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Best Hiking Trails in Taiwan

Overview

Taiwan is a small Asian island country, officially part of the Republic of China, that is one of the most accessible places for spectacular hiking, with mountains running from top to bottom and across the country.  Also known as Ilha Formosa which means ‘Beautiful Island’ in Portuguese. Some of the well-known areas for hiking include Taroko National Park, Yushan National Park, Shei-Pa National Park, Yangmingshan National Park, and many hikes in the Central Mountain Range outside of these parks. The best months to hike in Taiwan are October to May, although this varies depending on the region. Read on for more information on where and when to hike in Taiwan. 

*Note: In April 2024, Taiwan experienced a major earthquake in the Hualein City area

Capital: Taipei

When To Hike in Taiwan?

October – May: The best months vary depending on the region.  For example, Yushan National Park is best March to April and October – November.  Filter in the map to see the ideal months for each region.
May – September: Usually the rainiest part of the year, but depends on the region.

Climate: North is sub-tropical and south is tropical (wet and dry season); there is alpine weather in the high mountains (cold, snowy winters and warm summers), monsoons and risk of typhoons in the summer months. Eastern part of the island can be hit harder than western due to exposure to Pacific.   

 

Taiwan Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Easy to Medium: There is a well established network of marked trails; the majority of which don’t need a guide; however, many trails are not well marked, you need permits for many trails and these can be difficult to get.  Also, outside of the cities, English may not be spoken widely.  To get started with hiking planning, consult guidebooks, look at apps and hire a local guide.

The 2022 Ultimate Guide to Hiking in Taiwan – an excellent resource

Most popular hikes in Taiwan

So much of Taiwan is mountainous and lends itself to some great hiking. There are more than 200 peaks that are above 3000 m. Highest mountain is Mount Yu Shan (also known as Jade Mountain) (3952 m). The map highlights some of the popular places but there are many more than what’s shown there.

Filter out hiking places of Taiwan by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Dulan Forest

Taroko National Park

Alishan National Forest Recreation Area

  • Popular spot for sunrise/sunset watching

Yushan National Park

Shei-Pa National Park

Yangmingshan National Park

  • Right next to Taipei; https://www.ymsnp.gov.tw/  
  • Lower elevations compared with other mountain parks
  • Hike up Seven Star Mountain is popular, highest peak in Taipei

Long Distance Trails of Taiwan

  • Taipei Grand Hike – 92 km hike going through Taipei – https://taiwantrailsandtales.wordpress.com/taipei-grand-hike/
  • Wuling Sixiu Trail (in Shei-Pa National Park) – 3 to 4 day trek
  • Yushan Peaks Trail (Yushan National Park) – multi-day trek incredibly popular with visitors
  • The Beidawushan Trail – most southernly mountain in Taiwan, 10km in length, need to overnight

Taiwan's Walking & Hiking Resources

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Taiwan Hiking Books:

 

Taiwan Hiking Associations/Clubs:

 

Best Hiking Trails in Taiwan:

This is just a sample of the hundreds of hikes that are possible in Taiwan. You can find more details on hiking these trails from hiking websites, trail maps/apps, other websites, and tourist offices:

  • Yushan Peaks Trail
  • Teapot Mountain – New Taipei City
  • Seven Star Mountain (Mt Qixing) – Taipei
  • Zhului Old Trail – Taroko National Park
  • Hehuanshan – Taroko National Park
  • Snow Mountain – Shei-Pa National Park
  • Jade Mountain – Yushan National Park
  • Nanhudashan – Central Mountain Range
  • Qilai Ridge – Central Mountain Range

 Easy Hiking Trails in Taiwan:

  • Elephant Mountain (Xiangshan) – Taipei
  • Lushui Trail – Taroko National Park

 

Taiwan Hiking Websites:

 

Taiwan Weather Website:

 

Taiwan Official Tourism Site:  

 

Taiwan Hiking Apps: 

 

Taiwan Hiking Maps: 

What Else To Do

  • Food
  • Night markets
  • Hot springs
  • Architecture
  • Alishan Forest Railway

Other Important Points

  • Many hikes require permits in advance so plan accordingly
  • There are often popular hikes that are closed due to typhoon damage so always good to check ahead
  • If you don’t read Chinese, you might not find the national park sites very useful; there are phone numbers listed but no email addresses
  • There are so many hikes that aren’t shown in the map due to names being in Chinese