Difficult Hike: Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong’s Highest Peak (Maclehose trail Stage 8)

tai mo shan2

Distance: 10km (more or less, including walking to the starting point)

Duration: 5 hours

Difficulty: Very difficult, no idea why HK Walkers only gave this just 2 stars for difficulty. Although I haven’t done Ma On Shan Massif (Maclehose Stage 4) yet which is 3 stars.

Tai Mo Shan’s geographic location – it’s pretty clear where it is from this vantage point. Tai Mo Shan was once a volcano and has long been extinct, so it is made up of volcanic rocks from the Jurassic age.

Maclehose Trail Stage 8

Map of Maclehose Trail Stage 8

Start: Lead Mine Pass

End: Route Twisk

These few weeks mark the end of hiking season as the weather is officially getting too hot to walk long distances uphill comfortably. So we thought we’d do one last big one before summer – Tai Mo Shan (literally big hat mountain), Hong Kong’s highest peak at 957 metres above sea level. It was allegedly snowing here last winter.

Frost on plants at Tai Mo Shan, 16 December 2010

Starting point: We took the train to Tai Po Market MTR Station which took ages, and in hindsight I think it would have been better to start from Kowloon and make your way north (rather than south from Tai Po) to the beginning of the hike. So this is what I recommend in order for you to save time (no walking uphill for a few kilometers to the actual starting point of the hike) and effort:

  1. Take the MTR red line to Tsuen Wan, Kwai Hing, or Tai Wo Hau Station.
  2. Take a cab to lead mine pass. Show this to the driver: Lead Mine Pass (鉛礦坳)

And ta-da! You’re at the start of the hike:

Just keep following the signs to Tai Mo Shan / Route Twisk and keep on Maclehose Trail Stage 8

Just keep following the signs to Tai Mo Shan / Route Twisk and keep on Maclehose Trail Stage 8

Google maps will always tell you to take the train to Tai Po Market Station but that’s the easiest way via public transportation, not taking into account taxis.

BRING FOOD AND WATER. At least 2 bottles of water per person. I recommend 3.

BRING FOOD AND WATER. At least 2 bottles of water per person. I recommend 3.

you'll get a view of the Kowloon reservoirs

you’ll get a view of the Kowloon reservoirs

...and of the Tsuen Wan skyline in the end

…and of the Tsuen Wan skyline in the end

the best part of the hike. At the top there you can see the highest point on Tai Mo Shan, occupied by a Hong Kong Observatory (ex-British RAF) weather radar station

the best part of the hike. At the top there you can see the highest point on Tai Mo Shan, occupied by a Hong Kong Observatory (ex-British RAF) weather radar station

It was scorching hot when we went. No shade to picnic, so I literally had to hide under a rock to eat my sandwich

It was scorching hot when we went. No shade to picnic, so I literally had to hide under a rock to eat my sandwich

a friendly baby cow

a friendly baby cow

Cows roaming free on the mountains

Cows roaming free on the mountains

Before scaling the actual mountain, we reached a crossroads whose right fork would have taken us down to a waterfall. As much as we wanted to jump into a pool of cool water, we had our hearts set on the goal. The waterfall was left for later.

From Wikipedia: The area surrounding Tai Mo Shan is a known as Tai Mo Shan Country Park, which covers an area of 14.40 km². It is located to the north of Tai Lam Country Park. It is noted to have the 35-metre Long Falls, the highest waterfall in Hong Kong.

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Happy hiking, folks!

x

Let me know if you get to do it! Always wondered if this blog is really helpful to people? 🙂 Tweet @yeniraboca or IG @morenatravels

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37 thoughts on “Difficult Hike: Tai Mo Shan, Hong Kong’s Highest Peak (Maclehose trail Stage 8)

  1. bluebalu says:

    Nice post – sounds like a pretty tough hike. I might do it some day. Just curious, what app did you use to get the funky font onto your first picture? Looks great!

    Like

  2. jann says:

    Very nice! My friends and I are planning to go there this coming Sunday,I want to ask if the route is almost the same with Lantau and Sunset Peak

    Like

      • Claus says:

        It really sounds like a great hike. Unfortunately it seems that most pictures you posted got lost (at least there are only blanc fields marked with x on my screen. I can only see the first 4 pictures plus the one with Long Falls further down. Can you add them again? Many thanks!

        Like

  3. Audrey says:

    Hey there! I was just wondering if I were to travel from Tai Po MTR instead, do I still have to cab up to lead mine pass, or are there any buses around that will pass by that area? Hope to hear from you soon! 🙂

    Like

  4. Jhanvi says:

    Hi, somehow the photos do not show. I thinks you may have moved the folder or something. Could you please reload. I have hiked to the Lion Rock and would like to go all the way to Tai Mo Shan.

    Thanks

    JD

    Like

  5. Charles says:

    Hi,
    Looking to do this hike this weekend.
    Do you confirm, i should go to Taipo MTR and get a cab to Lead Mine Pass?

    Is it fine to do it alone? i.e. path is clear, can’t get lost?

    Thanks, your website is super useful!

    Like

  6. Chris says:

    Thanks for this. Did this today from Tai Po Market to enjoy the villages along the way but took the wrong fork shortly after the start of maclose trail 8. Thought I was fine because the trail was marked from google maps, but it ended up being an unmaintained trail and all the heat was trapped in by the overgrowth. Once I finally got back on maclose 8 the view was obscured by fog. Despite the weather and getting lost, was a fun hike. Will try again when the air is clear.

    Like

  7. dani Mark says:

    Hi, I am planning on doing this hike on my own next week, I am just wondering when I finish the trail is it best to join the Wilson trail to get back to civilization or do I stay on the original trail in the hope I will eventually hit an MTR station? I cant quite work out how to do it.

    Thanks in advance, daniella x

    Like

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