Your day-by-day itinerary
Kota Kinabalu – Mount Kinabalu National Park
This morning you’ll be picked up at your hotel for a 2 hour drive to Kota Kinabalu National Park, along with a local guide and usually a small group of other trekkers. The entrance of the park is located at an altitude of 1600m, so you won’t have to start this trek at the base of the mountain. After a little admin, you can take a walk through the National Park gardens filled with unique plants and flowers, and will have plenty of time to relax and explore. You’ll be staying in a simple chalet, where you’ll have dinner and can rest ahead of tomorrow’s trek.
Mount Kinabalu Ascent
After breakfast, you’ll be picked up at your lodge for a 30-minute drive to the ‘power station’ at 1830m. This is where you and your guide will start out on the first segment of your trek to the highest point of South East Asia; Mount Kinabalu’s peak at 4102m. A slowly winding path up the mountain will allow you to slowly adjust to the altitude, but if you feel the effects then your guide will be there to help.
There are some little cabins on the way where you can rest and refuel, and let your eyes feast on the breathtaking views. Depending on how quickly you walk, you can reach the Laban Rata guesthouse, at 3550m, within 4-6 hours. After a hearty dinner and all that mountain air, it won’t be long until you fall into a deep, yet short sleep. Tonight you’ll be in a dormitory with some other climbers, and a sleeping bag will be provided.
Mount Kinabalu Summit (and back down again...)
Be prepared for an early wake-up call from your guide. Iron stairs and ropes have been attached to the mountain to make the more difficult areas easier to climb. The thin air will make this last part of your climb more difficult than the rest, but don’t worry – you won’t have to rush and can finish the climb at your own pace. After about two hours you’ll reach the dark summit and you’ll have front row seats for the most spectacular orange and gold sunrise.
After some time at the peak taking it all in, it’s time to go back down the mountain – which will be much easier to do! A hearty breakfast will be waiting for you at the lodge before you start your descent down the mountain. As you reach lower altitudes, you’ll start to notice the return of plants and bushes and the temperature will start to climb. After about three hours you’ll be back in the tropical forest near the park entrance where a bus will be waiting to take you to Kota Kinabalu, where you can reflect on your adventure over a nice cold beer.
Combine this trip with...
Where to next? This trip goes together perfectly with these: