Top 5 Hiking Trails in KL and Selangor
Despite what many might believe, the KL landscape isn’t all glass and concrete. For those willing to step off the beaten track, you can find mountains, waterfalls, and even lush jungle landscapes just a short drive away from home. Whether you’re a novice hiker who’s just looking to relax or an experienced enthusiast interested in a bigger challenge, there’s definitely a trail for you out there. Check out these top 10 hiking trails in KL and Selangor this weekend and experience the beauty of nature right on your doorstep.
Each of these hikes shall be judged based on a few factors:
Broga Hill (Seminyih)
Located a short drive away from KL, Broga Hill (also known as Bukit Broga) is the perfect trail for those who enjoy sunrises. It’s the only hill or mountain in Peninsular Malaysia which is covered in lalang grass instead of trees, meaning that many people choose to start their hikes early (coming in at 5am is not unheard of) so that they can reach the summit in time to catch the breath taking view.
This hill is only about 400 meters high and can be easily climbed in an hour or so, though prospective climbers should note that there are some steep sections which can get a little slippery – especially if it’s been raining. The trail is steep and strenuous but short enough that any reasonably fit person should be able to complete it. Those who still have energy can even choose to continue on the path after reaching the peak to climb Gunung Tok Wan (675m).
Accessibility: Free parking, but there is an RM1 entrance fee per person
Safety: There are a few steep sections which can get slippery, but as long as you’re reasonably fit you should have no problem completing this trail. Stick to the path and bring a torchlight or headlamp if you plan to arrive before sunrise. Fortunately, this is a fairly popular climb, so there are usually plenty of other hikers around to help if you get into any difficulties.
Conveniently located just 15 minutes off the Federal Highway, this former rubber estate is currently a 100 hectare forest reserve. This thriving green lung is right next to several heavily populated neighborhoods, meaning that Bukit Gasing is fairly popular among local residents as a place to stretch their legs, get some exercise, and enjoy the beauty of nature.
One of the advantages of coming here is that there are routes here that are suitable for hikers of every skill level; whether you just want an easy 20 minute hike or challenge yourself by climbing up the steep flight of stairs known as the Killer Stretch, you’re sure to find a trail that suits your needs. Depending on your fitness level, a typical circuit should take around 1 hour 45 minutes to complete.
Hikers at Bukit Gasing can also enjoy a number of convenient places to rest including a watchtower, suspension bridge, and plenty of benches scattered throughout the park. However, you should note that there are currently no shops or toilets here, so don’t forget to bring plenty of water as well as bug repellent.
Difficulty: Plenty of trails suitable for hikers of all experience levels.
Accessibility: Easy. Bukit Gasing is conveniently located on the border between Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur. There’s a car park nearby and entry is free.
Safety: No particularly risky trails, but make sure to pack plenty of water.
Found in the Bukit Putih forest reserve, this jungle trail is known in Hokkien as Ah Pek (Old Man) Hill Trail – a cheeky reference to the number of white haired senior hikers who like to exercise here.
The trail itself is long and winding, with plenty of ups, downs, and side routes for you to explore. There are a number of paths leading up to the peak as well as several access points, so first time climbers should keep track of their route to make sure that they’re going where they’re supposed to go.
Ah Pek Hill Trail offers some excellent exercise opportunities, with trails that go through both steep and level sections. You can even find a ‘jungle gym’ with exercise equipment at one of the rest stations and even a little waterfall where you can splash and cool down after your long hike.
Difficulty: Depends on your route. Many of the trails can be rather steep and may be unsuitable for beginners. A full circuit (including Bukit Saga) would be around 20km.
Accessibility: Easy. Bukit Putih is right next to the Cheras district in the eastern edge of KL. Entry is free and there’s a small car park, but make sure to come in early because it fills up fast.
Safety: If you’re not used to the area, stick to the main trails to avoid getting lost. Fortunately, there are usually plenty of other hikers in the area who can guide you if you’re lost.
KL Forest Eco Park
Formerly known as the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, the KL Forest Eco Park is one of the oldest permanent forest reserves in Malaysia. Gazetted as a permanent forest reserve in 1906, the KL Eco Park originally encompassed an area of 17.5 hectares. Unfortunately, over the years urban development has nibbled away at the reserve and now only 9 hectares remain.
This park is fairly popular since it’s the only remaining stretch of tropical rainforest within the city limits of KL. Aside from serving as a green lung for the urbanized city center, the KL Forest Eco Park is a refuge for many species of birds and wildlife such as monkeys and small mammals.
KL Forest Eco Park also boasts one of KL’s latest attractions – a 200 meter canopy walk where hikers can enjoy a wonderful birds eye view of the treetops and city beyond. There are also a number of attractions such as a Timber Product Gallery, Activities Area, Herbal Garden, Information Center, and of course a number of nature trails where you can hike and enjoy being immersed in nature even in the heart of the city.
Difficulty: There are 3 short nature, jogging, and hiking trails (Jelutong Trail, Penarahan Trail, Arboretum Trail) consisting of both paved footpaths and more natural trails
Accessibility: Due to its location in the middle of the city, there should be no problem getting to this park. You can even use the LRT! Note that while entrance is free the park is only open from 7am to 6pm daily.
Safety: No problems
One of the more impressive waterfalls in Selangor, Chiling Waterfall is pretty famous and attracts plenty of visitors every year. This is the most distant hiking trail on this list, requiring you to drive a couple hours out of KL and about 20km past Kuala Kubu Bharu. It’s located in the Sungai Chiling Fish Sanctuary, a fisheries research project run by the Selangor State Fisheries Department.
To reach the waterfall itself you need to be pretty adventurous – after all, the 3 hour long trail includes wading across the Chiling River five times. However, those who make it through and finally reach the waterfall all agree that it is well worth the effort.
Difficulty: This trail involves going through a real jungle as well as wading through a river multiple times. Expect to get wet.
Accessibility: Chiling Waterfall is only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 8am to 6pm. Admission fee is RM1 per person and fishing is prohibited.
Safety: Since this hike involves wading in water as high as your waist, it’s important to have suitable footwear. If it starts to rain during your visit you must return immediately as the river and waterfalls are dangerous in rainy weather.