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Peak of Adventure! Here are the 15 Highest Mountains Across Malaysia to Fulfil Your Climbing Bucket List

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Source: Wikipedia & Harian Metro & Wikivoyage

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Beyond its existence as a beautiful landmark which represents a country’s heritage and culture, mountains in general act as a source of minerals to wherever they are located. According to an article by non-profit organisation One Earth, mountains provide approximately 60 to 80% of freshwater resources to the planet.

Despite this, it is arguable that Malaysia possesses some of the most beautiful mountains known to man. While each of them vary in stature and landscape, exploring the tallest peaks in our country can make for the most exciting adventure. And wouldn’t it be remarkable to say that you’ve climbed some of the tallest mountains in Malaysia?

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Mount Kinabalu, Sabah.

 

Here are the 15 highest mountain peaks in Malaysia

 

1. Mount Batu Putih, Perak (2,131m)

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Translating to quite literally mean the White Rock Mountain, the 15th highest mountain in Malaysia is located amongst the Titiwangsa Mountains, a chain of mountains which form the backbone of the Malay Peninsula. Standing remarkably at 6,990ft tall, Mount Batu Putih contains a 19.8km out-and-back trail near Tapah, and is considered a highly challenging route according to AllTrails.

Aside from that, those who choose to ascend this beautiful landscape will be greeted by an Orang Asli village, which will just about enrich your journey as your exercise caution to make it to the top. While multiple camping spots are open at this location, take note that the trail contains several river crossings and a section with ladders which can make his tranquil expedition daunting to say the least.

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Trail towards Mount Batu Putih.

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2. Mount Ulu Sepat, Kelantan-Perak border (2,161m)

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As the 7th tallest mountain to grace Peninsula Malaysia, Mount Ulu Sepat straddles the state lines of Kelantan and Perak. A crucial yet enlightening fact about making the climb through this mountain is that explorers will have the chance to spend the night with the Orang Asli community who inhabit the land near this glorious trek, as according to Sinar Harian.

But don’t be fooled by its mystifying beauty, as this climb is not for the faint of heart. Making this climb with challenge those who have years of experience in trekking with its mixed trails, muddy surroundings, and even heavy elephant traffic that builds towards the summit of this mountain.

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Group of Malaysians who made the journey to Mount Ulu Sepat in 2022.

 

3. Mount Yong Yap, Kelantan-Perak border (2,168m)

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When we speak about challenging climbs, Mount Yong Yap may take the cake while standing at approximately 7,113ft tall. Claimed as one of the toughest mountain treks in Peninsula Malaysia, this location’s reputation for being filled with fallen trees, sharp-edged bamboo, and extremely steep gradient to the summit is just about the beginning of challenges for climbers.

Requiring vigorous amounts of training, reports of tiger attacks, presence of leeches, and swarms of sand flies are known to populate this mountain at every step. To even the most experienced of climbers, this trek could be one you’ll happily check off your bucket list or save for a later date.

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Trail towards Mount Yong Yap.

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4. Mount Chamah, Kelantan (2,171m)

Chamah Summit

Standing tall as the second highest peak in Kelantan, Mount Chamah’s historical significance to Malaysian culture makes this elevation that much more special. Originally a restricted and out of bounds area for ordinary citizens, PeakVisor reported that Mount Chamah was held off from being visited due to the Communist Insurgency, which took place in Malaysia between the 1960s to 1980s.

However, after a peace agreement was made between the Malaysian government and the communists in the 1980s, authorities began to relax the rules of jungle trekking and climbing. Nevertheless, due to the significant presence of wildlife in the forests of Mount Chamah, there remains limited access points, which can make the climb more challenging to adventure-seekers.

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5. Mount Gayong, Perak (2,173m)

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There is no easy mountain climbing expedition, be that in Malaysia or around the country. However, Mount Gayong has found favour with mountaineers alike for its convenience and suitability for those discovering what mountain climbing is truly like. A fun fact about Mount Gayong is its location, which is just an hour’s trek away from another tall mountain on this list, Mount Korbu.

