Hiking on the High Junk Peak Country Trail in Clear Water Bay, you'll experience a picturesque trail offering incredible 360-degree views of the sea as well as Hong Kong's eastern neighborhoods. Due to a steep climb up High Junk Peak, it can be a challenging hike. However, give it a try and I think you'll agree that it's well worth the effort! Follow this guide for my tips on hiking to High Junk Peak as well as how to get to the trailhead in Clear Water Bay Country Park.
Preparing to Hike High Junk Peak
The High Junk Peak Country Trail is a moderate to difficult ~6.0 km (3.7 mi) hike in Clear Water Bay Country Park which takes approximately 2.5-3 hours to complete. Variations in the trail - from flat, shady paths to steep, rocky scrambles - keep the hike exciting as you make your way along the ridge.
Tip: If you're in the mood for a shorter hike, you can take one of the side trails down after descending High Junk Peak. They lead back to the road which has several bus stops along it.
Who Should Hike High Junk Peak?
Since most of the High Junk Peak Country Trail is an easy trail with gradual uphill sections, I think all levels of hikers would be fine on this hike.
However, the climb up to High Junk Peak is difficult due to how steep it is in addition to the uneven rocky trail. If you have trouble with balance or heights, you could skip the actual peak. There's an alternate trail that goes around the summit, but you won't get the same views as you do from the top.
When to Hike It?
We chose to hike up High Junk Peak during a weekday in autumn which was lovely - not too hot and fewer crowds than on a weekend. Weekday hiking is always my preference if I can swing it.
The most important criteria when deciding to hike High Junk Peak is picking a day that's clear and unpolluted so you take full advantage of the incredible 360-degree views. It was a bit cloudy on the day we hiked, so the sea was not as vibrantly turquoise as it is on a sunny day.
Even though we hiked it in the fall, I think this hike might also be a good summer hike because of its proximity to the Clear Water Bay beaches. If you hike this trail in the morning and spend the afternoon at the beach, it would be the perfect day trip!
Items for Your Hike
Though you probably have your own list of what to bring on a hike, here are a few items not to forget:
Getting To the High Junk Peak Country Trail
There are a couple of ways to reach the High Junk Peak trailhead.
1) MTR to Hang Hau -> Walk to Trailhead
We chose to take the MTR to Hang Hau station, then walk up through the villages to the start of the trail on the western side. Because this way adds ~1.9 km (1.2 mi) to your hike and takes ~30 minutes, it's probably not the most popular option.
However, I enjoyed the stroll up the hill (~100 m/328 ft climb) and seeing some of the village houses along the way. For me, it was also a better option because I get carsick and riding in a minibus before the hike always makes me nauseous!
2) MTR -> Transfer to Bus/Minibus to Ng Fai Tin
If you don't get carsick, you'll probably want to reach the High Junk Peak Country Trail by transferring from the MTR to a bus or minibus. The bus stop for the trailhead is Ng Fai Tin.
There's also a small parking area at Ng Fai Tin though I imagine it fills up quickly. From Ng Fai Tin, the hike is 6.4 km or 4 miles.
Here are a few of the MTR/bus routes you could take to reach the trail:
Check out this Guide to Using Public Transportation in Hong Kong for tips.
Overview of High Junk Peak Hike
Beginning the hike from Mang Kung Uk Village as we did, the High Junk Peak hike is ~6 km (3.7 mi) long, with several steep climbs and descents. We finished in just under 3 hours which included a snack break at the top, plus many photo stops.
As I mentioned above, there are several paths along the way that you could use to cut the hike short if you're short on time, or the desire to hike the entire trail!
Pro Tip: This trail occasionally meets up with and splits off from the High Junk Peak mountain bike trail. Beware of mountain bikers riding past on the shared trail and be sure to stick to the trail for hikers at forks in the path.
Map of the High Junk Peak Hike
Below is a map of the way we hiked the High Junk Peak Hike. If you begin the hike at Ng Fai Tin, use this map instead.
Starting at Mang Kung Uk Village
As I mentioned, we began the High Junk Peak hike at Hang Hau MTR station and walked up through the villages. The trailhead is in Mang Kung Uk village - just behind some public toilets.
