Salt Trails Crocker Range Jungle Trekking in Sabah, Borneo doesn’t quite fit the classic jungle-trekking ideal of months of preparation, a caravan of pack-donkeys, a Bear Grylls-type jungle guide and impenetrable jungle.
Many casual adventurers are surprised when they find out that trekking the Salt Trails across the Crocker Range mountains in Sabah, Malaysia’s 2nd largest state, can be easy and, dare I say, fun.
So what can you expect from Salt Trails Crocker Range Jungle Trekking?
Day 1 – Inobong Station, Dongongon to Kampung Terian
About 30 minutes outside Kota Kinabalu and after 5km of unsealed road, lies the Crocker Range Park’s Inonbong Substation at slightly over 400m above sea level.
It’s one way to do the Salt Trails, possible also from the opposite direction, starting from the Tambunan side.
Starting from the Inobong side, this substation is where to sign in, collect the permits, pay the fees and meet the guide who will be your jungle eyes and ears for the following 3 days while jungle trekking across the Crocker Range Mountains.
After the formalities are over, the hard work starts immediately with the start of the path ascending steeply to 800m, where the peak of Mt. Natarum welcomes you to the Salt Trails.
You may not have noticed that you’ve risen through an interesting flora change. The peak is overgrown with tall grasses and thinner trees with less dense canopies, and a sneak peek of Kota Kinabalu in the distance is still visible along this ridge.
The rest of the Salt Trails on day 1 brings less severe ups and downs, yet will take you up to 8 hours to complete, depending on your pace and level of fitness.
Along the way descend into the valleys brings denser jungle canopies with muddier paths and, if it rains, a proper rainforest experience, which is what really makes this jungle trek special.
The day ends with a descend to just 250m above sea level into Kampung Terian, which is where a host family awaits at your overnight stop.
Your homestay has basic toilet and shower facilities, but you would want to get things done before it gets dark, because it also gets surprisingly cold.
Delicious, unprocessed food, more than likely farmed by the villagers themselves, is serverd for dinner. It’s also an ideal opportunity to get to know your Salt Trail hosts better through insights into living in Sabah’s interior.
Sleep will come easily.
Continue reading on the next page, Salt Trails Crocker Range Jungle Trekking Day 2…