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Bukit Kiara, Offroad Trails

Kuala Lumpur, Peninsular Malaysia

By Joe Adnan
Using these Trail Guides

All jungle trails attempted using these guides are taken at your own risk! Several pointers have been given including kilometer readings and GPS waypoints to help you along. They are merely guides but it still helps to pay attention to the trail ahead and keep that brain in gear. Moreover, print out the trail guide and have it handy with you. That at least takes care of not getting lost. The rest is all about being jungle-savvy. Read up: Using a GPS for biking or Choosing a GPS.

Cycle action in Kiara © Joe Adnan
About the Trail

The trails of Kiara have attained a somewhat exalted status among the mountain biking cognoscenti in KL. But let's have a little perspective, North Shore it ain't. Nevertheless, within the comfortable confines of our very own tempurung, Bukit Kiara is da bomb. The trails comprise mainly of singletrack. Technical singletrack. Well, as technical as it gets without 7 inches of suspension and 5 kgs of body armour, that is.

There's at least 15 kilometres' worth of trails in Bukit Kiara, but they're disappearing by the minute. The most distressing loss was that of the wonderful river valley, a victim of the Sprint Highway Tunnel. Encouragingly, Sprint cites its use of bored tunnelling technology to minimise the impact on the ecology. (You would have thought that they could at last have stumped up for interesting tunnelling technology.)

A tip of the helmet, please, to Pat "Pigpen" Brunsdon for building a substantial number of the trails in Kiara, and to the rest of the Kiara Krew for maintaining the trails.

Trail Head

From Jalan Damansara, turn into Jalan Bukit Kiara. Continue on this road until the traffic lights after the Desa Sri Hartamas housing estate (on your left). Turn left. Take the second left turning, after passing Devi's Corner on the right. Proceed to the end of this road, and park at where it makes a sharp left. Trailhead continues steeply uphill through the woods, going under the high-tension cables near a large tree. (Note: if you are standing at the apex of the left turn, the trailhead is on your left). Access may also be gained from the Joggers' Track near the IBM building in Taman Tun Dr Ismail.

Route Ideas

The route listed below is the best biking route for your first time in Kiara. You can also join any one of the regular groups that ride here every Saturday and Sunday mornings. Rendezvous at Devi's Corner in Desa Sri Hartamas at about 8am.

Start from the back of the Desa Sri Hartamas ("Pat's Egress"). Steep climb. At the top of the climb, turn left ("Rumpy Pumpy"). Note that turning right will take you to the upper pump house and the tarmac road ("the Pump House road").

Continue on Rumpy Pumpy, past the back of the upper pump house. The trail runs parallel to the road. At one point, the trail rises to meet the Pump House road. Take the left fork immediately before the short rise.

This trail (also Rumpy Pumpy) follows the contours, and goes steeply up 2 switchbacks and comes down again in a madly rutted and rooty descent to the construction kongsi, before exiting on the Pump house road at the lower pump house.

Turn right to go uphill on the Pump House road. After the road crests, look out for the left turn to the dusun. There are 2 turnings; I prefer the second which is singletrack. The first left is a gravel road. You'll come to a very steep section of trail; look out for the left fork. This trail will meet the top of the gravel road. Be careful, the log bridge is down. Continue along contours along "Boulder", downhill of the dusun. (The dusun will be on your right.) You'll come to several large boulders and a steep drop known as Concussion Corner.

Hike up and past the boulders, where you can resume cycling. Continue along the contours until you come to a junction. Turn left and you will exit at the Jogger's Track, or go straight along the contours (the trail may be difficult to spot) on "Snakes and Ladders". This next section is very tight and technical and the flyover and bridge are down. If you survive this section, you'll come to a junction with "Twin Peaks". Turn right, uphill.

(Had you turned left at the end of Boulder instead of continuing on Snakes and Ladders, you'll come to the Joggers Track. Turn right onto the tarred section, and proceed until you reach the cross-junction. Look right at the cross junction and you'll see a trail heading uphill. This is the bottom of Twin Peaks. Go up Twin Peaks. You'll shortly pass the junction with Snakes and Ladders on your right.)

Twin Peaks is a huge climb, about 15-20 minutes for most people who ride it all the way. You'll pass a shrine on your left, slightly more than halfway up. About 20 metres past the shrine, there's a left turn. This trail, Rock Gardens, is a little disused. It leads to the park in Taman Tun (which incidentally is closed to bicycles). Do NOT turn into Rock Gardens.

Proceed uphill on Twin Peaks until you see another trail on your left, which drops steeply onto a saddle before climbing again. (The junction is in a wooded section, about 15 metres past a bamboo grove.) Turn left, into Janie's Addiction. Incidentally, if you carried straight on, you'll reach the top of Peak 1, from which there's a good view of KL, PJ and Lim Goh Tong's palace, smog permitting. It's 260 metres above sea level at this point.

Janie's Addiction marks the transition between the old rubber estate and what appears to be montane forest. I've seen blue birds scurrying in the undergrowth that I've not yet been able to identify. This particular section of trail is also west-facing, and is excellent if ridden at dusk because the trail glows red from the light of the setting sun that is reflected from the leaves. Continue along Janie's. There are no junctions. The trail is mostly fun and mostly rideable. There're a couple of steep descents. It will finally take you to a pondok ("Upper Pondok").

At the Upper Pondok, turn left, onto "Boner". After a short rise in the trail, there'll be a left turn into "Clenched Sphincter". As the name suggests, it's a little hairy, and you'll need to master off-camber descents and last-minute swerves to ride it without putting your foot down.

At the bottom of Clenched Sphincter, turn right onto "Penchala". Be careful, as the junction is potentially confusing. This trail leads all the way downhill to Kg Segambut Dalam, and follows the course of a river. Very scenic and exciting.

You'll come out behind a few houses in the Kampung. Turn right on the road, heading all the way back to Sri Hartamas.

Total distance is about 10km. There are lots of trails missed out, including the 2k loop, the 4k loop, and my favourites, Mondo Cool and Pondok-to-Pondok, so there's lots more potential out there. Have fun, and happy trails.

Updated: July 2002, Joe Adnan

Further information

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Photo: Cycling in Kiara © Joe Adnan

 

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