High West is one of the peaks on Victoria Mountain on the western side of Hong Kong Island and it is one of the best spots to watch the Victoria Peak sunset.
On the High West hike, you can see the western regions of Hong Kong Island, including Sai Ying Pun and Kennedy Town. Looking towards the south, you can see Pok Fu Lam, Cyberport, and Lamma Island in the South China Sea. And at 494 meters, you can catch a glimpse of Victoria Harbour and the Kowloon Peninsula when you look east, similar to what you would see on the Victoria Peak Hike.
And there are three ways to hike up High West peak. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced hiker, choose one of the three trails and see the sunset from the summit. Keep reading and learn how to hike the High West peak in Hong Kong.
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What you need to know before hiking the High West trail
Before you choose one of the three options for hiking High West, take a look at my solo travel guide to Hong Kong and get an overview of the city. And here are some additional travel tips:
- The best time to hike the High West trail is late autumn, winter and early spring. Part of the trail is exposed, so I would not recommend hiking during the height of summer.
- If you want to see the detailed hike for High West hike option #3, download “Hiking Trail HK” app on your smartphone since Google Maps does not show the route after you reach High West Tea Garden. But if you follow my itinerary and see the attached map below, you will have all the necessary information.
- Get an Octopus Card, a rechargeable smartcard for taking public transportation and use it for taking MTR, bus or minibus to and from the trail. It costs $100HKD, but you can use $50 stored value and get your $50HKD refundable deposit when you leave HK.
How to hike High West in Hong Kong: 3 ways to the peak
There are three ways to hike to the summit of High West in Hong Kong:
- Continue the hike from Victoria Peak Hike
- Easy hike via Lung Fu Shan Country Park
- Intermediate hike via Pok Fu Lam Country Park
Option 1: High West hike from Victoria Peak Hike
The first option for hiking Mount High West is the easiest. The actual hike to the summit of High West starts at the halfway point of the Victoria Peak Trail.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Duration: 45 minutes
- Distance: 1.8km
Hike to the small park on Victoria Peak Trail
In my Victoria Peak Trail post, I suggested hiking the trail by starting around the Peak Tower and hiking anti-clockwise around the circular path.
But if you only want to do Mount High West hike and want to start from the Peak Tower, hike clockwise on the circular path.
After about 15 minutes, you will reach a small park where Lugard Road and Harlech Road meet. In Google Maps, it is referred to as “Harlech Road and Lugard Road Circular Walk.”
Find the start of the “treacherous trail” of the High West hike
Once you are at the park, look for signs for “High West.” The beginning of the hiking path is behind the pagoda.
The Hike West trail is a combination of a dirt path, stone-paved path and stone stairs. And along the way, signs tell you how far you have hiked.
This part of the hike is termed the “Treacherous Trail” in Google Maps. But don’t let that term scare you. The “treacherous” part refers to the flight of stone stairs. (Also, I think the “treacherous” part is actually the path beyond the summit for option 3. More on that later).
Views on the way to High West peak
Before reaching the summit, you can start seeing the southwest part of Hong Kong Island. In the distance, you can see a large body of water, the Pok Fu Lam Reservoir, and many tall buildings in Cyberport.
And beyond HK Island, there are islands in the South China Sea. The closest one is Lamma Island.
The northeast view from High West is similar to the views from Lugard Road Lookout on Victoria Peak Trail.
On a clear day, you can see all the buildings on the north side of Hong Kong Island from Sai Ying Pun to Central. And the view of Kowloon stretches all the way from Tsing Yi to Kowloon Bay. And of course, you can see Victoria Harbour.
Reaching the summit of High West
At 494 meters, this is the highest point of the High West trail. There is a signpost that tells you the current day, a triangulation station and two aerial maps indicating all the major areas and highlights of the western side of HK Island.
And this is one of the best spots to watch the sunset in Hong Kong. During golden hour, High West peak can be quite busy.
Beyond the viewing point at High West peak
Every time I climb the High West trail via Victoria Peak Trail, I see people climbing over the rope barriers beyond the summit. And beyond the barrier, it looks like the rugged path drops off the cliff.
After doing some research, I realized you could hike High West from the other side. So consider this a preview for the third option for hiking Mount High West.
Option 2: Hike West hike via Lung Fu Shan Country Park
The second way to hike High West is to start from HKU MTR Station and hike up Lung Fu Shan Country Park via Pinewood Battery. This option is also pretty easy except for the steep paved path on the way up.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Duration: 1.5 hours
- Distance: 2.8km
Find the stairway next to Sinopec gas station
Option #2 starts from Hong Kong University (HKU) MTR Station, Exit C1. Walk west on Pok Fu Lam Road until you reach the Sinopec Gas Station. The hiking path starts from the steep stairs on the left of the gas station.
See war relics at Pinewood Battery
Keep hiking uphill, and you will see two paths: Hatton Road and Lung Fu Shan Fitness Trail.
Definitely take the Lung Fu Shan Fitness Path because it will lead you directly into Pinewood Battery, a historical landmark in Lung Fu Shan Country Park.
