Everyone seems to be into these hiking craze lately, and they should be! You not only get to keep fit, you also be rewarded with beautiful panoramic view from the top of the hill. These hills are a few popular hiking spots that you would not want to miss, be it to get into shape or simply to catch a view of the amazing sunrise or sunset.
Kopungit Hill, Kota Kinabalu
Kopungit Hill, or known as ‘Nulu Kuminaus’ which means Sulky Hill is a 2 kilometer hike from the starting point to the top. From the peak you’d be able to enjoy the view of Kota Kinabalu International Airport where you would probably be able to witness the arrival and departing of a plane and also the suburban town of Kepayan.
What makes this trail so significant is that there is a small cave which was left during the Japan war, probably a place where they would seek shelter. Rock climbing can also be done at the hill as there is cliff rocks.
Kopungit Hill is located at Jalan Penampang Baru just after Golden Hill residence and opposite Shan Tao secondary school which is approximately 5km away from town.
Tirig Hill, Telipok
If you’re looking for an easy-going trail, or happen to be a beginner; Tirig Hill is the best place to hike. It is less challenging than all the other hills and yet you would still be awarded with one of the best views. There are crosses along the trail since it’s also use for the Way of the Cross for the nearby Catholic Church, St Flora. From the peak you would be able to see the Mengkabung bridge from the distance and vast greenery hills of Kota Kinabalu. The trail is less than 500 meters and it would take about 15 minutes to get to the peak from the starting point.
Tirig Hill is located at Kampung Lapasan, Malawa Sulaman which is 24 kilometers away from Kota Kinbalu city.
Ruhiang Hill, Tamparuli
Ruhiang hill, mostly known as Bukit Perahu on the other hand is slightly bit more challenging compared to the the other hills. Bukit Perahu got its name as they say that there are rocks that resembles as a vessel on the hill. This hill has the highest point in the area with a height of 300 meters above sea level. The 800 meters trail could take up from 15-35 minutes depending on your fitness level.
Some section of the trail is a little steep, so watch out for slippery soil especially after the rain. This hill is also used for Way of Cross and you’ll be able to see 14 cross along your trail, which is used as a checkpoint.
Ruhiang Hill is initially known for the place to go for paragliding and now is famous for people to go for its breathtaking view. Ruhiang Hill has one of the most spectacular view of Mount Kinabalu, either its during sunrise, sunset or in the afternoon, the view of Mount Kinabalu is awe-inspiring.
The hill is located in Tamparuli near the police station, 30 kilometeres away from Kota Kinabalu city. The starting point has a sign that says “St. Veronica’s Hill” and you may park near the roadside.
Bukit Padang, Kota Kinabalu
If you’re a true KK-ian you would know that Bukit Padang hiking trail is one of the pioneers of hill where people would go to hike. Whenever someone says they signed up to go Mount Kinabalu and needs to train, Bukit Padang is the place suggested.
At the peak you’d be able to see a panoramic view of Kota Kinabalu city and the suburbs as well as Manukan Island and Sapi Island. The distance is about 1 kilometers and it would take you about 15-25 minutes to get to the peak. Some of the stairs going up the trail is constructed using used car tyres and glass bottles. Located just 6 kilometers away from Kota Kinabalu city, this hill is at Taman Tun Fuad Stephen Recreational Park where you can go for jogging as well.
All this 4 hills share 1 thing in common, is that all of them have unforgettable and picturesque view of the sunrise AND sunset. All of them give you a different experience and feeling is just priceless. The aching sores you would feel after each hike is guaranteed worth it.
Bonduk Hill, Sepanggar
Bonduk Hill or Botak hill is located at Sepanggar Kota Kinabalu and got its name from its appearance from afar, whereby it seems to be bald. The hill has few starting points; first, from the UiTM Campus, second, from the road leading to the newly built tunnel on the Sepangar bypass road (the fastest way to get to the peak), and third, along the Jalan 3, South KKIP.
If you’re up for a challenge, you can opt for South KKIP as this is the furthest way to the hill and still get the most from your views. Using the long way, hikers will have to hike over two hills and will take approximately one hour, but would be shorter for those who on top of their fitness level.
