Hiking in Sri Lanka - Ella Rock: A Photo Journey

After we’d climbed Little Adam’s Peak on our first day in Ella, it gave us an appetite for more hiking in Sri Lanka around this magnificent highland landscape. We wanted more of a challenge. Little Adam’s Peak was amazing but it was just too easy to get to the top. We were surprised by the incredible rewarding views after such minimal effort! So what to do next. We’d heard about Ella Rock. Another hiking in Sri Lanka highlight that would take a few hours longer to reach the peak. Perfect!

Pin for later?

Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

What we enjoy about hiking in Sri Lanka is not all the hikes are epic all day or multi day hikes. Ella Rock is a 5 hour round trip so does require an early rise to beat that daily rainy season storm that rolls in at lunchtime. Though still enough time for those Sri Lankan breakfasts we love so much. So after more string hoppers, omelettes, fruit and coconut pancakes we left our Green Lantern Guesthouse at 8:30am.

Walking Along the Train Tracks

The first part of the walk requires about an hour following the train tracks from Ella town. We were quite excited by this as we had previously enjoyed our train journey from Kandy to Ella where we caught glimpses of local life on and around the tracks.

An obvious warning sign :) Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

An obvious warning sign 🙂

At the start of our train track trek. Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

At the start of our train track trek

Train tracks with a view. Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

Train tracks with a view

On our track walk to Ella Rock we passed smiling families on their way to town, farmers on route to work and a friendly postman. The postman told us how he walks 15Km of track everyday to deliver mail. He has done so for 30 years. No gym membership needed for him then!

Local family on their way to Ella town. Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

Local family on their way to Ella town

A friendly postman we met who walks 15KM a day along the tracks delivering mail. Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

A friendly postman we met who walks 15KM a day along the tracks delivering mail

Local farmers struggling with wheeling their machinery along the track.Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

Local farmers struggling with wheeling their machinery along the track

It’s wonderful to see locals using the track in their daily lives but there’s also great scenery to be seen. The track cuts through lush jungle high up on the mountainside. When the trees break you can see views across the valley and spot the many peaks in the area.

Finding the Path up the Mountain

Some tourists take a guide when climbing Ella Rock and we now know why. The pathway is harder to navigate and even more difficult to find from the train tracks since there are no signs. We knew this before setting off for the hike but we wanted to give it a go ourselves. Maybe join some other travellers on the way or ask a local when we get close.

Who needs a train when you can carry heavy loads yourself on your head and barefoot. Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

Who needs a train when you can carry heavy loads yourself on your head and barefoot

Passing a station with our unplanned guide leading us to the correct path. Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

Passing a station with our unplanned guide leading us to the correct path

Another local family using the jungle covered train track. Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

Another local family using the jungle covered train track

Our guide book instructed that the opening of the path is once you cross a bridge. To the left of the tracks after a small Buddhist shrine. Well we walked over the bridge an hour into the walk, came across the shrine but there was no clear path. Only a very narrow trail into the jungle which we couldn’t be sure was the correct direction. The last thing we wanted was to get lost in the jungle. That’s definitely not what we had in mind while hiking in Sri Lanka.

Jumping out of the way for an incoming train. Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

Jumping out of the way for an incoming train

A passing train. Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

A passing train

The bridge which marks the turn off from the track. Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

The bridge which marks the turn off from the track

So as planned, we asked a local man who happened to be passing as there were no other travellers in sight. Well actually, we’re sure he was waiting for clueless travellers like us as he ended up taking us all the way to the top for a bit of cash.

The Climb up the Mountain

It was worth the 1000 rupees (£5) as he took us on a much easier path. We bypassed a large and very steep section which everyone else seemed to be taking. We came back down that way which was difficult enough so going up in the Sri Lankan heat would have been exhausting. Judging by everyone else’s heavy panting and sweat soaked clothes at the top, it was!

 The start of the path to the top took us through farmland. Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

The start of the path to the top took us through farmland

Walking through tall tree woodland. Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

Walking through tall tree woodland

We followed our new guide up a longer path but at a gradual incline. Again like Little Adam’s Peak it required no strenuous effort. Yes we were looking for a challenge but at least we saved some energy for the rest of the day. The trail first cut through a local village aside farmland where farmers were working hard in small fields. For the rest of the hike we were dwarfed by tall woodland. Some of which was black from a recent forest fire.

The Views from the Top of Ella Rock

The views from the top of Ella Rock were equally rewarding as those atop of Little Adam’s Peak. You could see far and wide across the valley with infinite shades of green rolling into the distance. The were plenty of people there but everyone was silent, in awe of the mountainous scenery. We stayed for at least an hour in the you could hear a pin drop quietness, enjoying the view. It would be our last hiking in Sri Lanka experience but first on our list of things to do in Ella.

Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

If you like this post please like our FACEBOOK page for updates.

Please PIN this! 🙂Hiking in Sri Lanka is a must when visiting the island and Ella Rock is a highland highlight. We documented our climb to the top with some wonderful photos.

 

10 thoughts on "Hiking in Sri Lanka – Ella Rock: A Photo Journey"

  • nice quotes says:

    Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Ie.
    I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but
    I figured I’d post to let you know. The layout look great though!
    Hope you get the issue fixed soon. Cheers

  • Amar says:

    I did it the same way way and hiked Little Adam’s Peak first and then thought Ella Rock was a good idea!

    You’re right that the hike up to Ella Rock, particularly at the bottom, is tricky. I just did it myself and to save future confusion I put together this detailed picture guide.

    http://gapyearescape.com/ella-rock-hike-the-best-step-by-step-direct-route/

    Hopefully this will help future readers!

    • FindingBeyond says:

      That’s a really useful post Amar. We could have done with that when we tried to make it alone 🙂 Love the comic book font as well.

  • Amalia says:

    The photos are brilliant, loved the post!

  • Deen says:

    Hi good guide if you are coming back to sri lanka please visit my guest houses in Ella Sunshine Ella on the walawaya road opposite of the rest house few minutes walk from the center i can offer you a free room
    and also we organize longer trekkings you can see in my site
    Thanks
    deen

  • Travel says:

    I am seriously fascinated together with your publishing advantages and as well using the format for your web site. Is any paid for subject matter or perhaps have you colorize it for you all by yourself? In any event .. Travel keep up to date the excellent top quality crafting, it’s unusual to check a great web site just like it currently.

  • Mani says:

    Unfortunately, I did not use your tips today and we became ‘victim’ of the local guides tricks. If you take the first turn at the railway as the locals insist, you’ll most likely encounter a guide that tells your you’re totally on the wrong path. Of course they are happy to help and bring you with a little off tour (so you don’t see the other tourists) to the top.

    Everybody who want to do Ella Rock and reads this; DO use the tips in this post


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge