Took a late afternoon stroll up Elephant mountain yesterday with some friends. To get here, take the MRT, or bike, to Xiangshan station at the end of the red line. From there walk through the park and up. Easy to find, as many go here. You’ll be greeted with a temple and stairs going up the mountain. Truth be told it isn’t much of a mountain, more of a short, very steep, stairway to the viewpoint where so many go.
You can continue, however, up and up the “Four Beasts,” the name they give the four peaks in the area. Separately they are Elephant, Lion, Tiger, and Leopard. Looking back, I’m not sure we made it to the next peak, Tiger peak, but I can’t be sure seeing as I don’t read Chinese.
We did find a nice trail with ropes to climb up boulders, and ladders bolted into the face of the rocks. All a nice change, and an added sense of adventure, from the monotonous stairway to heaven feel of the mountain trails. We took these up to Juiwufeng Peak, which even on a hazy day in Taipei, provided excellent views just before dusk.
Beware of gnarly giants spiders during your climb up and down the mountain! They sneak up on you and are surprisingly low to the ground! I was almost devoured by this one…
The rest of the hike down is difficult, if only because your legs are heavy and its all stairs of varied width and length. Take your time, keep your knees bent, and give it a go! It’s an easily accessible hike right in Taipei, and an incredible escape from the smog and buzzing of motorbikes. Plus, 80 year olds are doing this at 6 am…so, what’s your excuse? I’ll leave you with the rest of my pictures from the day. Let’s call it 50 Shades of Taipei (101):