A Complete Guide To Hiking Little Adam’s Peak

Hiking Little Adam’s Peak is a must when in Ella. This is an easy, pleasant hike which is a great alternative to the most famous Adam’s Peak – a pilgrimage hike in Sri Lanka.

The Hill Country, where Ella is located, is one of the most beautiful parts of Sri Lanka – picture lush vegetation, mountain peaks, tea plantations. People visit to do tea tasting, to experience the many waterfalls of the region, and to enjoy a bit of hiking in a mild climate before getting back to the heat of the coast.

Little Adam’s Peak got its name thanks to its resemblance to Adam’s Peak, located closer to Nuwara Eliya and thought to be a holy mountain. With its 2243 meters peak, this is a much more challenging hike – so if you are in the mood for a hike, but at the same time want to do something easy and manageable, opt to hike Little Adam’s Peak.

In this post, I explain everything you need to know to hike Little Adam’s Peak, and share some practical tips that will help you make the most of your time there.

The view from Little Adam's Peak
The view from Little Adam’s Peak

Hiking Little Adam’s Peak

The two trails to Little Adam’s Peak

You can pick one of two ways to reach the top of Little Adam’s Peak: the first is a longer and beautiful trail that goes through the tea plantations and the second is a series of steps that will take you all the way to the top.

The trail you pick should depend on the season. I hiked in the rain season so I went for the shorter trail.

The trail through the tea plantations

From the main road in Ella, you can easily reach Ella Flower Garden where the trail begins. You will be walking through tea plantations, so chances are you will spot women picking tea. The hike is nice and easy, with no major challenges, but you will need hiking shoes or at least trainers so make sure you don’t get leeches on your legs – especially if hiking in the rain season!

The staircase trail

If you intend to hike during the rain season, go for the easy trail through the steps as there will be leeches on the grass, and these are a real nuisance.

This trail starts inside the grounds of 98 Acres Hotel, at the main gate where tuk tuks are parked. It is a steady but easy ascent, with no major challenges and beautiful views at the beginning and at the end of the trail.

Practical information for both trails

Overall walking time: This trail takes about 1 and a half  to 2 hours overall, including time for photos and to admire the views.

The hike should take no longer than one hour to go and come back – add a bit more time if you want to take it extra easy and take some pictures. If you decide to use the stairway trail, it takes even less time.

Difficulty level: Easy.

Both trails are well marked and easy to follow., with either clear signs or a path that is fairly obvious.

GOOD TO KNOW: On your way to the top you’ll encounter many lovely dogs that seem to know the trail very well and that seem to enjoy a bit of a rest in a quiet spot at the top.

After hiking, you can reward yourself with a nice cup of tea and some food at 98 Acres Cafè and Restaurant. The view from there is also really splendid.

trail to Nine Arch Bridge
The trail actually continues to Nine Arch Bridge

Continuing to Nine Arch Bridge

Once you get to the summit, you have the option to continue your hike to Nine Arch Bridge, a very famous attraction in this part of the country. There is a trail that goes directly to the bridge, so you can save some time by heading there directly rather than going back to town and then take a tuk tuk to drive you all the way there.

It’s another two to three hours to get to Nine Arch Bridge. Make sure to check the train timetable so that you get there in time to take photos as the train passes on the bridge.

If you have little time to hike, or don’t want to deal with the various arrangements, you can go on a guided tour of Ella that takes you to all the most famous attractions. These are the best tours – some include hiking:

views along the trail to Little Adam's Peak
The views along the trail to Little Adam’s Peak

The Sights

The view throughout the hike are stunning. Whichever trail you pick, you won’t be disappointed. You will be going through tea plantations, and will many great photo opportunities. At the top, you’ll find two viewpoints – you will recognize one by the presence of a Buddha statue. From there, you’ll be able to see the valley, Ella Rock, Ella Gap, Newburg Tea Factory and Rawana falls flowing through the hills.

