Discover some of the best hiking trails and climbing peaks on the island!
This Hiking in Taiwan Travel Guide will show you that Taiwan isn’t just cities and factories. The island is home to Northeast Asia’s tallest summit and to more than 240 peaks over 3000m! One day, Taiwan will inevitably become a world class hiking destination like Japan. It’s just a matter of time.
“Trekking in Taiwan is not for the faint-hearted. The Central Mountain Range is steep and wild, and much of it is covered with thick forest. Summer thunderstorms arise unseen, temperatures can drop below zero, and facilities are few and far between. But for those willing to carry their own gear, the treks are among the most beautiful in Asia.”
Brett Hannon, Hiking in Asia
Taiwan – a true hidden hiking paradise!
I have hiked in more than 25 countries and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed if you come here for a mountain escape. Whether you want to go for a multi-day expedition in the remote Central Mountain Range, or wander through historic trails at lower altitude, you’ll be blown away by what you’ll discover.
Taiwan has it all… bamboo forests, subtropical and tropical jungles, deep gorges and valleys, coastal bluffs, alpine meadows, high peaks, rushing rivers, waterfalls, wildlife… It doesn’t get more diverse than that. There are many reasons why it used to be called “Formosa” the Beautiful!
In this Hiking in Taiwan Travel Guide I will list some of my own personal favorite hiking / trekking areas. I hope it will help you prepare your mountain adventures! Safe travels!
Hiking in Northern Taiwan
Yangmingshan National Park
Yangmingshan is Chinese for something like “Bright Sun Mountain”, and it’s deserving of the name; catching a sunset here is breathtaking. It’s the closest hiking destination near Taipei City, in Northern Taiwan, and it’s also the island’s most popular hot spring destinations. The Yangmingshan National Park is Taiwan’s busiest national park due to its close proximity to Taipei.
Mt. Keelung in Jiufen
The northeastern coast of Taiwan is home to dozens of beautiful green peaks which have well-maintained hiking trails. On clear days, you can enjoy unparalleled vistas over the Pacific Ocean. Keelung Mountain is one of the top 5 easy peaks in the Jiufen area du to its easy access and low level of commitment.
Hiking in Central Taiwan
Yushan (Jade Mountain): Taiwan’s tallest peak doesn’t need too much introduction. With a summit that reaches 3952m in altitude, Mt. Jade will deliver adventure-wise if that’s what you’re looking for! Find information about accommodation, transportation, mountain permits, and guided hikes on Yushan.
Mt. Cilai (Qilai Shan): Sharp, steep, craggy peaks, overnight expedition, high altitude, close to Hehuan Mountain, alpine scenery, nasty weather, wildlife, huge mountain hut…
Hehuanshan Forest Recreation Area: Introduction to Mt. Hehuan. Short and easy high altitude walks, comfortable mountain cottage, camping, Taroko Gorge’s backdoor…
Hehuan West Peak, 3145m: A long high altitude hike. No technical difficulties, easy access, alpine scenery, ridge walk…
Sun Moon Lake: Wander around tea plantations on Mt. Maolan or trudge up Mt. Shuishe and get splendid views of the lake.
Mt. Bagua: Quiet country road just outside Taichung. Bamboo trees, old Chinese houses, giant buddha, temples, pagodas.
Dakeng: Right outside Taichung City, 10 easy, man-made trails, wild monkeys, campground, hot springs, touristy but still beautiful.
Eagle Mountain: Steep, exposed, day-climb in Dasyueshan Forest Recreational Area. One of my favorite hikes in Taiwan! Close to Taichung.
Alishan: The Alishan area is popular with Taiwanese hikers who come here to see the sunrise over a sea of clouds. Alishan is one of the most accessible hiking destinations on the island and as such, it gets very busy on weekends and holidays.
Mt. Manabang (1407m) is a small, round peak that’s located in Miaoli County. Highest summit in Dahu Township. 405m height gain. 2.5 hours round-trip.
Sanding Mountain (486m) is one of the Little 100 Peaks of Taiwan 台灣小百岳. It’s right outside Taichung City, in Taiping District, and it offers unparalleled views over the concrete jungle that is Taichung.
Huisun Forest: Easy to moderate hiking paths. Family-oriented, kids friendly park, not too far from Taichung City.
Hiking in Southern Taiwan
Mt. Guanshan, 3668m: Moderate climb. My favorite hike on the island! Dramatic views, great camping spot along the trail…
Alangyi Historic Trail: Alangyi Historic Trail 阿郎壹古道 is a track that travels along the wild and beautiful south-eastern coast of Taiwan. The path saddles both Taitung and Pingtung counties. Great coastal views of the Pacific Ocean.
Xuhai Grassland: The Xuhai Grassland offers some of the most breathtaking coastal views along all of Taiwan’s rugged east coast. Very easy, and very short walks.
Maolin Recreation Area: Hike to three of the island’s most beautiful waterfalls and meet the Rukai aboriginal tribe.
Hiking along the East Coast
Taroko Gorge: Hike through geological wonders, marble canyons, ancient hunting trails. It’s Taiwan’s top scenic attraction, so expect huge crowds on weekends and holidays.