Hiking The Cameron Hihglands
The Cameron Highlands are a great pit-stop on any journey through Southeast Asia, especially for those who like to get outdoors! Hiking The Cameron Highlands can sometimes be overlooked by those on the Southeast Asia circuit.
But Hiking The Cameron Highlands provides a good break from the non-stop noise, partying and general shenanigans of backpacking the region.
Due to being at an increased elevation, the Cameron Highlands don’t suffer from the same debilitating humidity that you will experience in the rest of the region.
If you’re looking to hike in The Cameron Highlands, then this guide may be useful. In it I will show you how to hike The Cameron Highlands’ 2 best trails, which form a loop and can be done together.
These 2 trails are 10, and 6.
Where to Base Yourself to go Hiking in The Cameron Highlands?
The Cameron Highlands is the name of the area, but the actual town that you will want to stay at is called Tanah Rata. From here, the majority of the trails either start or finish, as you will see on the map below. It is also a possibility that you stay a little north in the town of Brinchang.
As a passer through, the only trails you’re likely to hike in The Cameron Highlands solo, are trails 10 and 6. However there are plenty of other trails available as you can see on the map below.
I based myself at a hostel called BRICKS Sleepbox. It was a very good location for this hike, as well as other activities in the region.
As you can see, there are numerous trails for those who seek them. Some are overgrown, but all are doable with moderate fitness. Some people may seek to complete every hike on offer, but there are no guarantees that all of the trails remain well kept.
If hiking solo isn’t your thing, then there are also group tours around the surrounding areas that may be of interest.
Let’s take a closer look at hiking trails 10 and 6 though for now.
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Hiking The Cameron Highlands – Trail 10 and 6 Summary
Trail 10 is the place where you will start this hike. It has a trail head that is easily accessible from Tanah Rata. Most people will complete the loop this way, by ascending up trail 10 and then descending down trail 6.
The climb is quite simple and short, but take water with you because the humidity in the jungle can be draining.
The whole loop will take about 4-6 hours. Trail 10 can be done in about 1 hour, trail 6 in about 3.
The time it takes you will change according to;
- Fitness levels.
- Time spent at the peak.
- Weather and rain delays.
- Time spent for photographs or lunch breaks.
Gunung Jasar has a peak of 1,670 metres.
However, the town of Tanah Rata itself is already 1,440 metres above sea level, so the climb is no more than about 230-250 metres.
There is a 3 MYR fee to walk through the grounds of The Cameron Valley Tea Plantation at the end of trail 6. This is minimal. It may also cost you ~15 MYR for a taxi from the end of trail 6 to your accommodation. This is assuming you don’t walk the 5km back to town yourself.
(Shot on the Sony a7R III using the Sony Fe 16-35mm f/4).
Trail 10 and 6 Hiking Guide
Alrighty, time to get to the point now. Don’t worry, this hike is real easy!
Allow about 6 to 7 hours of your day to complete the hike (including preparation and travel time), you don’t want to be rushing and try set out in the morning to get the coolest weather, unless of course you specifically want to see the sunset.
Finding the Trail Head
Let’s take a close up look of that map from earlier, as you will see it even has instructions on it.
The trail can be picked up from the back of a construction site jsut behind The OLY Apartments.
These apartments can be seen here in white, just before the large patch of yellow sand towards the rear of the image. Simply follow the main road out of town (towards Kuala Lumpur direction).
From the ground it looks like this. Go past these apartments into the construction site.
These concrete stairs will lead up to the trail head. Be careful if there is any construction works going on, but they never seem to be working.
Nice work, you have started trail 10, this part is easy but it can be steep at times. Head off into the jungle, following the path straight through until you come across a clearing like this, with a sign.
This sign simply shows you that trail 10 is straight ahead. If you look to your right you will see another trail, this is trail 11. This can be seen on the maps posted above.
Ignore trail 11 and carry on up towards the top. Here you will come across some more trails when it appears that you are at the top. This is where we will be coming back to to descend down trail 6 later.
As you can see below, trail 6 doesn’t quite line up with the peak, so keep going up towards the power pole.
Congratulations, you’ve reached the peak. Relax and have a Krusty partially gelatinated non-dairy gum-based beverage for the energy you’ll need to continue.
The hike is half done now. Once you have finished at the peak, come back to where the three trails meet (10, 6, and 12).
Follow the powerlines down, this is trail 6. This trail is a little overgrown at the beginning and it can feel like you might be on the wrong trail given its popularity, but just keep going and it will open up.
After an overgrown section, and a slightly steep and slippery section that has a rope run through it for support, you will see the trail open up.
It begins to go through some vineyards and fruit plantations. The path becomes nice and flat. Eventually you will be walking along the bitumen.
Eventually you will be walking down and you will see a town on your right hand side. As you get down to the bottom of this town, there is a turn off to be made.
Take the turn off, there is a sign that states that you are entering the land of Cameron Valley Tea Plantation and will need to pay a fee upon exiting at the other end. This fee is the same as that charged for visitors to the plantation who come through the main entrance.
Enjoy the views, the ground is flat now until the end and this is probably the best part of the entire walk!
(Shot on the Sony a7R III using the Sony FE 70-300mm f4.5/5.6).
Once you get to the tea plantation main gate, you can pay your fee and exit. There are taxis in the carpark that will take you back to Tanah Rata for about 15 MYR.
If you have the energy and time, you can walk back the 5km, but it probably isn’t worth it.
Hiking in the Cameron Highlands – Video Guide
For those who don’t like to, or are incapable of reading. I have some good news.
I was for some reason willing to do this hike with a drone, gimbal, camera etc in the hope to document it all. This meant me sweating a lot and taking a lot longer than would ordinarily be needed to complete the hike, but it should help you.
Hiking Trails 10 and 6 Summary
Thanks for stopping by, I hope either this post or the associated video has been of some help. It is a good beginner’s hike to partake in and I doubt you will regret it. Hiking The Cameron Highlands is one of the more interesting things I did in Malaysia.
Some good hiking shoes is always a recommendation but to be honest you could probably do this hike in any sort of shoe, or even in thongs.
For me the hike was quite simple;
- Hostel to trail-head = 15 minutes
- Trail 10 up to the peak = 1 hour
- Stayed at the top = 1 hour 15 minutes
- Trail 6 to tea house = 3 hours
All of that included stopping for photos, taking video, flying my drone at the peak (this is not allowed on the private land of the tea plantation) and also included a rain delay in a little shed on trail 6.
Stop at the end of the hike for some tea and some snacks to replenish yourself.