This is one of the best things one can do in Sri Lanka. As the common Sri Lankan saying says: "If you are in Sri Lanka and you don't climb Adam's Peak you are a fool, if you do it twice, you are a bigger fool" :)
Adam's Peak (also Adam's Mount; Sinhalese Samanalakanda, "butterfly mountain" - is a 2,243 metres (7,359 ft) tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka. It is well-known for the Sri Pada "sacred footprint", a 1.8 m rock formation near the summit, in Buddhist tradition held to be the footprint of the Buddha, in Hindu tradition that of Shiva and in Muslim tradition that of Adam.
The mountain is located in the southern reaches of the Central Highlands, in the Ratnapura district of the Sabaragamuwa Province - lying about 40 km northeast of the city of Ratnapura. The surrounding region is largely forested hills, with no mountain of comparable size nearby. The region along the mountain is a wildlife reserve housing many species varying from elephants to leopards, and including many endemic species.
Access to the mountain is possible by 6 trails (Ratnapura-Palabaddala, Hatton-Nallathanni, Kuruwita-Erathna, Murraywatte, Mookuwatte & Malimboda). Out of these the Nallathanni & Palabaddala routes are the most popular. Kuruwita-Erathna road is somewhat popular as well. The other 3 roads are almost obscure. It joins the Palabaddala road midway through the ascent. Buses connect the final nodes of Nallanthanni to Hatton, Palabaddala to Ratnapura & Erathna to Kuruwita. There after it's a difficult journey through the forest on foot. Most of the pilgrims use Hatton route as the journey on foot can be reduced by more than five kilometers even though the slope of this route is much greater than other routes.
More details and photos at http://sripada.org/
Recommended review time for sightseeing: 10 h
This is one of the best things one can do in Sri Lanka. As the common Sri Lankan saying says: "If you are in Sri Lanka and you don't climb Adam's Peak you are a fool, if you do it twice, you are a bigger fool" :)
Just came back from Adam's peak (July 22), ~6000 steps each way to reach the top and see nothing but clouds and mist. It did get us a good laugh at ourselves and all the other "crazy" tourists that went up :) My personal recommendation is to pass on it if it's not a high chance of sunshine at the top... your knees will thank you.
5200 stairs, if you are not used to walking you are definitely going to feel this one. Out of season did this in June, was raining most of the way. No other people on the route, just me and my friend. Got to the top, gate was locked, no foot print, rain so cloudy no view at all. We still enjoyed the walk, about three and a half hours up and down, we were told very slow with lot of rest should take about 6 hours.
Exhausting, tiring, painful, but and absolute must do. You cannot go to Sri Lanka without hiking Adams Peak. Just make sure you don't go during pilmgramage season like we did!!
Okay, so we were told that we should start walking at 2 am to get to the top in time for sunrise. So with no sleep, and no breakfast, we started this climb - and halfway up I told my boyfriend I had never been so exhausted in my life. And I actually think that was true.
It is a really nice walk, and doing in at night is sort of an adventure (but bring a flaslight, or forget about it!), but if I were ever to do it again, I would not start at night. The sunrise people were talking so much about was nothing much. It gradually stopped being dark. That was it. But the view is great, and we looked down at the clouds, which was beautiful. So if you're in okay shape I would recommend the climb for sure.
We climbed Sri Pada in December 2013 on a poya day (religious festival) which means the experience was extra special as we climbed along with thousands of religious revellers singing and chanting religious songs which was such an inspiring experience. We were staying in Nuwara Eliya and a driver was organised for us by the guest house we were staying in which meant we had transport right to the bottom of the mountain and waiting for us at the end. There were 4 of us in the group, all in our 20s but of mixed ability - 2 very fit people, one smoker and one very unfit person (me). We started our climb at 2am at a nice, steady pace. The 2 fit people soon went ahead as they found the climb easier and the other two of us found it better to keep to our own steady pace without the pressure of keeping up with the others! We took plenty of water and energy bars with us but the monks serving free sweet tea and crackers along the climb were lovely and a welcome help in the chill of the evening. The steps to begin with are gentle but gradually become steeper and more frequent until the top where there's a railing to help pull yourself up. We were taking a breather every 20 steps by the end but were encouraged along by everyone around us and even the monks on their pilgrimmage were egging us on. Seeing the euphoric state people were in, singing and dancing as they got closer to the top, was truly amazing. Our friends made it to the top but felt uncomfortable squeezing for space amongst people praying so came down a few steps to a ledge where many tourists seemed to be settling. This is where we met them and watched the sun rise and it proved to be a beautiful spot. My partner proposed at this spot and it couldn't have been more perfect. After the sun rose, we could see the breathtaking views and appreciate the great climb we had managed. The climb down is very difficult, taking its toll on the knees and ankles but we came down a little faster than we climbed up. The festival vibe at the bottom of the mountain was brilliant and although going up stairs for the next three days was very painful, it was totally worth it. Take advantage of the toilets at the start of the climb as they aren't the best on the way up and there are none at the top and stick to your own pace. My legs were less painful the day after than my fit friend- she pushed her pace a bit too much and suffered for it the next day! I recommend this climb to everyone who's going to Sri Lanka. Magical.
