High west peak (西高山) or Mount high west on Hong Kong island is one of the best offbeat hiking spots for travelers, locals and expats.
Even though it lies just west of the popular Victoria’s Peak and is much lower in height; high west offers spectacular, uncrowded birds eye view of the urban jungle.
Since the trail is unmarked it is very important to jot it down on a map or follow my step by step directions with pictures below to find your way. In fact, that’s exactly how I managed to get to the top (by constantly checking Google maps and other useful blogs about the hike).
This hike is suitable for beginners but remember.. it entails a TON of stairs, plus a fair bit of actual hiking and a good navigational sense – all of which our excited trio lacked.
Mount high west hike is roughly 6.2 km round trip with a steep incline. All in all, its anything but easy however, it is WORTH the effort for sure.
This was my third hike in Hong Kong and after scaling the awesome Suicide cliff, I doubted anything could be as challenging but this turned out to be way more tiring (though not as tricky as the former).
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What to Expect on the High West Hike
Expect to be tired, which is something I did not anticipate.
Surely, I knew I had to climb a little over 2100 stairs but considering pro hikers do the round trip in 1.5 hours, we gave ourselves an extra hour and assumed it would suffice.
We were wrong.
It took our lazy bunch 2.5 hours just to get to the top of the hill. Ofcourse this included navigation time, pictures en-route, chilling, lazing, enjoying the view points and well tons of breaks to pant and puff.
My blogger bud Karla, in tow with another friend, had no idea how exhausting the hike would turn out to be. So, we were mentally under-prepared.
Be prepared for a tiring climb and expect to be rewarded with stunning 360 degree city views.
This trail eventually leads up to Victoria’s peak and is one of the routes (like the morning trail) which interlinks mid-way. You can hence, even choose to go up further to Victoria’s or come back a different way. No matter which option you choose, you are sure to enjoy this hike.
How to Reach the Starting Point in Kennedy Town
First to reach Kennedy Town MTR, Just hop on to the Island line (blue color). From Central MTR, this is just 4 stops to Kenney Town. Get off there and take exit C. Start walking till you reach this location (Open in Google maps or click below).
Start walking towards Rock hill street till you see these colorful stairs. THIS is your starting point for your awesome hike –
How to Reach top of Mount Hike West – Detailed Directions
Okay then bookmark this page if you ever want to scale mount hike west as you WILL need detailed pictorial navigation on this unmarked path.
I would’ve literally never found the right way if it wasn’t for other useful blogs on the subject. So follow this route and you will be chilling on the top in no time (or well 2.5 hours like in our case).
Once you climb all the way on top of the colorful stairs from Rock hill street (Climb and dont take the escalator), you will see several different sets of stairs on the left side. Quite honestly, we were lost at this point but asking around made us realize almost all paths would take us to the main trail. So, we randomly took a left and started climbing the stairs.
We crossed a temple and saw another flight of stairs to our right – kept climbing.
Suddenly, you will see a clearing leading to a busy main street. That’s the Pok Fu Lam road. You need to cross the road to the fuel station and find the long flight of stairs to the left of it.
Note: You can take a subway to cross the street here as well.
Then simply follow this insane flight of stairs to the left of the gas station. YES, they do look daunting but trust me it will all be worth it.
Soon enough (depending on your speed), you will reach a lovely rest stop. I loved how many rest stops we found on this hike, the downside was, we made the most of them 🙂
This awesome gazebo was surely one of my favorite spots. Lovely place to relax, take pictures and enjoy walking on the foot massage stones. We found them in two other spots on the hike – what a novel idea?
Take the flight of stairs going up till you reach this sign and follow it towards Pinewood battery.
You will soon reach an intersection and take the flight of stairs to the left here (not the main path). Basically, the idea is to find stairs and follow them to the top.
This is another long stretch of stairs so of course we took the time to take silly, tired selfies.
After this flight we were pretty much done and ready to go back home. Of course we decided to stay motivated and keep an eye on the goal – the top! So, we gave ourselves some time to take pictures and enjoy the views. Finally we had some view spots en-route to boast of.
Whoa! We reached a paved path – no more stairs (for now!). We though this winding paved path would be easier but I guess we were already panting and puffing so nothing seemed “Easy” at this stage. Anyways, moving on – follow this sign and keep walking up the road.
Another awesome rest spot – we simply HAD to indulge!
Keep walking on the paved road till you come to a huge signboard that says Lung Fu Shan Country Park.
There is an intersection here, take this road to the left –
Follow the signs towards “BBQ sites”. And then you enter this stunning jungle which was the favorite part of the hike, for me. I mean, just look at those dreamy trees offering a much needed relief from the relentless heat.
This was a path I didn’t really want to end but sadly it was too short. We came to an opening that led to the Pinewood battery and picnic sites.
Okay then we are the BBQ sites and for the first time during our hike, we found trash cans. We dumped our chocolate wrappers and empty water bottles to reduce our load (yeah, right – that helped lol) and carried on.
Follow this signage to get on Lung fu shan fitness trail.
You will soon see a playground. You are VERY close to the top now. This is literally the last long stretch and then you are done. At the playground, you can even refill your empty water bottles. So just carry enough water till here.
Keep walking towards the end till you find a flight of stairs next to a white small signboard (I have no idea what it says but here’s a picture) –
Easy enough, now you can close this post and simply keep following the path till you reach the top.
After this we were all over the place taking pictures. A great spot is actually a few steps before the top. We found a protruded rock which offered stunning views and even better pictures.
If you want to go to the top just because you made it till here, this is it. Just few steps further from this awesome spot we found. I would surely say the views from our spot were way better than from the actual designated “top”.
Alright – congratulatons, you made it to the top. Now what? You need to get back down.
We enjoy taking different paths on our hikes so we were disappointed to learn we had to hike all the way down the same path (at least till the playground) before we choose another way.
There is an unpaved steep way to go down but it looked much like suicide cliff. So, if at all you want to try it, I would recommend climbing up that way and taking these stairs back down.
Anyways we decided to take the stairs to the playground and then followed the morning trail back down.
At this stage, if you are up for it, you can even go all the way up to Victoria’s peak as the path is easy and well paved. We had a party night ahead so all we wanted was a good shower and a power nap before we hit the floor 🙂
Mount High West Hong Kong Map
Here’s the map of the hike you will be doing from Kennedy town to Mount high west, jotted down on a map –
All is all, I loved this hike though Suicide cliff was my favorite by far. For those who love thy stairs, this is perfect. Mount high west hike in Hong kong also offers plenty of view points, making for killer photo opportunities, for us shutterbugs. If you happen to be in this urban jungle, go check out this hike!