You'll notice a couple paths that look like trailheads at the start. Take the stone path on the left that looks like it's leading up to a statue (above). After a bit, you'll come to a fork in the trail. Follow the path with a red arrow pointing up to the left (below).
This initial climb is short, but somewhat steep and rocky. Certain parts are also a bit overgrown. Once you reach a wider trail, that's the High Junk Peak Country Trail.
Forest Path to Mui Tsai Tun
After you join up with the High Junk Peak Country Trail, you'll walk through a nice forest on a relatively flat path for a while. It's quite a pleasant stretch of trail.
This is one section of the trail which is shared by mountain bikers. Whenever you come to a fork in the path, be sure to follow signs for hikers.
At one point during this stretch, you'll come to a fork in the trail where you should decide whether you plan to hike up to High Junk Peak. Most likely that's what you'll want to do if you're reading this post!
In that case, you'll take the left path, then start to climb up to Mui Tsai Tun. This is where you'll begin to see those incredible views of High Junk Peak and the surrounding countryside.
If you take the right path, you'll go around the western side of the ridge and skip the steep summits. This is probably what you'd want to take if you were riding a mountain bike on the trail.
Read how I found out you shouldn't hike on a mountain bike trail in Chi Ma Wan Peninsula Hike on Lantau Island.
Climbing Up High Junk Peak
Once you crest Mui Tsai Tun, you'll see High Junk Peak ahead of you. It's a rather impressive, sharp peak jutting up from the ridge.
Unfortunately, you'll have to climb a ways down Mui Tsai Tun before climbing right back up High Junk Peak. At least it's a fun spot to take some photos of High Junk Peak though!
Since the climb up High Junk Peak is so steep, you may have to use your hands and grab on as you climb. Balance is key for this part of the hike! Take time to stop and admire the views as you catch your breath.
Once you're at the top of High Junk Peak, you'll have more incredible 360-degree views!
For lots of views, but way less climbing, try the Dragon's Back Hike!
Descending High Junk Peak
Just on the other side of High Junk Peak, you'll begin to see beautiful views of the Clear Water Bay beaches. You can also see the remainder of your hike ahead of you!
At this point, you'll begin to climb downhill for a couple kilometers. It's a steep descent at first, becoming more gradual as you go.
When you reach a split in the trail, choose whether to end your hike and go left towards Tai Au Mun Road, or continue straight for the final peak on the trail.
Like hikes with sea views? Check out High Island Reservoir East Dam to Sai Wan Beach in Sai Kung!
Final Peak on High Junk Peak Trail
We chose to carry on and complete the ridgeline, but the final peak was another steep climb. By this point, my legs were a bit tired and protesting the need to climb again. On the plus side, this section of the trail seemed to have fewer people on it.
After cresting the peak, you can see views of the Clear Water Bay Golf club which sits on the hillside in front of you. It must be such a nice course to play given all the views!
Towards the end, I found a few rock formations to climb on which made me happy. Scrambling onto cliffside rocks is something I can never pass up. Got that from my dad.
As you make your way down towards Joss House Bay, you'll see the large Tin Hau Temple below you. If you have time, visit the temple after you've climbed down.
Apparently this temple is Hong Kong's oldest and largest Tin Hau Temple and was completed in 1266. If I'd known that at the time, I might have visited! But we had already committed to something that evening and were running late. So maybe I'll visit next time.
Like a hike with interesting rock formations? Check out Ling Kok Shan on Lamma Island!
Green Minibus Back to MTR
Despite my desire not to ride the minibus on the way to the trail, it's unavoidable on the return journey. There's a minibus stop on the corner of Tai Au Mun and Po Toi O Chuen Roads as you finish the trail. From here, catch the number 16 green minibus back to Po Lam MTR.
You may have to wait a bit since they don't run all that frequently, but it's better than trying to walk the whole way back!
The High Junk Peak Country Trail is a wonderful trail for views and working all your leg muscles as you climb up and down the various peaks! Plus, it has great proximity to the Clear Water Bay beaches where you can go to cool off afterwards.
Have you done this hike? I'd love to know what you thought in the comments below. And if you're looking for more Hong Kong hikes, be sure to check out the Hiking page!