Lion Rock mountain might not be as famous as Victoria’s Peak, but it is the spirit of Hong Kongese and the most distinctive mountain along the Kowloon mountain range. With a rocky outcrop that resembles the side profile of a resting lion, Lion Rock is one of the most accessible urban hikes in Hong Kong. It is popular for both day and night hike, and an easier trek than the famed Kowloon Peak with Suicide Cliff. Here is how to hike it:
Lion Rock Hike summary:
Difficulty: 3/5 with options to skip the ascent to the lion rock itself and continue on
Time taken: 3-4 hours depending on where you end the trek
Pros: fairly close to public transport and easy to reach, great view of Kowloon Peninsula and Victoria Harbour
Cons: a lot of people are also on this trail
Lion Rock trail start
The start and end point for the Lion Rock trail are interchangeable, and both are equally okay. It depends whether you want to extend the trek from Shatin Pass onwards, where you can either go to Shatin or head up to Temple Hill eve. I’ll cover both starting points here (which can also act as the endpoint in reverse).
Shatin Pass start:
From Wong Tai Sin MTR Station, take exit E to the Wong Tai Sin temple and walk across the front. You should see the minibusses at a road in front that doesn’t connect to the main road to your right.
The minibus you need is 18M and you get off at the Fat Jong Temple and walk up along the Shatin Pass Road.
Alternatively, you can also walk up but it is an extra (and fairly steep and long) walk.
If you want as little walking before the trail starts as possible, you can also get a taxi to drop you off at the Lion Pavilion at Shatin Pass, which is by the trail start.
Lion Rock Park start:
Also starting from Wong Tai Sin MTR Station, exit at B1 and walk on past the bus stations along the main road until you reach the bridge. There is a pedestrian bridge to the right which is red, head up there and follow it down this ramp.
Once you reach the intersection, turn left and cross the road.
There should be a big staircase that takes you to pass Lion Rock Park and to the trail start.
Lion Rock Hike (from Lion Rock Park)
The hike starts on paved stairs and ground, going steadily upwards until you reach a pavillion. From there, the path is relatively straightforward with the path taking you to Kowloon Pass, where there is another Pavillion. This marks the beginning of the ascent up to the Lion Rock!
From here, make sure you follow the sign as it also branches off to MacLehose Trail Stage 5, which bypass the peak. However, this is also the path we’ll rejoin later coming down from Lion Rock.
From this side, we head straight up to the neck of the Lion Rock. The stairs are mainly stone, so if there has been recent rain, be careful as it can be slippery.
The head of the Lion Rock is a small rock outcrop and can get very crowded during the weekends. I had never actually gone up since it’s a dead end.
Walking along the spine of the Lion Rock provides a great panorama of the city. This rock is the most common place to snap a photo:
However, the back (or butt) of the Lion Rock is good, too, as well as the long staircase going down.
From here, it’s a steep staircase going down to Garter Pass to the MacLehose Trail Stage 4. The path is all downhill from here, and comparatively a little longer than the hike up to Lion Rock.
Ending the hike:
You can end at Shatin Pass or Lion Rock Park, but from Shatin Pass, you can also hike to Shatin Wai and end your trek in New Territories, but that is an extra hour or two.