The Peak Wilderness area known as “Samanala Adaviya” comprises the Western arc of the Central massif of Sri Lanka. It extends from East to West over a distance about 76.8km from the upper segment of the Kelani valley to the Horton plains in East. Width of mountain forest varies from 1.2km to 12.8 km along the arch.

Adams Peak hike

The Peak Wilderness was declared as sanctuary in 10th October 1940, declared as a World Heritage Site in 2010 and it covers about 22,379 hectares.

The contours of Peak Wilderness Sanctuary vary from 1000 to 7360 feet above sea level. Therefore, it possesses unusual geographical formations compared to the other natural reserves of the island. Bena Samanala, Dotalugala, Detanagala are some of the tallest mountains in the Peak Wilderness. Hydrologicaly this mountain range/sanctuary is extremely important.  It is the generator of three major rivers the Kalu, Kelani, Walawe running down to the Western and Southern coast of Sri Lanka and many tributaries of river Mahaweli which make waterfalls inside the sanctuary.

The South and South Western faces of the mountain range are exposed to the South West monsoon so this face is wetter than the other faces. The annual rain fall of Eastern slope is about 5080mm and Southwest slope is 6350mm.

Peak Wilderness is significant because of its formation of tropical lowland forest, sub montane, montane rain forest and natural grassland. Peak Wilderness Sanctuary is home to a host of flora and fauna, including 29 endemic species of birds and other threatened animals like Sri Lankan Leopard, Elephants (last remaining elephant population in the wet zone), and amphibians, reptiles and fish species.  It is expected that 12-15 elephants of Mahaweli Subspecies are freely roaming in the sanctuary.

Access Trails

Access to Adams Peak is possible by 6 trails: Ratnapura-Palabaddala, Hatton-Nallathanniya, Kuruwita-Erathna, Deraniyagala-Udamalimboda, Hapugasthenna-Mukkuestate; Moray estate. The Nallathanni and the Palabaddala trails are most favored by those (Devotee’s and tourists) undertaking the climb. Apart from the two traditional trails rest of the trails are hardly used because those trails go right across the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary.

We offer some unique experience for our guests who want to do this once in a lifetime hike.

  • Climbing via Hatton-Nallathanniya trail and climbing down via Moray estate trail or vice-versa. (10 K’M is the total length of the trek – Difficulty level is medium to high)
  • Climbing via Hatton-Nallathanniya trail and climbing down via Kuruwita-Erathna trail or vice-versa. (20 K’M is the total length of the trek - Difficulty level is high)

Season & Off-Season

  • Adams peak pilgrimage season starts from the full moon Poya day of December and ends from the full moon Poya day of May.
  • June to November is the off season.

Key Facts

  • Most of the climbers take this hike during the night due to steep climb. Since we offer jungle trails you can select the available options.
  • Viewing the sunrise will be one key factor during the season due to the dry weather prevails from December to May.
  • Up to date first aid, qualified medical officer, adequate refreshments, pack lunch, back up vehicle for emergency transport, tour guide and helper will be provided for the hike.

During the off season do not take the hike in the month of June due to heavy rain. From July on wards there will be partial showers but possible to do the hike. Most of the time viewing the sunrise is not possible due to cloudiness and mist.