We (my fiance and me) took a bus to Ratnapura and sleep their since we where too late to take the last bus to Siripagama. We were bagpacking so we wanted to take different way to go up and to go down. We had to carry all our stuff but it was alright (probably more pleasant without our bags). We begun our ascension around 3 pm in Siripagama, this is early but we wanted to see the jungle and landscapes before night. We saw many monks and monkeys on the way up. This hike has the particularity of being stairs all the way up. It does not mean it is easier, I found it quite tough and some parts are hard if you have vertigo (I have it, and I did it :)). I think it is better to have a good condition to do this trail. You can find snacks and water all the way up but not in the top. On the middle of the trek their is a cascade where you can take a shower (for men only and with your underwear). It is nice to change your clothe if you are sweating because when the night comes it is rapidly cold and you do not want to be wet. When you arrive at the top by this way, the first thing you see is the "police of Adam's peak". Some people had bad experience, in our case it was more like "do not leave your stuff without surveillance". We arrived in the top around 10 pm. We stayed and tried to sleep in the "cave", we were the only tourist and the locals were very friendly (sharing food and clothes). If you spend the night in the top, it is VERY COLD, even for a Swiss woman (bring a wind coat is a really good idea). It is true that you share the top with hundreds of other people, the toilets are smelling bad and you may not have the best view to see the sunset but it is an amazing experience and the landscape is great. The way down to Dalhousie was the most difficult thing in this trek: our legs were shaking and we felt like we were not going to make it. In Dalhousie we took a bus to Hatton and then to Kandy and went directly to bed. We had aches for 2-3 days after it, so do not plan to do the Knuckles directly after Adam's peak.
Did the climb on Sunday 27th with a fit son, daughter and son's fiance. Used the easiest path from Nallathanniya on both ways. Started at 11:15PM and reached the peak at 4:15AM with the whole party slowed down by myself. This is the hardest I have done but the whole experience was awesome. With good pacing, this is possible even for a moderately fit person. There were lots of people climbing but not large enough to slow us.
First 2-3km is a gentle walk uphill. Then the hard part starts with a fairly steep climb of big steps. This goes for a while and then reaches the steep climb to the peak. Last part in fact is relatively easy since there are railings that you can hang onto and push yourself. There are many rest areas along the way that you can buy food and drinks. There are basic toilet facilities as well along the way where you pay Rs.20 to use.
You can see the lit path to the top while climbing and this is a very pretty sight. Views from the top are amazing. There is a platform to view the sunrise outside of the temple area. We started the descent at 6AM and the views again were amazing. Stopped along the way for a roti breakfast.
Descent is in fact harder than the climb and by the end I could hardly feel my legs. Maintaining balance is another challenge. Overall, this is an awesome experience and I am glad I did it before it is too late :-)
Incredible moment. Adam's peak is not only that climbing of 5200 stairs , it's much more than that.Iwas staying at the nice White house with 3 other guys ( swiss and estonian ). We began at 2.30. Funny at the beginning and become quiet. It really has somathing to see with the religious thing. At the top , waiting in a common room with families , pilgrims , tourists and out at the temple waiting for the su to rise and the peole singing. WOUAHHH !!! that's a moment and the way down , not the easiest but with the sun and smiling and a bit of time. One of my best moment for sure in the loving Sri Lanka.
Do not try and climb Adam's peak if it is around a holiday or weekend. The guide books mention that there is a que near the top, but they fail to explain that the que is hundreds of people crammed together on a staircase that does not move. After waking up at 2am to climb, there was no chance that we would even make it to the top due to the heavy crowds.
Not worth the trip all the way out to Dalhoiuse...
Climbed up the peak but as not in great shape as I thought I was took me 3.5 hours. Crowded as did it during pilgrimage but once on the top it was all worth it. The view, the spirituality and the history of the Buddha reportedly being there made everything worthwhile! Totally recommend it but be ready fir sore legs for a week after.
