Hiking Little Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka is one of the most epic things to do in Ella. The peak can be hiked easily without a guide, as there is a marked path that leads you up the mountain, with plenty of signposts to show you the way.
You’ll see many other tourists walking the same path, which is a comforting sign when you’re doing a hike for the first time.
The peak is not to be confused with Adam’s peak, which is a little way away and a considerably tougher and longer hike. It gets its name from Adam’s peak because this mountain replicates its shape, in a smaller form. In this ultimate Little Adam’s Peak guide I will go over everything you need to know to hike Adam’s Peak, including where it is, how to get there, what to bring and more.
Places to stay near Little Adam’s Peak
Little Adams Peak is located in the small mountain town of Ella, right in the heart of Sri Lanka. If you plan on hiking Little Adams Peak, Sri Lanka, you’ll need to base yourself in the town of Ella for at least one night. This will enable you to have an early morning start so that you can reach the peak in time for sunrise.
We stayed at the Hangover Hostel in Ella, which is a 2-minute walk away from the main street of Ella where all the shops and restaurants are. It’s also very conveniently located to hike Adam’s Peak. It took us around 45 minutes to reach the top of Little Adam’s Peak from Hangover Hostel. The hostel itself is very clean, sociable, with spacious rooms and big lockers for your stuff.
If you don’t want to stay in a hostel there are a few gems you simply must try!
- Chill Ville View Point Hotel is located on the mountain slopes and offers incredible views right from the comfort of your guest room. There’s an outdoor pool that overlooks the jungle below, perfect for anyone looking for the perfect Sri Lanka holiday photos!
- Ella Flower Garden Resort offers guests the perfect view from the private balcony attached to each room, and the restaurant serves truly amazing authentic Sri Lankan cuisine.
- 98 Acres Resort and Spa is a luxurious boutique hotel that’s located a little way up the Little Adams Peak path. It offers spectacular views and is a great escape from the village below.
How to get to Little Adams Peak
The path starts out right next to Ella Flower Garden Resort, luckily the trail starts on the main road, which makes it very easy to find.
If you’d like to start a little further along, there is an entrance to the path from the 98 Acres Resort & Spa. Here the beginning of the path is marked by a white Buddha. You’ll then walk through a tea plantation for a good portion of the way.
How long does it take to hike Little Adams Peak?
Starting from the main road of Ella the hike to the top of Little Adam’s Peak shouldn’t take longer than 1 hour. Although there are plenty of stairs, the hike is one of the most easy-going Ella hikes, with a well marked and paved trail. Once you reach the first peak where there is a small buddha statue you will see there are two other small peaks you can walk to, the view is pretty much the same from all of them so it’s up to you which one you want to climb.
After reaching the summit of Little Adam’s Peak you can either hike back to Ella, or hike onwards to Nine Arch Bridge, one of the most popular Ella attractions. From Little Adam’s Peak there is a direct trail to the bridge, which will save you time having to go into town and then venturing back out on a second occasion. This detour will add another 2 to 3 hours to your morning hike, depending on how many photos you stop to take along the way.
If you don’t feel like hiking alone you can do a Ella highlights tour which will take you up Little Adams Peak, then leads you on to the beautiful Nine Arch Bridge and ends at Ella Rock. If you choose to take the tour option, you’ll be in for a full 10 hours of sightseeing and activities!
Best time to hike Little Adams Peak, Ella
The best time to hike Little Adams Peak is in the early morning. It’s best to start the hike when it’s still dark, so that when you get to the top you can experience one incredible Little Adam’s Peak sunrise. Be sure to have your camera ready, as you’re sure to capture some epic photos from the summit!
The actual time will vary depending on the time of year that you’re visiting. We were in Ella in April and woke up at 4:30AM so that we could start hiking at 5AM, and be at the top of little Adam’s Peak in time for sunrise at 6AM. One thing to note is that the hills surrounding you are quite high, so even after the actual sunrise moment it will take some time for the sun to rise over the hills. That means that if you oversleep and set off a bit later you’ll have an easier hike with more light, although you might be rushed reaching the peak before seeing the sun come over the hilltops.
If you’re not an early riser, you can also hike the peak during sunset, which is also beautiful but nothing compares to the sight of the sun rising over sleepy Sri Lanka. I don’t recommend hiking Little Adam’s Peak during the day, as it can get incredibly hot.
Little Adam’s Peak Weather
You can expect very warm Ella temperatures all year round. This is why it’s best to do your Ella hiking in the early morning, to avoid the heat of the day. Temperatures linger in the high 20’s (Celsius) all year round, so you’re sure to be in the mood for a swim after your hike.
Although Sri Lanka is fairly humid, and you can expect rainy days all year round, there are two distinctive rainy seasons that run from April to June, and then again from September to November. During the rainy season, you should be careful of hiking in the slippery mud as it can be quite dangerous.
What to bring with you when hiking Little Adam’s Peak
Although the hike is a fairly short one, you still want to make sure you have the essentials.
- Plenty of water – You may think because it’s only a 2 – hour walk (return) you don’t have to bother carrying water with you, but it’s quite the opposite. Due to the heat, you’re likely to sweat out a good portion of your fluids, so you best bring water with you to rehydrate! You don’t want to have to turn back early because you forgot an essential.
- Snacks – Although short hikes don’t usually require snacks, I recommend them in this case. Because you’ll be hiking in the early morning, and may not have had time to sneak in breakfast, it’s best to take something to nibble on when your blood sugar gets low.
- First aid kit – This is an important necessity to take along with you on any hike! It’s a short hike but you never know when an accident might happen, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Comfortable walking shoes – Little Adams Peak is a fairly easy hike and you won’t necessarily need proper hiking boots, but you want to be sure you do it in comfortable walking shoes. The trail can be slippery at times so better if it’s something with a bit of grip.
Final Thoughts: Is Little Adams Peak Worth the Hike?
Hiking Little Adam’s Peak is one coolest things we did while in Ella. With an elevation of 1141 metres above sea level, you’re sure in for a climb, but luckily you start at a fair elevation so you’ll only end up hiking a few hundred metres.
The hike is not too challenging, which gives you the opportunity to take in all the beauty around you while enjoying spectacular views. You’ll get a much better idea of the landscape, and get the chance to photograph the amazing surroundings, without the effort of climbing a larger much more challenging peak.
The hike is well worth it and is an activity you simply must add to your Sri Lanka itinerary! The walk up Little Adam’s Peak is everything it’s cracked up to be, and worth every ounce of energy spent getting to the summit!
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