Taiwan’s beautiful landscapes, forests, and mountains offer the perfect retreat from hectic living in the city. Here is a list of 10 best hiking trails in Taiwan to add some tranquility to your life.

From leisurely walks to extreme treks, tropical climates to alpine vistas, Taiwan is a hiker’s paradise, and we’re here to introduce 10 of the best hiking trails in Taiwan. Starting from day-hikes near Taipei that an office-worker can easily get to, we then work our way through the country for some breathtaking multi-day backpacking trips.

1. Taipei – Elephant Mountain Hiking Trail

Get the best skyline views of Taipei from the top of Elephant Mountain, one of four peaks (amongst Tiger, Leopard, and Lion) along the city’s eastern edge that form the Four Beasts Trail. The Elephant Mountain portion is quite short but very steep, and is a stair-climb that you can complete within twenty minutes. Near the peak of the mountain you will come across an area known as the ‘Six Giant Rocks,’ the perfect spot for Instagram selfies.

Best For: A quick workout and a stunning view of the city

Approximate Distance: 1.5 km
Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: 1 out of 5 stars

10 Best Hiking Trails in Taiwan Elephant Mountain

Taipei City Government photo

2. Jiufen – Keelung Mountain and Teapot Mountain

Jiufen is a small mountain town an hour’s drive from Taipei, with old streets to wander through, local snacks and traditional tea ceremonies to experience- be sure to treat yourself to their famous ice cream spring rolls after your hike! There are five popular peaks in the area, leading you to gorgeous views of the Yin Yang Sea, the blue Pacific coast, and the Golden Waterfall, shining with minerals deposited during the region’s historic mining operations. Climb the Keelung Mountain Hiking Trail from Jiufen, and trek over to Jiufen’s neighbouring village, Jinguashi, to try the Teapot Mountain Trail.

Best For: A scenic view while visiting the area

Approximate Distance: 2.4 km (Keelung), 4.94 km (Teapot)
Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour (Keelung), 2 hours (Teapot)
Difficulty: 2 out of 5 stars

10 Best Hiking Trails in Taiwan Keelung Mountain

Nick Kembel

3. Pingxi – Pingxi Crags

Another day trip you could take from Taipei is to Pingxi district. You will find an all-time classic Taiwan hike here: the Pingxi Crags, three peaks rising dramatically from the surrounding forest. The Instagram famous first crag, Xiaozi Mountain, has become a go-to destination for locals and globetrotters alike. The other two – Cimu Peak and Putuo Mountain – are equally stunning and make for smart alternatives if Xiaozi is overcrowded. The Pingxi Crags are part of a much longer trail that extends further on to Stinky Head Mountain or the Central Ridge, if you would like to extend your hiking journey.

Best For: A fun weekend trip and an Instagram-worthy photoshoot

Approximate Distance: 1.5 km
Estimated Completion Time: 2.5 hours
Difficulty: 2 out of 5 stars

10 Best Hiking Trails in Taiwan Pingxi Crags


4. Sanxia – Wuliaojian Mountain

Easily accessible from Taipei, Wuliaojian Mountain is for more experienced hikers seeking a serious challenge. This day hike is an intense full-body workout complete with ropes and climbing- be sure to buy a pair of gloves in the store next to the trailhead, which will save you from rope burn. After a steep hike from the get-go, you reach the main highlight of the climb: Wuliaojian’s infamous knife’s edge ridge walk. You are rewarded for your courage with 360 degree panoramic views of surrounding mountains. You can then choose to head to the exit or hike an additional hour towards the Wuliaojian peak.

Best For: An adventurous challenge

Approximate Distance: 5 km
Estimated Completion Time: 6 hours
Difficulty: 4 out of 5 stars

10 Best Hiking Trails in Taiwan Wuliaojian Mountain


5. Yangmingshan National Park – Seven Star Mountain

Half an hour away from Taipei’s city center is Yangmingshan National Park. It contains Seven Star Mountain (or Qixing Shan), Taiwan’s tallest volcano and the highest mountain in the city at 1120m above sea level. Ascending via Miaopu Trail will take you past Xiaoyoukeng, a massive crater continuously spewing steam and sulphur. As you reach the East and Main Peaks, you are greeted by sweeping views that include the Taipei Basin and Taipei 101 tower. From the Main Peak you can also spot seven knobby summits, ‘seven stars’, laid out in the same formation as the Big Dipper.

