Many people told me that the West Dog’s Teeth hike is Hong Kong’s hardest trail. I agree it’s a long, steep, tricky climb in certain places. But in the end, the hike is everywhere safe, and there are no crazy cliff climbs or dangerous corridors to pass.
Of course, there are a lot of options and ways to walk. “One Lifeline”, which connects West Dog to Middle Dog, can be one of these dangerous parts where accidents happened in the past. Not experienced hikers should avoid such places. But we went straight up to the Bird’s Rock and Lantau Peak, which is why I cannot comment on that. Some friends who did this hike also ended up at South- or North Heaven Gate. This is another trail again – which may be tricky and harder to go on.
For me, a 42-year-old guy with slight vertigo, the Hades’s Wall between West Dog and Lantau Peak was the most challenging part. The place is steep and, in some areas, also a bit slippery. And there are no trees, which could give you a certain amount of a secure feeling. Otherwise, I enjoyed it.
If you start at the Shek Pik Reservoir, the route requires a lot of bouldering and scrambling to reach the end of the ridge of West Dog. Always remember: You hike at your own risk. Know your limits!
I made a short video about our hike to the top. You can watch it here and get an impression about the route. Enjoy!
Details about the hike
Hike Distance: We started at Shek Pik Reservoir, walked West Dog’s Teeth to Lantau Peak, and descended to Ngong Ping, the Big Buddha. The total distance was 11.38 km.
Hike Duration: The total moving time was 3 hours and 6 minutes. However, we took videos, had lunch, and rested on the top. The whole adventure took 6 hours.
Elevation: the total Elevation was 900 m, the maximum height 938 m, ref. to my Apple Watch. You can see a profile of the hike below.
Hike Difficulty: I would give the hike a difficulty of 7/10. It’s often referred to as the hardest hike in Hong Kong. I mentioned above already: There are no crazy cliffs to climb, there are no death-defying moments. The hike is not easy because the climb to the top is long, steep and you will not find a well-developed trail – like if you are on Hong Kong or Maclehose Trail. But if you prefer scrambling over stairs – it may be a good option for you.
What you should bring
We could now start with enough water, good shoes, and snacks… but let’s face it: These are the essential equipment you should have for every hike. No exception! I like to focus more on the specialities of this trail here: You may bring some hiking gloves as you will most probably use your hands as well. I did wear my sailing gloves. It protects my hand, and I can still use the touch screens of my GoPro or phone. The weather can change fast on the ridge. Bring a windbreaker jacket and a cap. It’s a long way up. If you watch my video, you will see how the weather changed twice while hiking to the top.
How to get there?
To get to West Dog’s Teeth, there are two options. Please get off the bus at ‘Shek Pik Police Station’ with whichever option you choose.
- Option 1: Start at Tung Chung MTR station. From there you need to get either bus no. 11 or 23.
- Option 2: Take the ferry to Mui Wo and hop on bus 1 or 2.
First steps: Walk back a couple hundred meters to the trail entrance, precisely the same way the bus drove you there. You will pass then a park. When you reach an artificial river, cross the bridge on the right side and enter the Shek Pik Country Trail. You will begin with stairs and walk a while on a proper trail. After around 3.5 km, you will find the West Dog’s Teeth Ridge entry on the right side. On the right-hand side of the trail, you will suddenly see a rocky ramp with spray-painted Chinese characters. That’s the start-up to the ridge.
Follow the ridge until you are on Lantau Peak. You can’t go much wrong.
We ended our hike at Ngong Ping, the Big Buddha.