Want to spend an hour hiking in Southern Hong Kong and see a rhinoceros? Well, it isn’t exactly a real rhino, but one of the large boulders on the east side of the Stanley Peninsula looks like the head of a rhinoceros.
The Rhino Rock hike is one of the most rewarding hikes but it can be tricky when it comes to navigating. However, the Rhino Rock trail is worthwhile because the hike is short and you can see the amazing rock formation. Moreover, you can easily combine other activities like exploring Stanley, a charming coastal town and hike the famous Violet Hill and Twins hike.
If you are wondering what the short hike is all about and how to go to Rhino Rock, then keep reading. I”ll show you exactly how you can explore one of the best off-the-beaten-path hiking trails in Hong Kong.
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What you need to know before starting the Rhino Rock hike
Before you hike this Stanley hiking trail, check out my Hong Kong solo travel guide and get an overview of the city.
And here are some additional travel tips for hiking the Rhino Rock trail:
- Rhino Rock in Stanley is a short trek – it takes about an hour to complete. Consider adding The Twins and Violet Hill trek (from south to north on the Wilson Trail Section 1) and hike both trails all on the same day.
- The best time to hike the Rhino Rock trail is late autumn, winter and early spring. The trail is exposed almost the entire way, so I would not recommend hiking during summer. Also, try to go early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The sun during a mid-day hike is brutal!
- Make sure to wear proper hiking shoes. The trail going down to Rhino Rock is quite slippery.
- Get an Octopus Card, a rechargeable smartcard for taking public transportation and use it for taking the MTR and bus to and from Rhino Rock in Hong Kong. It costs $100HKD, but you can use $50 stored value and get your $50HKD refundable deposit when you leave HK.
- You might want to download the “Hiking Trail HK” app on your smartphone since Google Maps does not show the Rhino Rock trail. But if you follow my blog post, you don’t really need the app. All you have to do is follow my directions and see the attached map below.
How to hike the Rhino Rock hiking trail
The Rhino Rock trail is not hard, but the most difficult part is looking for the markers along the trail and descending a short slippery path on the way to the rock.
You can find the location by searching for the “Rhino Rock hiking trail“. It appears as “Che Pau Teng – Rhino Rock Hiking Trail” in Google Maps.
However, the actual hiking trail is not in Google Maps. I took a screenshot of the Rhino Rock trail in the Hiking Trail HK app. And I included the elevation profile for the trail (see both below).
The whole hike takes about an hour. It takes about 40 minutes to go to the Rhino Rock and 20 minutes to return to the bus stop. It took longer to get there because of the slippery slopes.
- Difficulty: easy to intermediate (slippery slopes and navigation)
- Duration: 1 hour
- Distance: 2km
- What to bring: hiking shoes, sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen), water, snacks, smartphone (for taking photos and navigation)
Rhino Rock: how to get there
The trailhead for Rhino Rock is at Stanley Fort in Stanley Peninsula (see map). Bus 6A and 14 can take you to the start of the trail, which is also the last stop on the bus routes.
Here are the schedule and fares for both buses. For more information, look for Bus 6A or 14 in the “route list” on the CityBus website.
- Bus 6A: from Central Bus Terminus near Hong Kong Station to Stanley Fort
- Time: 52 minutes (every 20 minutes) on Mondays to Saturdays
- Cost: $9.00 HKD (use Octopus card)
- Bus 14: from Tai On Street near Sai Wan Ho Station to Stanley Fort
- Time: 33 minutes (every 20 minutes) every day
- Cost: $9.40 HKD (use Octopus card)
And if you are already in Stanley or completed the Violet Hill and The Twins hike, you can take bus 6A at Stanley Gap Road or bus 6A or 14 at Stanley Village.
Technically, walking from Stanley Village to the start of the Rhino Rock hike is possible, and it will take about 30 minutes. But the road is narrow, and the cars and buses drive fast. It is a bit dangerous. I recommend taking the bus to the trail and saving your energy for the hike.
Rhino Rock hike: the starting point
When you get off the bus at the last stop, you will see a staircase on the left side, next to the military base entrance. This is the starting point for the Rhino Rock hike.
Start your journey by hiking up the stone stairs, which will take about 10 minutes.
