Kinabalu Park or Taman Kinabalu in Malay, established as one of the first national parks of Malaysia in 1964, is Malaysia's first World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO in December 2000 for its "outstanding universal values" and the role as one of the most important biological sites in the world with more than 4,500 species of flora and fauna, including 326 bird and around 100 mammal species.
Located on the west coast of Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, it covers an area of 754 square kilometers surrounding Mount Kinabalu, which at 4,095.2 metres, is the highest mountain on the island of Borneo. The park is one of the most popular tourist spots in Sabah and Malaysia in general. In 2004, more than 415,360 visitors and 43,430 climbers visited the Park.
Administration and Park Features:
This park is administered by an organization called Sabah Parks. Accommodations in the form of chalets can be found in the park, mostly around the headquarters. Reservations for accommodation and mountain climbing guides are processed through Sutera Sanctuary Lodges (also known as Sutera Harbour), a private company. Every person who wishes to climb the mountain must be accompanied by a qualified guide. Sutera is now requiring hikers stay one night at their lodge near the entrance, in addition to a required stay at Laban Rata. The cost to stay is considerably higher than at lodging just outside the park, and includes a mandatory purchase of meals, etc.
The mountain summit trail begins at Timpohon. There is also an alternative route called the Mesilau Trail. A notable feature of the park is Low's Gully. It is a 1.6 kilometre deep ravine stretching 10 kilometres on the side of the mountain peak.