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A Complete Guide to Hiking Ella Rock

A complete guide to hiking ella rockFirstly, 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.

Step 1

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.

ella train station

Ella train station.

ella train tracks ella rock hike

Ella train station tracks

Step 2

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

Kithalella rail station

Kithalella Rail Station

Step 3

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.

ella rock hike

The distinct rock that marks the sharp left turn off the tracks.

ella rock hike left turn

Take the sharp left turn off the tracks (pictured on the right in this photo as I’m facing the way we came from).

Step 4

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.

ella rock hike foot bridge


ella rock hike tea farm

Take the immediate left path after the footbridge and walk through this tea farm.

tall grass ella rock hike

The tall grass on either side of the trail before the clearing.

Step 5

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.

path after clearing ella rock hike

Path in the open clearing just after the tall grass.

interim viewing point ella rock hike

Interim viewing point.

 Step 6

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.

ella rock hike steep last hill

The last steep hill on the trail.

Now that you’re here, walk around and enjoy the views!

ella rock hike view 2


ella rock hike view 3

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