Planning on doing the Violet Hill hike or Twin Peaks hike? Great!
Located on the stunning southside of Hong Kong Island is the Wilson Trail section 1, commonly known as the Twin Peaks and Violet Hill trail.
Though the hiking trail passes two peaks (The Twins and Violet Hill), hikers often combine the two simply because they are connected. Though possible, it is rare for anyone to just hike Violet Hill or just hike Twin Peaks.
This hike is deemed as one of the most difficult hikes in Hong Kong, as it involves around 1200 relentless steps that will leave your legs feeling numb after. It is so dreadful that the Twin Peaks (not Twins Peak) is commonly referred to as the Terrible Twins.
Although challenging, it still offers beautiful views of lush green mountainsides, the striking ridges along the Hong Kong Island peninsula, and the Tai Tam Reservoir below, making those aching limbs a little bit more worth it.
That is why we have written this hiking guide for the Twin Peaks & Violet Hill, so travelers and locals can enjoy one of the most challenging and beautiful hikes on Hong Kong Island!
Hong Kong Twin Peak & Violet Hill Hike Summary
Not sure if the Violet Hill & Twin Peaks hike in Hong Kong is right for you? Here is a quick summary:
- Duration Of Hike: Typically 3.5 to 4 hours in total should suffice to hike the 5.6-kilometer trail from start to finish, including rest stops and photo-taking breaks. Our total moving time was only 2.5 hours of hiking.
- Twin Peaks & Violet Hill Hike Difficulty: 6.5/10
The hike is relatively short (5.6 km) and the trail is paved all the way (unlike the adventurous Ap Lei Chau hike), but the most difficult part is the ~1200 steps up to Twin Peaks. Though only occasionally shaded, it is shaded on the most difficult parts of the hike.
If you have done the Lion Rock hike, the Violet Hill & Twin Peaks hike is a little harder than that. However, it is still much easier than the Lantau Peak hike (especially done via West Dog’s Teeth)
- Elevation Gained On Hike: 476 meters (1,561 feet) gained in total on the entire hike.
- Total Distance Of Hike: 5.6 Kilometer (from bus stop to bus stop)
- Why Hike Twin Peaks & Violet Hill? Though strenuous, the Twin Peaks and Violet Hill hike offers some of the most spectacular views of the south side of Hong Kong Island (though not better than Cape D’Aguilar). From the trail, you can see the reservoir, mountainsides, the South China Sea, and Stanley Village.
It is also one of the easiest hikes to get to in Hong Kong as the start of the hike is near a popular bus stop. This is the perfect hike for any travelers looking to experience one of Hong Kong’s most famous hikes but without getting up at the crack of dawn.
Violet Hill & Twin Peaks Hiking Trail (Wilson Trail Section 1)
Above is the Twin Peaks & Violet Hill hiking route from Wong Nai Chung Reservoir to Stanley Gap Road.
While you can start the hike from Wong Nai Chung Reservoir or Stanley, we would recommend starting from Wong Nai Chung and hiking south as the steps up to Twin Peaks are sheltered from this direction, but exposed the other way.
Because Wong Nai Chung Reservoir is not accessible by the popular MTR (Mass Transit Railway), hikers must take one of the buses to get there. The closest bus stop to Wong Nai Chung Reservoir and the start of the hike is Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Park stop here.
The bus drops you off at Wong Nai Chung Reservoir Gap. Once you have arrived at this point, you should walk up the steps and onto Tai Tam Reservoir Road.
Continue up Tai Tam Reservoir Road for a further 500 meters. Before you reach the residential complex Parkview, you will see the start of the Wilson Trail Section 1 on the right. This is the start of the Twin Peaks & Violet Hill hike.
The trail starts off pretty easy. Follow the path and it will take you through a shaded trail that hugs a chainlink fence to Parkview Estate.
It might look like you’re about to walk into someone’s garden at this point, but keep going and it will start to look more like a hiking trail.
After 5 minutes you will see the pavement disappears and the dirt path begins. This is where the true fun begins!
The path is gradually steep, but thankfully, it’s not long to get to Violet Hill. It is only 1.3 km from the official trailhead (start of Wilson Trail Section 1) of the hike.
The trail is all one way, but there is a connection point from the Tai Tam Country Trail just a hundred meters or so before arriving at Violet Hill.
When you reach the point where the trail forks, continue following the path on the left. This will take you up to Violet Hill.
