name, difficulty & time, location and how to get there would be useful.
Work in progress. Add your own information or correction mine, and write about other hikes I or others don’t know, that you believe are worth knowing about.

Teapot Mountain/Banpingshan
Teapot Mountain - A fantastic viewpoint of the mountainside villages and north coast just East of Keelung, and right next to the more famous Jiufen. Arguably the best day hike you can do in Taiwan.
Directions: Take the 1062 bus from Zhongxiao Fuxing station. It will stop in Jinguashi. Wonder around the town and you’ll find a path leading up behind a large temple. After several nice big flights of stairs and you’ll reach a stretch of road that leads to the mountain trail (you could also drive here). Teapot mountain doesn’t take too long to climb up. However if you choose to keep going on to Banpingshan and beyond it will take several hours. I missed the trail leading on through the teapot onto Banpingshan so I have to give it another try and report back later.
-Teapot Mountain - Should be doable by any ablebodied person. However climbing through the rocks in the ‘teapot’ may require some strength and dexterity.
-Banpingshan -> Jiufen:
-Teapot Mountain - I’d estimate about 1 hour from the bus stop, add a bit more going down.

Jiantanshan - 劍潭山
This is a fairly large mountain connecting the area around the red MRT line and brown MRT line. The trailhead was a little tricky to find. It’s south of Jiantan mrt, and north of the Grand Hotel, past a bowling alley. The start is fairly steep but it evens out. There’s a popular lookout called 老地方 (old place) where you can see the planes take off and land from Songshan airport. From there you can continue until you reach some roads that leads to some mountainside temples, a military post and a neighbourhood before reaching the Jiannan rd MRT station.
Location: Near Jiantan MRT station
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Duration: roughly 2 hours

Elephant Mountain/Four beasts trail
Everyone knows of Elephant Mountain so I won’t go into it alone. You can go up and down within 20 minutes if you’re fit, although the steepness makes it quite exhausting.
If you’re feeling more adventourous however, The area beyond has multiple trails to follow. I’ll describe this later.

Qixingshan (七星山)
The most people peak in Yangmingshan national park, it gives splendid views of Taipei and the surrounding mountains and coast. There are two main trails up. Rather than going into detail myself I’ll like the guide I used, which goes into detail on how to get there and how to complete it: https://www.englishintaiwan.com/travel-in-taiwan/north-taiwan-travel/taipei-yangming-shan-seven-stars-peak-hike
As mentioned above, Miapu trail is the tough one.
How to get there: You can take the 260 bus from outside Taipei Main Station to the final stop in Yangmingshan. From there it’s a short walk to the visitor’s centre, and from there the Miaopu trail. If you want to start from the xiaoyoukong trail there is another bus that goes between here and there, although I forget the number.

Qixingshan (七星山) - Su’ao, Yilan (宜蘭蘇澳)
Hiking in the peak of summer doesn’t appeal to many. However there’s a great payoff waiting for you at the end of the walk. You can either start from the cold springs park near Su’ao station and return, however I prefer getting off at xin suao station, then making to walk to the trailhead on the other side, with the reward of the cold springs beckoning. The hike also has excellent views of the harbor below.

Bailushishan - 白鷺?山
This one is fairly short. maybe 30-45 mins. I’ll tell you a trick though. Get off at Neihu station and walk down Jinhu rd for about 15 minutes. There you will reach the trailhead on the other side of Dahu park. There’s not much lookout points although I like a spot that looks over the lake and railway, along with the mountains beyond. The reward once you reach the other side is that Dahu Park also has a big swimming complex where you can enjoy a deserved cool down and relaxation session.
Location: Dahu park (Dahu park station or Neihu station MRT brown line)
Difficulty: Short but fairly steep
Duration: 30-45 mins


i think dogs head rock / battleship rock is one of the best and most accessible hikes in the city with an awesome cool view at the top. i think its shipai station or the one next to it. super quick walk to the trail head and a 20 minute walk to the top. the surrounding area is cool too.

muzha shan is probably the coolest view in the city, its like the non noobie version of elephant mountain. although last time i went there i got lost.

