Summary: A steep circuit up to and along the Bukit Tabur West (Dragons Back) ridge, offering great views over Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Gates Dam.

** Bukit Tabur West and Bukit Tabur East are officially closed as of 2016. 

I’ve suggested a hike on the outksirts of Kualu Lumpur as a team-building activity… surprisingly, my team agrees and Sonia volunteers to be our team leader, as she’s done this hike before. We’re off to Bukit Tabur West, a a quartz ridge on the outskirts of KL, also known as “Dragon’s Back”. The hike starts with a steep climb up through the forest to the ridgeline.

From the Bukit Tabur West ridge, there are views of Kualu Lumpur in the distance – it’s a bit hazy, even though it’s only 10:30am when we set out.


In the opposite direction is Klang Gates Dam, which supplies water to KL. It’s at about half capacity, after a spell of hot and dry weather (the maximum water level for the dam is 95.2 metres, the critical level is 84 metres and currently it’s at 89.9 metres).


The hike gets interesting from here, as it follows the top of the rocky ridge along Bukit Tabur West.

Bukit Tabur West (Dragons Back)

Compared to Bukit Tabur East, the trail along the top of the ridge is a bit longer and more challenging, traversing five peaks. In a number of places there are ropes in place to help you scale the steeper crags and rock outcrops.

Bukit Tabur West (Dragons Back)

In some spots, arrows point to what seems to be a sheer cliff face – but there is a narrow path next to a sheer vertical drop to the forest below. (It’s not a walk you want to do in wet weather, and there have been a number of deaths and injuries that often result in access to the trail being temporarily closed.)

Bukit Tabur West (Dragons Back)

By the time we reach the last rocks that we need to clamber over, we’re all pretty tired. My team are regretting their support of my team building activity. [Although they tell me they’re never coming with me on a hike again, I somehow manage to convince them to do a jungle walk to Medang Falls a year later.]

We still have the descent from the ridge and back to the car, and the track is often quite steep and slippery. It seems to take longer coming down than it was to go up. At one point, on a flat section, there’s a string of red lanterns that must have been put there for Chinese New Year, a couple of weeks earlier.

Finally we reach the road, a bit further down Jalan Kolam Air to where we left the car. near the Bukit Tabur Retreat. To the right of the road is Bukit Tabur East, part of the ridge we have just been following.

Bukit Tabur West (Dragons Back)

It’s taken us exactly four hours for the circuit, with lots of breaks, and fairly slow progress along the ridge as a result of the challenging trail. I’ve really enjoyed this walk – although having started fairly late (a very early morning start is recommended) I’m pretty tired from the heat, and a few of my team are relieved to have finished the hike!

Distance4.3km loop (2-3 hours)
GradeModerate. 330m total ascent.
Season/sAll year. Avoid after heavy rain.
Map/sInteractive topographical map [AllTrails]
Download topographical map (A4, 1:4K) Map [PDF]
GPS RoutePlotaRoute map with option to download GPX / KML file

More information on Bukit Tabur West

Although there is much misleading information on Bukit Tabur (and no official information on the Forestry web site), this area has been closed since October 2016 due to a number of injuries and fatalities. Should you wish to seek a permit or an exemption to this ban, please contact the Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia:

  • Central Selangor District Forest Office
    Block B, 1st Floor, Platinum Cheras
    Zen 1 Rd., 43200 Cheras, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Tel. no. (office): +603 9081 4918
  • Email :

Further information and unofficial resources online:

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