A general level of fitness is needed for this climb up steep and sometimes high steps. We left at 22.00 and the assent was relatively quiet as we passed Sri Lankan families pushing and pulling their elderly matriarchs up the mountainside. They would have spent all day for the climb up and another day for the climb down. The summit is somewhat haphazard, but what do you expect on top of a mountain in a limited space. We congregated in a room where you can lay down and sleep, so take a plastic sheet for the floor and a thin blanket or large towel. I helped the temple serve coffee and candy to the Sri Lankan pilgrims as a way of keeping warm. Sunrise was like watching a photographic print being developed in a bath of chemicals. Take a change of attire for the summit as you become sodden with perspiration and you need a jacket to keep warm. Wear good shoes and NOT flip flops. I saw one girl loose her control and she began involuntarily running down the uneven and steep steps only to end up in a heap concussed and a couple of teeth knocked out. I am happy to say her flip flops survived intact.
My first climb was on a Buddhist holiday in Feb 2014, and even though I left very early, by the time i got near the top there was a queue that was hardly moving. That's because there was several hundred people on the top waiting for sunrise and several hundred on the steps below trying to get up. Somehow I managed to get up just after sunrise and overall it was a great trek, amazing views and good experience. On the way down my legs were turning to jelly but I found a place that was giving free herbal tea and free calf muscle massages which was bliss.
My leg muscles then ached for a week. I then returned to Maskeliya and decided I wanted to climb it again at a quieter time so I could get to the top with the hassle of so many people. (The problem is near the top the steep step path is divided into two by a handrail. Those going up must be on the right hand side and the path is narrow. Because people of all ages and physical states do this trek since many of them are pilgrims, there can be people holding up others at this part of the trek - The last few hundred metres to the top is slow going in pilgrim season.) So on my second time I thought I'd be sweet since I left an hour earlier and it was a normal weekday albeit Friday. However near the top I once again met traffic, which was nowhere near as bad as the previous time but still takes a bit of getting past without bumping people. I got to the top well before sunrise and take warm clothes because you stop trekking it quickly get's cold.
Amazing views, and I think the trek is quite tough and a very long walk. Second time around my legs didn't ache in the days afterwards and coming down was easier but going up will always be tough. That's why climbing in the night is good because it's cool and you don't really know what you're in for.
If you go in Buddhist pilgrim season do it on a normal weekday but not a Friday. Leave earlier than you'd think depending on your fitness it can take anywhere from 2 hours to 5 with an average of 3 to 4.
One of the best things I've done in Sri Lanka in three trips covering several thousand K on a scooter. Must do!
And it's free unlike some of the rip-off archeology sites further north.
The climb itself isn't as gruelling as I expected. Tough, but manageable if you are fit.
However, we did the climb on a Sunday and I would advise against anyone doing the same unless well prepared. We left at 1:30am and reached the summit at around 5:30am. The crowds were in their thousands. The only reason we reached the top is because we followed some Sri Lankans down an unlit back pathway which then linked onto a quieter staircase. This happened around two-thirds of the way up. We saw other Westerners who had not taken this route when we were coming back down later on. They had around 4-6 hours of queuing ahead of them to reach the summit. We were very lucky and the top was full of people. The actual summit is small and so space to watch the sunrise is restricted too. Again, we were lucky to get a fairly decent spot.
In hindsight, our experience was much more authentic and memorable to see the Sri Lankans on pilgrimage, but it was not an easy day.
Coming down was ok, we arrived back by 8:30ish.
I climbed from Dalhouise/Nalathaniya side which is the shortest route. Its a painful and never ending climb. You should set 3-4 hours for climb, if you want to experience the sunrise. The views from dawn to sunrise and afterwards are awesome and should not be missed.
It gets really cold in the night and after hot after sunrise, so pack accordingly but keep the weight light. 2 layers should be enough for the cold.
Along the climb you'll find all services like food, water, bath, toilet and even place to sleep, but these might not be as per everyone's standards. Advice: Don't expect too much re these services and prices of all items increas as you climb up.
Startet 01.00 am, was the almost the only one at the buttom, but Got the Wrong Way up, when my Gps Said 5 km, the Path suddenly ended.
When i came down i talked to locals, they Said i was not the first to take the Wrong rute, the rute i took was for local The farmers... I was really really really mad, Can almost laugh of it today, almost!
