The Steps to Elephant Mountain


The Mission: Hike Elephant Mountain for a stunning view of downtown Taipei.

The Prep:
Take the metro to Xiangshan station and leave through exit #2. Follow the path next to the park and turn left at the park’s end. You will walk up a small hill and make a right where you will see the steps to the entrance of the trail.

The Gear:
Comfortable walking shoes

The Execution:
Taipei 101, an immense skyscraper in downtown Taipei dominates the skyline. I had heard that the best way to see this tower was from Elephant Mountain. Unfortunately, this was my last day in Taipei and it happened to be raining, but I decided to go for it anyway. After finding the entrance, I realized I should have spent some more time on the step machine at the gym. The trail starts with some steps, continues with some steps and leads to, you guessed it…more steps. There was a small overlook platform to stop and take in the view before continuing on to the “real view”. Here there were several large boulders that other visitors were climbing on to get the ultimate photo. With the heavy rain and my ultimate clumsiness, I decided to forego the climbing and walk a little further. I continued up the trail until I saw a small path off to the left. This I believe was the best viewing area. From here I could see the clouds rolling by offering me short glimpses of that giant skyscraper, Taipei 101. Even in the rain, the view was incredible. I continued up the path a bit, but I had no idea where it led so I eventually turned around and headed back down the slippery stairs in the pouring rain.

The Highlights: 

  • Level of difficulty: moderate
  • When you reach the fork in the path, I suggest taking the route to the left. It’s a little less intense.
  • If you go in the rain like myself, watch your footing as it was quite slippery.

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