Blue Mountain Peak Hike

The Blue Mountain Peak Trail is the route to Jamaica’s highest point, which sits at 2,256 metres (7,401 ft.) The trail covers a distance of 9.3 km (5.8 miles) over steep terrain and is an intense 4-hour hike to the summit.

The Blue Mountain Peak Trail falls within the pristine, primary forest of the national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The route is ideal for observing native plants and over 200 bird species; including most of Jamaica's endemic birds including the rare Jamaican Blackbird. There are no large or poisonous animals in the national park.

Above 2,000 metres, as you near the summit, the lush canopy gives way to an elfin forest; where trees and shrubs are stunted and gnarled due to high elevation exposure.

What you will need:

  • Hiking for trail shoes/sneakers
  • Liquid refreshment/water
  • Snacks
  • Warm Jacket
  • Raincoat

Blue Mountain Hikes

The classic way to experience the hike is to begin the ascent just after midnight to meet the dawn of the new day at the Blue Mountain Peak. Overnighting at Portland Gap allows you a little later start (at about 3:30am). A day trip is also possible if you leave Kingston at 6:00am and this approach allows for more time viewing and experiencing the cloud forest.

Blue Mountain Hikes - Land Rover Pick Up

Another traditional experience is travelling up to the Trailhead (Jacob's Ladder/Abbey Green) in 4WD Land Rovers - these are old but well maintained Land Rovers owned by local community members and used for transportation of coffee and other produce, Christmas Trees and hikers.

Starting Point Distance Mode of Travel
Papine to Mavis Bank (road) 17.7 km / 11 miles Motor Vehicles or Hiking
Mavis Bank to Hagley Gap (road) 7 km / 4.3 miles Motor Vehicles or Hiking
Mavis Bank to Penlyne Castle (trail) 4.5 km / 2.8 miles Hiking
Hagley Gap to Penlyne Castle (road) 4 km / 2.5 miles 4WD Vehicles or Hiking
Penlyne Castle to Abbey Green (road) 3.2 km / 2 miles 4WD Vehicles or Hiking
Abbey Green to Portland Gap (trail) 3.7 km / 2.3 miles Hiking
Portland Gap to the Peak (trial) 5.6 km / 3.5 miles Hiking

Trail Fee

J$300.00 per adult; J$100.00 per child
US$20.00 per person

N.B.: There are other costs involved, e.g. transportation, accommodation and meals and trail guide

Distance: 18.6 km Time: 7 hours Difficulty: Challenging