Walking through the battery, you can see old war relics that have been around for over a century. Look for gun platforms, a battery command post, an observation post, a splinter-proof bunker, and several war shelters.
Reach the small park and continue to the summit of High West
Continue hiking up Lung Fu Shan Fitness Trail until you reach the small park where Lugard Road and Harlech Road meet. This is the same park I mentioned in option #1.
Scroll back to that section and see all the details for the rest of the hike to the peak.
Option 3: High West hike via Pok Fu Lam Country Park
The third option to hike High West is the most difficult option.
It starts off easy with Pok Fu Lam Family Walk and Hong Kong Trail Section 1. Then the hike becomes a climb from Mount High West Tea Garden (西高山茶園) to the top of the mountain.
Make sure you wear proper hiking shoes and bring a pair of hiking gloves. The gloves will really come in handy when you have to climb up near the end of the hike.
Also, take a look at the map and elevation profile below. Google Maps does not have all the trail details – it only covers the first half until Mount High West Tea Garden. So here is the screenshot of the map from the Hiking Trail HK app of the entire trail.
- Difficulty: Easy, then intermediate (physically climbing uphill)
- Duration: 1.5 hours
- Distance: 2km
Start the High West trail at Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road
Take a bus to Fok Fu Lam Reservoir Road, the start of the hiking route.
When you arrive at the bus stop, walk on Pok Fu Lam Reservoir Road towards the reservoir. Soon after, you will see a set of stairs on the left. This is the start of Pok Fu Lam Family Walk.
Follow the paved trail until it merges into Hong Kong Trail Section 1. The path continues up the stairs.
You will reach Mount High West Tea Garden at the top of the stairway. In Google Maps, it is referred to 西高山茶園 just in case you want to know where you are. This is a good spot to take a bit of rest and take in the view.
Find the start of the climb up Mount High West
When you are ready to move forward, walk to the back of the park and around the railing. The start of the climb is not super obvious, but it is behind the sign for “Camellia Garden”.
Put on your hiking gloves because it is very helpful for this part of the trail to High West. As you can see from the elevation profile, it is pretty steep. And certain parts may seem dangerous (and there is even a warning sign), but it is not that bad.
I believe this is part that Google Maps refers to as the “Treacherous Trail.” Yup, just take a look at the photo.
But honestly, the climbing part isn’t that hard and doesn’t last very long. If you are a regular hiker, you can handle this.
See the panoramic views of the area around Mount High West
When you look west, the mountain directly in front is Mount Davis. You can also hike the easy trail on this mountain and see war relics. Plus, you can also see Peng Chau in the distance. It is a small island right in front of Lantau Island.
When you look northeast, you see the northern part of Hong Kong Island and Victoria Harbour. And on a clear day, you can see many parts of Kowloon including Tsim Sha Tsui, Tsing Yi Island, and Tai Mo Shan, HK’s highest peak.
And when you face southwest, you can see Pok Fu Lam Reservoir, close to the start of option #3 hiking trail. And also Cyberport and Lamma Island in the distance.
Hike to the summit of High West
Keep following the rugged trail to the peak of High West.
And remember in option #1 when I mentioned the path dropping off the cliff beyond the summit? This is the precise path! From this point of view, the trail doesn’t feel as daunting. However, the view on the way up hiking path #3 is pretty amazing!
Descend Mount High West via option 1 or 2
On the way down, I recommend either continuing on the Victoria Peak Trail (either clockwise or anti-clockwise) or walking down Lung Fu Shan Country Park. So that means either option 1 or 2.
Option 3 is really steep, especially when going downhill. I would only recommend it if you are an advanced hiker.
Which hiking trail will you choose for reaching the summit of High West?
If you are a beginner, you can try options 1 or 2. But if you want to challenge yourself, hike up route #3. I’ve done all of these hikes myself and would recommend anyone who is visiting Hong Kong.
I hope you found this post helpful. Let me know in the comments which trail you chose for hiking up to the peak of High West.
Other Hong Kong hikes you might be interested:
- Dragon’s Back Hike: the most popular day hike in HK
- Violet Hill and the Twins: hike over two mountains with over 1,000+ steps
- Rhino Rock Hike: see a rocky rhinoceros head in Stanley
- Pineapple Mountain: the Great Canyon of Hong Kong
- Lamma Island: hike from Sok Kwu Wan to Yung Shue Wan
- Red Incense Burner Summit on Braemar Hill: best spot for sunset and night views
- High Junk Peak: one of the three sharpest peaks in HK
- Ma On Shan Hike: hike across the horse-saddle mountain to Sai Kung
- Pat Sin Leng Hike: hike over 8 peaks named after Chinese Mythological immortals
- Mount Nicholson Hike: see hidden rock statues in the middle of HK Island
- Plover Cove Reservoir Country Trail: hike around HK’s largest reservoir
- Kowloon Peak and Suicide Cliff: See HK’s most dramatic cliff
- Po Pin Chau: hike around hexagonal rock columns in Sai Kung