Bukit Apek, Cheras (a.k.a. Bkt Saga)
Difficulty: Moderately Intense
Duration: Avg. 2.5 hrs - 3 hrs (summit loop)
Chicken Loop?: Yes, you can turn around anywhere you like and head back.
Superman Loop?: No problem. You can run and loop around all the alternative routes up and down the hill. Just don't get lost.
If you are planning to climb Mt. Kinabalu or Gunung Tahan, you'd better be able to climb Bukit Apek without huffing and puffing.
You will get a 400m+ elevation gain very quickly on this hike. This summit is almost 3 x the elevation of Bkt Gasing's highest peak on Siva Temple (160m). The hike also connects to the Taman Saga, Cheras loop that also ends at the summit of Bukit Apek.
From Taman Cuepacs, the entrance to the trail is at the border of the Bukit Batu Puteh Forest Reserve (see road map attachment). At the foot of this hill is your reward...two well stocked 'tung sui' stalls to quench your thirst and hunger after the hike. Walk past the temptation for 'nasi lemak' on your way in...or you will suffer the climb.
The hike is interestingly very well marked with Level 1 (Station 1), Level 2 (Station 2) and so on until you reach Level 5 (Station 5) at around 386m. There you have a choice of going to the waterfall (steep descend) or continue on to Station 6 and the summit of Bukit Apek. The tiny waterfall can be quite overcrowded as we found out ourselves.
At the summit of Bukit Apek, you will find a whole lot of Cheras residence from Taman Saga/Pandan Indah area having a picnic or camping at the summit clearing. The hike up from the Taman Saga entrance takes only 30 mins or so (for the regular hikers) and goes around in a loop (GPS map to be recorded soon).
1) Entrance to Station 5 < est. time 35 mins (fast) - 1.5 hours (slow)>
2) Station 5 to Waterfall < est. time 30 mins walking>
3) Station 5 to Bkt Apek summit < est. time 30 mins or more>
4) Bkt Apek summit to Taman Saga exit downhill < est. time 20 - 30 mins>
5) Give yourself equal time for the return trip because the steep and slippery terrain might slow you down.
- Wear good hiking shoes. It can be quite muddy and slippery.
- A pair of good trekking poles will help to prevent knee injuries.
- Bring at least 1L of water. It is not advisable to drink from the waterfall.
If you get lost, lookout for some emergency numbers posted on trees. There is a 'volunteer rescue team' for Bukit Apek. Quite impressive actually. Bring your handphone along and enjoy the hike.
This hike can be done almost anytime of the day. It is quite shaded and the 'tung sui' stalls are open as long as they are not sold out.
For more write ups on Bkt Apek, search 'Bukit Apek (Apik or Apeh), Cheras' online. Some call it 'Gunung Apek' but it is really just a 'bukit'.
Other reviews and photographs:
The Core Team