Firstly, if you’re on the fence about doing the Ella Rock hike, do it. I am by no means a “hiker” and rarely ever choose to do this type of activity on my travels, but the views from the top were breathtaking and definitely worth the 4 hour round-trip journey!
So, now that you’ve decided to do the hike, here is my step by step guide to get you from start to finish. One very important thing to point out while you’re doing the hike is that unfortunately, quite a few of the locals will try to confuse you and get your off track. They do this so you’ll end up lost and need their help to get back to the trail and of course, this comes with a price. They’ll tell you you’re going the wrong way and have even put up fake signs to point you in the wrong direction, but don’t fall for it! Just stick to this guide and you’ll be fine.
Start your hike at the Ella Train Station. Go to the platform and while facing the tracks turn left, walk to the end of the platform and hop off. There are signs saying this isn’t allowed, but it’s fine, trust me. Everyone including the locals do it. Walk along the tracks for about 40 minutes heading southwest.
As you’re walking, you will pass marker 166 1/2 and just after this, you’ll see Kithalella railway station on your right. Keep walking past Kithalella station for about 5-10 minutes
Eventually you’ll come to a large rock on your left. If you’re facing the rock, to the right hand side of it you’ll notice a dirt path that takes a sharp left off the tracks (basically going back on yourself). Turn left onto this path. If you hit marker 166 1/4 you’ve gone too far.
Follow the path where you’ll quickly see a foot bridge over a small stream. Go across the bridge and take an immediate left to follow the trail up through the tea farm. As you’re following this path, the grass on either side will become very high. Just stick to the path and don’t turn off.
After about 15 minutes, you’ll come to an opening and the path will veer to the right, you’ll also see a small hut selling water and snacks. Take the path up to the right. It will be uphill with quite a few rocks. You’ll soon reach some flat ground after about 10 minutes which is the interim viewing point. I’d suggest stopping here for some rest and water.
It’s all uphill from here! Just follow the VERY steep path up the rock for about 20 minutes. I probably stopped about 3 times to catch my breath.
Now that you’re here, walk around and enjoy the views!