I have been wanting to do the Lion Rock hike for quite some time, but was waiting for a clear day to appreciate the views a bit more. Since clear days come few and far between in Hong Kong, we decided to just try our luck one morning when we didn’t have much planned for the day. At the top of Lion Rock, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking, panoramic views of Kowloon and the Hong Kong Island harbourfront (if the smog isn’t in full force that day).
This is a great hike if you’re not interested in taking multiple modes of transportation to reach the starting point, as it’s only an MTR ride away (depending on where you live of course).
Though travelling to the starting point is easy, I wouldn’t recommend this hike unless you have done longer hikes with plenty of stairs and uphill climbs.
Step-by-step guide on navigating Lion Rock:
To begin this hike, head to Won Tai Sin MTR station, Exit B3. Turn right when you exit the building and make your way under a walkway and past a temple.
When you finish heading up the stairs, you’ll reach a large open space (probably filled with far too many people). On your left, there will be the entrance to a temple. Keep walking straight towards the tall apartment buildings in front of you.
As you keep walking, it will look like you have reached a dead-end. On your left, there will be a small pathway leading through to Shatin Pass Road. Once you walk through here, you will face the road, littered with a ridiculous number of green minibuses and hoards of people in queues waiting to hop on one. From here, turn left and start walking up Shatin Pass Road.
As you continue to walk up Shatin Pass Road, it will steadily start to incline. At this point, if you’re out of breath and are desperately chugging water, you might want to consider just turning around and calling it a day. If not, then continue to walk up the road (you might feel like you have gone the wrong way, but don’t worry. Just keep following Shatin Pass Road straight up for about 15/20 minutes). Eventually, you will pass a temple on your left.
Steps after passing the temple, the road will curve to the right and you will be walking up more of a lone path surrounded by forest (though taxis carrying those who couldn’t make the walk up the road will drive through periodically). Keep walking up – you’ll be able to start to see some views of Kowloon on your right side.
After you’ve gone up for about 15 minutes, you will reach a set of stairs in front of you with a red archway at the top. This is NOT where you go up. Instead, curve to your left and keep walking up the hill another minute or so until you reach a smaller set of stairs with a map and a wooden archway titled “Lion Rock Country Park”. This is where you enter and begin to head up the mountain.
If you’re in need of a pit stop: bathroom break, bite to eat, refill on water, etc. then don’t head up just yet. Keep heading up the same road you were just on – curve to your right (you should be able to see a storefront and quite a few people gathered around just at the top – literally seconds away).
Continue along this pathway. As you go up, you’ll get a glimpse of the cityscape on your left side. After about 30 minutes of climbing uphill, you’ll reach a sign pointing to your left and a set of stairs leading up to Lion Rock – head up here. There will probably be a number of people catching their breath just along the path before making the steep climb up.
Once you finally get up to the top, you’ll head under a transmission tower and arrive at the “first rock”, not to be fooled as “Lion Rock” though. Still a great opportunity for photos and to just enjoy the scenery. Once you’ve had your cityscape fix, head to your right and keep following the path.
As you continue along the path, you’ll see a very large rock in front of you. This is Lion Rock! If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to witness some adventure-seekers repelling down the rock. You can choose to either climb up the rock, which is a bit steep but not difficult for most, to the top or you can continue down along the path if you’re not up to it (which would truly be a shame if you came all this way already).
When you’re done, climb back down the rock and head down the path you were originally walking on. You will pass a small shack on your right and will eventually reach an open area with a gazebo in the middle. Turn left here, following the sign that says “Wang Tau Hom”.
Shortly afterwards, you’ll be greeted by a paved path that will take you all the way out (about 10 or so minutes). When I did this hike, there were fallen trees along the path, so we had to navigate around them. A set of stairs will lead you out onto a road with Lion Rock Park on your right. To get back to the MTR, head down the road on your left. You will reach a set of stairs taking you down to Chuk Yuen Road.
When you reach the road, head left where you will see an intersection just ahead. At the lights, turn right and head down Ma Chai Hang Road. At this point, there was construction going on, so we had to take an alternate route on an overpass. When you exit the overpass, keep going down Ma Chai Hang Road. You’ll pass a red temple on your left.
The road will then change to Wong Tai Sin Road at which point you’ll see a small set of lights and a crosswalk leading towards a cluster of apartment buildings. Cross here and just follow the MTR signs to get back to Wong Tai Sin Station.
Depending on your fitness level and whether you’re stopping to enjoy the scenery, take pictures, or perhaps bust out a deck of cards and start playing on top of the rock (true story, see picture above), this hike will take between 3.5 – 4 hours.