This is the fifth of eleven posts on Taiwan. Check out our other posts here:
- Time for Taiwan: An Introduction
- 5 Nights at the Haunted Grand Hyatt Taipei
- Sweating to Taipei’s National Sites
- Taking it to the Streets: Taipei’s Night Markets
- Hiking Elephant Mountain
- Taipei’s Cheap Eats: Savory Edition
- Taipei’s Cheap Eats: Sweets Edition
- Heading to Green Island
- Green Island’s Sites
- Hiking Taroko Gorge, Part 1
- Hiking Taroko Gorge, Part 2
Since our Selfish Year abroad, Mrs. Selfish and I have become bigger and bigger hikers. Not the kind that will strap on a backpack and spend a week in the great outdoors, however.
Typically we quantify a walk by the time spent walking vs. the payoff. Oftentimes this means we’ll end up walking for hours at a time, with nothing to see. Other times, we’ll find that a mere 15 minutes off the beaten path thins out the crowds and gets you some amazing views.
This is the case with Elephant Mountain, where a 15 minute up-hill hike yields the quintessential view of Taipei.
How to climb Elephant Mountain
The path to Elephant Mountain is conveniently located a little over a mile away from Taipei 101 itself, or about 1.3 miles away from the Grand Hyatt Taipei.
A is the Grand Hyatt Taipei, B is the beginning of the path
To start, simply walk East from the Taipei 101 building, then take Songren road South. You’ll soon see a junior high school complete with a track on your right. Take the left turn immediately after passing the track head toward the Lawson. You should soon approach Sanli park.
From there the road curves slightly to the right and starts to ascend. Before long, the road straightens again, and after passing an ornate red building on your left you’ll find the entrance to the walking trail.
From there, simply follow the stairs and the elephant signs. Pretty easy, right?
That being said, you do ascend about 400m, and it will likely be 80+ degrees with 80% humidity and 800 mosquitos (so bring your repellent). The view, on the other hand, is spectacular.
Shortly before reaching the top of the mountain you’ll come across some epically placed boulders. This is an excellent opportunity for photos.
Look ma, I hiked somewhere!
From here, you’re only a short 10 minute walk to the actual top of Elephant Mountain.
Unfortunately it started raining shortly after we reached the top of Elephant Mountain, so we took cover in a small pagoda before beating a hasty retreat. If you’re looking for a longer walk, Elephant Mountain connects to several other trails, which offer a nice respite from the hustle and bustle of Taipei.
Tomorrow we head back into the city to enjoy some of Taipei’s cheap eats!