Cloudy Hill or Kau Lung Hang Shan is a 440m tall hill that sits between Wilson Trail Section 8 and 9 in Pat Sin Leng Country Park.
The hike to Cloudy Hill is both challenging and scenic as it combines rough terrain and beautiful ridges with panoramic views of the Tai Po district and beyond! It’s no surprise then that this section of Wilson Trail is equally popular with trail runners and hikers.
About Cloudy Hill Hike
Although I didn’t plan this, it just so happened to be a very cloudy day when I hiked to Cloudy Hill. Puns aside, there are a few routes that one could take to hike to the top of Cloudy Hill.
One popular route is via Lau Shui Heung Reservoir or Hok Tau Reservoir to Tai Po via Cloudy Hill.
Another popular route is via Wilson Trail Section 8, which is essentially a 4.5 km hiking trail from Tai Wo MTR Station.
As I had recently visited Lau Shui Heung Reservoir and Hok Tau Reservoir, I decided to hike on Wilson Trail Section 8 to Cloudy Hill.
The hike involves climbing many, many steps, paved paths, rough uphill terrains, and a trail that runs on top of a beautiful ridge.
On top of Cloudy Hill, you can admire panoramic views of Shenzhen, Fanling, Tai To Yan, Tai Mo Shan and Grassy Hill on one side. The views of the Tolo Harbour in front are quite spectacular. And also visible are Ma On Shan, Plover Cove Reservoir, Tai Mei Tuk, and of course Pat Sing Leng Country Park.
Although Wilson Trail Section 8 starts from the streets of Tai Po, the climb starts from the trail adjacent to Tai Po Tau Drive.
The easiest way to reach Tai Po Tau Drive to via a 1 km walk from the Tai Wo MTR Station.
At the MTR station, take Exit A onto Po Nga Road and at the first crossing, turn right onto Tai Po Tai Wo Road. Stay on the pedestrian path to the Esso petrol station and then continue straight on the path between the housing complex.
At the end of the path, turn left onto Tai Po Tau Road.
Walk ahead, cross the road and then continue to the end of Tai Po Tau Road.
Then turn right onto Tai Po Tau Drive and follow the road as curves left. At this point, signs for Cloudy Hill become visible.
Walk ahead and before the first row of houses, turn right onto the trail marked with another sign for Cloudy Hill.
This is the start of the uphill section of Wilson Trail Section 8.
To Ngo No Shan
The trail starts gently as it meanders behind the houses.
Unfortunately, the flat trail doesn’t last too long. And at the end of the houses, the first flight of steps appear.
There isn’t much time to adjust as the trail begins its uphill climb. Fortunately, the steps are covered or else it would be brutal on a sunny day.
There are two long flights of steps initially and those are then followed by a series of shorter flights of steps and inclines.
Take your time during this section of the climb. Go easy as it’s just the start.
The combination of steps and inclines slowly brings you closer to Ngo No Shan (126 metres tall), the first hill on your way to Cloudy Hill.
After almost 500 metres of climbing, the trail arrives at an outdoor seating and workout area.
You can choose to take a break here or muster up the courage to climb another short flight of steps to arrive at the first pavilion on Wilson Trail Section 8, which is on the top of Ngo No Shan.
I highly recommend taking a break at the outdoor seating area or the pavilion.
To the Second Pavilion
The next pavilion is only another 250 metres away and getting to it feels like crossing a tiny valley.
After the pavilion at Ngo No Shan, Wilson Trail descends rapidly before flattening. And immediately climbs back up.
The climb to the Second Pavilion is relatively short but feels more challenging than it really is. After the descent, I was hoping there wouldn’t be any climbing for a while. I was wrong.
Feel free to take another short break at the Second Pavilion, even if it is to admire the low-density luxury residential housing estate of Hong Lok Yuen on the side.
It’s not every day one gets to view a suburb like this in Hong Kong!