I even afsked the reception before going, if it was easy to find, "yes yes, go to start and up, can't go Wrong" CHECK IT IS THE RIGHT WAY UP, THERE ARE NO SIGNS!!!
Its my Experience I wanna share with u all...
Once in a lifetime u gotta go there and see the Sunrise.
There is actually 3 main ways to reach the Top of SRIPADA(Adams Peak).
1.most famous,through Nallathanniya,from Hatton stn.(Always Crowded,but closest)
2.From Rathnapura Palabaddala (Moderate Distance about 12kms,but Continuous Steps)
3.From Kuruwita, Erathna where we chose to hike up the hill.(Longest Route around 20kms,but filled with nature,less tiring places to rest and to have a Bath)TIME: 08hrs if continous,14-20hrs if rested.
**Take a Torch
**some water bottles+light food
**Wear Hiking shoes and preferably gears
when u reach the Summit then u ll feel 'the great achievement' u made
Watch this,I took it by myself the video of Sunrise(0630HRS)
We climbed at 1.15am and took just 2.40hrs to get up, with two short breaks, and then 2.10hrs down. I wouldn't consider myself fit although young and fairly active. It was tough in parts, with the steps very variable and sometimes broken. And the old and young being carried cause delays. We went on a Tuesday and made it up with no queues. DO NOT GO ON A WEEKEND. You cannot get to the top due to the queues as this is when most locals do the pilgrimage. Take a torch, and if you wana watch the sunset from the top be prepared for how busy it gets, the pick pockets and the 'sleeping rough'. We made it to the top around 4am, and went back down to watch the sunset from towards the bottom. We still got great views and missed all queues and crowds. There is food and drink at regular intervals so don't carry too much on you to slow you down. And be prepared for the days to come, the pain kicks in the following two days. But a feeling of great achievement.
We went to Adams peak Saturday 1st March and wanted to climb Sunday morning. We heard there would ve many locals so we desided to start early. 00.30 am we got a good start noted every 50 steps we took. There were many people but we had a nice pace. After 3000 steps still more than 2000 to the top or 500 meters height (1km distance) we were not able to continue as the steps werw packed with people with NO movement. We were able to more one step every 10 min. Calculating we had to accept the hard truth, we were not able to make it to the top before sunrise. And we were pm thw west side. Not able to see anthing from where we were standing. So we gave up and started the hard climb down. It was a big Challenge to go there both up and down and we were sad not to get to the top. So we have to come back some other time. Bit next time on a week day.
I used a wood stick as walking stick which I can recommend.
We arrived to Dalhousie on 14th February. There was full mion and long weekend, so everybody want go to summit.
It was also very difficult to get to Dalhousie. We were driving about 6 hours from Kandy. We were allowed to go to Dalhousie only because we have reserved hotel with parking.
Every where was lot of people. We still hear the pray.
After short sleep, we start our descent at 11 p.m.. At the beginning it was easy. In 1 am we were in 2/3 of the descent and the way starts to be very crowded. After 1,5 hour, we have moved only about 500 metres.
We were between hundred of local peoples. Some people were pushing up, some people were nice and help you if you are falling. At 3 we decided not to continue and return back to hotel. The way back was same as the way up. Very,very crowded. It took us 3 hours to get to the hotel. Interesting experience, but we do not see the sunrise.
I started at 2:30am and it took me 2hrs to reach the top. It wasn't as difficult as I had expected. I'm 30 and athletic. It was a great hike and the sunrise was amazing. If you have time, you must do it. I stayed at the slightly chilled hotel in Dalhousie, which is on the way to the top.
I was told to take a torch with me. I bought one BUT there is no need for a torch. 99% of the way is illuminated, so there is no need for a torch...
I love to climb hills and trek so this was a great walk. The added fun was that you have start at 2am to get to the top for the sunrise, so the walk is in darkness. As I was on holiday and not doing my regular level of exercise, I powered up to the top and got there a few minutes over two hours (I think that others do it around 3 hours). So I had a workout rolled into the journey too. It's steps all the way, at times quite steep, and not an easy walk at all, but people of all ages are making their way up, so it's possible to do even of you are the wrong side of young. The sunrise was pretty cool, with visible rays a la Caravaggio. Also, being so high and clouds so low, meant that the tops of the hills were poking out through the mist creating islands in the clouds (which actually I thought was more visually stunning that the sunrise). The only shame is that you have to share this Shangri La with many others at the top (cramped Into a small space). But I guess that they're thinking the same about me. Liked it and would do it again.