Best For: A weekend family hike to see geothermal features

Approximate Distance: 2.5 km
Estimated Completion Time: 3 hours
Difficulty: 3 out of 5 stars

10 Best Hiking Trails in Taiwan Seven Star Mountain


6. Between Taipei City and Yilan – Caoling Historic Trail

This is a busy and popular trail, and convenient to reach via public transportation: take a train to either Dali station or Fulong station. The hike can be done from either point, but finishing at Fulong means you can end your day at Fulong Beach. A 4 hour walk along gentle slopes, broad vistas, and gurgling streams, the experience is enhanced by the knowledge that you are walking in history: the trail is a remnant of the Tamlan Road, which Qing Dynasty officials built to connect Taipei with Yilan. You will see Turtle Island and, in autumn and winter, a dreamy sea of silver-white awn flowers.

Best For: A weekend family hike

Approximate Distance: 8.5 km
Estimated Completion Time: 3 hours
Difficulty: 2 out of 5 stars

10 Best Hiking Trails in Taiwan Caoling Historic Trail


7. Yilan – Matcha Mountain

Matcha Mountain, named after the matcha-coloured silvergrass and arrow bamboo covering its slopes, is an excursion to an altitude of 1000m, made worthwhile by the rolling views from the summit which are indistinguishable from pictures on the internet. Try to start early so you can summit before noon, giving you the best scenery at the peak and the least fog on your way back down the mountain.

Best For: A long and physical trek with a unique view

Approximate Distance: 12 km
Estimated Completion Time: 7 hours
Difficulty: 3 out of 5 stars

10 Best Hiking Trails in Taiwan Matcha Mountain

8. Taroko Gorge – Zhuilu Old Trail

One of the most adventurous day hikes in eastern Taiwan can be found in its spectacular Taroko Gorge National Park. The Zhuilu Old Trail winds up the mountain, offering views of marble canyon walls and turquoise waters. You eventually reach the ‘cross-mountain highway’, where you will need to make your way along a 60cm-wide ledge with the Liwu River 1100 meters below you. Be sure to check out the nearby Baiyang Trail, Swallow Grotto Trail and Eternal Spring Shrine Trail.

Best For: A memorable experience with mind-bending scenery

Approximate Distance: 6 km
Estimated Completion Time: 4 hours
Difficulty: 3 out of 5 stars

10 Best Hiking Trails in Taiwan Zhuilu Old Trail

Smithsonian Mag

9. Yushan National Park – Yushan Peaks Trail

Travelling down the country to the landlocked, central Nantou County, we find Yushan National Park, named after its highest peak, Yushan (also known as Mount Jade). A bucket-list hike for many Taiwanese, this is either a very strenuous 12 hour day hike or an overnight adventure. Starting from the Tataka Trailhead, you can stay overnight at Paiyun Lodge, wake up early to summit in time for sunrise and then make your way back down to the trailhead. The going is difficult, but you will see breathtaking alpine sights and wildlife including Formosan macaques, black bears, and goat-like serows.

Best For: A multi-day backpacking trip

Approximate Distance: 61 km
Estimated Completion Time: 12 hours or overnight
Difficulty: 5 out of 5 stars

10 Best Hiking Trails in Taiwan Yushan Peaks Trail


10. Alishan Scenic Mountain Area – Eryan Ping Trail

To the west of Yushan National Park, in the southwestern Taiwanese county of Chiayi, is the Alishan National Forest Recreation Area. The region is famous for its mountain tea production and breathtaking ‘sea of clouds’ phenomenon caused by the Northern Monsoon. Eryan Ping Trail is an easy and relaxing hike past sprawling tea fields, ending in a viewing pavilion where you can relax and observe the sea of clouds. Other hiking trails available in the area will bring you through forests, temples, ponds, and even Tsou aboriginal villages, the original settlers of this area before the ethnic Han Chinese arrived.

Best For: A relaxing hike to enjoy Alishan sights

Approximate Distance: 1 km
Estimated Completion Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: 2 out of 5 stars

10 Best Hiking Trails in Taiwan Eryan Ping Trail

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