Sanding Mountain (三汀山 sān tīng shān) is a mountain just outside Taichung City, in Taiping District. It is one of the Little 100 Peaks of Taiwan 台灣小百岳.
At 486m of altitude, the summit offers great views over the concrete jungle below. I would even say that in good weather, and when air pollution is at low levels, Santingshan can give you the best city view of Taichung. Even better than Donghai, Dadu Mountain, and even Dakeng.
Mt. Sanding is part of a hiking area in Taiping which is called (get ready…) Bitting Human Dog Ecological Landscape Trail 咬人狗坑生態景觀步道 Yǎo rén gǒu kēng shēngtài jǐngguān bùdào. I’m not making this up, I’m serious. And the funniest part is that there are tons of stray dogs in the forest. Bizarre.
From trailhead to summit, you should allow at least an 1h 30m, but it’s surely possible to complete faster if you’re in good shape and you don’t stop every 5 minute to check your phone like I usually do.
The trails in this hiking area are a mix of farmers paths, man-made staircases, paved roads, and narrow dirt tracks. The going is quite steep and relentless most of the way, so you don’t want to dress too heavily, as you’ll be sweating right off the bat.
Weekends can get crowded, and the average age of the typical hiker seems to be around 65 years old. Some of those guys must be coming here quite often as they power uphill like mountain goats on steroids. Quite something to witness honestly.
Overall, I would say that that I prefer to hike in this area, compared to Dakeng, because the paths are wider, it’s not as busy, and the view is nicer (in my opinion) at the top. Also, the trail is really steep in some parts, so you really get a good cardio training within a short amount of time. Highly recommended for a quick half-day hike near Taichung City.
Map of Sanding Mountain Hiking Area