WEST DOG’S TEETH HIKE ‘HARDEST HIKE IN HONG KONG’
The West Dog’s Teeth Hike in Hong Kong is billed as the hardest hike in Hong Kong. The trail involves 850m of incline and requires a basic level of bouldering and scrambling to reach the end of the ridge. The ridge then connects to Lantau Peak, which is a great place to finish your climb before making the journey back down the ridge.
WEST DOG’S TEETH RIDGE HIKE DETAILS
Hike Distance: The total distance of the hike for me was 8.77km. However, it will depend on whether you summit Lantau Peak and also on which route you take down from the ridge (or Lantau Peak). I’ll explain the options in the trail directions below.
Hike Duration: The total moving time was 2.5-hours for me but the total adventure time was 4-5 hours. We hung out on some of the ridges and then watched the sunset from Lantau Peak.
Hike Difficulty: This is often referred to as the hardest hike in Hong Kong. Don’t let that scare you. There are no crazy ridge-lines or death-defying moments. The hike isn’t easy but this is what you can expect:
- Scrambling up rocks using hands but at an angle not a vertical wall like rock climbing
- Some overgrown bushes and trees to push through
- Some very steep sections of incline although total incline wasn’t even 1000-meters
Hike Incline: My total hike incline was 880m
HOW TO GET TO WEST DOG’S TEETH RIDGE HIKE
To get to West Dog’s Teeth Ridge there are two options:
- Get to the Tung Chung MTR station. From there you need to get either the 11 or 23 bus.
- Catch the ferry to Mui Wo and then catch the 1 or 2 bus.
Whichever option you choose you will need to get off the bus at the ‘Shek Pik Police Station’. It doesn’t look like a police station. In fact, it looks like a tiny bus stop next to the reservoir. You will then walk back the way the bus drove for a couple of hundred meters to the trail entrance. I’ve pictured the bus stop and the trail entrance below.
MY EXPERIENCE ON THE WEST DOG’S TEETH RIDGE HIKE IN LANTAU, HONG KONG
The journey out to Lantau Island from Hong Kong Central is a bit of a mission but all three times I hiked on Lantau it was worth it! I took the bus option of the two I listed above and watched as the bus drove past the trailhead and then dropped us at the Shek Pik Police Station bus stop. We hopped off and walked back along the main road until we found the entrance gates.
The weather was looking a bit spotty but the sun was doing it’s best to pop through when it could. We were set for a great hike and I was genuinely curious to see what the ‘hardest’ hike on Hong Kong would serve up.
Once you find the entrance gates pictured above, you wander through the park until you reach an aqueduct or a man-made river I guess. Cross this bridge (pictured below) and then begin to follow the Shek Pik Country Trail.
The trail heads into the cover of the forest and as always in Hong Kong, the stairs quickly began. The first couple of kilometers switched between flat dirt paths and short but steep stairways.
Stay on the trail and never divert until you reach the 3-kilometer point. By now you will have done a few hundred meters of incline and may be thinking why people rave about this being a tough hike. The heat is about to be turned up a little. On the right-hand side of the trail, you will see a rocky ramp with spray-painted characters. This is the start of the West Dog’s Teeth Ridge and the point when you leave the Shek Pik Country Trail.
The dirt path now turns a rocky scramble. It’s never too dangerous in my opinion but you will have to use your hands in a few sections.
It’s pretty slow going in this section due to the incline and rough terrain but before too long, you will be rewarded with great views back down to the reservoir where your day began. This initial part of the climb was probably my favorite section of trail throughout the entire hike.
The trail isn’t necessarily long in distance but feels like a bit of a long journey as you are rock-hopping and dealing with uneven surfaces and bushes throughout the trail. These are some drone photos I took from the middle ridge looking up to Lantau Peak.
After about 5-kilometers, you will reach an intersection of three trails. One leads back to the Middle Dog’s Teeth trail, one leads back the way you just came and the other is up to Lantau Peak. At this point, you can either return, go on an adventure down the middle ridge or, as I did, continue up the steep ascent to Lantau Peak. You are so close, so you may as well enjoy another landmark while you are right there! Here is what the intersection looks like.
This next section of trail up to Lantau Peak is just ridiculously steep. It’s maybe 1-kilometer in length but at times you will just look up at the wall in front of you! Make sure you turn back often to take in the views because if you have decent weather like us you will be able to see the whole ridge you have just hiked up.
The final push was an effort but after a few hours on the trail, we made it to the summit of Lantau Peak, which is the second-highest peak in Hong Kong and the highest on Lantau Island. The highest peak is Tai Mo Shan, which I hiked earlier in the month.
Once at the summit, we took a seat and enjoyed the last half an hour of the golden hour before the sunset made it’s the best effort. Hong Kong was a smoggy place the whole month I was there and some of the photos really show the thick layer that seems to block all of the good sunset colors. Nevertheless, it was pretty nice being up so high and having panoramic views.
As you can see on the map below, I then headed down to the main road Pak Kung Au. It is the road between Sunset Peak and Lantau Peak so it’s the same way home as if you had finished Sunset Peak. This route was a nice way to go down in the dark as it was mostly paved and had a nice stairway for the majority of the route. This made it safe but we still needed our head torches.
The ridge we took down to Pak Kung AuAfter completing the West Dog’s Teeth Ridge hike with relative ease, I would say it was one of the hardest hikes in Hong Kong but wouldn’t put it in the hard category on a relative scale to any hikes in Switzerland etc. It’s got incline and some bushwacking but you could quite easily take adventurous children on this hike if they had done others on Hong Kong first. Happy hiking and hope you enjoy this challenge.
MY WEST DOG’S TEETH RIDGE HIKING MAP