Lion Rock Hike: how to hike up the iconic Hong Kong mountain

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:

Contents

Lion Rock Hike summary:

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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.

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You can actually see Lion Rock at the back!

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.

Shatin Pass Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong | Laugh Travel Eat
Going up the Shatin Pass Road with no pavement
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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:

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Head straight on from Exit B
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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. 

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walk on from the ramp then turn left
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Cross the road to here (or take the subway) and you’ll find a big staircase

There should be a big staircase that takes you to pass Lion Rock Park and to the trail start.

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Lion Rock Hike (from Lion Rock Park)

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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!

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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.

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You might also see some monkeys!

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.

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Lion rock head

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:

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However, the back (or butt) of the Lion Rock is good, too, as well as the long staircase going down.

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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:

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To carry on over to Shatin, carry on north at Shatin Pass

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.

Written by Nam Cheah

Hi, my name is Nam. I am 24 and spent half my life in Hong Kong and the other half in UK. I believe there's endless experience and beauty in the world and this is me chronicling how to experience the best at the best price.

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