Hiking the Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山) – 9-5 Peak (九五峯)

One of my all time favorite hikes/photography locations in Taiwan is The Four Beast Mountains (四獸山) area.  Located within Taipei City limits, these trails are an easy escape from busy city life and have amazing panoramic views of Taipei City and Taipei 101.

The trail system includes Tiger (虎山), Elephant (象山), Leopard (豹山) and Lion (獅山) Mountains and is very easily reached from the Taipei MRT system.  In fact, the base of Taipei 101 is only a 15 minute walk from the Elephant Mountain trail head.

If that’s not enough, many of the trails are lighted, 24 hours a day!

The view of Taipei from 9-5 Peak is unrivaled.

The view of Taipei from 9-5 Peak is unrivaled.

The 9-5 Peak (Jiuwufeng – 九五峯) is the pinnacle of the Four Beasts Mountain trail system.  It’s a mountain that dominates eastern Taipei and rivals even the mighty Taipei 101 in height.

The Fours Beasts Mountains have many fantastic views of Taipei 101 and Taipei City.

The Fours Beasts Mountains have many fantastic views of Taipei 101 and Taipei City.

My favorite time to visit the Four Beasts is at night.  You almost have the trails to yourself.

The trails are well lit, but a taking a flashlight is recommended.

The trails are well lit, but a taking a flashlight is recommended.

The trails are well lit, but a taking a flashlight is recommended.

There are many old, interesting buildings along the trails.

There are many old, interesting buildings along the trails.

There are lots of insects, toads, bats, and other creatures all over the Four Beasts Mountains.

There are lots of insects, toads, bats, and other creatures all over the Four Beasts Mountains.

Hiking during the day can get a bit crowded, but offers endless interesting sites.  There are many rest areas, work-out areas, and home-made meditation areas.

Along one trail going to 9-5 Peak is a strange, artistic village.  Its well kept and a nice places to relax and soak up some peace.

Along one trail going to 9-5 Peak is a strange, artistic village. It's well kept and a nice place to relax and soak up some peace.

Along one trail going to 9-5 Peak is a strange, artistic village.  Its well kept and a nice places to relax and soak up some peace.

Along one trail going to 9-5 Peak is a strange, artistic village. It's well kept and a nice place to relax and soak up some peace.

If you venture down some of the dirt paths that shoot off of the main ones, you’re sure to find some ropes to climb.  These trails crisscross the whole mountain and could keep you busy for an entire weekend.

Following some of the dirt trails that shoot off the main trails may lead to some fun ropes to climb.

Following some of the dirt trails that shoot off the main trails may lead to some fun ropes to climb.

Note that the main entrance to the 9-5 Peak trail is a bit difficult to get to.  I have some directions at the bottom, but it’s really easier if you have your own transportation.  Although you can also access it from Elephant Mountain (I’ll have that blog up in a few days!)

Taipei is lucky to have these lush forest escapes so close to the city.

Taipei is lucky to have these lush forest escapes so close to the city.

Here is a big photo of a map of the trails.

Below is a Google Map of the area with the trails roughly marked off.  Feel free to add photos or information to it.  Be sure to click “VIEW LARGER MAP” for a larger image and much, much more specific information:

Check out Hiking Taiwan’s recent post on this area too.

This is part one of a three part series on hiking the Four Beasts Mountain trails.  Part two is on Tiger Mountain and part three is on Elephant Mountain.

Cheers,
-neil

How to get there:
You can take bus Blue 10, 257, 263, or 286 to the Fude Elementary School , then take Lane 251 of Fude Street; or take the MRT Bannan (Blue) Line to Houshanpi Station and then take bus 207 or 263 to Fengtian (Fongtian) Temple. Then follow Lane 221 or 251 of Fude Street.

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Categories: Hiking, Must See Taiwan, PHOTOGRAPHY, TAIWAN, The Four Beast Mountains, TRAVEL | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

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25 thoughts on “Hiking the Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山) – 9-5 Peak (九五峯)

  1. Great shots especially the night ones. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been up there – I’ll have to make a trek up sometime soon.

  2. Wow. Those are terrific shots. I’ve always wanted to do this, but my husband isn’t so keen on hiking. He far prefers to see Taiwan from the back of his motorcycle. I’m thinking I might have to go solo OR I could just live vicariously through your amazing photos. :-)

  3. Thanks guys.

    It’s really is a great area. I’ve been up there many times and every time I go I think, “Wow, I should come here more often!”

    Check back in a few days and I’ll have part 2 up!

  4. Great series Neil! I’ve been up these trails during the day, but it looks like the real fun starts after dark! Are these trails busy during the late evenings on weekends?

    • A lot of people go up for sunset, then come down just after dark. Elephant mountain is the most busy but the other ones are alright. If you’re looking for solitude though, the weekday evenings can’t be beat!

  5. Exactly! Taipei is lucky to have all of these!
    I like the last foto. It looks like there are 2 different worlds in it!
    Interesting!

  6. Pingback: Hiking the Four Beast Mountains (四獸山) – Tiger Mountain (虎山) « Neil Wade’s Photography Blog

  7. Amazing photos! I’ve definitely got to do one of these hikes next time I’m in Taiwan. The photo opportunities are too good to miss :)

  8. Pingback: Hiking the Four Beasts Mountains (四獸山) – Elephant Mountain (象山) « Neil Wade’s Photography Blog

  9. Pingback: Jiuwufeng – 九五峯 « Hiking Taiwan

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  13. BH

    Are there any public toilets up the mountains?

  14. Pingback: Weekend hiking: Four Beasts revisited | trishintaiwan

  15. Errol

    I love reading your blog! We are planning to go to Taiwan early next year. How long does it take you to hike the Four Beasts?

    • There are lots of trails up there, and you could spend all day going up and down and visiting the temples, but most people can do the Tiger Mountain -> 9-5 Peak -> Elephant loop in about 4-5 hours.

  16. That looks like a fun hike. Do you happen to know the elevation of the various mountains?

    The rope sections looks like a lot of fun!

    • Those mountains are not very high. Elephant is about 180m and 9-5 Peak is about 375m. They’re not high, but there really are a lot of nice things to explore.

  17. Thanks so much for your maps! I had trouble finding ther trails before I saw the maps and loved the four beasts! wow!

  18. frankwilliamson

    I hiked 9 to 5 peak in July of 2015 and the summit with the large boulder had some trees and other brush blocking the view. It was kind of a let down, but there was a clearer view of Taipei 101 going a little bit back down the trail. Who knows, maybe by now the vegetation is cut back. Here is my picture from that night: https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2924/14766340381_f5df6e9226_c.jpg

  19. Kit

    Would there be space left on elephant mt. new year night? Must be a lot of photographer there.

    Wanna watch 101 firework!

    • Not really. People start saving spots 24 hours before the fireworks. IF you go up just a few hours before the fireworks, you probably won’t even be able to see them.

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