Interestingly, the first time I heard about hiking at Bukit Kembara was from a petition to save the Bukit Kembara hiking trail. In Aug and Oct 2017, fences were built to block off access to the trail. You can read the news here and here. I’m not familiar with the fencing of the place so let me just tell you about my hiking experience there in Dec 2017.
It was a weekday public holiday and my friend wanted to hike Bukit Kembara after seeing another friend hike there. I jumped on the opportunity to explore because let’s be honest, it’s not very motivating to drive from Klang to Ampang (~50km) for a hike early in the morning by myself.
I typically read blogs about hiking trails before trying them out because I only do easy hikes; I have terrible stamina for someone who enjoys (easy) hiking. However, I didn’t do any reading for this trail because I wanted to check out this endangered trail anyway.
Was it a bad decision? Not sure. Spoiler: I almost fainted at the beginning of the hike. But read on.
The trail that we took started next to a shrine opposite of Emerald Hill Condominiums. There was no signage. There was no obvious clearing. But you’d see the trailhead once you step out from your car and walk near the shrine. We parked our car by the road outside Emerald Hill Condominiums.
The trail was not forgiving at all. We went up, up and up right from the start. I don’t remember how long it was anyway. I remember it wasn’t too long but it was long enough to make me remember the ascent at the start of the trail. In fact, it reminded me of Ah Pek Hill hiking where I pretty much blacked out two times at the beginning of that hike.
Just when I thought I made it safely after that first ascent, we were greeted by another episode of vigorous ascent after a short flat terrain. Oh man… I was pretty proud of myself for keeping a consistent pace throughout…until I saw this rock and the ray of sun.
Still not sure if I regret stopping for like 30 seconds to take the photo because I still like the photo even though I almost fainted because of this 30 seconds pause!
So I’m the type of hiker who cannot — I repeat — cannot stop during a vigorous ascent, no matter how tired I am. My brain will not get enough oxygen the moment I pause and I’d black out from the lack of oxygen. That’s why I hate taking long flights of staircase and I’d always force my legs to keep moving even when I’m crazy tired. That’s also a big why I only do easy hikes.
So back to the hike, I had to sit down, let the dizziness pass and allow gigantic mosquitoes to bite me before I jumped off the ground to continue the journey up.
Thankfully, the ascents were all not too long.
We arrived at a plain clearing that was the peak of Bukit Kembara. There was zero view, very much like Bukit Wawasan, Puchong. There were some benches and trees. There wasn’t really anyone else hiking the trail when we went so I’m guessing the trail doesn’t really get crowded any day.
After a short break, we continued the journey downhill at the opposite side of the peak because our destination for this hike was actually the lake / old reservoir.
Here’s another part of the trail that was super memorable during the Bukit Kembara hiking. The downhill trail was very steep! I should have suspected it when the trail was lined with ropes throughout. For whatever reason, I was the first to descend. I have to say that it was pretty scary. Imagine going down an endless steep trail with no idea if we were even on the right path. I can’t imagine taking the wrong trail and having to go all the way up the steep trail!
Throughout this what felt like a really long descend, I had two things in my mind: (1) Are we going to the right direction? (2) Are we coming back up this way later?!
As the trail was pretty narrow and the foliage was pretty thick, we only managed to see the reflection of the lake and the end of the trail when we were really near. Well, the reflection of the lake looked all white and bright from when I was hiking down so I couldn’t tell.
Anyway, we were so excited when we reached the flat trail that circled the lake. I was so excited that I actually asked 2 strangers in 2 occasions if there’s another route to get out of the hills. LOL. They told me there was one that’s a very flat and easy about 15 min walk to a road near Kelab Golf Darul Ehsan. I even checked the driving distance of that exit back to our car; I was planning to get a taxi back. I was that desperate to avoid the trail that we descended. LOL.
Anyway, we took some photos at the metal pergola, the icon and trophy shot of Bukit Kembara hiking. Actually, if we have taken the easy route from Kelab Golf Darul Ehsan, it wouldn’t be a trophy shot already because it’d likely be many times easier.
A piece of advice about this metal pergola. It’s an amplifier. Do not sit there and chat unless you want the whole of Bukit Kembara hikers to hear your conversations. Seriously. As I circled the huge lake, I could hear the conversations of the couple who chit chatted away in the pergola. Oops.
My friends got the better of me and persuaded us to challenge the super steep trail that we descended. To get back to that trail, we had to circle the other half of the lake trail. Surprise (for me)! We stumbled upon a little waterfall! It was really tiny but it was exciting as we captured a few fun shots.
Honestly, the lake trail was pretty long. I think it’s about 1km long just to circle the trail. Thankfully, there was some sighting to do i.e. the waterfall, the pergola, the huge lake, the idea of fleeing through the easy route, etc.
When we finally arrived at the start of the steep trail to hike back up to the peak of Bukit Kembara, I trust that I let out a huge sigh before marching on.
SURPRINGLY, it was easier than expected. In fact, I thought ascending was easier than descending! It’s weird but my another friend who dreaded the hike up also felt the same way. Was it because we knew what we signed up for this time? Was it because the hike up was really steep that we took fewer steps than we thought we needed? Was it because we randomly took a slight detour up? I don’t know. Let me know your thoughts if you have hiked the trail before.
P/s There were multiple trails up and down. They were all lined with ropes so hike away!
When we arrived at the peak the second time, we took a very brief break before running away from the mosquitoes. So yeah. Bring mosquito repellant!
It’s funny how we needed a shorter break after the much-dreaded hike back up than the entrance ascent where I actually didn’t expect to faint. Haha. Whatever.
It was a memorable hike. I’d likely not go back there simply because it’s so far away from my place. Otherwise, it’s a nice and interesting trail. It wasn’t a long hike but you get to sweat a lot from the steep hikes. I contemplate to rate it easy because it made me black out so let’s just say it’s a moderate hike (difficulty level).