Kinabalu Park

Kinabalu Park

A mountain and much more

More on Kinabalu Park

UNESCO World Heritage-listed Kinabalu Park stretches over 75,370 hectares around magnificent Mount Kinabalu. Encompassing four vegetation zones, from tropical lowland forrest to sub-alpine meadows, the park is home to an impressive array of diverse flora and fauna, including many endemic species. Kinabalu Park offers first-class trekking, and a handful of more sedate activities.

Travelfish says:
The weather can change quickly. Photo by: Sally Arnold.
The weather can change quickly. Photo: Sally Arnold

The altitude range of Kinabalu Park is 152 metres to 4,095 metres, with the park headquarters sitting at a pleasantly cool 1,520 metres above sea level. This is perfect for walking, so grab a map of the routes from the information counter and explore! Eight interconnected, well-marked paths (two other trails have been closed since the 2015 earthquake) range from the shortest Bulit Tupai Trail (343 metres) to longest, Liwagu Trail (5.6 kilometres). Consider the elevation when choosing a trail too — some of the short ones are very steep.

A daily guided tour of Silau-Silau Trail (3 kilometres) is led by keen-eyed guides who can point out and explain many kinds of plants and critters. The tour starts at 11:00 from Kinabalu Hall and costs three ringgit (less for Malaysians and kids). Along the various trails, keep your eyes peeled for insect-eating pitcher plants, including the endemic nepenthes rajah, the world’s largest, or one of the world’s rarest orchids, the Rothschild slipper orchid (Paphiopedilum rothschildianum). Among the many birds, you may encounter some of the 44 endemic species or perhaps one of the seven endemic butterflies. Take plenty of water and wet weather gear. If it rains, be wary of slippery paths and watch out for the endemic Kinabalu giant red leech.

Soothe your soul with a walk in the park. Photo by: Sally Arnold.
Soothe your soul with a walk in the park. Photo: Sally Arnold

If trekking doesn’t appeal, but you’d still like to see some rare species, head to the Botanical Gardens, which has daily guided tours conducted at 09:00, 12:00 and 15:00. It's open daily 09:00-13:00, 14:00-16:00, with last entry at 15:40. Entry fee is 5 ringgit for adults, 2.50 ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)

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Reviewed by

Sally spent twelve years leading tourists around Indonesia and Malaysia where she collected a lot of stuff. She once carried a 40kg rug overland across Java. Her house has been described as a cross between a museum and a library. Fuelled by coffee, she can often be found riding her bike or petting stray cats. Sally believes travel is the key to world peace.

Tours in Malaysia

Our top 4 other sights and activities in and around Kinabalu Park

Poring Hot Springs
Poring Hot Springs

Not just hot water

Kundasang War Memorial and Gardens
Kundasang War Memorial and Gardens

Sandakan Death March memorial

Sabah Tea Garden
Sabah Tea Garden

Tea factory tours

Mount Kinabalu
Mount Kinabalu

The reason you came