Hike to Adam's Peak/Sripada

5 miles 7358.9 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Sachith Siriwardane

This winding, steep hike ends at a temple 2,243m atop Adam's Peak with a beautiful view of the sunrise.


I'm Sri-Lankan by ethnicity, but was born and raised stateside/Singapore. I've always wanted to do this hike, and finally got the chance to with my family this past December.

Getting There:

To get to Sri Pada, you need to get to Hatton then to Dalhousie. I'd recommend taking a train to Hatton (easily accessible from Colombo, Kandy, etc.). From there you can either take a bus or tuk to Dalhousie - your call. It's 75 rupees for the bus and anywhere from 1,000-1,700 rupees for a tuk (don't get ripped off).

The Hike:

To get the full experience, I'd recommend starting the hike around midnight, as it can take anywhere between 5-7 hours depending on how fit you are. In terms of navigating the trail, you really won't have too much trouble: Everything is clearly marked, the trail is mostly stairs, and there are always people to follow. Nonetheless, having a good flashlight/headlamp couldn't hurt. As you make the ascent, there are plenty of places to stop for a quick snack/hot drink (Get a hot milo, it will change your life), but make sure you also bring your own food/water. They'll definitely try to make money off you, so definitely bargain.

The last mile or so is tough on the knees and takes longer, so plan accordingly. It's just step after step, which can be demoralizing. Ask the local vendors how much longer if you need some inspiration. The last stretch, before you reach the temple, is one long stairway. At the end, you'll see the temple, a large dome, with many small buildings around it. If you have time until the sunrise definitely check them out, but make sure you get a good spot to watch the rise - it gets crowded really quickly (The sun comes up above the mountain range in the direction of the stairs you just walked up). 

Take it all in, it's a hell of a view.

What I wish I knew:

  • Peak season is December/February-ish. You can still go during then, but you'll be fighting for a spot to watch the rise.
  • It is COLD at the top, despite Sri Lanka being a tropical country. Plan accordingly.
  • Ultimately this is a pilgrimage, so just keep that in mind (How you dress/act, etc.)
  • Momma said don't touch the stray dogs (I did anyway)
  • A time-lapse woulda been cool

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Overall rating: 

Lots Of Steps!

I traveled to Sri Lanka last March. This was one of my favorite memories. Start hiking up at around 10pm/11pm! I got there at around 4:30am, just prior to sunrise and it was so beautiful. Pay your respects to Buddha while up top, and ring the gong. Lots and lots and lots of steps... so be prepared.

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