By far the best experience I had in Sri Lanka. If you are able, start hiking between midnight and 2 AM to make the top by sunrise around 5 AMish. It is a spiritual, stunning moment to see the sun peak through and illuminate Sri Lanka's landscapes. Be sure to bring big bottles of water, sunblock, and some snacks on the way. Oh, and don't forget your flashlights.
It was a difficult climb, esp in the end when you are faced with just stairs. And it gets chilly so make sure you are layering. Be sure to check the weather before you climb and hope for sunshine. Rain would probably sour the entire experience.
Really, just do it. You won't regret it.
My wife and I climbed Adams Peak earlier this year and it was truly a life changing experience! We started the climb far too early at 10pm and reached the summit at 1am. Whilst we had packed jackets and some warm clothing, we weren't prepared for the 5hr wait sitting on cold concrete! Pack gloves, socks, beanies and something dry to change in to. It was all worth it though. The climb is exhausting but also meditative and spiritual, even though this wasn't something we were expecting! The locals are so friendly and have such a great spirit when climbing that it's infectious. At the top of the mountain, we met many other tourists and shared stories whilst waiting for the beautiful sunrise. This was one of the best travel experiences of our lives and a highlight of our trip to Sri Lanka.
I climbed out of season so I knew I wouldn't get the best views from the top with the cloud. Left at 0230am and got to the submit at 0510 with heavy rain all the way. At the top is some big concrete buildings, one we waited in for sunrise and a small temple to see. All the way up is concrete steps and on the way down was some nice views of the waterfalls. I'm glad I did it but wouldn't do it again.
We climbed top of adam's peak at the beginning of september, the very low season.
Only few people climbed (about 20 people).
We began at 2.15 am, and took 2h40min to reach the top, with a lot of stops, but at a quite normal pace. Going down took 2hours or so.
We met some people who did it in less than 2 hours, but it's quite useless, as everybody start at 2am, and that the sunrise in september is at 5.30 or so.
The view was incredible, with clouds moving very fast, and it was totally cloudy 1h after.
We met a lot of people who didn't even see the sun because of the thickness of the cloud.
Climbing Adam's peak is nice to do (night hiking, more than 5000 stairs, that brings a lot of memories, and your legs won't forget easily), of course it is incredible with the view.
But I think i'd do it even if the sky is not clear.
No need of a guide, but better not go alone (walking in the night solo can be scary), and bring a good flashlight (can be find in any supermarket Kandy if you forgot it).
A lot of people decide not to go because there is a risk of not having a view, and i think that is a shame if you have a not too bad stamina and if you like hiking.
Out of the pilgrimage period, the 3-hour climb is usually done during the night, in order to reach the top at time for sunrise. However, that is only a good idea if the weather so permits. If not, a climb during the day is the best choice, in order to take a look at the beautiful forest surroundings.
We spend 3 hours walking from the bottom to the top. We started at 2.30 am, The walk has app. 5200 steps, so it is a hard walk for your knees ( and remember when you walk up, you also has to walk down - it takes 2-3 hours to get down) but if you are in this area, then Adam's Peak is a must. The view is fantastic, we loved it, and when you walk you have the most fantastic view ever.
Ok climb for beginners even though it rained throughout out whole 4 hours climb to the top! We even saw some guides and tourist wearing flip flops and shorts up! But personally, I would recommend against that and wear proper pants and shoes!
A great place for first time hiker....usually takes around 5 hours to reach the top..and the view is so awesome :)
We started at 1:00 am. Walked slowly up through the night to end up on top in time for sunrise.
It was a meditative walk in the night, and an awesome experience as the sun rose above the the surrounding mountain peaks.
Absolutely surreal, it was because the mountain's shadow formed a pyraide figure in the mist on the shady side!
We also started the climb at 3 pm and it made for a great experience. There is still lots of large family groups doing the pilgramage and the majority of shops are closed so no one hassles you. It is gruling, harder then you would expect, but the people made it one of our best experiences in Sri Lanka. They offered us tea, biscuits, sugar packets, grapefruit, etc when they seen we were so tired. It touched us deeply because they were just as tired, some never had shoes, and some were 30 plus our senior! It took us 2 hrs up and 2 1/2 hrs down. We found coming down was harder then going up. Glad to do the majority of it in the light, the steps are kinda scary in some parts and the overhead light are burnt out in parts so it gets very dark. 3 police stations and maybe 4 bathrooms all spread out.