At the top of the hill at Che Pau Feng
At the top of the stairs is a path on the left hand side going up the mountain. Continue walking until you reach the top, where you will see the satellite station on the left hand side.
And this is the top of the Stanley Peninsula, which is known as Che Pau Feng (斜炮頂).
Rhino Rock trail: find the red marker at the triangulation station
And on the righthand side, you will see the triangulation station.
Although it is not obvious where the trail is, look for the red marker tied to the post on the triangulation station’s right. A narrow walkway into the bushes and trees eventually leads you to the famous rock.
At the fork of the trail
So far, you’ve done the easiest part of the trail because it is a straightforward hike up the mountain with stairs and a paved path.
The next part requires a bit of navigation. But don’t worry; you only have to find the red markers tied on trees and bushes.
After a few minutes on the narrow path, the trail splits into two. Both paths can lead you to the Rhino Rock, but I find the path on the right is easier. Take a look at the photos below.
When you take the path to the left, the path is steep and quite slippery. If you choose this path, please be careful of hiking down the sandy path.
So I would recommend taking the path on the right. The narrow path continues, but the steep descent is not as obvious.
Rhino Rock hike: a rocky path
The marked trail continues through the bushes and crosses a few rocky paths.
There are a few areas where you can walk on the rocky paths. But there is one where you must squeeze through a narrow gap between the large boulders.
Keep looking for markers
It wasn’t very obvious to me where the actual trail was. I had to look for the markers to ensure I was on the right path. Most of the markers are red, but I occasionally found a few green ones.
If you go on a weekend, other hikers will be on the trail, as the Rhino Rock hike is pretty popular with locals. I went on a Saturday afternoon, and there were a few helpful people to ensure I was on the right path.
Arriving at the Rhino Rock in Stanley Peninsula
While hiking on the trail, I saw many large rocks on the mountain and kept thinking that each was THE Rhino Rock.
But the real Rhino Rock is very obvious because of the striking resemblance. And also because many people were hovering around the rock to take photos.
The famous Rhino Rock in Stanley, Hong Kong
The tip of the large rock looks exactly like the head of the rhinoceros. You can clearly see the horn at the tip, and several small craters in the rock resemble the eyes and nose of the animal. And it even looks like the rhino has its mouth opened!
Behind the Rhino Rock, you can see Stanley Prison (a large complex of buildings) in Tai Tam Bay.
And in the distance, you can see the mountain range of the Shek O Peninsula. If you are interested in other hikes in Hong Kong, check out Dragon’s Back, where the trail runs on top of these mountains.
Move closer to the Rhino Rock for more photo opps
I saw some people climb on top of the Rhino Rock to take photos. It is an awesome Instagram photo opportunity. But I know myself – I’m pretty clumsy and afraid of heights, so I didn’t dare.
But if you are interested in climbing on the Rhino Rock, a rope at the back can help you get up.
I only managed to move closer to the Rhino Rock by climbing the small path to the left side of the rock. And reached this point and walked down a few steps to take photos.
When you have taken all your photos and rested, return to the start of the hike. Going back is much easier. It will take less time, about 20 minutes or so. Then take bus 6A or 14.
Are you going to trek the Rhino Rock hike in Hong Kong?
I highly recommend the Rhino Rock hike because it is a short and easy hike you can complete within an hour. But make sure to wear good hiking shoes because the trail can be quite steep and slippery.
And while you are already in the Stanley area, make a full day of hiking, and consider hiking The Twins and Violet Hill.
And if you have any other questions regarding this hike or other hikes in Hong Kong, leave a message in the comment section below.
Other Hong Kong hikes you might be interested:
- Victoria Peak Hike: See Hong Kong’s beautiful skyline
- High West: A short hike to see the Victoria Peak sunset
- Dragon’s Back Hike: the most popular day hike in HK
- 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
- Tung O Ancient Trail: hike the coastal trail in Lantau North Country Park
- Trio Beach hike: see a secret beach and rocky headland in Sai Kung
- Cape Collinson hike: visit an old battery used during WWII on Hong Kong Island
- Tsing Yi Nature Trails: meander through the easy trails in Tsing Yi
- Tsing Yi Peak: hike the three peaks on Tsing Yi Island
- Fan Lau hike: explore the southwest tip of Lantau Island