Together, the combination of these locations are referred to as Korga, due to their close proximity. For those seeking a bit more of a challenge or to simply fill their day by stepping atop as many peaks as possible, one can make it from the peak of Mount Gayong to Mount Korbu in just about an hour.

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6. Mount Yong Belar, Kelantan-Perak border (2,181m)

Yong Belar Summit

While Mount Yong Belar stands at the border of two states in Peninsula Malaysia, it is officially recognised as the tallest mountain in Kelantan at 7,156ft tall. As one of the many mountains within the chain of the Titiwangsa Range, the catch with this location is its possession of multiple “fake peaks”, as according to All Trails, making the beginning of this journey a challenging one.

Though most individuals prefer to spend a night at one of the camping spots located on the mountain, those who are looking to test their limits can attempt to make the climb in a day, while taking in the beautify mossy surroundings and expansive forests that’ll grace your every view.

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7. Mount Korbu, Perak (2,183m)

Mount Korbu

Just shy of 4 metres below the tallest mountain in Peninsula Malaysia, Mount Korbu isn’t doing too bad as the tallest peak in Pahang, requiring climbers with a decent amount of fitness levels to make this mountainous trek. The popularity of Mount Korbu can be seen in its flexibility for climbers to reach, with some completing the journey in just 12 hours while others can take days to complete it.

Despite the trail being known for its steep and rocky terrain, the challenging experience can be rewarding for new climbers, as the rugged landscape has numerous checkpoints within its climb. Among them include the Balak Waterfall Camp, that makes for a wonderfully wet pitstop for fun and spectacular views.

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8. Mount Tahan, Pahang-Kelantan border (2,187m)

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Alas, the current tallest mountain in Peninsula Malaysia is just the 8th tallest of the lot when taking the whole country into consideration – cool, isn’t it? Part of the Tahan Range in the Tenasserim Hills, Mount Tahan’s popularity with locals and tourists alike make it a dense location for a plethora of climbers, though it is regarded as one of the toughest mountain treks in Malaysia.

If you think the high altitude is a need for breathing practice, don’t get caught off guard when temperatures fall to record-low levels of 4°C between December and Janary, even causing frost to appear at the summit at certain times of the year. With three known trails laid out comprehensibly, don’t underestimate the vigorous training required to dominate this steep mountain.

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Gunung Tahan. Snapped From Gunung Tangga Lima Belas

 

9. Mount Mulu, Sarawak (2,376m)

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Existing as the second highest peak in Sarawak, Mount Mulu’s iconic presence can be seen from the fact that its boundaries are located in a national park named after it. Known for its spectacular scenery and biological significance, Mount Mulu exists as a sandstone and shale mountain, with its limestone karst and isolated mountain peaks acting as home to many unique and endangered creatures.

Nevertheless, climbers should be aware that there is only one trek leading to the summit of Mount Mulu, as according to information by the park itself. With its summit located 24km away from the park’s headquarters, the hike through primary rainforests also include a few vertical climbs that require knotted ropes. A taxing one, for sure.

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Mount Mulu National Park.

 

10. Mount Murud, Sarawak (2,424m)

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Nearing 8,000ft in height, Mount Murud stands as the tallest peak of Sarawak, booming with vegetation and a biodiverse history that makes Malaysia not only richer in culture, but in natural resources too. Located at the boundary between Miri and Limbang in the Kelabit Highlands, the uniqueness of Mount Murud can be seen in its essence as a white-yellowish sandstone mountain.

However, a unique facet of Mount Murud is the location of the church on its forest grounds, surrounded by a village built with public amenities, as recorded on WWF. If you’re planning to make a visit there, keep in mind that Mount Murud is considered a sacred mountain, so acts such as smoking or drinking alcoholic items are strictly prohibited.

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Gunung Murud Landscape Near Summit

 

11. Mount Kaingaran, Sabah (2,468m)

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About 10 years ago, this mountain would not have been regarded as one of the tallest mountains in Malaysia. But as of 2018, Mount Kaingaran was revealed and named to be the 5th highest mountain in Malaysia. Located in the district of Tambunan in Sabah, Mount Kaingaran is about two hours away from Kota Kinabalu.