Technically doesn’t exist. Do you mean the hills of Muzha?

I’d throw Huangdidian on to this list. High up there in bangs for yer buck.

An easy way is to get off at Chili’an Station, walk into the park and up the long staircase, hop the wall at the back right of the concrete enclosure and walk around the ridge and up the hill, through the uni athletic field, down “Little Battleship Rock” and up the high trail to Battleship Rock proper. Haven’t been over there in a while and there’s been some construction, but can’t imagine it’s changed.

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There is a 拇指山 near elephant mountain. Perhaps thats the one @BHL4life means?

I’ll definitely check out and add the battleship rock. I hadn’t heard of that one.

I don’t know anything about huangdidian. Looks like you can only get there by driving. Do you have any more info?

Good spot. Muzhi Shan aka the Big Thumb, from whence you can see my pad.

There’s a 666 bus but not very often plus on a scooter you can cut out a lot of climbing.

thats the one. next to 95 peak which seems to be easier to find info on.

Left and up at the big rock with the red 忍 character, then right and up at the top.

another easy one is the ‘tianmu historic trail’ or monkey mountain as i call it. you can get a bus up to to chinese culture university on yang ming mountain and walk down the trail, easy! monkeys apparently come out at 4pm. thats when i went anyway and i saw them. the area at yang ming mountain before the trail starts is beautiful too. i also saw a guy hiking with his cat here. random.

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It’s too hot at this time of the year for me to want to do anything outside at all. I’d love to do some hikes when the weather gets better.

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That’s just one of several trailheads. You can also go up from the back side from Beian Rd. near the American Club. Another one is right behind the Grand Hotel. If you don’t want to deal with the stairs, just take the free hotel shuttle from Yuanshan MRT.

Qixingshan is the highest peak in Taipei, but it’s often shrouded in the clouds. If you’re after splendid views, go for Miantianshan (面天山). It’s also in Yangmingshan National Park, but since it’s situated away from the mountain range, clouds don’t accumulate around it, and you can usually get a great view of the Taipei basin and the Taiwan Strait from the observation deck at the top, despite it being a bit shorter than Qixing.

No. 6 minibus from Beitou MRT. Get off at the last stop.


deffo gonna try this

That water won’t be there…

Unless you go up right after a typhoon. I went up there a couple days after a typhoon hoping to see the “lake” and found a 2 inch deep puddle. It’s a volcano crater that drains quickly.

The lake you see in that picture only forms after a week of solid rain, think plum rains.

Here’s a fun one that involves the ubike and the MRT. One of the remotest ubike stations in Taipei is in Donghu right outside the Neigou River Ecological Exhibition Hall. Just get a ubike and ride all the way up Kangle St. until you come to the exhibition hall on your left, park your bike, and head up the trail located behind the building. The trail will take you over two mountains (明舉山 and 康樂山) before dropping you on the street across from the Bailusishan trailhead that Uncreativeusername mentioned. Take the MRT home from Dahu Park station. Alternatively, you can do the hike in the opposite direction, but you better make sure there are available ubikes at the exhibition hall, or it’s a boring walk on asphalt back out to civilization.

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I tried this out but I’m not sure I went the way you meant. I got as far as I could, I’m guessing this is the wall you say to jump over? However these strays don’t seem very friendly
(I can’t upload photos for some reason, it’s a two tiered flat area with a sundail and some seats. Three big dogs are watching me closely

Right go to the back right of the second tier, there’s a kind of roofed area in it. Hop the wall. There’s an obvious trail there

A place I like. Not really a challenging hike if you are into places like Huangdidian.

Tianmu Shuiguanlu (天母水管路)
The main attraction is Cuifeng waterfall (翠峰瀑布), aka Golden waterfall (黃金瀑布), which really looks that way, especially when the afternoon sun hits the falls through the canopy. Also, there are monkeys.

If you go further out, there’s also Bitoujiao (鼻頭角)

There’s a new way to get to the light house through a path that only shows up during low tide. There are a bunch of amazing caves, and a grassland. If you don’t let the ocean plastic trash bother you, it’s pretty amazing.