Horton Plains is a beautiful, silent, strange world with some excellent hikes in the shadows of Sri Lanka’s second and third-highest mountains, Kirigalpotta (2395m) and Totapola (2357m). The ‘plains’ form an undulating plateau over 2000m high, covered by wild grasslands and interspersed with patches of thick forest, rocky outcrops, filigree waterfalls and misty lakes. The surprising diversity of the landscape is matched by the wide variety of wildlife (although many of the larger animals are very elusive). Get there for a 7am start and you may be lucky enough to have the paths to yourself. The plateau comes to a sudden end at World’s End, a stunning escarpment that plunges 880m.
The Horton Plains hosts a wide range of wildlife. There are a few leopards, sambar deer and wild boar about, but you’d be very lucky to see the boar or leopard. The shaggy bear monkey (or purple-faced langur) is sometimes seen in the forest on the Ohiya road, and occasionally in the woods around World’s End (listen for a wheezy grunt). “Although the Google maps may show you the distance to World’s End as 8.6 kms, that trail is prohibited to be used for traveling according to government restrictions. Actual distance to World’s End and Horton Plains from the glenrock is 62 km (one way)”. The early morning (between 6 am and 10 am) is the best time to visit, before the clouds roll in. That’s when you’ll spy toy-town, tea-plantation villages in the valley below, and an unencumbered view south towards the coast.
Leave the glenrock – 5.30 am by vehicle Reach Horton Plains World’s End Car Part at around 7.30 am
Distance by vehicle – 66 km (One Way according to google maps)
Duration – Approximate 2 hours due to unpredictable weather & road conditions. Walk to the World’s end from the car park through Horton Plains is approximately 1 hour (about 3.5 km). Round trip takes between 2 – 2.5 hours (about 7 km).
The hotel can connect you to a local third party transport providers. They need at least two day prior notice. However, they may sometimes be available on demand.
US$ 95 (If more distance is travelled than 112 km round trip , additional charges apply (US$ 0.65 per extra km)
If you need a guide from the glenrock additional US$ 30 applies((Subject to availability)
Travel by your own vehicle free of charge
Above charge includes, per km rate charge, waiting charge and difficult route charge
Government and other charges (park entrance fee for guests, vehicle and driver etc. are not included in the above charge).