ApproachMost people begin by flying to Kota Kinabalu (capital of Sabah). In Kota Kinabalu, you will find many hotels from inexpensive to pricey. From there, you must catch a bus at Padang Street (Jalan Padang) towards Ranau. The turnoff for the national park is actually 14 kms (9 miles) before Ranau, so let the bus driver know you're headed for Kinabalu. From the turnoff, the trailhead is actually another 4 kms (2.5 miles) up the road to the north.
Route DescriptionThe typical scedule is as folows:
The trail starts at around 1588 meters at the Park HQ and you ascend to the Laban Rata Guesthouse or the Burlington House (there are other huts as well) both at about 3300 meters on day one. The next morning, most people choose to rise between 2am and 3am to make the push for the summit - you'll be following a steady line of glowing torches/flashlights to the top ! From the Sayat Sayat Huts, there is a rope lying on the ground to ensure that people don't get lost in the fog and mist. The sunrise from the top is worth every aching bone, as the view across the whole of Borneo and the South China Sea is spectacular. Allow yourself at least 5-6 hours to get back down again.
One of the highlights of the climb is the variety of scenery en-route - from lush tropical rainforests, through magical cloudforests to wide open windswept granite plateaus with weird and wonderful peaks all around you at the top.