Due to its relative novelty amongst the family of mountains in Malaysia, Mount Kaingaran is stated to be surrounded by one of the more luscious and fuller forests in Sabah, making the journey to the top more demanding than others.

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12. Mount Tambuyukon, Sabah (2,579m)

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Arguably one of the most beautiful mountains to exist in Malaysia, Mount Tambuyukon is considered to be one of Sabah’s ecotourism destinations, as according to an article by Dr Er Ah Choy from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). Supporting a wide range of unique flora and fauna, the forest surrounding Mount Tambuyukan is home to a number of pitcher plant species and summit rat populations.

Currently, two primary climbing trails towards the mountain’s summit can be found; one from the Monggis Village, and the other from the Sabah Parks substation. Nonetheless, as surroundings of the park is fairly isolated with limited accessibility, this journey may be an interesting one for those who choose to explore its range from deep lowlands to soaring mountain elevations.

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13. Mount Sinsing, Sabah (2,586m)

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As of May 2023, Mount Sinsing was officially recorded to be the third tallest mountain in Malaysia at 2,586m tall, according to a report by New Straits Times (NST). Located within the Nuluhon Trusmadi Forest Reserve, not much is known about this fairly new mountain, which was originally discovered back in 2018.

Although this trail would certainly not be for those discovering mountain climbing for the first time, Mount Sinsing’s scenic route, which contains some of the most diverse and exciting foliage, makes the trip to the top that much special – especially if you want to be regarded as one of the firsts to walk this trek.

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14. Mount Trusmadi, Sabah (2,642m)

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Inhabiting a forest reserve which covers an area of 184,527 hectares, Mount Trusmadi’s stature as the second tallest mountain in Malaysia bolsters an even more impressive landscape once you discover that it borders four districts in Sabah. According to a post by Sabah Tourism, Mount Trusmadi is regarded as a tougher challenge to climbers when compared to Mount Kinabalu.

At 8,668ft tall, the most alluring part of this mountain are the fives types of vegetation located within its grounds, as there are over 600 species of plants belonging to 160 plant families in the forest site. If you’re thinking of making a trip to this mountain, pack some warm clothing for the climb, as temperatures tend to vary anywhere between 11 to 19°C throughout the climb.

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15. Mount Kinabalu, Sabah (4,095.2m)

Mt. Kinabalu The Highest Mountain In Malaysia

Last, but certainly the most, a Malaysian treasure that has stood the test of time: Mount Kinabalu. As the 4th highest peak in Southeast Asia, Mount Kinabalu is not only the tallest mountain in Malaysia, but in Borneo as well. Unique to various endemic plants and hundreds of animal species, thousands of Malaysians go through vigorous training in an attempt to climb this mountain every year.

If you’re a fan of the cold, be reminded that Mount Kinabalu is the only location in Malaysia to experience snowfall, though you’d need to trek a fair way up its 13,436ft journey to witness it. Positioned as the pride of Malaysia, its hard to imagine Mount Kinabalu not being on every climber’s trekking bucket list for their lifetime.

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There you have it! Have you climbed any of these 15 mountains before? Are you looking to start exploring a few of them? Let us know!

 

Also read: M’sian Forest Expert Shares Life-Saving Tips on What to Do if You Get Lost in the Forest or Jungle

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Source: World Atlas
Source: AllTrails
Source: AllTrails
Source: AllTrails
Source: Sinar Harian
Source: Sinar Harian
Source: Flickr
Source: Sinar Harian
Source: AllTrails
Source: Wikipedia
Source: AllTrails
Source: AllTrails
Source: Flickr
Source: Wikipedia
Source: AllTrails
Source: AllTrails
Source: Wikipedia
Source: Flickr
Source: Jomoutdoor
Source: Harian Metro
Source: AllTrails
Source: Wikipedia
Source: Wikivoyage
Source: KimKim
Source: Wikipedia
Source: Flickr
Source: Wikipedia
Source: Harian Metro
Source: Wikipedia
Source: Harian Metro
Source: Kimkim
Source: Harian Metro
Source: MySabah
Source: Wikipedia
Source: Taman Negara

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