Mount Trusmadi is the second highest mountain in Sabah and Malaysia after Mount Kinabalu and is located about 70 kilometres southeast of Kota Kinabalu City; its forest reserve covers an area of 184,527 hectares bordering four districts – Ranau up north, Tambunan on the west, Keningau down south and Sook in the east.
The mountain stands at 2,642 meters tall which equals to 8,668 feet above sea level, and is actually tougher to climb compared to Mount Kinabalu.
There are three trails (Wayaan) that lead to the peak of Mount Trus Madi. These trails have different climbing distance, starting point, road accessibility, level of difficulty and facilities on the mountain. Selecting the trail is your first step to plan the climb. The most popular trail is Kaingaran Trail (Tambunan) because its route is the shortest at only 4.9 km. Its facilities are also more complete compared to the other trails. Mannan Trail (Keningau) is the second choice. The climb usually takes 4 days, the view along the trail is more beautiful and you do not need a 4-Wheel Drive:
- Kaingaran Trail (Tambunan)
The distance is about 4.9 km from starting point to summit and is only accessible by a 4-wheel-drive that is from town to the starting point. Tambunan town to starting point is about 27 km apart, which would take around 2 hours and 30 minutes-drive.
For your information, the distance from starting point to rest house is 2 km which equals to 2 hours jungle trekking, whereas rest house to summit is about 2.9 km which takes 4 hours of jungle trekking. The entrance to this trail is limited to only 20 person and it would take about 2 days to reach the summit.
- Mastan Trail (Keningau)
In this trail, the distance from starting point to summit is about 4.3 km and is also only accessible by a 4-wheel-drive. To get to the starting point from Keningau Town, it will take about 3 to 4 hours’ drive as the distance is 76 km long. One journey on this trail is limited to 30 person. This trail, too, will make it a 2D1N trip to get to the summit.
- Mannan Trail (Sinua, Sook)
This third trail takes the longest as the distance is 11.3 km from starting point to summit. However, it has good access road, so you would not have to worry too much. It is a 3 hours’ drive (103 km) from Keningau town to starting point. It may take you about 4 days to reach the summit, but the view you witness will worth the time.
Mount Trus Madi has five different types of vegetation, which are:
- lowland mixed dipterocarps
- hill mixed dipterocarp forest
- lower montane forest
- upper montane forest, and
- summit scrub
One interesting thing to spot is the unique pitcher plant (scientific name: Nepenthes x trusmadiensis). It is of a natural hybrid between Nepenthes lowii and Nepenthes macrophylla which is endemic to Mount Trus Madi alone.
If you reach the summit of Mount Trus Madi at dawn and weather permits, you will be enchanted by a breath-taking vista of Mount Kinabalu that lies approximately 40 kilometres north. An absolutely rewarding climb!
All reservations must be referred to the Director of Forestry Department for the approval. Contact them at +6088-899 589 or +6087-331 203 for more information.
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