Updated: Jul 7
Bukit Lagong 572m at the fringes of Kuala Lumpur is a buffer of the 530 ha Forest Research (FIRM) is a conservation area that offers amazing views of the city and a challenging hike with no permit required!
The trail was opened before covid hit, and only recently, hikers have started to re-explore the area. The trails heading to the peak from CP3(493m) is raw and riddled with fallen logs and branches with no clear way! It is a challenge to navigate, but we are thankful for previous hikers who have tied trail markers to beacon the way!
It was appalling to discover so much bad press about #BukitLagong and countless headlines about degazettement of land within the Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve for a housing development, and mining quarry. It is strange that quarry approvals are passed on forest reserved land, especially when it is a water catchment area for the many city dwellers and orang asli settlements. How can they guarantee no pollution and preservation of the area? Please sign this petition if you support preservation.
Funfact: FRIM is working towards attaining the recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its nomination to be included into the Tentative List of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites was accepted at the 41st World Heritage Committee (WHC) Meeting held in Krakow, Poland on 7 July 2017.#FRIM
Starting point: Bukit Lagong car park
Hike Duration: Allow around 5hours to 6 hours
End Hike: Backtrack
Distance : 11km form Lookout 1, Lookout 2 , Lookout 3 (false peak) and peak to carpark
Hike Difficulty: 3.3/5
Scenery Rewards: sweeping views of the city
Note: This trail was opened before covid hit. From the car part to lookout 1, there is a clear track perhaps used to transport some equipment for logging in the past. The route to lookout 2 is a defined trail. But from lookout 3 to the peak, everything gets a little wild and raw! There is an short route if you skip the outlook points and head straight to the peak from carpark! But we took the latter!
What to bring
1. Basic first aid stuff such as disinfectant, ankle guard in case you sprain your ankle, band-aid.
2. Walking stick. The ascend here is extremely steep
3. Raincoat and Poncho
4. At least 2l of water, snack! Bring enough water
5. Change of clothes, can have a dip at the waterfall by the carpark
6. Good pair of hiking shoes is absolutely necessary
7. Gloves optional
8. Leech Alert! So do bring a Dettol or Listerine spray
9. Check the weather forecast
11. Umbrella if you want to have a picnic at the peak otherwise it will make more sense to rest at the canopy area
Note: the hike is long and hot with not much canopy at parts, start early!
Carpark to Lookout 1 (Batu Caves, Selayang view)
We arrived around 7am at the waterfall parking. As it was our first hike to Bukit Lagong, on a Saturday, we hoped there would be many groups heading to the peak that we could follow. Unfortunately, there were only 2 groups, one was on their maiden hike up and the other were trail runners! So we had to use our navigation skills to our best! Nancy and Jerry did really well sniffing the way up and out safely without much trouble, while I kept searching for 4G connection on the map!
We backtrack from where we drove in, entered the trail from the boom gate. There are 2 trails here, one dirt and the other slightly paved. We took the dirt one on the left, but they merge at some point.
We continued uphill hike for about 300m, until we reached an oblivious path at the right that was well covered with vegetation. We didn't know at that time, but you could take that way to head to the 572m peak too, passing the "durian runtuh hut" and entirely bypassing the lookout point.
However, we had some motivation to catch the sunrise at Lookout 1 and 2 so we soldiered straight up! This is surely and easier way, but with significant elevation gain!
The view of the layers of rolling mountains yonder was the main Titiwangsa range and they were simply majestic!
Lookout 2 to Lookout 3
From Lookout point 1 to 2, it is a short uphill hike to 323m toward KL city direction.
From lookout 2 to the false peak of Bukit Lagong, it is a straight forward uphill trail until you hit 498m. Few lone hikers stop here and head back down. But we were on a mission to conquer the peak! The trail got tricky and raw from here. The trail is in the shadow of Bukit Lagong. The shadow casts darkness over the trail even on a hot and sunny day! It would be unimaginable if you came on an overcast day! YIKES!
False peak to Peak
We trekked along the ridge of the false peak enjoying some breeze before descending into the dark and overgrown trail. The terrain is littered with dried leaves and plenty of palm like tree with sharp leaves and thistles. There are hungry leeches lurking on the leaves waiting to jump at an opportunity! The trail is well marked and once your eyes adjust to this low light, you won't miss the markers.
