Difficulty – 1 to 3 (out of 5) Duration – Half day to full day
The Four Beast Mountains are made up of four mountains that are said to resemble an Elephant, Tiger, Leopard and Lion. There are actually two more mountains on the trail system called Nangang Shan and Jiuwu Peak that rise behind the beasts. They’re all located to the southeast of Taipei 101 and for anyone in Taipei, they are a must-do hike.
Being so close to the city, the mountains afford hikers superb views of the Taipei skyline, especially at night. Tiger and Elephant Mountains are the most famous, with the most complete trails, but there are some hidden gems around Lion and Leopard Mountains, too.
There really isn’t a typical itinerary for these trails. There are dozens of trailheads that mostly start on Xinyi Road or just off of Songren Road. The trails can be completed in loops so you come back around to your starting area or come out on the other side of the mountains. One could spend just a few minutes going to the Stone Garden to take photos of Taipei 101 and the Taipei City skyline, or spend the whole day exploring the dozens of temples and side trails that crisscross the mountains. The main trails are also lit at night, making this a 24hour place of adventure!