It was the long Hari Raya Haji weekend and after a series of tough hikes I was looking forward to something leisurely. So while the masses congregated at the wildly popular Sungai Gabai waterfalls nearby, KL Hiking and yours truly drove a little further into Hulu Langat and trekked to the quieter and more secluded Lepok Falls.
Alternatively spelt Lepoh, Lepo, Lopoh and even Lopo, Lepok Falls is relatively easy to get to. The trek takes between 1 to 1 1/2 hours – just enough to weed out casual picnickers – and the trail is an interesting one passing through a variety of landscapes. The hardest stretch lasts no longer than 10 minutes and, at the end of it, your reward is a dramatic waterfall with a deliciously cool pool and wide crystal clear cascades.
After grabbing a packed brekkie from one of the many stalls that dot Jalan Ulu Langat Khairul and I parked up in the designated carpark just off the river where series of chalets had been built, and we assembled at Asli Adventure Base Camp. The trail begins here, just behind a rocky outcrop, and immediately crosses a shallow stream by way of a few sunken concrete blocks.
There are two rickety wooden crossings after this, the last leading to a concrete path that curves up around the hill. The concrete must have been laid for motorbikes because it’s quite useless for walking on – too slippery.
It eventually gives way to a dirt trail, and within 20 minutes we had come to a first, then second junction to the right. Ignoring them, we kept our course towards the hills.
To get there the trail passes through a combination of fruit orchards, rubber trees and bamboo grooves. Rambai and duku (or was it langsat) hung from the trees, the pungent smell of durian lingered in the air, and rambutan and pulasan skins littered the ground. It was well and truly fruiting season in Selangor.
Not long past an orang asli hut we arrived at a clearing. shaded by the tree canopy and covered in tangled roots. A gnarled tree provides a landmark and from here we took a hard right.
There are many junctions with small trails leading off the main one into rubber estates and orchards after this and it doesn’t help that there is an absence of signposting. But you’ll know you’re on the right path when you come to a large metal water pipe.
We followed alongside it until we came to the foot of a dauntingly long, steep incline. But appearances can be deceiving and in no more than 5 to 10 minutes we were back on the flat.
As the path wound it’s way along the side of the hill, beneath us the roar of water grew louder, until just past a broken down shelter we caught sight of the river and a rusted sluice gate, now disused.
We inched along a set of slopping slippery rocks after that, then back along the ridge and before you knew it, we were there.
Two separate camps had set up on either side of the river and looked to have spent the previous night there.
Most of KL Hiking’s crew congregated around the pool located beneath the falls or along the side of the widening cascades downstream. If you’re game climb one or two levels up along the right flank of the rock face and slide down. I didn’t but if i had the balls (and extra padding in my pants) I would have considered it.
8.50am Start out from Asli Adventure Base Camp
9.20am Enter jungle
9.25am After passing orang asli hut, come to gnarled tree. Take right here
9.30am Come to water pipe
9.35am At bottom of route’s only major ascent
9.45am Back on flat winding path
10am Reach Lepok Falls
11.05am Leave Lepok Falls
11.55am Back at trailhead and carpark
Time and distance I took 1 hour 15 minutes to reach the falls at a leisurely pace ,and 50 minutes to get back with more intensity. Distance trekked is just under 4km one way.
Rating KL Hiking rates this “Easy to Moderate”. There is one tough uphill stretch to surmount but it should take you no longer than 10 minutes to complete.
Facilities On weekdays you can risk it and park along the narrow road that leads to the trailhead, but on weekends try Kemas parking, an empty plot of land that multitasks as a parking lot – price per vehicle RM5.
There are bathrooms that you can pay to use near the trailhead, but I couldn’t find them and the one building that could pass as a toilet was padlocked. If you want to buy some snacks or grab a bite before the hike a sundry store and eatery is located just beside the river at the start of the trail.
Cleanliness Although not heavily littered there was enough rubbish along the route for me to count it one of the less cared for trails I’ve hiked. Some of this was rubbish discarded by locals, and yes I understand that rubbish trucks can’t make it all the way into certain areas. But is it too much to ask that people carry their waste out along with them? What litter there was around the falls was biodegradable – fruit peel and such – but unfortunately even this attracts rats and puts everyone at risk of contracting leptospirosis. So, at the risk of sounding repetitive – if you bring it in, you take it out!
Getting there Jump on the LEKAS Highway (E26) and continue until you’re on the SILK Highway (E18). Take a left off exit 1807. At around the 4.8km mark exit left onto the E7. At the 4.3km mark take exit 703 on the left then keep right. At the traffic light turn right. After the SM Hulu Langat school (on your left) at the traffic light junction (there’s a police station on your left) take a hard right onto (B52). Its straight for the next 20.5km. The turn off from Jalan Ulu Langat towards the trailhead is a 1.5km no-through road, and is only 2 kilometres short of the turning to the Gunung Nuang-Pangsoon trailhead.
GPS coordinates 3.222300, 101.863930