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 still 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.
Most visitors don’t know about the High West hike in Hong Kong because it is not as famous as Victoria Peak Hike. But if you are already hiking the Peak Trail, you should definitely add another hour and hike High West in Hong Kong.
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What you need to know before hiking High West Hong Kong
Before you travel to Hong Kong, 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:
- Get an Octopus Card, a rechargeable smartcard for taking public transportation (MTR, bus, minibus, ferry and tram). Purchase one at any MTR station or convenience store. It costs $100HKD but you can use $50 stored value and get your $50HKD refundable deposit when you leave
- Hong Kong is a safe city for solo female travellers
- The local language is Cantonese but most people have a knowledge of English.
- The best time to hike the High West trail is late autumn, winter and early spring. The trail is exposed almost the entire way, so I would not recommend hiking during summer.
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How to get to High West HK
There are two ways to hike Mount High West in Hong Kong:
- Continue the hike from Victoria Peak Hike
- Hike up Lung Fu Shan via Pinewood Battery and Hatton Road from Kennedy Town MTR Station
Regardless of which way you decide to start your High West hike, you will first arrive at the little park where Lugard Road and Harlech Road meet. In Google Maps, it is referred to as “Harlech Road and Lugard Road Circular Walk.”
1. Hike High West by continuing the hike from Victoria Peak Hike
In my post about hiking Victoria Peak Trail, I suggested hiking the trail by starting around the Peak Tower and Peak Gallery and hike 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 and Peak Gallery area, then hike clockwise on the circular path. The short hike takes 16 minutes.
This is the easiest way to start hiking up to the High West peak.
There are five different ways to get up to the Peak. I’ve detailed each of the five ways in my post on how to hike the Victoria Peak Trail.
2. Start High West hike from HKU MTR Station and hike Lung Fu Shan via Pinewood Battery and Hatton Road
The second way to hike High West in HK is to start from the western side of Hong Kong Island and hike up Lung Fu Shan (mountain) via Pinewood Battery and Hatton Road.
This is the more challenging option as the trail is steep and has many stairs. But you will see many interesting things along the way. The hike takes 45 minutes from the MTR Station to Harlech Road and Lugard Road junction.
The hike starts from Hong Kong University (HKU) MTR Station, Exit C1. Then you have to walk west on Pok Fu Lam Road until you reach the bus station and Sinopec Gas Station. The path to Lung Fu Shan starts from the steep stairs on the left of Sinopec Gas Station.
Hike uphill for about 23 minutes and you will reach Pinewood Battery, a historical landmark in Lung Fu Shan Country Park. The trail integrates ruins of Pinewood Battery, alongside Hatton Road. You can walk up Hatton Road but walking through Pinewood Battery is a lot more interesting.
Continue hiking uphill to Harlech Road and Lugard Road junction. The last bit of uphill climb takes about 13 minutes.
How to hike Mount Hike West
- Difficulty: Easy to intermediate
- Duration: 12 – 25 minutes
- Distance: 650 meters
- What to bring: light hiking shoes, camera, water
The High West hike starting point
As mentioned earlier, it doesn’t matter which way you decide to hike up to the Peak, you will start from the little park where Harlech Road and Lugard Road meets.
Once you are in the park, find the signs for “High West”. The path weaves through the park and is beginning of the path behind the pagoda.
The Hike West trail is a combination of stone-paved paths and stone stairs with minimal dirt paths connecting parts of the trail. And along the way, there are signs telling you how far you have hiked.
This part of the hike is termed the “Treacherous Trail“. But don’t let that term scare you! The “treacherous” part refers to the steep climb up the mountain where you hike up a flight of stone stairs. The set of stairs is quite narrow and there may be other hikers passing you, but it is not scary at all.
Looking southwest: Pok Fu Lam, Cyberport and Lamma Island
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, which is the Pok Fu Lam Reservoir, and you can see many tall buildings in Cyberport.
And beyond HK Island, there are islands in the South China Sea. The closest one is Lamma Island, one of the larger neighbouring islands and it is known for its fishing villages, temples, beaches. You can tell it is Lamma Island because of the three skinny tall structures which are the tall chimneys at Lamma Power Station.
Looking northeast: Hong Kong Island, Victoria Harbour and Kowloon
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.
This is THE postcard view of Hong Kong. If you can’t get enough of this view, get back on Victoria Peak Hike and make your way to Lugard Road Lookout. The view of the harbour is a bit closer and lovely on a clear day.
And if you are at the Peak when the sun goes down, the view of Victoria Harbour changes dramatically as all the buildings light up and brighten the harbour.
Highest point: High West Peak Hong Kong
At 494 meters, it is the highest point of the High West trail. There is a signpost that tells you the current day (newly built in 2019), 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. It is worth the short trek to the summit and to watch the sunset in the distance.
Google Maps says it takes 12 minutes to reach the High West peak. I can tell you this much – it took me more than 12 minutes! The trail is straight up a flight of stairs, so depending on your athleticism, it will take you between 15 to 25 minutes. Don’t worry about reaching the top quickly; take your time and enjoy the views along the way.
Beyond Mount High West Viewing Point
Every time I climb the High West trail, I always see people climbing over the rope barriers beyond the triangulation station at the summit.
You can see more of the western end of Hong Kong Island but you are entering dangerous territories. I’m not a pro at hiking and I am rather clumsy, so I don’t dare hiking a path beyond a rope barrier. It is a dirt path slowly descending down the mountain.
I do not recommend hiking beyond the rope barriers because of safety reasons especially if you are a beginner at hiking. And also because you can already see an excellent view from the top. I don’t think you can see that much more beyond the barrier.
Returning back to Harlech Road and Lugard Road Junction
On the way back to the little park at Harlech Road and Lugard Road junction is easy peasy. It is all downhill via the same set of stairs you just hiked up. Walking down the Treacherous Trail is easier than going up. But be careful as there are no handrails on either side.
Also, make sure to look up once in a while to enjoy the view of Victoria Mountain.
When you arrive at the park, you can either continue on the Victoria Peak Trail (either walking clockwise or anti-clockwise) or walk down Lung Fu Shan via Hatton Road.
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Are you including the Mount High West hike on your Hong Kong itinerary?
Hong Kong is known for its beautiful skyline and one of the best ways to experience it is by hiking Victoria Peak Trail.
And what most visitors do not know is that there is more to see when you continue on the trail to High West peak. The views of the west side of Hong Kong Island and the Victoria Peak sunset will blow you away! And it is one of the easier hikes in HK so don’t miss it!
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 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