Kinabalu Park, the entrance to Mt Kinabalu, is located at 1,585 metres above sea level and is the main starting point for the summit trail that leads to the top of Mt Kinabalu. Its covers an area of 754 sq km and is made up of Mount Kinabalu, Mount Tambayukon and the foothills.
It was gazetted to preserve this valuable natural environment. The mountains have a fascinating geological history, taking ‘just’ a million years to form. The mighty Mount Kinabalu is actually a granite massif that was later thrust upwards through the crust of the surface.
Subsequent erosion removed thousands of feet of the overlying sand and mud stone, exposing this massif. During the Ice Age, glaciers running across the summit smoothed it out, but the jagged peaks that stood out above the ice surface remained unaffected, retaining the extremely ragged surfaces. This rugged mountain is the focal point of the National Park.
If you plan to climb the mountain, be sure to bring a head torch for the early morning climb to the summit which starts in utter darkness and cold weather gear. The summit temperatures have been known to dip to below freezing! Climbing Mt Kinabalu is a different experience for each person, but what makes most people succeed above all, is perseverance.
How to get there
Car rentals can be arranged through major hotels in Kota Kinabalu. Taxis go to Park HQ at Ranau and take a maximum of four passengers. You can negotiate for the taxi to pick you up from Park HQ for your return if you hire the whole taxi.
All express and minibuses between Kota Kinabalu and Ranau or Sandakan pass the park turn-off, from where it is just 100m to the Park HQ.
Accommodation at Kinabalu Park range from hostels to resorts.