My husband and I climbed Adams peak in the late arvo, starting around 3:30pm and reached the top by 5:30pm, hoping to see sunset but it was a white out. We enjoyed the climb, but it is difficult. It is true that you see local elderly and children doing the pilgrimage, so it is possible for the unfit, but I imagine very slow going and not very enjoyable! If you don't mind missing the sunrise, I would definitely recommend climbing in the arvo to avoid the crowds, cold and sleep disruption... Also recommend taking wet weather gear, the weather changed quickly on us and we got drenched on the way down.
Adam's Peak is a tough climb, me and my partner are 23 years old and we struggled the odd time. Not for children or the elderly! We started the climb around 2am in order to arrive at the peak for sunrise, which we did easily. It can be quite crowded, especially at the peak. Also it is very cold at the top, make sure you bring a jacket, although it was very hot on the climb down! The sunrise was beautiful and you feel a greaet sense of accomplishment after climbing this peak. I enjoy climbing so i had a nice time. If you dont like climbing you will probably not enjoy this very much! Expect your legs to be very painful the next couple of days!
Me and my wife climbed to adams peak in April 2013 (new year festival season) and by half way up we knew it was a bad decision. The climb is difficult to say the least and even being young 26 year old, didn't help a bit. We started at 1:30AM and managed to reach to the top by 9:00AM. Due to the new year season, it took us 2 hours to cover the last kilometer with queues as long as we could see ahead. What was worse was that the views were good but weren't worth the hardship and there wasn't any Adam's foot to be seen as it was coverved with a golden cloth. I would recommend that tourists should avoid this place and rather trek Horton's Plains. The return trip was even worse for the legs and the next two days of our tour we could only spend nursing them. I you are entirely bent upon going, avoid the festival season, and be prepared well in advance for climbing.
Omg, this was the most ridiculous thing I have ever done in my life! My friend and I began climbing Adams Peak at 3am and were nearly at the top by dawn (5:40) at which point we had had enough and were not going to climb another step. But if the climb was not challenging enough, the walk down was even harder. Our legs were like jelly all the way down and it took us about 2 1/2 hours to return. The climb is not for the faint hearted and you do have to be at least reasonably fit. Be warned, it can take you up to 4 days to recover. If you do intend to do this climb, get as much rest as possible beforehand (and not have a party the night before like we did) and allow yourself a beach day following the climb to allow yourself time to recover a little. Anyone considering this climb should think very carefully before doing it and follow the advice provided in other reviews! Good luck
It was my second time to climb and I didi it at the end of the rainy season during daytime. Practically no people around which was enjoyable to watch the nature.
The climb is strenuous under the heath, but with good training, excellent shoes and enough water it is a rewarding experience.
Truly unique experience. Reading all the trip advisor reviews convinced me to go, and I'm very happy I did. Started at 02.30, got to top at 05.30 (with several stops). Then took 2.5 hours to descend. It is the most beautiful setting for a temple I have seen in my life, and it is worth watching at least some prayer that lasts from 6am to 7am - the devotion amongst the local people is fascinating to witness.
Up at 2am in the morning and 3½ hours on the stairmaster - then you are there. Phew..!
But the view is spectacular and a bit spiritiual eventhough I tend to be a practical person :-)
Prepare for two days of sore legs...
I have visited Sri Lanka 3 times, in 1999, 2001 and latest 2005 (so it's been a while...but I plan to go back within a few years!). Each time, I climbed Adam's Peak and each time was a great experience I will never forget! For the first time and the second as well, I stayed at Green House Guesthouse, very close on the start of the climb. The guesthouse owners were super nice and on my 2nd trip, gave me a walking stick and their dog to accompany us. On my 3rd trip, we stayed in another guesthouse that wasn't as nice as Green House (can't remember the name) and we had a good guide with us. All of the climbs were in off-season.
I was able to see the triangle on my 1999 trip--the weather was dry and perfect, despite it was in October (I think). Yes, it was cold over there, so warm clothes are a must! The second and third time it was rainy--very rainy--and it was really cloudy on the top. Still it was an amazing experience, despite of me having a stomach bug on my 3rd trip (talk about it being a pain in the butt...literally...being ill in the dark, wet mountain..ughhh! I don't know how I did it!). My legs were always super stiff and sore for days after each walk. Each time it took me about 3 hrs to 3,5 to get on top.
I wanna go back someday, and want to go in off-season since the walk to me is more magical when it's dark and silent and there is no crowds, noise and lights around. If you go off-season, take some water, snacks and warm clothes!! A guide is a good idea for first-timers, but not necessary. Oh, and a good torch is a must as well! I will take rain gear too next time, and good hiking shoes. There are leeches, so I will definitely wear long pants and check for them frequently.
