Ratnapura Palabathgala Trail to Sripada (Adam's peak)

Trail Difficulty: Easy | Moderate | Strenuous | Tough

early map of Adam's Peak

Trail Head: Siripagama, Ratnapura

Nearest Town: Siripagama Nearest City: Ratnapura

Access to Trail head: Paved road. Public Transport is available from Ratnapura to Siripagama. Trail head is just 100m from Siripagama bus stop. Account 1.5 hours from Ratnapura if driving and 2.5 hour if pubic transport is used.

Colombo -> Ratnapura [100km on A4] -> Malwala [7.5km on B391] -> Palabaddale[12km on B265] -> Siripagama [2.5km]

Total distance from Colombo is 122km

Trail End: Sripada (Adam's peak) Total Length: 8.5 km

Elevation Gain: 2000m (Elevation at Trail Head: 250m | Elevation at Trail End: 2250m)

Approximate time: 8 – 12 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.

Permit Required: NO

This trail goes through the evergreen rain forest of the peak wilderness sanctuary and it is closer with the nature compared to the popular Hatton – Maskeliya route to Adam's peak. Low land vegetation (tall trees – thick canopy) covers the trail at the beginning and vegetation gradually transforms to a mountain cloud forest (shorter, more heavily stemmed, moss covered trees) towards the trail end. Peak wilderness sanctuary is among the best areas for birds and butterflies in Śrī Lanka as well.

Being a trail leading to a place of worship, a significant portion of it has well made steps, some dating back to the 11th centaury. Most of the tricky sections have metal bars/ chains fixed as support to make the passage easy and safe. There are sheltered rest stops called "Ambalamas" approximately every 1.5 KM. These ambalamas are suitable for an overnight stay if required. During Sripada season, the trail is lit-up at night.

0 to 4km: This trail starts off with a long, steep ascent. For four kilometers you will be climbing steps, cement steps first and uneven rock steps there after. Average grade is slightly over 1:4 with frequent brief sections exceeding 1:3. This portion of the trail will elevate you to 1300m from 250m at the trail head (siripagama). By the time you complete this you are at the top of the first peak (point01) out of the seven peaks (Adam's peak being the 7th) you have to pass during the hike. None of the first six peaks is as prominent as the Adam's peak as they are surrounded by a number of small mountains.

4km – 6.5km: This portion is predominantly a natural trail. Steps and other forms of support is only available at most difficult to pass points. Regular climb ups-climb downs will be experienced as the trail passes over four more less prominent peaks. This section ends at "Haramitipana Ambalama". Adam's peak rising like a pinnacle from the surrounding peaks can clearly be seen from this location. At Haramitipana this trail meets another trail from Kuruwita Erathana. The place at which the two trails meet is known as "Galwangediya"

6.5km – 7.7 km: A section of uneven stone steps. This portion of the trail goes over the sixth and the last of the less prominent peaks and ends at "Adiyamalathenna Ambalama", the last rest stop before the final climb. The last portion of the trail which is the steepest ascends starts here.

7.7km – 8.5 km: This section of the trail elevates you from 1960m at "Adiyamalathenna" to 2250m at Adam's peak over a mere 800m length. An average grade of 1:3 with certain sections close to 1:2 makes this the hardest climb of the journey. This section is called "Mahagiridamba". There are steps cut on the stone and a protective metal side rails from start to end of this section.

Tips, Notes & special remarks:

  • 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.

  • Leaches may occasionally bother you, especially in the lower sections of the trail.

  • Small shops pop up on the way to the mountain top offering all sorts of food and refreshments during Sripada season.

  • Drinking Water is plentiful. Water from streams is generally safe to drink without treatment.

  • 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

  • The best approach would be to start from the trial head on a late morning, reach "Heramitipana" by the evening, spend the night there and climb up to the summit before the sunrise.

Way Points

N: dd° mm.mmm’

E: dd° mm.mmm’



6° 47.159′

80° 27.107′

271 m

Point 1

6° 48.535′

80° 28.244′

1304 m


6° 48.496′

80° 28.649′

1464 m


6° 48.413′

80° 29.198′

1628 m


6° 48.592′

80° 29.219′

1691 m


6° 48.620′

80° 29.225′

1681 m


6° 48.661′

80° 29.701′

1968 m

Ehela Kanuwa

6° 48.557′

80° 29.866′

2094 m

Adams Peak

6° 48.560′

80° 29.960′

2234 m


6° 49.503′

80° 31.216′

1243 m

Courtesy: www.lakdasun.com

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