Welcome to Elephant Mountain Taipei, one of Taiwan’s many hiking gems. Not only for its natural beauty, but also for its panoramic views of Taipei. This article is intended to be your guide, highlighting the way to an unforgettable adventure in Elephant Mountain.

Known locally as Xiangshan, Elephant Mountain is part of the Four Animal Mountains in Nangang Province. With easy access and breathtaking views from the top of the mountain, it stands out as a prime destination for enthusiasts and those looking for hikes whether you’re here to catch the sunset perfect on Taipei 101 or immerse yourself in the serenity of nature, Elephant Mountain promises an experience like no other.


Elephant Mountain Taipei location and overview of how to get there

Elephant Mountain, also known as Xiangshan, is located in the heart of Taipei, Taiwan. It is known for having one of the best views in the city, especially the spectacular Taipei It’s easy to get to; The mountain area is easily accessible by public transportation, including the Taipei Metro. Just take the Red Line to Xiangshan Station, and the entrance to the tour is just a short walk away.

Tips for planning your walk

A bit of preparation is required when embarking on the Elephant Mountain hike. Here are some tips for a smooth and enjoyable experience.

  • Best time to go: Early morning or late afternoon is best to catch the sunrise or sunset on Taipei 101 to avoid the heat of the day.
  • Permits: No permits are required to hike Elephant Mountain, making it a hassle-free activity for all.
  • What to bring: Water, snacks, good walking shoes and a camera are essential. The climbing can be steep in places, so come prepared for a workout.

Trail Options

Introduction to the Various Trails

Elephant Mountain is part of a network of trails known as the Four Beasts Mountains. Within this network, there are several trails you can choose from, depending on your interests and fitness level.

Elephant Mountain Trail

  • Difficulty Level: Easy to moderate
  • Length: Approximately 1.5 kilometers round trip
  • Notable Features: This trail is famous for its large stone steps leading up to a viewing platform, offering stunning views of Taipei. It’s perfect for those looking for a quick hike with a rewarding view at the end.

Xiangshan Hiking Trail

  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Length: About 2 kilometers round trip
  • Notable Features: Extending beyond the Elephant Mountain Trail, the Xiangshan Hiking Trail offers more secluded spots and additional views of the city. It’s a bit more of a trek but well worth the effort for the panoramic vistas.

Additional Connecting Trails or Loops

  • Difficulty Level: Varies
  • Length and Features: For those seeking a longer hike, Elephant Mountain connects with other trails leading to Tiger Mountain, Leopard Mountain, and Lion Mountain. These trails offer more challenges and quieter paths, away from the more frequented Elephant Mountain Trail.

Safety Considerations

Your safety on the hike up Elephant Mountain is paramount. Here are important tips and considerations to keep in mind:

Weather Conditions to Watch Out For

  • Check the Forecast: Taipei’s weather can change rapidly. Check the weather forecast before heading out and be prepared for rain or intense sun.
  • Heat: During summer months, the heat can be intense. Aim to hike during cooler parts of the day.

Trail Etiquette and Regulations

  • Stay on the Path: To protect the local flora and fauna, and for your safety, always stay on the marked trails.
  • Respect Others: The trail can be busy, especially during peak times. Be courteous to fellow hikers.

Emergency Contacts and Procedures

  • Know the Local Emergency Number: In Taiwan, dial 110 for police or 119 for fire and ambulance services.
  • Inform Someone: Let someone know your hiking plans, including your expected return time.

Sustainability and the principle of Leave No Trace

Elephant Mountain Taipei is a treasure trove of green landscapes and stunning cities to respect and cherish. Preserving its beauty for future generations is based on our commitment to sustainability and Leave No Trace principles.

It is important to show respect for the environment

Every pedestrian plays an important role in reducing the environmental footprint. The trails we explore are home to countless species of plants and animals, and their natural habitats should not be disturbed by us visitors. By following sustainable practices, we ensure that Elephant Mountain remains a vibrant and welcoming place for all.

Explanation of the Leave No Trace Principles

Leave No Trace includes seven key principles designed to guide outdoor enthusiasts in reducing environmental impact:

  1. Plan ahead and prepare: Understand the rules and special concerns of the venue.
  2. Hike and camp on hard surfaces: Stick to marked trails and designated areas to reduce erosion and preserve natural habitat.
  3. Dispose garbage properly: Keep all garbage, food scraps and garbage out.
  4. Let go of what you see: Embrace the past and the present. Avoid moving plants, rocks, or cultural nuisances.
  5. Limit campfires: Use light stoves for cooking and only have fires in designated areas, if at all.
  6. Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance, don’t feed it. Consumption of wildlife can compromise their health, alter natural behavior, and expose them to predators and other hazards.
  7. Consider Other Visitors: Respect other trail users and protect their experience.

By incorporating these principles into your itinerary, you are helping to conserve bears.

wildlife and plants

Elephant Mountain’s abundant biodiversity adds to its appeal, giving hikers the opportunity to interact with nature in a busy urban environment.