The Third pavilion
The next section of the Cloudy Hill Hike is the easiest!
Wilson Trail runs on a flat terrain with views overlooking Hong Lok Yuen for a short distance before entering a shaded area.
This section of the trail is also quite uneventful as there are no views or steps.
But it provides a source of momentary relief from all the climbing so far.
Enjoy walking to the next pavilion and appreciate the views from the seating area next to it.
To Zhukeng Shan (竹坑山)
After the Third Pavilion, the trail approaches a short flight of steps before becoming extremely narrow.
A steady flight of broad and gentle steps follows the narrow section. The steps are easy to climb thankfully but seem neverending.
However, when they do end, they are immediately followed by a steeper flight of steps.
The steps that follow look like short bursts of zigzag patterns, separated by steel barriers.
As you climb up these steps, be sure to stop at one of the barriers to admire the views of Tai Po below.
Continue climbing the steps till they finally reach another outdoor seating area, this time without a pavilion.
At 211 metres, this area is the top of Zhukeng Shan (竹坑山), the second hill on the way to Cloudy Hill.
I took a long break at the benches and admired the views before continuing.
To Yuk Sau Fung
Up until this point, the hike to Cloudy Hill is on a paved hiking trail. But after Zhukeng Shan (竹坑山), Wilson Trail branches away from the paved surface onto a rough hiking trail.
To continue hiking to Cloudy Hill, look for the signs to the right going downhill on the dirt trail.
Although the initial section of the dirt trail remains relatively easy, it’s a bit more uncomfortable than the paved trail.
The trail stays flat for a short duration before gradually increasing its incline. And as the incline increases, it becomes more challenging to climb.
But the real challenge is the final 100 metres to the top of Yuk Sau Fung!
Once you make it to the top, you’re welcomed by the Yuk Sau Fung triangulation station, along with a couple of makeshift benches.
At 288 metres tall, Yuk Sau Fung is the last hill that you’ll conquer before Cloudy Hill. In fact, Cloudy Hill is visible in a straight line from Yuk Sau Fung.
There’s a trail to the right from Yuk Sau Fung, which I’ll talk about towards the end of this post. But for now, to continue towards Cloudy Hill, continue straight on Wilson Trail.
Across the Ridge
From Yuk Sau Fung, Cloudy Hill is always in direct line of sight. And although the Cloudy Hill Viewing Point is another 1.2 km, it looks closer than it is.
As Wilson Trail continues from Yuk Sau Fung, it descends onto a beautiful and narrow ridge, that makes its way to Cloudy Hill.
One can only admire the beauty of this ridge from further up ahead. So for now, keep enjoying the views of Tai Po to the right and Cloudy Hill up ahead for approximately 700 metres.
The ridge is a mix of easy steps and flat terrain on a paved trail.
At the halfway mark the final section begins its steep climb! Because just when you think there can be no more steps, here comes something to haunt you!
The steps mark the final 600 metres climb to the Cloudy Hill Viewing Point. So, take your time and go easy.
At the halfway mark, where the steps reach the metal barrier, turn around to admire the beautiful ridge from here! However, if you’re returning back the same way, you can enjoy the views even more then.
After the steps, there is a short flat section where you can catch your breath.
From this point, Shenzhen also becomes visible given a clear day. Keep walking till the next flight of steps which is followed by a short flat section, and then another flight of steps!
Take your time climbing and just keep admiring the views.
Finally, after a daunting ordeal of 956 steps (I think), you finally arrive at the viewing point!
Cloudy Hill Viewing Point
The area with the signposts and information board is the Cloudy Hill Viewing Point.
Step onto the clearing at the edge and soak in the panoramic views!
At the extreme right is Tai To Yan. Between it and Tai Mo Shan is the valley where Kadoorie Farms is located.
After Tai Mo Shan, the next hill on the left is Grassy Hill. And the two are separated by Lead Mine Pass.
