Bukit Timah Hill


Bukit Timah: Singapore’s No.1 Hike

Mountain Stats
Natural Form and History
Climbing Experience & Itinerary
Support Facilities
Safety & Accessibility
Special Tips
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Quick Answers

Q:How to get to Bukit Timah summit
A:Bukit Timah summit is an easy hike from the entrance of Bukit Timah reserve. You can most readily get there by road. You can also take a bus up Upper Bukit Timah road and get off at the Bukit Timah Shopping Center, or take the Downtown Line MRT and alight at Beauty World MRT station and walk 10 minutes walk along Hindhede Drive to the Visitor Center. The hike from anywhere in the Bukit Timah Reserve to the Bukit Timah summit takes no more than 30 minutes. It is an easy climb through some of the most pristine flora and fauna on the ecologically rich island. There are three trail options available, each categorised based on their level of difficulty with the Red Trail being the easiest.
Q:How high is Bukit Timah?
A:Bukit Timah Hill is 182 metres (597 ft) above sea level. To summit it, you would be climbing from near to sea level, so meaning a climbing hight of anywhere from 150 to 180 metres. Note that, because of the Earth's equatorial bulge, Bukit Timah summit is actually further away from the centre of the earth than, say, Mount Vinson (4,892 m, 16,050 ft) in Antarctica.

Climbing Bukit Timah Hill Singapore - Mountain Stats

164m (537 ft)
Climbing Height
163m (534 ft)
  • #1 Highest Point In Singapore

Climbing Bukit Timah Hill Singapore - Natural Form and History

Natural Bukit Timah Hill Singapore - Natural history

Bukit Timah hill is made up of igneous rocks, considered to be formed in the Lower to Mid – Triassic Age. The Upper Triassic Jurong Formation was thereafter deposited on the Bukit Timah granite which underlies about a third of the island of Singapore.

Gnarled tree roots on a hike through Bukit Timah in Singapore
Bukit Timah Hill is barely a climb, but is the high point of Singapore, and a highlight for her visitors.
(Photo by Mathias Rosenkranz via Flickr)

Natural Bukit Timah Hill Singapore - Climbing history

Bukit Timah hill was at one point a dreaded tiger-infested forested area. It was in June 1827 that the hill was first summited by Singapore’s then Resident Councilor John Prince and his men. They had to cut their way through about 22.5 kms of plantations, hills and swamps. They planted a white flag on the tallest tree they could find and this could be seen all the way to Fort Canning Hill, which was then the seat of Government in Singapore. A road to the summit was built in 1843.

Natural Bukit Timah Hill Singapore - Current status

Bukit Timah Nature Reserve was officially opened in 1992 and has become a common highlight on itineraries for tourists exploring Singapore. The park was closed for renovations in 2014 and reopened in 2016 with far greater facilities for visitors including trails of varying difficulties, boardwalks over swampy areas, rope handrails and non-slip surfaces. Designated Singapore’s second ASEAN Heritage Park in 2011, the Reserve and the hill are home to about 40% of Singapore’s natural flora and fauna.

Climbing Bukit Timah Hill Singapore - Climbing Experience & Itinerary

Climbing Bukit Timah Hill Singapore - Climbing Experience

The trek to the summit of Bukit Timah is quite straightforward and can usually be accomplished in less than 90 minutes. There are well marked trails offering different views of the reserve forest and varying degrees of difficulty. Bukit Timah can be a fun family activity.

Climbing Bukit Timah Hill Singapore - Trail options

Number of options

There are 3 official walking routes in the Reserve that lead up to the summit, designated easy, moderate, and difficult respectively. All routes start at the same point – the Visitor Center.

Time to complete
1 day

This is a short and easy route to the summit at just above a kilometer from the starting point. The trail is a paved road leading North West from the Visitor Center and leads you to a steep stairway labelled the Summit Path. The Red Trail seems to be the most popular route with visitors preferring a quick climb but many opt for a mix of routes, going up the easy path and returning via more difficult paths so that they get the most out of their visit to the Reserve.

Number of days
Day Day 1

It is best to start the trek early in the morning before it gets too hot and humid.


A leisurely pace up will bring you to the summit in less than an hour. In the first part of the trek, you will walk on a paved road under tall trees of the forest, and if you are lucky you might spot some wildlife too.


The second part comprises steps that bring you to the summit. There are small and large steps juxtaposed side by side and you can choose to take it easy or push yourself on the larger ones. Following the stairs is a relatively flat boarded path and along the route there are handrails to help you on your way, should you need some help.