Observation of wildlife and plants

Elephant Mountain is home to a wide variety of plants and animals. Its slopes are covered with dense forests, including bamboo ferns and many native trees. Wildlife enthusiasts can see deer, a variety of birds and if they are lucky, the occasional snake basking in the sun. The mountain ecosystem is a delicate balance, with each species playing an important role.

Tips for responsible wildlife management

To ensure that your encounter with nature is respectful and safe, consider the following guidelines.

  • Keep a distance: Always observe wildlife at a distance that does not disturb the animal or encourage it to run away.
  • Keep quiet: Loud noises can frighten animals. If you encounter wildlife, stay calm and move slowly.
  • Feed animals: Feeding wild animals destroys their natural diet and can cause health problems.
  • Protect plant life: Avoid picking flowers or damaging plants. Instead of taking “souvenirs” from your natural surroundings, take pictures.

cultural and historical understanding

Elephant Mountain or Xiangshan Occupying a special place in the Taipei landscape not only for its natural beauty, but also for its cultural and historical significance, this mountain is not just a place for hiking; It is a living museum that tells the story of Taipei’s past and present.

An examination of the cultural and historical significance of Elephant Mountain

The name “Elephant Mountain” comes from how it resembles the shape of an elephant when viewed from certain angles. For locals, it’s a symbol of strength and stability, qualities that reflect Taipei’s own spirit. Historically, the mountain and its surroundings have been an integral part of Taipei’s daily life, serving as a source of nature and a peaceful escape from city life

Information about landmarks or cultural sites along the trails

As you climb the Elephant Mountain Trail, you will encounter several sites that showcase the area’s fascinating history:

  • Staircase with “elephant trunk”: Large stone steps leading up to the observation platform mimic the shape of an elephant trunk, a natural sculpture that leaves many travelers in awe.
  • Historic Churches: Small churches and churches dot the grounds, offering quiet spaces for contemplation and glimpses of local spiritual practices.
  • Observation platforms: These not only offer breathtaking views but also remind us of the mountain’s role as a sentinel over the city.

Nearby Attractions and Activities

Surrounding Elephant Mountain, there’s a plethora of attractions and activities that can complement your visit and offer a deeper understanding of Taipei’s diverse character.

Recommendations for Other Attractions and Activities

  • Taipei 101: Just a stone’s throw away, this iconic skyscraper offers an observation deck with stunning views, shopping, and dining experiences.
  • Four Beasts Mountains: Beyond Elephant Mountain, explore the other “beasts” – Tiger, Leopard, and Lion Mountains for more hiking adventures.
  • Songshan Cultural and Creative Park: A short distance away, this park provides a vibrant space for art, design, and cultural events.

Suggestions for Extending Your Visit and Exploring the Surrounding Area

Consider spending a day in the area to fully experience what it has to offer:

  • Local Cuisine: Try some local dishes at the nearby street food stalls and restaurants.
  • Night Markets: Raohe Street Night Market is nearby, offering a lively atmosphere and a taste of local life.

Transportation Options

Reaching Elephant Mountain is convenient, thanks to Taipei’s efficient transportation network.

Overview of Transportation Options for Reaching Elephant Mountain

  • Public Transit: The most convenient way to reach Elephant Mountain is by Taipei Metro (MRT). Take the Red Line to Xiangshan Station, the trailhead is just a few minutes’ walk from the station.
  • Bus: Several bus routes serve the area around Elephant Mountain, offering an alternative to the metro.

Tips for Parking and Navigating to the Trailheads

  • Parking: If driving, parking can be found near the Xiangshan MRT station, although spaces might be limited during peak times.
  • Navigating to the Trailheads: Signage around the MRT station and leading up to the trailhead is clear, making it easy to find your way.

Accommodation and Dining

Exploring Elephant Mountain can be a full-day adventure, or perhaps you’re looking to capture both sunrise and sunset. Here’s what you need to know about staying and dining nearby.

Nearby Accommodation Options

  • Hotels and Hostels: A range of accommodations from luxury hotels to budget-friendly hostels is available in the Xinyi District, within walking distance or a short MRT ride from Elephant Mountain.
  • Airbnb: For a more local experience, consider renting an apartment or room through Airbnb. There are many options close to the trailhead.

Suggestions for food options

  • Local restaurants: Xinyi district has a wide variety of restaurants, serving everything from traditional Taiwanese cuisine to international cuisine.
  • Street food: Don’t miss Taipei’s famous street food. Known for its variety of food options, Yongkong Street is just a few MRT stops away.

Local tips and insights

Consider these insider tips to enhance your travel experience.

  • Start early: Beat the crowds and warm up by starting early, especially if you’re headed for sunrise.
  • Weekdays: Consider hiking on a weekday for a quieter experience.
  • Lesser-known trails: Explore off-the-main trails, such as the hiking trail to Four Beasts Peak, for more secluded views and nature encounters.


Elephant Mountain offers an easy but rewarding hike, with panoramic views of Taipei that are hard to beat. Whether you are a photography enthusiast, nature lover, or just looking for a memorable adventure, Elephant Mountain Taipei is waiting for you. Pack your luggage, follow these tips, and take a trip that promises amazing discoveries and lasting memories. Happy walking!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *