Hiking to Ella Rock

This hike navigates you over train tracks, through tea plantations, local farms and houses up through the forest eventually rewarding you with unforgettable views of the Sri Lankan hill country. Ella Rock is a must-do for any visitors to Ella and Sri Lanka.


The Logistics


Walking up Ella Rock takes around 1.5 - 2 hours each way depending on fitness level.


Start the trail along the railway track. From the train station head south along the railway tracks.


This part of the hike is particularly enjoyable and pretty unique. Keep following the track for around 40 minutes. Along the tracks, you will pass Kithalella railway station. This is when you’ll know that you are close. Keep walking for an additional 10 minutes or so until you reach the kilometre marker 166 1/2. Keep walking and take the left turn off the track. This turn is before the kilometre marker 166 1/4. If you pass marker 166 1/4 you have gone too far, turn back and find the path that cuts in towards the tea plantations.


(Quick side note)

While walking on the tracks remember to keep an ear out for trains, this is an active train track and trains will and do pass.


After turning left you will cross the bridge and follow the path.


(Another quick side note)

Watch out for scammers. You may have locals at different points tell you that you are going the wrong way and the offer you their services to take you to the top. Ignore them and follow the route.

(when I walked this hike solo I didn’t know about these scammers, as I was walking through the hills a guy approached me and told me I was going the wrong way and that his house was on the pathway and that he could take me there. None the wiser I walked and talked with me. As we walked he sold me a story about how he needed money to feed his family etc and towards the end pretty much demanded money for showing me the way)


Follow the path through the tea plantations and local houses. You may come across some locals selling coconuts (take advantage!) Keep following the path up and up eventually walking into the forest. This is the toughest part of the hike but fear not you are almost there! Power through the last part of the climb and reach the top and soak in some of Sri Lanka’s best views!


Remember to bring lots of water, sunscreen and maybe some food and snacks and a bottle or two of Lion with you to enjoy at the top!


Enjoy the views and follow back down the track that you came up.