Don’t forget to turn around and admire the impressive landscape behind you. The towering residential block peeping out from the overgrown grass of the mountainside shows a rare harmony between nature and urban infrastructure.
The peak of Violet Hill doesn’t offer much to see, mainly because of all the vegetation around it.
Catch your breath and make the long descent down to Tze Kong Bridge. Yes, you read that right. You need to head down now.
For the next 1.5 km, you will make your way down to the bottom of the valley. The trail is a mixture of steps and slopes, so make sure you take care when going downhill.
Unlike the top of Violet Hill that didn’t offer much of a view, this part of the hike is very scenic as lush mountains and the Tai Tam Reservoir hug you from the left.
After making your full descent, you will arrive at the Twins Catch Water that leads to the Tai Tam Reservoir.
When you are ready, cross the short Tze Kong Bridge and head up the path to the right, which is the start of the ~1200 steps up to Twin Peaks.
If at this point you’re feeling like you’ve made a huge mistake and you don’t want to continue up to Twin Peaks, there is another path that leads you to Repulse Bay.
Here is where the hardest part of the hike begins. The steps are quite steep and close together, making it quite tiresome to climb. Fortunately, they have marked every 100 steps with a number so you can see how far you’ve come (and how far you’ve got to go!)
It takes about 1000 steps to reach the first peak of the Twin Peaks. What are you rewarded with at this peak? Nothing except an average view of the remaining hike to the second peak of the Twin Peaks.
From here, follow the path that descends slightly, before climbing the last 200 or so steps up to the second peak.
What is awaiting your arrival at the second peak? Unfortunately, not much either. This peak only has a bench for you to sit down and catch your breath. Surrounding by tall vegetation, there isn’t much to see either.
To descend from the Twin Peaks, it’s relatively simple, but should be taken with care. What goes up, must come down, and the way down is much the same as the way up, a lot of steps!
Here are some of the most gorgeous views of the entire hike. The exposed path offers stretching views of Stanley, Tai Tam Bay and everything around it.
From the second peak of the Twin Peaks, it is 1 km downhill until you reach Stanley Gap Road and the end of the hike.
From Stanley Gap Road, you can catch a bus back or head into Stanley. If you only have a few days in Hong Kong, consider combining the Twin Peaks hike with a visit to Stanley or Stanley’s iconic Rhino Rock hike.
Our Experience Hiking Violet Hill & Twin Peaks In Hong Kong
Getting to the Start of the Wilson Trail Section 1 (Violet Hill & Twin Peaks Hike)
Planning to catch the sunset (~6 PM) near the end of our hike, we set out for Violet Hill & Twin Peaks at around 2 PM. From Jordan (where we were staying), we took the MTR to Admiralty station.
There we hopped on the No. 6 Bus that took us to the Wong Nai Reservoir Park bus stop. Being the weekend, we waited no more than 15 minutes for the bus to arrive.
The bus arrived at the Wong Nai Reservoir Park bus stop in just about 20 minutes, and almost everyone on the bus got off. In front of us was a group of hikers who promptly proceeded up the set of stairs on the left onto Tai Tam Reservoir Road.
Once we got on the Tai Tam Reservoir Road, we saw the Wong Nai Chung Reservoir almost immediately.
We decided to stop and admire the reservoir for a bit and noticed some people taking a hiking trail around to the right of the reservoir. We very nearly followed them before checking the map.
This trail leads to the Tai Tam Reservoir Trail, which also goes to Violet Hill, so we wouldn’t have gotten lost if we took it, but it’s not the trail we wanted. (It is a harder alternative!)
After a bit of admiration, we continue along the steep Tai Tam Reservoir Road. By the time we got to the start of the Violet Hill and Twin Peaks hike, we had already done 500 meters in distance and 70 meters in elevation. That is one-third of the elevation needed to summit Violet Hill!
We encountered the sign for Wilson Trail along with a map that contains the details of the hike. We doubled checked with our maps.me app to make sure it was the path and entered the trail!
Hiking Up to Violet Hill
The path started off with one of our least favorite elements of hiking – stairs. (In hindsight, this wasn’t the best hike to do if you hate stairs.) This path followed the exterior of a fence for a good 5 minutes before becoming a full dirt path.
That didn’t last long as we were interrupted with more steps. Certainly, we weren’t quite impressed by the monotonous terrain, but at the same time, we were just glad we weren’t tiring ourselves out too much before the ultimate climb up Twin Peaks.
