How to Hike Por Lo Shan: Hong Kong's 'Grand Canyon'


Essential Hong Kong Grand Canyon Hike Details

  • District: New Territories
  • Duration: 2 hours (there and back the same way)
  • Distance: 6.5 km
  • Highest Elevation: 150ish meters
  • Difficulty: 1/5 (if you take the concrete road the whole way) 1.5/5 if you take the dusty mountain path
  • Facilities: None. Bring your own water and food. Also, use the toilet beforehand.

Why Hike to the Hong Kong Grand Canyon?

While the Hong Kong Grand Canyon sounds out of this world impressive in name, the reality is a little more down to earth. Located far away from the city, you'll likely spend over an hour getting to the start point of a hike that takes less than two hours to complete.

The Grand Canyon, itself, is pretty small and overhyped on social media accounts. That being said, this is a wonderful hike for beginners looking to explore an easy trail that's not swarming with tourists. There are some steep climbing sections, but as long as you follow the concrete road, there's nothing technical or challenging throughout the entire hike.

You'll also be hiking below the towering behemoth of Castle Peak. It's possible to climb up to Castle Peak from the start point of this hike, but that's a guide for another time.

If you're keen to check out a totally different type of scenery in Hong Kong, then the Hong Kong Grand Canyon is a great option. Oh, and you'll also get to ride the light rail, which is really cool!

Google Route Map and GPX File

How to Get to the Hong Kong Grand Canyon Hike Start Point

Take the Tuen Ma Line on the MTR to Siu Hong Station. From there, leave through Exit B1.

Quick Hong Kong Grand Canyon Hike Route Summary

  1. Take Exit B1 from Siu Hong MTR Station
  2. Get on the light rail and take line 615 or 505 to San Wai
  3. Walk through San Wai Court and make your way onto the concrete road (it has no official name on Google Maps)
  4. Keep following the road past the traditional green-tiled wall with a round entrance
  5. A short distance away, you'll see a pole with a round light and a solar panel on top. That's the entrance to the hike
  6. Climb the steep slope upward for about 20 minutes until it levels out at the top
  7. Choose if you want to take the concrete road to the left (easy route) or the dusty mountain path
  8. If you take the concrete path, just follow it upward
  9. For the mountain path, take the stairs into the trees
  10. Keep climbing upward, being careful not to trip or slip because of the loose dirt
  11. Head downward to a steep dirt section that the concrete path also intersects with
  12. Arrive at a flat, wide dirt path
  13. Follow the flat path for a bit until you see a blue 'Explosion Zone' sign to the right
  14. I'd recommend staying left and following the official path here, though you can take a slightly more daring path if you go past the blue sign
  15. Both paths connect to a concrete road that winds steeply downward
  16. At the blue 'No Trespassing' sign, you've arrived at the Hong Kong Grand Canyon
  17. Explore and head back the way you came. I'd definitely recommend following the concrete road all the way back

How to Get the Light Rail to San Wai

Getting From San Wai to the Trail

When you enter San Wai Court, you don't necessarily need to follow my route to get to the unnamed road.

Walk long enough through San Wai Court and you'll come across the road eventually. Once you're on it, just follow it inward until you see the pole with the round light and solar panel on the top.

Get Ready For a Steep 20-Minute Climb

Choose Between the Mountain Path or the Road

This is the point in the hike where you pick how tough you want the remainder of the journey to be.

If you want the safest, easiest path possible, then follow the road to the left.

If you want some interesting mountain views and don't mind navigating a slightly slippery path with plenty of loose rock and sandy gravel, then you should take the mountain route.

I will detail both options below so you can pick the one that suits you the best.

Option 1: The Concrete Road Route

Follow the concrete road on the left for the most straightforward path to the Hong Kong Grand Canyon.

While this path is steep, it requires less climbing than the mountain route and is super safe even for beginners.

This route and the mountain path route will intersect, so even if you go in a group that decides to split up, you can reconnect a short while later.

Option 2: The Mountain Path

Though the mountain path is far more treacherous than the concrete road, it does offer better views.

That being said, it does take a bit longer and there are a lot of loose rocks and fine sand around. Make sure to pay attention if you hike this section as it's very easy to slip and lose your balance.

The Final Stretch to the Hong Kong Grand Canyon

This section comes with another choice in the trail. Keep left and follow the flat path for the safest route. You can climb up on the right to check out the view and still return back to the flat path to get the best of both worlds.

I definitely don't recommend descending down the treacherous path as it's very slippery and can be tricky to navigate.

The Hong Kong Grand Canyon

The thing about a name like the 'Hong Kong Grand Canyon' is that you expect the place to be massive in scale.

Despite this not being the case, the one thing that is really spectacular about this area is the uniqueness of the landscape. There's no lush jungle here that's par for the course when it comes to Hong Kong mountain landscapes. Instead, there's a lot more shrubbery and arid, rocky land, which is pretty atypical for Hong Kong.

If you're after unique rocks and landscapes to photograph, this place is totally worth it.

Getting Back

Retrace your steps and take the light rail (route 615 or 505) back to Siu Hong MTR Station. You can also take the light rail to Tuen Mun MTR Station, where there are a lot more buses that go to other parts of the city.