Updated: Mar 14
It can be challenging to seek escapism when you live in a concrete jungle and especially so in times of the pandemic. Bukit Kiara has always been a darling getaway for city dwellers and now, more so than ever! Venture off to the rugged path and you can be lost in dense jungle, but may find serenity!
Starting point: Park along Jalan Desa Kiara (make sure you avoid parking along the white lines)
Hike Duration: the hike is easy to medium depending which routes you take.
End Hike: Loop/Backtrack
Hike Difficulty: 3/5 I think it is suitable for children above 5 too.
Scenery Rewards: 2/5 no vantage points
Tip: As hiking is becoming increasingly popular these days, parking ticket issuers are increasingly active too.
What to bring
1. Good pair of hiking shoes
3. Some snacks
4. 2 litres of water.
5. Walking stick is necessary especially when it rains the trail can be slippery!
6. Cap and sunscreen!
7. A GOOD ADVENTURE SPIRIT
8 Tourist Spot
It's really hard to explain the exact direction to any of these sites simply because of the many forks, junctions and entrances, prohibition zones. My best guide would be a map that can roughly tell the highlights of the hike. Or else, the next best thing is to find a knowledgeable guide who knows this hill like his own backyard. We had the privilege with the latter, big shout out to Alex Goh. There are more spots to be explored......to be continued
1. Grand Canyon/Great Wall
If you are starting your hike from Mt Kiara, getting here is really easy. From Jalan Kiara 7 walk down the slope and head inside the dirt road. Just over 5 minutes you will reach the Grand Canyon.
2. Serenity Tree
There are few routes to come to this point, one through Grand Canyon by the squatter houses and the durian tree, or through Boner route, or a sub-trail from the Boner.
This area is a perfect place to simply rest and relax, wade by the narrow stream with a succession of cascades, or even catch one's breathe.
This point is really close to the Penchala highway and if you are wondering if you are on the right track when the sound of traffic becomes more distinct, you know that you are on the right path.
There is a trail that leads all the way to a lookout point of the Penchala Tunnel. If you are early, you might be able to catch the sunrise from this point too!
*Many interesting varieties of mushrooms have been spotted here such as the elf cups and the stinkhorn mushroom.
3. Starbucks Corner
If you are hiking up from Mt Kiara, take Boner/ Jane's Addiction trail, veer left and you will reach this rest point. The Kiara regular hikes have made some benches, a swing and a pretty chillax point where you would wish to get your cuppa fix. And sometimes if you are lucky enough you might just get your coffee specially brewed! (not joking)
4. TEMPLE ROCK/ Angkor Wat
If you head towards the peak of Kiara, Temple rock would be on the lower elevation.
I love this area best of all. There is a majestic (banyan tree) strangler fig that hugs the edge of a series of flat boulders that resembles a structure from an ancient time.
You can walk up the rocky slope to the top of this flat boulder but be careful as the surfaces of the rocks can be slippery!
Here, you can have a close up look at this banyan tree. It has every shade of brown on the truck, so healthy and mighty. I hope it stays this way!
5. YELLOW ROCK
If you come after Temple rock, you have to ascend and made a left. Keep on that trail (beware as this trail shares with the mountain bikers). Take the path that veers left down towards this rock.
I'm pondering if this rock will stay this colour in the rainy season or on a gloomy day. This huge boulder is carpeted with a thick layer of moss. It sits toward the east and when the sun shines in the mornings, the rock turns into a bright yellow. However, in this raining season, I can see it is more green than yellow! It patches of moss flowers, matures and dry according to it's micro seasons.
6. Bamboo Eye
The proximity of Bamboo eye, Temple rock and the yellow rock are rather close can you can explore them easily in the vicinity. The arch bamboo groove created a tunnel that seems to resemble an almond shape eye of a dragon.
7. Bukit Kiara Peak
Although only 258m in height it is always a feeling of achievement to arrive at the top! An easy hike up from the TNT trail, this summit is a steal!
However if you are looking for a glorious summit view, you will be greatly disappointed.
The best and quickest way to get here is from the tarmac road from the Taman Tun Park loop. The dirt way would be to keep on Lower short trail or Bar-a-Kuda.
It is most impressive after rain when water tumbles into the cascade with gushing effect. It is a great place to freshen up or even take a dip in the plunge pool!
This huge oval shape rock can be seen at the Taman Tun Bukit Kiara loop at the water catchment area. I have been walking the Taman Tun loop for more than 15 years but have never notice the rock, perhaps it was cover by bushes before!
Flora & Fauna
As this place use to be a former rubber plantation, you can see many mature rubber trees. Toward the Taman Tun park, an arboretum, there are a variety of species of trees there, and toward the village direction, there are many mature fruit trees, namely durian. There are also many Coffea Arabica plants around. When ripe the fruit is a bright red!
Photo credits: Elysee Yang
For our own benefit, small selfless decisions are needed every day in these trying times even when we are hiking in the wilderness (5 to a group). Bear in mind that our continued enjoyment of Bukit Kiara depends on rules being respected, and I am not exactly sure if it will continue this way when we keep prying their gates and fences open! (check on the link for any updates on entrance closure or prohibition zone, although I understand there are none at the moment??)
As some of these trails actually criss-cross private ownership land and it will be their prerogative to prosecute trespassers if caught!
** Disclaimer: The actual names of trails and tree species may vary.
Date visited: September, October, November 2020