Hiking Grades

Grading a hike is very subjective due to the many intangible variables – individual fitness, health, age and external factors like weather, terrain, level of porter support etc. What is hard for one may be easy for others. We would rather chat over a cup of coffee to share our hiking experience than to rely on an arbitrary scale. However for your reference, we have come out with a basic framework to give you an idea of the difficulty level and experience needed for each hike. In order to obtain a more objective classification, we have mainly used quantifiable factors like distance, elevation gained and maximum altitude reached in our assessment. Nevertheless the grades used should be best described as comparative. Take note that within each grade, there will be harder or easier hikes.

Grade One (Easy Hike) 

Means “Great first Experience”. No previous experience is needed.  Easy trails are usually of short hiking distances (<10km), small altitude gains (< 400m) and over low latitudes (not above 2500m where altitude sickness can be a problem). Be expected to be on the trail for up 3 hours with some short rests along the way. E.g. Hikes in Singapore, Mount Arong, and Mount BromoException: We have classified Pelepah Falls, Gua Maloi and Bukit Tabur hikes as Grade two hikes due to their more challenging slippery river terrains (for the formers)  and narrow ledge terrains (for the latter).

Grade Two (Moderate Hike)

Means “Some previous experience preferable”. This experience does not have to be international. Experience hiking in Singapore can be regarded as possessing previous experience as well. Moderate trails are usually of moderate hiking distances (<15km) and moderate altitude gains (<1000m). They are usually of low altitudes though some may be found at altitudes above 2500m (e.g. Ijen Crater hike). Be expected to be on the trail for up to 6 hours with some short rests along the way. E.g. Mount Lambak, Mount Panti, Mount Datuk.

Grade Three (Demanding Hike)

Means “Experience needed”. Demanding trails are trails which can break you down physically and mentally if you do not train for it priorly (especially if you are not accustomed to exercise). Demanding trails are either of long hiking distances (>15km) or of substantial altitude gains (>1000m) or both. It can be a full day hike, an overnight hike or a two-to-three days hike over relatively high altitudes (above 2500m where altitude sickness can be a problem). Be expected to be on the trail for 6-8 hours or more per day. Due to the longer time and/or higher altitude on the trail, substantial preparation (apparel, camping equipment etc.) for climatic conditions or bad weather is a critical necessity. E.g. Mount Ophir, Mount Belumut, Mount Fanispan, Mount Rinjani, Yushan, Xueshan.

Grade Four (Strenuous Hike)

Means “Basic hiking skills and experience must be at a good standard”. At grade four, you are expected to operate at a high standard and fitness level as soon as you step on the trail. Example being on our Goechala hike where you have to hike for 8 continuous days covering up to 10-15 km per day with significant altitude gain (>2000m) in a remote and wild environment. A good number of days may also be spent at high altitude of above 4000m in snowy conditions (with or without crampons on). Be expected to endure extreme temperature variations from hot to cold for prolonged period. In short this is not something you should try without at least 1-2 years of adequate hiking experience. E.g. Inca Trail, Kilimanjoro, Goechala, ABC, EBC.

Grade Five (Extreme Hike)

Means “Advanced hiking skills and experience are essential”. These hikes require technical skills (glacier travel, snow and ice climbing, belaying etc.) and usage of specialized equipment (ice ace, anchors, ropes etc.) in a very high altitude environment (>5000m) and in very extreme weather conditions below subzero.  A CV of previous high altitude experience is usually required for attempting such trails. Eg: Mera Peak, Island Peak, etc.

List of hikes and their respective grading
HikeHiking GradeTotal Hiking Distance / kmHiking Distance Per Day / kmNo of Hiking DaysMin Elevation Gain / mStarting Height (@ Trailhead) / mMax Altitude Reached / m
Mount Arong Day Hike)155124030270
Broga Hill Day Hike)15.55.51300100400
Panaroma Hill Sunrise Hike)122118090270
Rainbow Waterfall Day Hike)1441N.AN.AN.A
Rafflesia Day Hike)1881N.AN.AN.A
Mount Bromo Day Hike)166116921602329
Mount Bintan Day Hike)155132050370
Mount Ophir Day Hike (Twin Falls))2881414120534
Mount Panti Day Hike)21010148150531
Mount Datuk Day Hike)2771785100885
Mount Angsi Day Hike)211111645180825
Mount Lambak Day Hike)255144070510
Mount Pulai Day Hike)21010160450654
Pelepah Falls Day Hike)266116525190
Gua Maloi Day Hike)2111N.AN.AN.A
Bukit Tabur Day Hike)2881270130400
Mount Irau Day Hike)255126018502110
Mount Ijen Sunrise Hike)27.63.8190918902799
Mount Sibayak Sunrise Hike)21313167215402212
Mount Batur Sunrise Hike)288171710001717
Mount Ophir Day Hike (Summit))31111112561201276
Mount Belumut Day Hike)3121219101001010
Bukit Kutu Sunrise Hike)3121218002501050
Mount Nuang Day Hike)31919113131801493
Mount Kajang Day Hike)310101103801038
Mount Merapi Sunrise Hike)3771133016002930
Mount Agung Sunrise Hike)3991147115603031
Mount Inerie Sunrise Hike)3771114511002245
Fanispan Day Hike )320201114320003143
Taman Negara 2D1N Hike)1842N.AN.AN.A
Dhampus 2D1N Hike )294.5260011501750
Mount Ophir 2D1N Hike (Summit & Twin Falls))3136.5212561201276
Mount Stong State Park 2D1N Hike)32110.5210444601504
Mount Kinabalu 2D1N Hike)317.48.72253115644095
Mount Semeru 2D1N Hike)341.420.72157621003676
Kerinci 2D1N Hike)31472228515203805
Merbabu 2D1N Hike)3136.52184513003145
Mount Gede Pangrango 2D1N Hike)320102176912503019
Wae Rebo 2D1N Hike)314726005001110
Yushan 2D1N Hike)318.89.42125226003952
Xueshan 2D1N Hike)321.810.92170621803886
HehuanShan 2D1N Hike)32110.5227231503422
Taroko 2D1N Hike)3157.52526274800
Mount Fuji 2D1N Hike)318.59.32147123053776
Lake Song Kol 2D1N Hike )32713.5249029103400
Fansipan 2D1N Hike )320102114320003143
Sapa 2D1N Hike)32713.52N.AN.A1500
Chiang Dao 2D1N Hike)3136.52105511202175
Endau Rompin Peta 3D2N Hike)32173180130310
Mount Rinjani 3D2N Hike)33812.63257611503726
Mount Semeru 3D2N Hike)341.413.83157621003676
Xueshan 3D2N Hike)324.88.23170621803886
Dabajianshan 3D2N Hike)36822.63149220003492
Wuling Sixiu 3D2N Hike)3289.33142519003325
Mount Apo 3D2N Hike)330103175511992954
Rinjani 4D3N Hike)3389.54257611503726
Nanhu Dashan 4D3N Hike)35012.54180219403742
Sandakphu 4D3N Hike)34711.74150621303636
Poon Hill 5D4N Hike )35110.25220010103210
Goechala 8D7N Hike)49011.28302017804800
Annapurna Base Camp 8D7N Hike)411013.88306010704130
Everest Base Camp 11D10N Hike)413011.811252028405360