This beautiful island is a climber's heaven. Is the ascent your favorite part of a ride? You're in the right place. Bike Monkey, meet your match.
Taipei sits in a basin. All roads out of the city go up a hill. But all roads are not created equal. Here are some of the sweetest rides in Taipei City, including those in areas such as Yangmingshan National Park, Neihu, and Maokong, in the Wenshan District.
- Satellites Datun -- Starts past that National Palace Museum , and climbs over northeast shoulder of Yanmingshan before ascending Datun Mountain. That's a ride of 21 km that climbs 911 meters to the weather station at the peak , at just over 1000 meters above the ocean, which you can see from the overlook.
- Fengguizui -- Head east up a forested hillside to a narrow pass where it's always windy and the water buffalo roam free.
- Five fingers -- Shake the hand of buddha by tracing this hand-shaped route around Yangmingshan National Park. It's 137 kilometers long, and ascends more than 3,000 meters in total.
- Wuzishan -- Climb out of Neihu and you're soon high above the city, looking down on Taipei 101, formerly the world's tallest building. Once you reach the summit, the route descends slightly to the windy pass at Fengguizui.
- Maokong Beast -- Not far from Taipei City Zoo, this route gets its name from the ferocity of its final kilometer. Maokong is the tea growing area you pass as you climb. The beast is waiting for you at the top. Expect grades approaching 20%
New Taipei City
You can't leave Taipei City without going through New Taipei City. But you can have a great day on the bike riding the mountain roads of New Taipei City. For the sheer number of interesting and challenging rides, New Taipei City is a bonanza.
New Taipei City Climbs
- Yangjin Datun -- Climb from the seaside district of Jinshan to the highest road in Yanmingshan National Park.
- Balaka Datun -- The fourth of the routes to Datun starts above the mouth of the Tamsui River.
- Green Room -- This route is 3.4 km long, climbs 399 meters at an average grade of 12%, and reaches 20% in sections.
- Fit Hits the Shan -- If you've got anything left, continue on to the summit. It's 5.4 km in length, rises 541 meters at an average of 10%. The several rollers at the top take you over 20%. Enjoy the great view from the top if you're no too busy gasping for air.
- Hyperloop -- If Green Room Qing Jing isn't enough, add on a quick descent down an equally steep road on the other side of peak, and when you get to the bottom, turn around immediately and start back up via another killer route. Two monster climbs in one.
- Teafields -- The mountains to the southeast of Taipei City are covered in terraced tea fields, and there are numerous routes through the steep terrain surrounding the district of Pinglin. Check out 001 - licence to climb if you want to prove your polka dot jersey credentials. It's 2.1 km. at an average grade of 11% and a maximum above 20%.
To the west of New Taipei is Taoyuan, which stretches from the shores of the Taiwan Strait to 2000+ meter peaks of the Central Mountain Range. The Tour of Taiwan routinely features a mountaintop finish in Fuhsing Township, a climb to approximately 450 meters, but there are many other great rides that top out at above 1000 meters. Within striking distance from Taipei, Taoyuan is where cyclists based in the capital city go for long one-day rides.
North Cross Island Highway -- This two lane road follows the Dahan river and its tributaries up into the Central Mountain Range before descending into Ilan County. It rises and falls over its first 50 kilometers before pitching up at Baleng Village for the climb to Minchi Pond, just short of the highest point on the road at approximately 1200 meters. Ride up to the top and then retrace your route back to Taipei, or drop down the winding descent to Ilan.
Dongyan Shan -- This road branches off the North Cross-Island Highway just after Fuhsing, and climbs up to a forest recreation area located at 800 meters. Snap some photos of the view down into the valley before rolling back to Fuhsing, or descend back into New Taipei City on an alternate route.
Xiao Wulai -- Past the turnoff to Dongyan Shan is the road to Xiao Wulai. There's a scenic overlook for a water fall two kilometers up the road, but after that, you'll see few other cars as you follow the steeply pitched tarmac to road's end at over 900 meters in elevation.
The Roman Road -- This route loops around Shimen Reservoir, which supplies drinking water to millions of people in northern Taiwan. It starts in the village of Luoma (from which the cycling route gets the name "Roman"), connects remote villages on the slopes of mountains that rise steeply to the west, before descending to Guanshan Township in Hsinchu. The scenery along the road ranges from fruit orchards, mountain peaks, bamboo groves, to native broadleaf forest, tea fields, and views of the reservoir and rushing streams.
Fufu Shan -- With a name that belies its fierce nature, this ride is one of the toughest in northern Taiwan. Begin by descending 200 meters from the North Cross-Island Highway, cross a narrow bridge, and then climb over 1000 meters in just 10 kilometers, for an average grade of 10%. Sections reach above 18% as cyclists push their limits to conquer this epic climb. The views of the surrounding mountains and valleys are well worth the effort of getting to the top under your own power.
Lala Shan -- At the top of this climb grow some of Taiwan's most massive trees, the oldest of which are more than 3,000 years old. The route begins in Baleng Village, on the North Cross-Island Highway, and climbs via a series of switchbacks to the village of Shangbaleng (Upper Baleng). The road continues up to the forest recreation area, where the giant red cypress trees thrive in cloud forest conditions above 1000 meters in elevation.
Like Taoyuan, Hsinchu has two characters, the flat plains along its coast, known for the strong winds common there, and the steep mountains and deep valleys of its southern edge. There are several routes into the mountains that offer multiple climbs on good quality roads with little traffic and amazing scenery.