Hatton -> Dickoya[4km on B149] -> Norwood [6km on B149] -> Maskeliya [8km on B149] -> Maussakelle [3km on B149] -> Nallathanni, Dalhousie [11km on B149]
Distance from Hatton is 32km
Roads are paved all the way up to Nallathanni, Dalhousie Bridge. Public Transport to Nallathanni is available from Maskeliya town.
Trail End: Sri Pada (Adam’s Peak summit) Total Length: 5km
Elevation Gain: 1000m (Elevation at trail head: 1252m | Elevation at trail end: 2230m)
Approximate time: 5 – 7 hours
Hiking Season: Official Sripada season begins in December and ends in April. This is the period of best weather. Avoid long week-ends and full-moon days during this period unless you enjoy a crowded trail.
An off-season climb can also be extremely rewarding since you will completely be away from any civilization or human contact until you reach the peak. Select a dry moth, July or August, since the trail can be extremely hazardous to pass during monsoon months.
Hatton – Nallathanni route is the most popular trail to the summit of Sri Pada or Adam’s peak. This trail is the shortest amongst the conventional trails leading to Sripada (other popular trails are Rathnapura, Palabaddala Trail and Kuruwita, Erathna Trail). Not only it is short, it is also the trail that starts off from the highest elevation which makes it the trail with lowest elevation gain.
Being the most popular trail, it is well paved for the most part. Sections where the trail climbs up are always aided with well laid cement steps. The facilities along the trail such as rest spots, drinking water etc. are also better compare to the other trails.
0 to 2.25km: As you start off from the Nallathanni Bridge on B149 (Waypoint: NS01), get on to the broad estate road. This estate road winds along the mountain slope of the tea estate with the river flowing in the valley beneath on to your right hand side. There will be small shop on the sides of this section of the trail in very close intervals during the season. You will experience a minimal ascend in this section of the trail and therefore steps and other forms of aid is almost absent.
By far this is the easiest section of the trail. This section ends at the end of the tea estate where the access steps to the “Japanese Temple” start (Waypoint: NS03)
2.25km to 3.30km: As you leave the estate footpath you will have to climb steps for about 100m to reach the temple (Waypoint: NS04), passing the temple continue to walk along the broad trail. You will now realize that climb has some what intensified. Rather than just walking along an almost flat trail, now you have to climb few steps every few meters, occasionally climbing for several meters at a stretch. After passing the temple, the trail is now going through the peak wilderness sanctuary. However during the season you may not feel like walking through a montane forest sanctuary due to the crowd and the small shops that pops up all the way from the trail head to the end.
About 300m from the temple you will reach a brief flat section of the trail known as “Gangule Thenna” (Waypoint: NS06). This is a permanent rest stop.
Passing “Gangule Thenna” continue to climb up along the trail with moderate ascend as described before until you reach the “Seethe Gangula”, 3.30km from the trail head (Waypoint: NS07). At this place the trail crosses a small stream with ice cold water on a bridge. You can have a nice bath at this point if you can handle the temperature! Also there is a permanent shelter for resting at this palce.
3.30km to 4.45km: As you cross the bridge at “Seetha Gangula”, prepare yourself for a stretch of intense ascend with almost non-stop climbing along steps. For the most part the steps are made out of cement and are well laid but there are sections with stone steps which have been partly washed away (roughly from 3.7km to 4.2km).
As you elevate yourself along the trail you will start to get a glimpse of the beauty of the surrounding mountains and the valleys. The trail will also get closer to vegetation as you proceed along it. Enjoy the views and tackle this section slow and steady.
The only notably flat section encountered in this stretch is at 400m from “Seetha Gangula” (Waypoint: NS08). This is also a permanent resting place. Passing this point you will again have to tackle steep steps. There are infrequent brief flat sections but they don’t last for more than few meters.
4.45km from the trail head and after 1.15km of hard climb you will reach “Idikatu Pana” the place where the most difficult and the final climb starts (Waypoint: NS11).
4.45km to 5.2km: From “Idikatupana” (waypoint: NS11) the steepest ascend of the trail has to be tackled. This section is called “Mahagiridamba” or “The Great Rock Climb”. This entire 750m of length is a steep climb. In this section the steps are continuously aided with steel bars on both sides. As you reach the summit it feels more like walking in the Sky as the steps are so steep. Strong, cold winds can also be experienced. The view in to the distant mountains and the valleys will become quite spectacular. It always help to take short, frequent breaks to enjoy these magnificent views.
12km from the trail head you reach the summit of Sri Pada which is the 5th highest and the most prominent peak in Sri Lanka (Waypoint: NS12).
Tips, Notes & special remarks:
Please don’t litter. During the season a large number of people climb along this trail and littering, especially polythene, exerts and immense pressure on the sensitive eco-system of the peak wilderness sanctuary. Please take all your garbage back to the base with you.
The summit can be extremely windy & cold, be prepared if you plan to stay there for a considerable time.
Except during the late months of Sripada season, the probability of rain is quite high. (Thunder storms during monsoon months May – July, Sep – Nov). Be prepared with a rain coat and water proofing for electronics such as cameras.
Small shops pop up on the way to the mountain top offering all sorts of food and refreshments during Sripada season.
Take a water bottle with you can keep it filled with water sources found at rest spots.
Make it a point to be at summit before sunrise to witness how the distinctive shape of the mountain casts a triangular shadow on the surrounding plain.
During Sripada season, the trail is lit-up at night