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Hiking in Tai Mo Shan

Hiking in Tai Mo Shan

Written by Kelly PangUpdated Sep. 12, 2023

This hike is ideal for people who like rugged (off the cement stairs) hiking and want to see beautiful countryside and see the city of Hong Kong from the peak. It is ideal for for fit people to spend a day of hiking, and there are also routes for short hikes and excursions.

Stage 8 of the Maclehose trail that stretches across the New Territories passes over the mountain.

  • Chinese: 大帽山 Dàmào Shān /daa-maou shan/ 'Big Hat Hill'
  • Area of country park: 14 square kilometers or 5.5 square miles
  • Features: Hong Kong's highest mountain, waterfalls, and an artificial lake. Wet climate, often foggy. High grassland, to the horizon views, city overlooks, and rough trails. Small government campsite for 4 tents.
  • Change of vegetation: Jungle and woods reach to the 550 meter level, and above that there is grass, fern and shrub land that make for beautiful ethereal scenery.
  • Time needed: 3 hours to a day
  • Rigor: Moderate to difficult along MacLehose section 8
  • Height: 957 meters or 3,139 feet
  • Facilities: small Rotary Club campground and visitor's center
  • Popular activities: sightseeing, photography, solitude, camping, and long distance walks
  • Suited to: hikers or visitors who want to just see the scenery
  • Claim to fame: Hong Kong's tallest peak and beautiful natural scenery

Tai Mo Shan Highlights

There is good hiking over high hills in the big Tai Mo Shan Country park and the adjacent Shing Mun Country Park north of Kowloon. The advantage of these parks as a place for some outdoor recreation and adventure is that they are big and next to Kowloon.

Kowloon is the northern mainland part of the city of Hong Kong. Bus transportation from Kowloon to the park is quick. So getting to a Tai Mo Shan trail is quick compared to going to the places in Eastern Hong Kong or on some of the islands.

Tallest peak: Tai Mo Shan is 957 meters compares to the 934 meter height of Lantau Peak on Lantau Island that is the second tallest peak. The peak is high and steep enough so that the vegetation is different than in the rest of Hong Kong. It is mainly grass instead of the jungle that grows in a lot of other places. The peak gets 30% more rain, and the rain flows down to waterfalls that are rated highly by hikers.

Description of MacLehose Sections 7 and 8

The MacLehose Trail Stage 7 goes through the big Shing Mun Country Park to the east, and Stage 8 goes on Tai Mo Shan Peak. Stage 7 is rugged hiking on uneven stone steps and dirt track along ridges. But the scenery is amazing as you follow the top of ridges across towards Tai Mo Shan. There are wide expanses of seemingly dry land.

Section 8 is a good hiking trail whether there are blue skies or misty dark fog all around. The runoff and quality of the soil allows only grass to grow. This is what allows for the excellent to the horizon scenery as you walk with blue sky or clouds overhead.

The MacLehose trail in this area should only be attempted if you are in shape and your legs are strong. The mountain is in the center of the the trails north of Kowloon in North-Central Hong Kong.

Getting to the top: To hike to the top of Tai Mo Shan, you can start from the Shing Mun Reservoir by walking along a closed road called Tseun Wan Tai Po Road. When you get to the pass, there is a long flight of steps. Keep following the path on a plateau. The path then declines, and then winds upwards without steps. You can get to near the summit of Tai Mo Shan, but because there is an installation at the top, you can't legally mount the peak.

Small Campground and Visitor's Center

The Rotary Club campsite is near the visitor's center parking lot. There is room for four tents. There are gardens, fire pits and drains. From the visitor facility, you could hike on a road for an hour and a half to the peak or hike around to see the 35 meter high waterfall.

  • Features: Small campground next to the Rotary Club parking lot. Access is easy. It is next to Tai Mo Shan Country Park Visitor Center. Bathrooms, tables, fire pits, etc.
  • Activities: eating, barbecuing, camping, smelling flowers, and relaxing.
  • Taxi or tour vehicle to campgrounds: You could go there by taxi or one of our China Highlights drivers. Show this to the driver for the campsite and visitor center: 大帽山郊野公園遊客中心. The fare is about 95 HKD from the Tsuen Wan MTR.
  • To go by public transport: Take bus 51 (to Kam Tin) from the Tsuen Wan West Railway Station's bus stop. Get off at the bus stop called "Country Park" and walk for 5 minutes.

Travel and Hiking Essentials

  • Location: just north of Kowloon.
  • Address: Tai Mo Shan, Tsuen Wan, NT
  • No peak access: a military post occupies the top
  • Conditions: There is little tree cover above 550 meters. On hot and sunny days, heat stroke is a real possibility. So wear a head covering and drink plenty of water. Take it easy if you are not used to long climbs.
  • China Highlights Service: We are a full service travel agency. Let us help you tour Hong Kong.

How to Get to Maclehose Sections 7 and 8

To go directly to the MacLehose Trail Sections 7 and 8, you could take Minibus 82 that runs from the Tsuen Wan Station. Get off at the final stop near Lead Mine Pass. There is a park bathroom and campsite there.

Touring Information

Best season for hiking and camping: In the autumn and until about the middle of December, Hong Kong has a dry season with sunny dry weather and nice hiking and camping temperatures. It is cooler and drier than the summer, and it is best for hiking and tourism overall.

Free park and trail maps and pamphlets: The Hong Kong Tourism Board Visitor Centers on Victoria Peak and at the Star Ferry in Tsim Sha Tsui has free pamphlets and maps that provide information about the various trails and country parks. It is a good idea to pick some up.

Plan and make trip arrangements: China Highlights can help you design a trip that includes hiking and camping in Hong Kong. We specialize in arranging transportation and getting tickets for trips to Hong Kong and cities in Chinese mainland according to our clients' interests and travel constraints. We could provide private vehicles, drivers, and guides for individual and groups.

China Highlights can help you design a hiking tour to Tai Mo Shan and other places in Hong Kong.

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