If you’re looking for a hike with the most scenic views of the western peninsula of Hong Kong Island, then look no further than Mount High West (Sai Ko Shan or 西高山 in Cantonese). At 494 metres, the Mount High West Viewing Point gets you sweeping 180-degree panoramic views of Cyberport, Pok Fu Lam, Kennedy Town, Sai Ying Pun, and right up to ICC and West Kowloon. And with this unobstructed view of the west, it’s also a fantastic spot to catch the sunset in Hong Kong.
Here’s a quick video to give you an idea of what to expect.
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So, how does one hike to Mount High West? There are two simple options:
- Hike to High West from Kennedy Town / HKU, or
- Hike to High West from Victoria Peak
There’s also a third option from Pok Fu Lam that I recently discovered. So, let’s discuss all three options.
Kennedy Town / HKU to Mount High West
The challenging option
You can start your hike to High West from Kennedy Town or HKU MTR Station. If you’re starting from Kennedy Town, simply take the steps on Pokfield Road to Pok Fu Lam Road. This initial part is quite steep, so be prepared. You’re going to be out of breath even before you start!
If you’re coming from anywhere east of Kennedy Town, I highly advise you to start from HKU MTR Station. Take exit C that brings you out at Pok Fu Lam Road, and walk towards Pok Fu Lam.
No matter where you start, Kennedy Town or HKU, you need to get to the Sinopec Sandy Bay Gap station on Pok Fu Lam Road. This is your starting point for the hike. And next to the petrol station you’ll see a flight of stairs. That’s from where you escape the city.
Pok Fu Lam Road to Pinewood Battery
The hike looks quite intimidating from the start. All you see are steps that never seem to end. But don’t worry, it gets less steep once you reach the flat jogging trail with the benches and shaded seating area.
Once you reach here, take the path that immediately slips to the left and follow the signs for Pinewood Battery.
After a short distance, you’ll reach the first lookout point. Take a break and admire the views from here. Then continue towards Pinewood Battery. Keep your eyes open for another narrow, hidden path that takes you up another flight of steps. This time around the steps, through Lung Fu Shan Country Park, are very picturesque with bamboos on either side.
Continue on these steps till you finally reach Pinewood Battery.
Pinewood Battery to the Peak Circular Walk
Pinewood Battery is a historical landmark in Hong Kong and was once the city’s highest coastal defence post. I have another blog that is all about Pinewood Battery. You can either decide to take this opportunity to quickly explore what’s left of the battery, or come back another time.
After Pinewood Battery, keep walking along Lung Fu Shan Fitness Trail. You’ll know you’re on track if you pass the Lung Fu Shan Country Park Picnic Shelters, a small fitness area, more bamboos, and finally emerge on Hatton Road. Walk up Hatton Road till you arrive at the park along the Peak Morning Trail.
From this point, only the final ascent remains. Take a break, fill up your bottles with water from the fountain in the park. And when you’re ready, let’s go!
The final stretch of the hike is on a trail called the Treacherous Trail. But don’t let the name scare you, it’s steep but short.
This trail starts from the other side of the park. You should notice a short flight of steps going down. Follow the path till it comes to a clearing. Then walk across the clearing and take the steps all the way to the top!
Again, take your time and go slow. Remember to keep admiring the view behind you as you climb.
Mount High West Viewing Point
Once you reach the top of Mount High West, you’ll see why this is such a scenic hike. You get to admire beautiful views on three sides. Cyberport and Lamma Island in the south; Lantau Island in the west; the Hong Kong skyline in the north. It’s simply beautiful!
And obviously, it goes without saying, the hike is best enjoyed on a clear day because then you can see all the way to Lamma Island, Lantau Island, and even Tai Mo Shan.
End The Hike
To end the hike, you could go back down the same way. Or you could take the Peak Morning Trail to Victoria Peak.
Kennedy Town / HKU to Mount High West Trail Map
Victoria Peak to Mount High West
The easiest option
Hiking from Victoria Peak to High West is perfect for those who want a short and scenic hike, or someone who’s visiting Hong Kong for the first time and wants to experience a short hike for a much quainter and less touristy view.
To start, make your way to Victoria Peak, and then follow the Peak Morning Trail (Harlech Road Fitness Trail) for 1.2 km till you reach the park/seating area.
Enter the park, and take the Treacherous Trail on the other side. From there follow the trail and steps all the way to the viewing point for Mount High West (same as in option 1).
Victoria Peak to Mount High West Trail Map
Pok Fu Lam Reservoir to Mount High West
The western ascent
Both options 1 and 2 ascend Mount High West from the east. However, there is also a trail on the western side from where you can climb up Mount High West. Unfortunately, the trail isn’t shown on Google Maps, but it’s easy to find.
The climb starts from the Hong Kong Trail Section 1, between HKU and Pok Fu Lam Reservoir. That means you can approach it from either side. Details on how to get to climb can be found on our Pok Fu Lam Reservoir to HKU hike post. Just follow the sign to The Peak when you reach this spot (picture below).
Mount High West
I hope you found this guide to hiking up Mount High West helpful. If you want a quick scenic hike that offers equally stunning views as Victoria Peak, this is for you. And it’s also good to know that it’s a great place to catch those beautiful sunset views.