The trail eases and flattens slightly while the terrain, gets more overgrown and wild with fallen logs and trees and bush!
I caught glimpses of huge birds flying from tree to tree, slithering worms, reptiles, calls of the primates and many tell tale sign of wondering boars, and buzzing cricket and cicadas. With each step deeper, the sound of the jungle became more alive, until, you hear a flowing stream.
A flowing stream runs through at the cradle of the mountain, which is the last water point, before the trail ascends. The terrain is easy going at first, clambering over fallen logs.
It was after the huge fallen logs that the trail turned wild and steep! It was hard to navigate as the trail markers were on a different eye-level, every few steps up. In addition, the fallen palm branches and soil erosion made the trail a labyrinth!
It was through some "Divine" intervention that a cripple dog and 2 puppies popped up of nowhere to lead us up! The pack of dogs were resolute and rather insistent that we followed them, or perhaps it was just a gut feeling!
The trail uphill was long and it seem endless at some point, and the heat was unbearable. Just as I started to question myself....... the broken trig-station appeared before me on my left! I yelled to Jerry and Nancy not far behind that "we have arrived"!
We were the first to reach the peak on that day and we scoured the small area, but there was nothing interesting!
It was really hot and there was no tree cover! We had our icy cold drink, refilled and quickly headed down.
Strangely, the dogs were nowhere in sight, we later found them taking cover at the shaded are of the forest!
There are 2 ways to return, either backtrack from where we came, or take the flat path that passes through the "durian runtuh hut"!
After the stream crossing, from where we came, there is a Y junction, the right trail ascends to the false peak while the left downhill trail of 4.5km heads to the overgrown entrance where we first started.
The trail towards the "hut" is undulating with sections of downhill and brief uphill. The hut was built around durian trees for orchard boys to kill time while waiting for the fruit to ripen and fall to earth! During the durian season, the orang asli will sell these wild durians by the roadside along the Karak highway!
After the hut, there was a point that the trail vanishes but it continues on and upper-level due to soil erosion and fallen trees! There are less markers but just head straight! When we passed by some "orang asli" chopping wood from fallen trees we knew that we were close to the village by the carpark. We hasten our speed, with the hope to reach the exit quicker!
Past the stream and in another 300m you will reach the main trail. If your idea of adventure is bush and spider webs on your face, you could take the trail at the broken signage, as it also head to the main trail!
Time reference Checkpoints
The total hike was 11km, appx 6 hours return. We had minimal break or rest time.
0736 - Start Hike to Lookout 1
0815- Lookout 1
0820- Lookout 2
0850- False Peak
1030- Bukit Legong 572m
1050- Head down
1230- Reach car park
We were very excited leading up to this hike. It was an undiscovered trail at the fringes of Kuala Lumpur with no permit needed that only few people knew off! The surrounding beauty of the area is close to pristine despite the proximity to the city.
However the were some development around the waterfall area that was on going and it was obviously causing the stream by the carpark to look murky as compared to water further uphill.
I knew little about this plot of Forest Reserve until we did this hike. It is important that we bring to the attention and awareness of the public that Bukit Lagong Forest Reserved is being encroached and mined at the edge of it! Many questions are being raised about..........
Who decided that over 800ha of Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve could be parcelled out, and how were these 27 companies chosen? How will the quarrying affect the wildlife and orang asli village settlement?
After all being said and done, 800 hectares of land in the Bukit Lagong Forest Reserve is being earmarked for quarrying! What will happen after the quarrying is done? Well, let's leave it aside for the next generation to imagine! #savebukitlagong
In the meantime, after refreshing ourselves and peeling our sock and tights to discover the blood cost from our hike, we headed to Restaurant Pan Heong for a hearty and delicious lunch! Alternatively further in the carpark, there is a "talapia" farm and they grill their fish fresh, when they are open, normally during weekends! Do call to avoid disappointment! (Orchard D'Lagong Cafe 017-2850010)
Great thanks to the lady's efforts and motivation, Jason and Kenji for sharing the map details of this rather complicated trail!
Date visited: 18th March 2023