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Sg. Dua, Offroad Trails

Pahang, 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.

© Joe Adnan
About the Trail

Kampung Sungai Dua is located in Pahang, near the town of Karak, slightly over an hour's drive out of KL. The Sungai Dua trail, located just past Kg Sungai Dua, is an arduous 40 kilometre out-and-back 4wd trail that goes deep into the Lentang forest reserve. The principal attraction of the trail is the impressive 100-foot Kerau waterfall located at its end. Another notable feature is its numerous stream crossings.

The trail is a 4wd track, heavily eroded and slightly overgrown in places, particularly past the 10km mark. The combination of gradient and ruts make the ascents technically challenging, but virtually the whole trail should be rideable for a competent and fit mountain biker. It's 19.4km to the waterfall, which will take you past orchards and then through hill forests that appear to have been logged some time in the distant past. Don't forget that it's another 19.4km back to the trailhead. Total cumulative altitude gain is about 3,700 feet. Net gain is of course zero, since it's an out-and-back.

Trail Head

From KL, head east on the Karak highway. Go past the exit for Kampung Sungai Dua. Take following exit (signposted Sertik Mempaga) and double back on the Karak highway, heading back towards Kg Sungai Dua. Look out for a tarred sliproad on the left that leads uphill, about 2 kilometres or so from the Sertik Mempaga junction. Continue to top of the tarred road, then turn left heading uphill on the dirt track until you come to large plateau, where there should be ample but unshaded parking. This is the trailhead (Waypoint D1, km0.0). Alternatively, more secure parking can be found in Karak town further east, but this will require a 4km cycle on the Karak highway to the trailhead.

Route Directions

From the trailhead, turn right to head back downhill on a dirt track located on the inside of the green chain-link fence. You'll presently come to a tarred section with a sign identifying the area as a Sungai Dua Olak agricultural project. (Kg Sungai Dua is called such because it is located on the confluence of two rivers, Sungai Dua Olak and Sungai Dua Hulu, both of which are tributaries of the much larger Sungai Bentong. The two "Dua" rivers flow north-east along two parallel valleys.) You will pass an orang asli village after which the road reverts to a dirt track. Just keep to the main 4wd track all the way to the waterfall. The first few kilometres of the trail is shared with logging trucks so may be muddy in the wet season.

The first, gentler half of the trail follows the valley of Sungai Dua Olak in a southwesterly direction. The climbing begins about 2.5 kilometres from the start and ends at Waypoint D4, at km10.4. Along the way, you'll first have to cross Sungai Dua Olak at Waypoint D2 (km6.8), and pass some temporary orang asli huts at Waypoint D3.

Waypoint D4, the highest point on the trail at 1,360 feet, also marks the watershed between the two river systems of Sungai Dua Olak and Sungai Kerau. From here, the trail heads more or less south, descending for about 4 kilometres alongside Sungai Kerai, which will be on your left. You'll pass the carcass of an old 4wd at Waypoint D5. At Waypoint D6 (km15.0), you'll come to a largish river, which you may cross either on foot across the log bridge, or by turning right to cross in the river itself. (This river has the disconcerting name of Sungai Rogol, which one hopes is not a reference to a past event.) The two trails will meet up again across the river. Immediately after the bridge crossing, the trail continues on the left. You may have to look carefully for it, as it may be obscured by overgrowth.

The remainder of the trail is over rolling terrain, heading south towards the headwaters of Sungai Kerau, which will be on your left until Waypoint D7 (km17.5), where you will cross it to continue on the left bank of the river. Be careful when crossing this river: cross at the points where the current is slow (even if the water may be deeper). Keep your bike on the downstream side, and unbuckle all your Camelbak fasteners. Though the river may seem innocuous, a single slip may take you shooting downstream into a "washing machine" eddy. James Yap was caught in such an eddy in January 2002, when he led the PCC riders here for the 2002 HOB1.

Once you cross the river, you'll continue uphill on the left bank of Sungai Kerau. Just under 2 kilometres later you'll reach Waypoint D8 (19.4km), where the trail ends at the bank of the river. Park your bike here and trek upriver (south) for about 50m to get to the waterfall (Waypoint D9), which tumbles into a narrow sandstone gorge. Be careful of rains further upriver which can definitely sweep everything in the river's path away, judging from the huge logs that were jammed high on the both sides of the gorge and in the cave at the end of the gorge.

Waypoints

The following waypoints may be used with a GPS receiver by entering the coordinates manually into your GPS receiver. Once you reach the waypoint, you can correct any inaccuracies or error by using the "ref" feature, if your unit allows. To learn how to enter manually waypoints and to upload waypoints and tracklogs onto a GPS receiver, read A Primer to Using GPS for Mountainbiking. Topographical maps of this area are not available to the general public. A restricted version (Series L7030, Sheet 3858) is available by application to the Mapping and Survey Department.

The distance information was obtained with a Cateye cyclo-computer, and should be accurate to +/-2%, to account for calibration error.

Route: Sungai Dua

38.8km out-and-back through steep and sometimes technical 4wd track
Waypoint Coordinates Distance Directions and Remarks
D1 N3.26.753 E101.59.813 Trailhead
6.8km
(Cumulative: 6.8km)
D2 N3.24.804 E101.58.262 River crossing (Sungai Dua Olak)
NA
D3 N3.23.999 E101.57.297 Orang asli huts. Temporary or semi-permanent in nature, so don't be surprised if you don't see them.
3.6km (from D1)
(Cumulative: 10.4km)
D4 N3.23.735 E101.57.125 Top of the climb. Also the watershed between 2 river systems.
NA
D5 N3.23.310 E101.57.046 Rotten chassis of old 4wd.
4.6km (from D4)
(Cumulative: 15.0km)
D6 N3.21.812 E101.57.536 Log bridge crossing over Sungai Rogol. Look for trail continuation on the left after log crossing. Not obvious.
2.5km
(Cumulative: 17.5km)
D7 N3.20.776 E101.57.493 River crossing (Sungai Kerau, which flows southwards).
1.9km
(Cumulative: 19.4km)
D8 N3.19.864 E101.57.473 Trail ends at the bank of Sungai Kerau. Park bike here and trek upstream (south) to waterfall, about 50m away.
NA
D9 N3.19.796 E101.57.476 Kerau waterfall. Retrace your steps to return to starting point.
Download Waypoints

If you use OziExplorer or other GPS-PC software, you can download the following .zip file, which contains both the tracklog and waypoint files. Upload the files into your GPS receiver from your computer: dua.zip

Updated: 12 August 2002, Joe Adnan

Further information

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Photo © Joe Adnan

 

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