If you want, you can continue walking for another kilometer until you reach a second peak. Needless to say, the view from there is just as amazing.

Dog at Little Adam's Peak
A cute dog rests at the peak of the trail

What To Expect When Hiking Little Adam’s Peak

Getting to the beginning of the trail

The starting point of the hike to Little Adam’s Peak is the entrance of 98 Acres Hotel. You will need to follow the road down towards the hotel spa, and from there you will get to the main gate where tuk tuks are parked. Immediately on the left, you will find signs pointing towards Little Adam’s Peak.

If you want to opt for the longer trail, you will need to reach Ella Flower Garden, at about 1.5 km out of Ella long the main road.

Hiking fees

Hiking Little Adam’s Peak is completely free. You may only pay the fee for a tuk tuk to reach 98 Acres Hotel, where the trail starts.

Guided tours of Ella that go to Little Adam’s Peak

The trail to Little Adam’s Peak is easy to follow and you will meet many people along the way. Should you have limited time in this part of Sri Lanka, you may want to join a guided tour that includes all the most popular places to visit, as well as a guided hike to the peak. These are the best options:

Food and drink

Unless you are planning to continue hiking all the way to Nine Arch Bridge, all you’ll need for this hike is enough water and some light snack if you want. You will find water vendors at the top of the trail, and you will be able to get food and drink at the end of the hike at 98 Acres Restaurant.

tea plantations on the way to Little Adam's Peak
Tea plantations on the way to Little Adam’s Peak

When to hike Little Adam’s Peak

Little Adam’s Peak is in Ella, which is located in Uva Province, south of Kandy, at about 1000 meters above sea level. The temperatures in this part of Sri Lanka are usually not nearly as warm as they are in the rest of the country.

I recommend visiting Ella and Sri Lanka in general from January till April and from June till September to skip the rainy season and leeches that infest any greenery. In any case, keep in mind that chances of rain are high even in the dry season.

When I visited Ella, at the end of October, I got quite a bit of rain!

Best time of day to hike Little Adam’s Peak

The best time to hike Little Adam’s Peak is in the early morning hours or a bit before the sunset. I suggest you check the weather conditions before starting the climb – you want to make it won’t be foggy, which is actually a very common thing in this part of Sri Lanka.

An early morning hike minimizes the risk of bad weather, as it generally starts raining and fogging up in the early afternoon. I started my hike at around 12:00 and it got really foggy soon after I got to the top. I was lucky enough to have time for photos before the views got completely blocked by the fog!

Essential items to wear and carry

This is a relatively easy hike, yet I recommend being properly equipped for it.

This is a list of essential items to wear and carry:

Where to sleep and eat in Ella

Ella is the starting point for the hike to Little Adam’s Peak. There are some excellent accommodation options. Although there are quite a few restaurants in Ella, much like in the rest of the country, hotels or guest houses also serve meals. These are the best places to stay in Ella:

  • 98 Acres is known as the best hotel in Ella, with beautiful bungalows that have their own balcony and plunge pool, and fantastic views of the valley.
  • Will Guest Homestay is a budget friendly accommodation option. It has plain but clean rooms, all with a view.

Other useful information

You may need a visa to visit Sri Lanka, so make sure to check this before your trip. At the moment, citizens of many countries – including the United States, Canada and all EU countries – have obtained a visa waiver. You still have to apply for the visa before you go, but don’t have to pay for it. Should you need to get a regular visa, you can easily apply for your visa online here.

I also recommend getting a good travel insurance for your trip. Get yours here.

Check out my post Why You Need A Good Travel Insurance.”

For further readings Sri Lanka, you can check one of these books:

Further Readings

Make sure to read my other posts about Sri Lanka for extra help in planning your trip:

Legal Disclaimer: I was a guest of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau during my trip to Sri Lanka, and I wish to thank them for the incredible trip and all the useful insights. Needless to say, the views expressed in this post remain mine. 

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