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Hiking the Mount Sorrow Ridge Trail in Cape Tribulation

Hiking the Mount Sorrow Ridge Trail in Cape Tribulation

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

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!

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.

Map location of mount sorrow

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.

This hike is much easier than climbing Mount Bartle Frere or the Devil's Thumb.

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!

Rainforest trees in cape tribulation rainforest, queensland
Orange markers in trees for hiking in cape tribulation
There are orange markers on the trees to help you find your way.

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.

Hiker on the mount sorrow ridge trail

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.

Mount sorrow hiker in cape tribulation queensland
Hiking through the rainforest in cape tribulation
Grayl water filter bottle

Get Clean Drinking Water on Your Hike

I take the Grayl GeoPress Purifier Bottle on every hike and use it as my go-to source for filtering water all over the world. I've even used it to drink tap water in India!

Compare how the GeoPress stacks up against the best water bottle filters on the market.

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.

Cape tribulation view from mount sorrow ridge

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!

Mount sorrow ridge
Mount sorrow cape tribulation, queensland
Hikers at the top of mount sorrow ridge lookout

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.

Rope lead at cape tribulation queensland

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.

Wildwood cape tribulation accommodation

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

Daintree crocodylus cape tribulation accommodation

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.

Cape trib holiday house accommodation

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.

Cape tribulation travel 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.

Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.