Dandab Hill, Tambunan
Located in Tambunan, Dandab Hill is 18 km and about 20 to 30 minutes drive from Tambunan town. Hiking up to Bukit Dandab will lead you to the Tambunan Viewing Point or Sinurambi. The tower stands at the height of 877 metres from sea level while the tower itself is about 45 feet high. It has a three-deck viewing level with 30 feet at its highest level.
Hikers will have to go to Kampung Dalungan as it is the starting point to hike. Bukit Dandab is also a good spot for stargazers, where they can shoot the Milky Way and star trails from the top of the Tambunan Viewing point or Sinurambi to enjoy the night stars.
Many hikers from all over Sabah has visited Tambunan Viewing Point or Sinurambi since it was open for public in the year 2015. The tower allows the public to see the beauty of Tambunan, which is also known as ‘Switzerland of the East’.
The building of the tower aims to establish a landmark to promote the district of Tambunan as one of a tourist attraction in line with the Visit Tambunan Year 2017. Apart from enjoying the beauty of the area, it also aims to ensure that visitors could view 80 per cent of Tambunan. Not only that, the majestic Mount Kinabalu can also be seen from here.
Bonggol Hill, Kota Belud
Bonggol Hill is among the famous hills in Kota Belud. Probably much due to its photogenic multi-peaks landscape and bare looking grassy hills. The view from the peak is simply stunning to admire especially when Mount Kinabalu is visibly seen on a non-cloudy day. Hence, it is best to plan your hike in the morning when the weather is not too hot and the view of Mount Kinabalu is not obstructed.
The highest peak is at 1730ft tall and there are 3 routes available – Via Pirasan (4km), Via Kinasaraban (3km) and Via Kg. Mandap (2.5km). Each of this route is located at a different starting point. Via Pirasan offers a unique leisure hike to conquer 10 peaks before finally reaching the peak of Bonggol Hill. Overall the climb to Bonggol Hill is moderate and straightforward. Hikers will pass through the vegetations of the dense forest and fern infested field before reaching the naked hill.
For this exciting hike, a minimal entrance fee of RM 3 per adult and RM 2 for children is applicable. A public toilet is available at Kg Mandap dan Via Pirasan starting point.
Maragang Hill, Kundasang
One of the must-go destination in Kg. Mesilou is Maragang Hill, Kundasang, where it was officially open to the public for hiking in September of 2017.
With a height of 2,232m above sea level, hiking lovers will enjoy a breathtaking view of Mount Kinabalu on top of the hill. Hikers have an option of two trails when going to Maragang Hill. The first one takes more than 1 hour and 30 minutes to reach the summit, and for the second one, takes about 4.3 km from the starting point to the summit. Accompanied by a 35 degrees steep elevation, one needs to go through a river crossing and another 1.3 km horizontal trail that takes to a total 6 hours back to the starting point.
Kinandukan Hill, Papar
42 km from Kota Kinabalu, Kinandukan Hill is about 1 hour drive to Papar town. It has a height of about 135 metres and is situated just next to Telinting Beach, suitable for activities such as jogging, recreations, camping sites, and family retreats. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the peak of Kinandukan Hill, and upon reaching the top, hikers will be able to see the beautiful scenery surrounding the hill such as Pulau Tiga and the sandy beaches of Telinting.
Tinorindak Hill, Lembah Permai Village, Kundasang
The Peak of Tinorindak Hill stands at an altitude of 2330 meters above sea level and is located in Lembah Permai Village, Kundasang which is about 5 minutes’ drive from Kundasang town. After short briefing the guides will then take the hikers to the starting point. Throughout the climb, hikers will enjoy the beauty of nature especially Mount Kinabalu and also the view of Kundasang town. The old route takes about 2 to 3 hours hike to the peak of Tinorindak Hill and the new route will take about 5 to 6 hours.
Visitors will have the choice to descend with the new or the old trail, with the new one being more adventurous. Don’t forget to take a photo with the majestic Mount Kinabalu in the background!