There are many reasons to come to the Cameron Highlands when you’re on a trip to Malaysia. There are strawberries and cream teas, for which the area is famous. There is the glorious mossy forest, and tea plantations to visit. Tea to drink also of course. And there’s the blessed cool climate up here, which makes the strawberry and tea growing possible, and the forest mossy. It also means that it’s a perfect climate for hiking. Cool enough that you might need a jacket, pleasant enough that you don’t get overheated. There’s lots of hiking up here in the Cameron Highlands, and it’s a great place to do it. Here’s our guide to the best hikes in Cameron Highlands.
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Tanah Rata is where most people base themselves for visiting the Cameron Highlands and it’s a great place to book your accommodation. There are good places to stay here, and some great food options too. It’s where the buses come into and go out from if you’re trying to get here and it’s also where you’ll be able to find any tours of the Cameron Highlands.
You’ll want to plan ahead with trail maps. So download maps from maps.me and also get a copy of a trail map from your hostel or hotel.
This is a great place to go hiking in Malaysia. The temperate climate and lushness of the surroundings do make it really rather pleasant. And there are 14 specifically marked trails that you can choose from, all of which differ in challenge level.
The 7 Most Popular Hikes in Cameron Highlands
I’ve outlined the top 7, of these most popular Cameron Highlands hikes and also detailed if you need a guide or not. I do, however, recommend a good pair of hiking boots and a set of hiking poles, as the trails can get slippery and the terrain is uneven.
1. Cameron Highlands Hiking Trail : Brinchang Town to Gunung Brinchang
The trail from Brinchang Town to Gunung Brinchang is 10 kilometers long (6.2 miles) and is moderately difficult. About a quarter of the hike is on Highway 59 which is a concrete road, but once you take Jalan Gunung Brinchang Road, the trail gets more challenging. Brinchang Town to Gunung Brinchang is a 3-4 hour hike one way.
The hardest part is the path from the Mossy Forest up to the peak. It’s recommended to have a guide to do this trail, but you can also make this hike a bit easier. You can start from the town up to Mossy Forest and then take a taxi to the peak or make it a one-way hike trip, by taking a taxi from the town all the way to the peak and then hiking down.
2. Cameron Highlands Hiking Trail : Sam Poh Buddhist Temple to Trail #3
The Sam Poh Buddhist Temple to Trail #3 is a 6 kilometers (4 miles) trail. It’s a shorter trail but requires more endurance due to its rugged terrain. It is also an unmarked trail. The hike from Sam Poh Buddhist Temple to Trail #3 takes about 1.5 hours one way. Regardless of missing signage, Sam Poh Temple to Trail #3 is popular enough, that you don’t need a guide.
Due to the location of the trail, you can’t take a taxi. If you decide to do this hike, spend time planning to ensure that you will be able to get back to town before it gets dark.
3. Cameron Highlands Hiking Trail : Arcadia to Gunung Berembun
The hiking trail from Arcadia to Gunung Berembum is 12.8 kilometers (8 miles) long with moderate to tough terrain. You won’t need a guide since there are plenty of signs along the way. The trail from Arcadia to Gunung Berembum takes about 2.5 hours each way.
If you want to make this a one-way hike, you can take it a different way. Get in a taxi and ask the driver to drop you off at Sultanah Hajjah Kalsom Hospital. Behind the hospital, there is a trail that leads to Gurung Berembun Peak. You can hike down and get on a taxi back to town.
4. Cameron Highlands Hiking Trail : Forestry Department to Parit Waterfall
The Forestry Department to Parit Waterfall is only 1.8 kilometers (2 miles) in distance and very easy to hike. You will probably meet other people hiking Trails #3 and #7 because those trails pass along this trail. Forestry Department to Parit Waterfall takes about 30 minutes one-way. You don’t need a guide to do the Forestry Department to Parit Waterfall or a taxi service.
5. Cameron Highlands Hiking Trail : MARDI to Trail #3
MARDI to Trail #3 is only a 6.4 kilometer (4 miles) easy 1-hour hike, a guide won’t be necessary. It will take about an hour to hike MARDI to Trail #3. If the hike is too quick or easy, you can continue by taking either Trail #3 or Trail #2 at the end of this trail for a bit more of a challenge.
6. Cameron Highlands Hiking Trail : Cameron Valley to Gunung Jasar
Cameron Valley to Gunung Jasar is a 12-kilometer (8-mile) hike and is moderate to tough in difficulty level. Although it’s not mandatory to have a guide, as the trail is unmarked and overgrown with weeds, it’s probably best to have a local guide arranged. Cameron Valley to Gunung Jasar will take you 2.5 hours each way.
To make this hike a bit easier, you can take a taxi to Gunung Jasar Trailhead near Carnation Park, then hike from there to the peak and back.
7. Cameron Highlands Hiking Trail : MARDI to Gunung Beremben
The trail from MARDI to Gunung Beremben is a 7-kilometer (11-mile) hike. It is a tough trail because of the direct approach to the peak. MARDI to Gunung Berembem hike takes about 2 hours each way. This path merges with Trail #3, which means that you can take Trail #3 when you hike down which gives a nicer view and path, versus the way that you came in. You can’t take a taxi here, but once you are back in Arcadia (if you go via Trail #3 on the way back), you can get a taxi back to your hotel.
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Final Words on the Best Hikes in Cameron Highlands
Cameron Highlands is a glorious place to get out into nature. The temperate climate and coolness mean that it’s a great environment for hiking and up here there are 14 marked trails of varying degrees of difficulty. Whether you choose to hike the mossy forest or simply stroll through the tea plantations, these 7 most popular Cameron Highlands hikes are the perfect way to explore the area.
Stock images in this article are courtesy Deposit Photos.
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