The path continued to be a combination of dirt, stairs, shaded, and not shaded. Though the terrain wasn’t exciting, the views certainly were unique. We turned around and saw the large Parkview residential complex completely surrounded by greenery.
It almost looked like an abandoned building where nature started to slowly reclaim its territories.
After about 30 minutes of hiking from the start of the Wilson Trail, we reached the top of Violet Hill, expecting some spectacular views or anything worth seeing.
To our disappointment, there wasn’t much of a view at Violet Hill.
Descending to Tze Kong Bridge
After a disappointing summit at Violet Hill, we wanted something to make those dreadful steps worth it. Fortunately, the descent from Violet Hill to the Tze Kong Bridge is home to some of the best views on this hike.
At this point, we were far away from civilization. Every direction we looked, we saw nothing but lush green hills and metallic blue skies. The Tai Tam Reservoir blessed us with its mirror-like water that harmonized with the surrounding greenery.
The descent to Tze Kong Bridge was a mixture of steps (who knew?!) and a dirt path. The winding stairs, though a bit boring, did offer incredible visuals as they led to nothing but drop-dead gorgeous vegetation.
It took about 45 minutes of leisurely hiking to reach the bottom where the Tze Kong Bridge is located.
Hiking up to the Twin Peaks
We didn’t see a lot of people on our hike to Twin Peaks, except at the Tze Kong Bridge. It is also as if they were contemplating whether they wanted to suffer over 1,200 steps of hell or go home and watch Netflix.
After we took a small break and observed the fear and hesitation on everyone’s face, we crossed the bridge and headed towards our demise.
We knew that the path to the peak of Twin Peaks involved around 1200 steps but we didn’t anticipate how challenging it would be.
As we mentioned, we eventually realized that there are markers on the steps for every 100 steps. It was until about 400 steps that we decided to take our first break. Because it was shaded, we were able to rest peacefully without the sun glaring down at us.
The markers motivated us to continue, and eventually, we set up a system where we would rest after every 100 steps. After about 1000 steps, we reached the first peak of the Twin Peaks.
Expecting something incredible, we were not too happy when we found out that the first peak of the Twin Peaks didn’t offer much of a view. It did show you the rest of the path you must embark on before you can claim you conquered the Twin Peaks.
Knowing that the worst was behind us, we marched on after a short break. At this point, we just wanted to get it done and go home. The path descended briefly before we were met with more stairs. If we had to nickname this hike, we would call it “Hike of a Thousand Steps”.
We eventually arrived at the second peak of the Twin Peaks. Again we were met with a disappointing view (there wasn’t one).
Descending Twin Peaks At Sunset
I mentioned earlier that we set off late afternoon so we could catch the sunset, and it was a really good decision. Not only did we miss the midday heat, but the views as we descended the peak during golden hour were magical.
The descent towards Stanley is the most beautiful part of the hike, so we were lucky that we got to hike this part during golden hour. Like the other 80 percent of the hike, the descent towards Stanley is all stairs.
But since the path was exposed, we were rewarded with gorgeous views of Stanley, Tai Tam Bay and the surrounding areas. By the time we were descending Twin Peaks. the crowd has already left and we were left with a surreal view and sooting serenity.
After snapping some photos, we slowly descended the rest of the way to Stanley Gap Road, where we took bus No. 6 back to Admiralty. It only took us about 30 minutes to descend the entire way!
Best Time to Hike Twin Peaks & Violet Hill in Hong Kong
The best time to do any hiking in Hong Kong is in the winter (December to March). The weather is less hot and humid and there is very minimal rainfall, making it the perfect hiking conditions.
If you are visiting Hong Kong in the summer, you might want to consider doing a sunset hike like we did and starting later. If it’s too hot, you can consider some indoor activities in Hong Kong.
You want to avoid weekends when hiking Twin Peaks & Violet Hill because it is a very popular hike and heavily trafficked. Because it is one of the most easily accessible hikes in Hong Kong, you will find big crowds on the trail.
The best time of the day to hike Violet Hill & Twin Peaks is either early in the morning or 3 to 4 hours before sunset. Not only do you miss the miserable Hong Kong midday heat, but you can also beat the crowd.
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This is the end of our guide to hiking Violet Hill & Twin Peaks in HK. We hope you get to enjoy this beautiful and fun hike the way we did!
Any questions? Let us know in the comments!
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