The Mount Sorrow hike to the top of the ridge offers some of the most incredible views over Cape Tribulation in Far North Queensland. But, be prepared for a hot, humid, and steep ascent.
For those visiting Cape Tribulation, one of the most epic hiking opportunities you’ll find is the Mount Sorrow Ridge Trail.
This steep and wet slog up the dense mountain range looming over Cape Tribulation is a great way to get a real taste of the ancient Daintree Rainforest in the Heritage Listed Wet Tropics Region.
I’ve hiked this trail in both the dry and wet seasons. Although this walk is often regarded as one of the most difficult hikes in Cape Tribulation, this short guide should help you get through it!
By Olly Gaspar, traveler, travel blogger & photographer for 5+ years with 600+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.
How to Get to the Mount Sorrow Trailhead
The Mount Sorrow Ridge Trail begins just off the side of Ryker's Road, approximately 100 metres after the turn to Kulki Boardwalk. You'll find it just after the cape, at the end of Myall Beach.
There is a small clearing on the right side of the road (driving north), where you can pull over and park your car. The Mount Sorrow hiking trail is on the opposite side of the road from this clearing. You'll see a small trailhead sign just before you enter the dense rainforest and begin your ascent.
- Trailhead GPS Coordinates: 16°04'41.1"S 145°28'03.9"E
My Experience Hiking the Mount Sorrow Ridge Trail
- Hike Distance: 8.8 km return
- Duration: 3-4 hours return
- Elevation: Mount Sorrow summit: 700 m AMSL
+850 metres total elevation gain
- Difficulty: Moderate - Difficult
- Full Hike Data: My Strava
- GPX File: Download
The Mount Sorrow hike is rated as one of the more difficult hiking trails that is popular among adventure seekers in Cape Tribulation. In saying that, for those with a bit of experience hiking in the Australian bush and with a relatively good level of fitness, it shouldn't be too difficult.
The trail is well-marked and cleared throughout. However, you'll need to keep an eye out for orange markers on the trees to make sure you're on the right path.
However, it's also a good idea to keep in mind that Cape Tribulation is a tropical area. It can get very wet, and sloppy (and leachy) in the wet season. Plan accordingly. I'd recommend bringing some deet for sure!
Part 1: First Ascent
Immediately upon entering the rainforest at the Mount Sorrow hike trailhead, you'll be surrounded by towering rainforest trees and tropical ferns as far as the eye can see. The trail is obvious, so continue onwards and you will begin the first climb.
This section is not too steep, but is a good place to spot wild rainforest animals. We spotted a couple of Boyd's Forest Dragons. But, unfortunately, they were too quick to snap a photo of.
After a short climb, the trail levels out for a comfortable stroll for about one kilometre.
Part 2: Second Ascent
After about 45 minutes from setting off, you'll begin the main ascent up the Mount Sorrow Ridge Trail. This climb is quite steep, but doesn't involve any technical climbing. There are ropes in the steepest sections to help you pull yourself up the muddy rainforest terrain.
You'll have about 2.2 kilometres to gain nearly 500 metres of altitude, most of which is just a steady, leg-burning push. Just continue to follow the orange markers on the trees and avoid going off the track.
The Mount Sorrow Ridge Lookout
Once you finally reach the top, you'll be greeted with a small, fenced platform where you can enjoy the view of the ocean.
Unfortunately, the high canopy of tree growth blocks the majority of the view. Thankfully though, there is an option to push on and follow the ridge up to a much, much better viewpoint just a couple of hundred metres beyond.
Further reading...Cairns to Cape Tribulation on the Great Barrier Reef Driev
Hiking to the Top of Mount Sorrow for Better Views
If you look down, you'll notice that there is a worn trail that leads around the lookout platform and beyond.
This isn't an official trail, but leads to a viewpoint along the Mount Sorrow ridge that offers some of the best views of Cape Tribulation.
We certainly weren't too impressed with the official lookout platform, so we decided to push on. This worn trail follows a narrow and fairly steep ridgeline, so we took our time.
Just a few hundred metres from the official lookout, we broke out of the forest on a cleared section of the ridge that made that was a well-deserved reward after the wet, steamy struggle up the Mount Sorrow Ridge trail!
The descent follows the same trail that we came up on. So, after enjoying the view and snapping some great shots of where the rainforest truly meets. the reef, we continued back down for a well-deserved rest.
Where to Say at Cape Tribulation
Below I've included some tips on the best places to stay on your trip to Cape Tribulation. If you'd like more suggestions with photos, read my comprehensive accommodation guide to Cape Tribulation.
1. Wildwood Rainforest Cottages Luxury
Wildwood offers luxury rainforest cottages set on a rare exotic fruit orchard. Freely explore the 800+ trees on the property, picking & sampling any of the fruits in season
2. Daintree Crocodylus Hostel Budget
Located in Cow Bay, this hostel offers safari-tent style rooms that are built from wood and canvas, with high ceilings, fans and mosquito net.
3. Cape Tribulation Holiday House Family
The highest-rated holiday house in Cape Tribulation set on 5 acres of rainforest & includes a huge balcony, 2 bedrooms and a fully equipped kitchen!
More Things To do in Far North Queensland
Enjoy this hiking guide Mount Sorrow on the Mount Sorrow Ridge Trail? If this is the kind of adventure you're after on your visit to Far North Queensland, don't miss some of my other guides. I've written hundreds of adventure travel guides for this region. So, make sure you check out some of the ones below.
- 60+ Things to do in Cairns - my ultimate Cairns and FNQ travel resource covering the best activities, hidden gems, and unmissable experiences.
- Cairns Hiking Guide - a huge list of epic rainforest, waterfall, and lookout hikes in Cairns.
- Cairns Waterfalls - a huge list of epic waterfalls that I've visited in Cairns and the surrounding tropics.
- Cairns Islands - discover my favorite Great Barrier Reef islands near Cairns and Port Douglas.
- Cairns Tours - my roundup of the best tours you can book in Cairns and FNQ, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Daintree Rainforest.
- Cairns Packing List - tips on what to pack for a trip to Far North Queensland.
- Top Things to Do in Port Douglas - a comprehensive guide to the sleepy Far North Queensland town of Port Douglas.
- Epic 5-Day Cairns Itinerary - my suggested adventure itinerary if you only have 5 days to spend in Cairns.
- Cape Tribulation Travel Guide - discover where the rainforest meets the reef at one of my favourite places in Australia.
- Magnetic Island Travel Guide - your ultimate resource for visiting "Maggie" near Townsville.
- Best Things to do in the Atherton Tablelands - my guide to one of Far North Queensland's most underrated adventure destinations.
- Accommodation Resources: Discover where to stay in Cairns, the best hotels in Port Douglas and my Cape Tribulation accommodation guide.
The Ultimate Cape Tribulation Travel Resource
Looking for more Cape Trib travel guides & adventure inspiration? Below are my most comprehensive blog posts that will serve as a great free resource for your trip.