Have fun if you go, it's unforgettable!
PS: the review requires you to check the time when you visited...there were no options earlier than 2012 so I chose Dec 2012 but in reality I was there in 1999, 2001 and 2005 as I wrote:)
If you've done this trek then you will know its worth every minute of the discomfort you will feel for 2 days afterwards. We took all our children - an experience they will never forget. Climbed twice now - just once more and I will be happy . If you visit Sri Lanka it's an absolute must x tough going but worth the magical experience - Sri Lankans run up and I huffed and puffed - but it's fantastic
We did the climb during off-season (actually the day before the season started in December 2012). I have done this twice before during the season but this was by far the best experience. We were told that you can't do it during off-season and were nervous until we went there. We were told they don't light the path before the season so we bought few flash lights. It was pitch dark most of the path but we had an amazing experience. There were lots of tourist who climbed with us at 2:30 am. It took us 3.5 hours to climb up and lot more time climbing down since we spent time specially taking pictures, talking to locals climbing and carrying heavy sacks for the temple and just people watching.
Next night, we were able to experience the carnival like atmosphere in the town on the first day of the season and was able to worship the relic that was going to be carried up to the temple. It was a amazing.
We started 2am and it took us a little less than 3 hours to reach the top, another 2 hours to get down. It is something special walking up the illuminated stairs in the middle of the night reaching the summit and observe a spectacular sunrise. We got caught in the middle of some local showers, but it felt rather refreshing during the climb.
Some people, mostly locals as I understood decided to camp overnight at the temple, but I wouldn't recommend it. It's freezing cold and very cramped up.
The local village does not really have much to offer besides Adam's Peak but I'm glad we decided to stay an extra night following the climb to rest out.
We stayed at Hotel White Elephant, big, clean rooms, hot water, tasty dinner, wi fi and a very friendly manager. Hotel next door did seem like a better option but it was fully booked.
We climbed Sri Pada in complete off-season (August, 4th) and yet enjoyed it a lot! Manager of White House in Dalhousie (where we stayed overnight) who had been on the peak more than 60 times (one can never know, but he seemed trustworthy) told us that in this period of the year there is no point to start the ascent around 3 a.m. (to watch the sunrise) because the sunrise will not be visible due to the clouds if we are not able to see the peak's top light at 1 a.m. (the peak is in clouds). On the contrary there might be short period of cleared up sky around 9 a.m. As we hadn't saw the light we decided to wait till 5.30 a.m. and than started the climbing with the day light. Tens of people we met on their way down near Dalhousie just confirm the prediction - they went for the sunrise and yet saw "just" gradually enlighten clouds and fog. We take an advantage of quite solo ascent - apart form several groups near Dalhousie we have met really few people on the way up and down as well. All the way up without seeing anybody was stunning experience - there weren't any shops, and the last part beneath the peak and the temple on the top itself was more like a ghost town. On the peak we got also very much cloudy view but the feeling was great anyway. On the descent the sky was quite clear so we can enjoy the beautiful view of the valley below us.
Expect a Buddhist monk at the begging of the path who is expecting donation from the pilgrims. On the top of the mountain there is a group of men living there for the whole year and they are ready to offer you tea. Anyway - as there are no stalls during the off-season, be extra ready concerning the water and sweets or any other energy-suppliers!
And if you are worry about the difficulty of the terrain - we made in even in trekking sandals :)
If you start climbing at night, you pass by beautiful countryside, you do not realize, until you climb down. Water cascades, mountain view... 5200 stairs are tiring, but worth it:) Unfortunately the weather was not nice, and we saw sunrise behind the clouds. A man, who is living upstairs said that they show Buddha's/Adam's/Shiva's feet in December:)
It was off the season and no shops along the way. We started at 3h in the morning and get in time at the top. Unfortunately, it was cloudy so nothing abut the special effect in the sky and the temple was closed as well...
then we decided to get down by the other side..15.000 steps and 15km versus 5.000 and a few km for the other path. We arrived 6h later and exhausted. We took a 30 min. tuktuk to Ratnapura.
