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Climb Mt Kinabalu

  • Sir Hugh Low, a British colonial officer, officially climbed Mount Kinabalu in 1851, to the highest peak at 4,095.2m – Low's Peak. 
  • Mt Kinabaluis one of the easiest peaks in the world to conquer.
    Climbing distance – 8.72 km (from Timpohon Gate at 1,886.4m – the official starting point).
  • Total climbing hours – 7 ~ 10 depending on your fitness level.
    Only 2 ~ 3 days for an average climber to reach the peak and back to starting point.
  • There are 2 trails lead to the Layang-Layang at 2,740m – the Summit Trail and Mesilau Route. Another 4.72 km from Layang-Layang to the Low's Peak. 

Mt Kinabalu

  • The name “Kinabalu” is derived from the Kadazandusun words 'Aki' and 'Nabalu'.  
  • 'Aki' means 'ancestor' and 'nabalu' is 'mountain' 
  • Mt Kinabalu is the Highest Peak in Borneo Island 
  • There are 4 climate zones – from the rich lowland dipterocarp forest through the montane oak, rhododendron; the coniferous forests, to the alpine meadow plants.  

Viewed from Kinabalu National Park

Features of Climbing Mt Kinabalu:

  • Mt Kinabalu is suitable for any reasonably fit person.  
  • From young children to people over 70 years old have climbed up to Low’s Peak 
  • No particular skills or experience is required. 
  • Above 95% of the attempted to the Peak were successful. 

 Climbing Rewards:

  • Certificate of completion 
  • Beautiful Sunrise 
  • Picturesque landscape  
  • Richest diversity of Flora and Fauna  
  • Life-enriching experience  

Kinabalu National Park

  • 90 kilometres from Kota Kinabalu, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2000 for its rich diversity in flora and fauna.  
  • Is the entrance on the southern boundary of the 4,095m Mt Kinabalu  

Timpohon Gate

  • Is the official start point to climb Mt Kinabalu  
  • 4 km from Kinabalu National Park headquarters at 1,800m (Shuttle transport available)  

Shelters (Pondok)

Where, climbers can take a pit-stop before proceeding to the Peak.

  1. Pondok Kandis (1,981.7m)  
  2. Pondok Ubah (2,081.4m)  
  3. Pondok Lowii (2,252.2m)  
  4. Pondok Mempening ((2,515m)  
  5. Pondok Villosa (2,690m)  
  6. Pondok Paka (3,080m)  

Laban Rata

  • Three-storey lodge located at 3,273m for a brief night’s rest.  
  • From the lodge here, a further 2.7km to the Low’s Peak, or an hour climb to Sayat Sayat checkpoint. 

Sayat Sayat checkpoint

  • By reaching the checkpoint (3,668m) only, climbers are entitled to receive “Mount Kinabalu certificate of completion”  
  • From here, bare granite slabs that stretch endlessly ahead, leading to the peak  

Low's Peak

  • The highest point on Mt Kinabalu, the summit of Borneo at 4,095.2m 
  • If it is good mountain condition, you are able to stay for a while. Or else, it can be very cold with strong wind, climbers are advised to descent as soon as possible. 


Recommended Climbing period:

Feb ~ Jun, for its comparatively low wind and dry session.

Important Tips:

Due to the thinning air effects, slow, deep breaths and keeping to a steady pace could help fight off nausea, drowsiness, fatigue and other symptoms of altitude sickness. 

Must have items:

  • Footwear and Clothes - Hiking Shoe with spared shocks, waterproof jacket 
  • lightweight jumper, pants (or trek pants), windbreaker, walking stick, rucksack 
  • Other Required Items - Whistle, Head-mounted Torch, Beanie, Gloves, Camera and Batteries.  
  • Water & Foods - Water bottle, some snacks, chocolate 


Entry to Kinabalu National Park (RM15), Climbers permit (RM100), Insurance (RM7), Mountain guide(RM70-100), Transfer to Timpohon Gate (RM10-30), Accommodation at Laban Rata (RM50-60) and Porters fee (RM8 per kg). Package (RM800~1,200)

The porters (Men and women alike were incredibly strong. Currently, 160 of these Bornean natives, between the ages of 20 and 55, earn their living from the mountain) - a rate of RM40~60 per 10kg per day to carry our backpacks.

Important Notes:

  • There are approximately 500,000 people visit Kinabalu National Park each year, 10% of them opt to climb Mt Kinabalu. You are advised to plan your 'Climb Mt Kinabalu' trip early and make reservation for accommodation, mountain guide and etc, to avoid dissappointment.

  • Climbers are strongly advised to always behave respectfully and be on good behaviour. Avoid shouting, making loud noises, name callings, anger or even laughter.

Mt Kinabalu International Climbathon

Yearly event held on the 1stweekend* of October - The Climbathon started as a Search & Rescue exercise for the Park's rangers, mountain guides and porters is now world class event that brings the world's best mountain runners to complete.

Starts from Kinabalu National Park headquartersto the Peak, and back to finish line at the HQ. 2 hours 36 minutes and 59 seconds is the record.

* Schedule may vary



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