Mount Kinabalu Climb Booking & Information Center
LOW'S PEAK 4095.2 M | 6.075° N, 116.558° E
Ascending Mount kinabalu requires no specialized mountain climbing skills but it pays to be fit. Locals begin climbing the mountain from the age of three. The trail to the highest peak winds along the southern side of the mountain. It is an 8.5 kilometre (5.25 miles) trek to the top. For most people, from a 9 month-old baby (carried by father) to an 83 years-old New Zealander, the journey takes two days. However, champion mountain runners at the annual Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon, proclaimed the “toughest mountain race in the world”, have been known to complete the run up and down the mountain in less than 3 hours!
The terrain stretches upward from lowland rain forest to montane forest, cloud forest and sub alpine meadow, before finally reaching a crown of bare granite. Only at Mount Kinabalu can you eat breakfast in a lowland rainforest, lunch in a cloud forest, and enjoy dinner in a subalpine meadow!
Timpohon Trail (4 Km):
Interestingly the climb actually begins at Timpohon Gate with the descent to Carson’s Fall, named after the first Park Warden of Kinabalu Park. From here onwards, depending on your fitness level, it is about 4 – 5 hours climb for the day.
The second is Ubah Shelter at 2,081.4 m, the area where one of Borneo’s most unusual pitcher plants grows – the Nepenthes lowii, so do remember to look out for these oddly-shaped plants with containers. The mossy forest continues on past the Sabah Telecoms Station at Komborongoh, (2,252.2 m). Interestingly, ‘Komborongoh’ is a type of plant used to ward off evil spirits during traditional ceremonies and rituals by locals.
At the top of this open area at 3,050 m, a small track leads off to a helipad on the right where you can catch a magnificent view of the Summit Plateau. Further on, you will come upon the sixth shelter, Paka Shelter, at 3,080 m. Look around for Paka Cave, which is sited on the edge of a small stream, and it is nothing more than a large overhanging rock where the first explorers slept.
After a short night’s rest, you will need to be ready by about 2:00 am in the early morning in order to catch the sunrise at the peak. It takes about 3 hours depending on fitness level to reach the peak and there are ladders and ropes to help you over the steeper terrain. In the dark, you can see the beams of torch lights as the procession of climbers trudge higher and higher. Along the trail to the summit, marvel at the incredible mountain backdrop of teeth and fangs, rugged landscape of cliff, gorge, gulley, plateau and precipice and whatever you name it, the mountain has it!
An hour from Panar Laban, you’ll see the Sayat-Sayat Hut (3,668m), this is the highest shelter on the mountain. Your permit will be checked once again at this Sayat-Sayat Checkpoint for access to the summit and to ensure you will get your coloured climber certificate at the end of the climb. From here, you will walk across bare granite slabs that stretch endlessly ahead, in an eerie moonscape of stone.
At 4,095.2m above sea level and in the freezing darkness, you reach your final destination – the summit of Mount Kinabalu. In an almost sacred manner, the dawn of a new day unfolds gloriously before you. It is a guaranteed awesome and magical moment of your life! From this vantage point, you’ll see a dramatic drop more than 1,000m down, this is Low’s Gully.
It can be very cold with strong wind at the summit. Hence, climbers are advised to descend as soon as possible. You may be lucky to have good mountain condition and able to stay longer. It is however advisable to descent before the swirling clouds could obstruct visibility. It takes about 2 hours to descent to Panalaban and after you check out of your accommodation, it takes another 4 – 5 hours to descent to Timpohon Gate. The slowest descent record from Panalaban to Timpohon Gate is 12 hours!
Kinabalu Park accommodation offers a variety of options to suit all budgets ranging from super luxurious private chalets to comfortable dormitories and suites.
Chalets and suites are equipped with excellent amenities and locally crafted, rustic furniture. Guests can relax in peaceful, picturesque surroundings or snuggle up beside the fireplace on cooler nights.
|Accomodation||No. of Unit||Type of Facilities|
|Rock Twin Share||4 Units||Common Lounge, Common Bathroom, Pantry|
|Rock Hostel||20 beds||Fireplace, Common Lounge, Common Bathroom, Pantry|
|Grace Hostel||20 Beds||Fireplace, Common Lounge, Common Bathroom, Pantry|
|The Hill Lodge||10 Units||Attached Bathroom, Heated Shower|
|Liwagu Suite||4 Units||1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom, 1 Toilet, Living Area, Heated Shower|
|The Peak Lodge||4 Units||2 Bedrooms, Dining & Living Area, Fireplace, Bathroom, Pantry, Heated Shower|
|Summit Lodge||1 Unit||2 Bedrooms, Dining & Living Area, Fireplace, Bathroom, Kitchen, Heated Shower|
|Garden Lodge||1 Unit||2 Bedrooms, Dining & Living Area, Fireplace, Bathroom, Kitchen, Heated Shower|
|Nepenthes Lodge||8 Units||2 Bedrooms, Dining & Living Area, Fireplace, Bathroom, Pantry, Heated Shower|
|Kinabalu Lodge||1 Unit||3 Bedrooms, Dining & Living Area, Fireplace, Bathroom, Kitchen, Heated Shower|
|Rajah Lodge||1 Units||3 Bedrooms, Dining & Living Area, Fireplace, Bathroom, Kitchen, Heated Shower|
One of the biggest attractions at Kinabalu Park, this 5-acre Garden is an excellent showcase of the diverse plant-life on the mountain, as flora from all over the Park has been replanted here. Many of these plants are not only lovely to look upon, but have medicinal value too, as proven by the local Dusun community.
Follow any of the numerous and interesting nature trails within Kinabalu Park and discover rare and endemic plants today! Follow Park Naturalists or our guide as they take you on a guided trail walks and educate you on the various wonders.
Important Notice : Guests wishing to trek along these trails must be accompanied by either a Sabah Park Ranger, a Park Naturalist or a licensed Tour Guide. We will not be held responsible for any death, injuries, loss and/or damage howsoever caused to trekkers. All guests trek at their own risks.