The whole experience was spectacular. I'll do it again.
it's a wonderful sight when u r at the top .. but lots and lots of walk !!! u need to constantly climb for 3 or 3.5 hours .. but the temple at the top and the sunrise view can actually worth out your effort .. We found a nice place just near to the start of our climb named Punsisi Rest Inn with great service and wonderful view of Sri Prada !!!
we climbed the peak with a guide (though you dont need one) as he was part of the package we paid for already. we were told that it was arduous and recommended different clothing. But i guess things have moved on. Now there is a tea shop with blaring music every 10 minutes - good distraction during the climb. the toilets were average (better than wat we expected from similar journeys). most of the way has railings to hold on to and you just climb stairs which were not steep. We did it at night, which i would recommend, so that you are there for the sunrise, we did it in May and it was still very cold at the top at 4 am. Please time it correctly, we did not adn ended up at 4 am with no place to stay, the 2 "rooms" were full of people and we soon joined the masses. all the effort is worth with the sun rise, the sounds of the early morning pooja preparations and you can see more things as you climb down. difficult to say whether we will do it again, but worth it for this time
We are not fit and still managed the climb. Yes it's arduous, but it is absolutely worth it to see the sunrise and the mysterious shadow. We started at 2.15 am (later than planned) and it took us three hours at a steady pace, arriving at 5.30 am. We had one stop for tea. It is imperitive if you are doing this in pilgirmage season to stay in Dalhousie and start early - you cannot over estimate the number of people. The last 45 minutes was basically a queue of locals - and therein lies another beauty of the climb,
After reading so many positive reviews on the web and in guidebooks we were expecting something spectacular. What we found was a huge crowd of people walking up the stairs that look like a marketplace for the most part. Maybe it just is not the kind of 'spiritual experience' we thought it would be. [I cannot imagine how the climb looks when it is full moon and gets really crowded]
I climbed it with my 9 year old son in 3 and a half hours and it took us 3 hours to descend. It's very atmospheric on the way up with all the Buddhist shrines and the tea shops, even if you climb at night. At first my son outpaced me but as the steps got steeper he started to flag and I started to get worried. We decided to give ourselves small targets, like 300 steps before resting, and this is a good way of motivating yourself to continue. By the end of the climb the 300 steps became 50 steps! Also, thinking about all the obese or old people who make it up there is a good way of motivating yourself. Take warm clothing and good footwear and take it easy. Leave at least 4 hours to make it up. When we got to the top it was misty and we could hardly see anything. So this was a great disappointment after all that effort. But on the way down the views were amazing although it did rain constantly. When you descend the pressure on your knees and feet is incredible and I am still limping several days after the climb. In conclusion, I would say that you feel a great sense of achievement after having done the climb and it's a must-do experience in Sri Lanka. But it's damn hard.
Just back from Adams Peak and highly recommend the guide
Good compnay, well informed and very personable
Rise early and see the sunset
I have previously climbed Adam's peak from the easier route which from Hatton and told myself that's it never again. However this year I had the opportunity to join a group of interns to climb it from Ratnapura side. Which is the longer and the harder route. In comparison with the Hatton route there are lesser number of shops and pit stops along the way, there were stretches of the pathway which had no lights. Unless you are a pro in climbing and you have a very very fit body my advice is DON'T do it. Especially if you have only 2 weeks to spend on holiday in Sri Lanka I'm sure you will not want to spend more than 5 days limping around!!
We walked the Adam’s Peak in January. It was a great experience but really wet and really cold. If you want to do that trek make sure you have proper clothes and prober shoes. We had good rain jackets, proper shoes and even an umbrella, but still we were soaked wet because it was raining the whole night. We started around 2.00am and finished around 7.00 am. In the travel guide is written that you have to walk up four hours and down 3 hours. For sure it depends how fast you walk, but if there are a lot of people who are walking up or down, then it can take you even longer because mostly you can’t pass them. It was a really good experience, but on the other hand if it’s already raining when you want to start, then I probably would think about if you really want to do it or not. We have been to the very top and if it’s bad weather you can see nothing at all. There is no view and no sunrise, you are probably better off if you go on daytime.
On out 12day trip around the island we tried to hike a bit.
Adam's Peak was the top location on our list.
We stayed at Upper Glen Bungalows and at on Feb 18 1am we started our drive to Dalhousie.
Dalhousie was almost empty when we arrived. Our driver stayed at the car (and had a good sleep) but our guide also wanted to climb Sri Pada.
Termperature was OK and up we went. Somewhere on the way we lost our guide. His endurance was not as good as ours but we met him again at the top.
Up there a very cold and strong wind was blowing and everyone was trying to hide and get a bit of sleep while waiting for the sunrise.
And then the light came. It was a wonderful experience seeing the sunrise with all the pilgrims giving their prayers.
Looking to the other side of the mountain we also could see the shadow of the peak of Sri Pada on the clouds.
A truly unique experience