Right below are Tai Po and Tolo Harbour. And across Tolo Harbour is Ma On Shan.
And finally to the extreme left, is Tai Mei Tuk, Plover Clove Reservoir and the rest of Pat Sin Leng Country Park with the Eight Immortals.
Cloudy Hill Peak
If you’re curious to know, this isn’t the peak of Cloudy Hill.
The peak is located another 80 metres ahead. As there aren’t any views from the peak of Cloudy Hill, you can consider this viewing point your final destination.
However, if you’re still interested in reaching the peak, continue walking ahead till the sign that welcomes you to Pat Sin Leng Country Park. And then, take the unmarked trail on the right before the sign.
At the end of the trail is the Cloudy Hill triangulation station, right beside the transmission station.
Although there aren’t any views from the triangulation station, at 440 metres, this is the peak of Cloudy Hill.
Options to end the hike
As I mentioned before, there are many routes to hike to Cloudy Hill. And those routes also serve as options to end your Cloudy Hill Hike.
For those curious, here are three options.
Option 1: End at Lau Shui Heung Reservoir or Hok Tau Reservoir
Many hikers chose to start the Cloudy Hill Hike from Tai Po and end at either Lau Shui Heung Reservoir or Hok Tau Reservoir.
I would prefer to end at Lau Shui Heung Reservoir because it’s a more scenic reservoir with easier access to public transport. And if you happen to do this hike in January or December, Lau Shui Heung Reservoir is one of the two locations in Hong Kong to see red autumn leaves.
To continue to Lau Shui Heung Reservoir, keep walking on the trail after the Pat Sin Leng Country Park sign. There are two paths leading to Lau Shui Heung Reservoir and both are relatively well-marked.
This option will add another 4.5 km to your Cloudy Hill Hike, which is also the distance back to Tai Wo MTR.
Option 2: Retrace your steps back to Tai Wo MTR
Another option to end your Cloudy Hill Hike is to simply retrace your steps back to Tai Wo MTR Station. After all, if you need to take the MTR, this is the most convenient option.
Option 3: End at Fu Heng Estate, Tai Po
If however you’re just looking for the shortest route back to civilisation and are happy taking buses, there is another option.
This trail returns to Fu Heng Estate, the closest Tai Po neighbourhood to Cloudy Hill with a bus terminus.
To follow this trail, first, trace your steps back to Yuk Sau Fung.
The return to Yuk Sau Fung was my favourite part of the hike because you get to admire the ridge as you descend, knowing full well there is no climbing ahead!
The views of the city and the hills, while descending, are the best!
Once at Yuk Sau Fung, instead of continuing straight on Wilson Trail Section 8, turn left and follow that path down.
The trail maintains a similar rough and uneven terrain till it reaches a steep flight of steps. The views of Tai Po from the steps are quite spectacular thanks to the hill’s steep gradient.
The steps end at a makeshift seating area. From here, continue straight onto the steps on the other side.
At the end of the steps, the trail changes into a paved path and approaches a pavilion.
Walk past the pavilion and follow the steps with the cream-coloured railing.
The steps zig-zag their way downhill looking quite picturesque from some angles.
The steps swap the cream-coloured railing for a maroon-coloured railing as they reach below the tree line.
Keep walking till the steps give way to a flat path before emerging next to Hong Chi Pinehill Village.
Walk ahead to Chung Nga Road and turn left. From here you can catch a minibus to the Tai Po Market MTR Station. Alternatively, keep walking on Chung Nga Road to the Fu Heng Estate Bus Terminus.
Cloudy Hill Hike
We hope that you found our guide to the Cloudy Hill Hike resourceful. After the Eight Immortals, Cloudy Hill is perhaps the next most popular hike in Pat Sin Leng Country Park.
As you probably gathered from reading this guide, it isn’t the easiest of hikes. It’s challenging in a good way, and especially scenic on the ridge between Cloudy Hill and Yuk Sau Fung!
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