Start walking down after spending some time at the summit. The walk down should take 30 minutes or less and bring you back to the Visitor Center from where you can choose to either spend some time at the Hindhede Park which holds some attractions for children or embark on a different walking trail through other parts of the Natural Reserve.

Time to complete
30 minutes

This trail, classified as moderate follows a more scenic route and leads off to the South from the Main Road that goes up the hill from the Visitor Center.

Time to complete
20 minutes

At 1.8 kilometers this is the longest route to the summit of Bukit Timah and is categorized as difficult. The trail leads off the paved routes and offers a far more diverse experience of the Reserve than the other two paths on your way to the summit.

Climbing Bukit Timah Hill Singapore - Support facilities

Guides and porters

Guides are not required
Porters are not required

Trail facilities

Trail head - Registration kiosk
Trail head - Toilets / Bathrooms
Trail - Toilets / Bathrooms along the way
Trail - Rest stop shelters, such as huts, pavilions, etc.
Trail - "Groomed" trail, with built steps, raised or concrete paths, etc, where needed
Trail - Built-in hand-holds, guide-ropes, and hazard markings at technically difficult sections
Trail - Publicly displayed trail maps
Summit base camp - Toilets / Bathrooms

Food & water

Trail head - Food
Trail head - Potable water
Summit base camp - Food

Network connectivity

Trail head - Network signal
Trail - Network signal
Summit base camp - Network signal
Summit - Network signal

Climbing Bukit Timah Hill Singapore - Safety & Accessibility


The temperature in Singapore remains in the range of an average low of 20 degrees and an average high of 30 degrees Celsius. There are two marked monsoon seasons – the North East Monsoon from December-March and the South West Monsoon from June-September. However, rain is a pretty frequent occurrence in Singapore and it is best to check for the daily forecast before planning a trip to Bukit Timah as entry to the Reserve may be prohibited during stormy weather.

Bukit Timah Hill is accessible all year round. June – July and November – December are peak tourist seasons in Singapore. February to April is also quite cool and pleasant. The weather does not change much at the summit of Bukit Timah from its base – it might just get a tiny bit colder and windier. It is best to avoid the hot sun and make this trek early – right as soon as the Reserve opens at 7 am.

Climbing safety

Insects:  While walking through a tropical forest, insects can be menace and it is advisable to use insect repellant before you start.

Slippery surfaces:  Some amount of rain is never too surprising for Singapore and though the trails are mostly laid out in anti-slip surfaces, it pays to be cautious if you are taking the longer and more rugged paths.

Personal safety

Singapore is exceptionally safe, and this is a popular trek. You are very unlikely to encounter any personal danger.

Permits, Fees, and Regulations

Bukit Timah Reserve is free to enter and enjoy.

Emergency contacts

Emergency Ambulance & Fire: 995

Police Emergency: 999

Getting there and away

The nearest airport is Singapore’s Changi Airport. The Bukit Timah Hill is 30km from the airport, but most hikers tend to go here from their hotel / home. 

Bukit Timah summit is an easy hike from the entrance of Bukit Timah reserve. You can most readily get there by road. You can also take a bus up Upper Bukit Timah road and get off at the Bukit Timah Shopping Center, or take the Downtown Line MRT and alight at Beauty World MRT station and walk 10 minutes walk along Hindhede Drive to the Visitor Center.

Money Matters

Bukit Timah reserve is free to enter.

Climbing Bukit Timah Hill Singapore - Special Tips

Tips for amateur climbers

Get a map of all the walking trails at the Visitor Centre and mix it up for a varied experience.

Tips for advanced climbers

This is a one and a half hour max climb with no special skills required. If you want to make an adventure of it, opt for a mountain run instead of walking, or go for the longer and less visited routes.

There are also specially tailored adventure trek routes around the Reserve and including the summit, devised by adventure enthusiasts that you could check out online before trying it out yourself.

Tips for women

Singapore has a reputation for being a safe country and women can expect to have a hassle free experience.

Tips for trail runners

Trail running has been rising in popularity at Bukit Timah Hill. Being a relatively easy terrain and having very little elevation, this is a great place to try out trail running for the first time.

Tips for nature lovers

Take a picture with the GPS stone placed at the summit and make sure to get your fill of the tropical flora and fauna by going on as many of the routes as possible. The trails are clearly marked and all the shelters have detailed maps showing where you are and which way to go, so there is no fear of getting lost.

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