Hike Eagle Mountain in Taiwan
Eagle Mountain (2180m) is one of the most exhilarating hikes / climbs I've done in Taiwan. The views from the top are stunning, the vegetation is varied, and the trail is always well-maintained. It is without a doubt the nicest day-hike in Taichung's vicinity.
Eagle Mountain is located in the central part of Taiwan, in Dasyueshan (Big Snow Mountain) Forest Recreational Area, not too far from Taichung city.
The hike up Eagle Mountain isn't necessarily for experienced hikers, but at the same time, you shouldn't attempt this climb if you're not comfortable with heights, since some sections are quite steep and do require the use of hands.
The climb starts from the road and goes all the way to the top of a craggy peak (1.2km) through a series of steep trails and exposed rocky slabs. Fortunately, the steepest parts have fixed ropes.
From the road, it takes about an hour and a half to reach the summit and the elevation gain doesn't exceed 300m. The way down, back to the road, takes around 3 hours. From that point, it's an easy walk - on asphalt - back to the trailhead, and it takes about 2 hours. The whole trip up and down Mt. Eagle, if you do the entire loop, shouldn't take you more than 7 hours.
If you climb to the top, and come back down the same way, it's possible to do it in less than 3 hours.
Getting to the trailhead
Assuming you've got your own bike or car, and you're coming from Taichung city, you should first get to Dongshih. From Dongshih, take road no.8 towards Guguan. From there, it's really simple, just follow the brown signs that say "Dasyueshan".
At one point, still on road 8, after about 3km, you'll have to turn left on Dongken Rd, which eventually turns into Mountain Road 200. After about one hour of driving through splendid forest scenery, you'll get to a one way tunnel. Right after that tunnel, you'll see a parking space on your right - that's Eagle Mountain's trailhead (at km 27).
A map of Eagle Mountain at the trailhead
My friend Mathieu