Hiking at Horton Plains National Park
Our hike to Horton Plains National Park is one of our favourite activities in Sri Lanka. This beautiful wildlife attraction has amazing vistas that offer excellent hikes for tourists. The national park has amazing plateau, jaw-dropping cliffs, magnificent waterfalls and vast wildlife.
Horton Plains National Park is on the southern plateau of the central highlands of Sri Lanka. It is considered as one of worlds best geographically diversified places located more than 7000ft above the sea level. The national park is rich in biodiversity. Many of the species here are endemic to the region. It is home to an innumerable selection of flora and fauna. The park is now also a popular tourist destination.
How to go to Horton Plains National Park?
Horton Plains National Park is 32km from Nuwara Eliya, which is accessible through Nuwara Eliya – Ambewela – Pattipola road. There’s no public transportation that goes directly to the national park but there are train stations nearby, in Ohiya and Ambewala. The most convenient way to reach the park is to rent a car. Renting a car can be expensive so find a company or a group that you can join to share the expenses.
We used our private car from JNW Lanka Tours when we went to Horton Plains National Park. We left early morning as what Karu, our driver, advised us. So, we left the hotel by 5:00 AM. Travel time is two hours. We arrived at the park at around 7:00 AM.
Our 4-Hour Hike at Horton Plains
I didn’t realise that the temperature at Horton Plains could really be freezing. It was about 8° C that time. I was just wearing shorts and I only had my jacket and scarf with me so I was really chilling. But I tried badly to endure it. I guess that was a lesson for me that always never underestimate the weather.
We paid around $30 each to enter the Horton Plains. It could take 4 hours to complete the hike depending on the pace and trail. There are several trails but the easiest and most popular is the main circuit nature trail. It’s a loop trail that covers a distance of about 9km leading to Mini World’s End, World’s End and Baker’s Falls.
The loop trail starts from the “Y” turnoff junction. Most tourists proceed towards the left side seeing Mini World’s End first. But we chose the opposite. We hiked towards the right side, which ended up being a right decision for us because it was peaceful and away from the crowd. Although, we became worried in some points during the hike that we felt we were already lost. We were hiking for about an hour already and we thought that we were following a wrong trail until we met fellow hikers.
The hike wasn’t that generally easy but it was enjoyable. We felt stunned with the spectacular view and scenery. There are also some interesting attractions that are certainly worth the stop.
This is one of the tourist attractions to see when hiking at Horton Plains. We reached this place after hiking for more than an hour. We had to travel through the cloud forest through a path from the trail to access this waterfall.
Baker’s Falls is 20 metres high. It is a great stopover to have some rest and for photographs. I’m not sure if swimming is allowed but I haven’t seen one attempted to do it.
The goal for hiking Horton Plains is to reach the World’s End. It is a sheer precipice with an 870 meters drop. Standing there, it felt like that we arrived at the edge of the Earth. The viewpoint offers visitors exceptional scenery of the expansive terrain. If the sky is clear, it also offers unobstructed view of Uda Walawe reservoir all the way to Adam’s Peak.
Mini World’s End
Another attraction to stop by is the Mini World’s End. It’s a viewpoint with 274 meters drop. We reached this place after hiking for another hour from World’s End. The observation deck also offers fabulous view. We didn’t stay for too long though. After a few photographs, we left and continued hiking through the trail back to the visitor’s center.
We completed the hike in about 4 hours. When we reached the parking area, we went straight to our car and asked our driver to take us back to Nuwara Eliya. It was also already time for lunch but we decided to just take it when we get back to the city.
The hike at Horton Plains National Park is nice and enjoyable. We enjoyed the beautiful landscapes, rolling hills and endless grasslands. It is a memorable hike wherein we were able to explore the natural side of Sri Lanka.
Explore Sri Lanka with JNW Lanka Tours, one of the leading destination management companies in Sri Lanka since 1979. JNW is a team of professionals who has years of experience in the travel industry. The company offers fully integrated range of hospitality services, ranging from customized holiday tours, event management, special interest tours, business tours, car rentals and other travel services.
JNW Lanka Tours
JNW Building, 67, Maligakanda Road
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Phone: (0094) 777-396983