29 Oct 2022

Hong Kong hiking trails to explore this season

A treeline and mountain ridge

Autumn is a Hongkonger’s favourite time of year. Why? It’s hiking season!

Come October, the average temperature in Hong Kong dips below 30°C and humidity levels are, at last, perfectly tolerable. The air is still warm, the bug swarms of summer have dissipated and a cool sea breeze brushes the coastline. Strap on your hiking boots – it’s time to hit the trails.

The Sinclair team is full of hiking enthusiasts, so we’ve shared a few of our favourite routes for you to explore. Have fun, bring some water, and remember to stretch!

 

For beginners:

 

• Fu Shan, Tai O: A very easy hike taking only one hour. Even so, you won’t be disappointed by the lovely seaside views at the summit – especially if you time it to catch the sunset!

• Grassy Hill, between Tsuen Wan and Tai Po: This trail takes you over a lush, grass-covered hill and involves a moderate ascent. It isn’t short – taking approximately three hours without breaks – but it is perfectly beginner-friendly.

A child waves from the top of a staircase; a rock reads 'Grassy Hill'
Ascend the stairs at Fu Shan (left) or wander through the greenery at Grassy Hill (right).

• Rhino Rock, Stanley: Taking well under an hour, this hike is short, but adventurous! Go off the beaten path and pay a visit to a rhino-shaped rock that overlooks the bay.

• Little Hawaii trail, Po Lam, Sai Kung: An excellent choice for a family day out. This trail takes just under two hours to complete and is considered very easy. A lovely bonus incentive: there’s a waterfall!

A person stands under Rhino Rock, and another raises their arms to the sky on a hike
Snap a photo under the unmistakable Rhino Rock (left) and take it slow on the Little Hawaii trail (right).

 

For intermediates:

 

• Lion Rock: Take a long, scenic hike to one of the city’s most iconic natural landmarks. The summit of Lion Rock provides jaw-dropping views across Kowloon. The walk to the top takes at least two hours, with the ascent up the stairs being the most difficult part of the journey.

• Cheung Chau Loop: A 10.6km loop of Cheung Chau island. There are no particularly big inclines – it’s the length of time and endurance required that makes this a slightly more challenging hike. Well worth it for the stunning views along the way!

A woman stands on a rock and raises her hands; a path leads up to a temple.
See the city from the iconic Lion Rock hike (left) or bask in the island vibes of Cheung Chau (right).

• Tai Mo Shan: This is Hong Kong’s tallest peak – visible from almost every part of the city. At 957 metres above sea level, the panoramic views this hike provides are unbeatable. Several different trails will take you to the summit, most taking approximately two hours.

• Pineapple Mountain, Tuen Mun: One of the more remote hikes on our list, Pineapple Mountain – Por Lo Shan in Cantonese – is sometimes referred to as Hong Kong’s ‘mini Grand Canyon’. Follow the 6km trail and decide for yourself whether its resemblance matches up to the name.

Landscapes from hiking in Hong Kong - Tai Mo Shan and Pineapple Mountain
Shadows cast awe-striking views over Tai Mo Shan (left) and unveil the crevices of Pineapple Mountain (right).

 

For advanced:

 

• Suicide Cliff, Kowloon: Incredible outlooks await experienced hikers at Suicide Cliff. The terrain on this trail is particularly treacherous, so good shoes and a healthy dose of caution are advised. The shortest route is via Kowloon Peak, taking anywhere between two and three hours.

• Tiger’s Head, Lantau Island: Spectacular scenery is spread all along this 4.5km trek between Discovery Bay and Mui Wo. It can be done in both directions, but one is certainly more advanced than the other; the hike up from Discovery Bay to Lo Fu Tau (Tiger Head) is steep, rocky and partially covered in loose gravel, but for the views? Worth it.

Two people look out over the landscape from their hiking viewpoints
Sunset at Suicide Cliff (left) and scenes from Tiger’s Head (right).
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