493m | 11.7 km | 3:55 hours
This was a reconnaissance exercise to see what lay beyond the end of Jalan Zooview in Kemensah. We knew from the internet that there were trails to waterfalls, and trails leading up to the hills. We didn't quite know what we will discover or what the condition of the trail will be.
We headed out to Jalan Zooview, the road right next to Zoo Negara. When we were young, the road led to Aquarium Negara which was just behind the zoo. The zoo was otherwise surrounded by jungle. It was therefore a surprise for me to see that Jalan Zooview is now a rather long road that took us past housing areas, then villages and finally the countryside. Near the very end of the road, just before the gate into Institut Budaya Baru Malaysia there is a path that veers off to the right of the road. This is the start of our trek.
The path rose steadily and after another 0.8km we reached another major junction. The main path seemed to head straight while another less-used path stood on the left. This junction seemed to be the high point on the main ATV trail. We had climbed from about 166m elevation at the starting point to about 312m at this junction. The main trail now started heading downwards. We soon reached a rather large waterfall, apparently the lower Ampang fall. Now if this stream really is the Ampang River, this is quite fascinating because Google Maps shows Ampang River ending at the Bukit Belacan Reservoir some 12km south of this place.
The going got harder and harder, at several points we had to hack through fallen trees, shrubs and vines that were blocking the way. After about 2.6km, the path which had been steadily going uphill reached what appeared to be a high point and then started going downwards. We turned back as we had to return for lunch. The highest point we reached was 483m above sea level, probably the highest I have ever been around KL.
We don't know where the trail leads to. It was heading in the direction of Gunung Chenuang, and I have heard that there is a trail to Chenuang from Kemensah. Perhaps this is the trail. But it is strange that the trail is not just a jungle path. This is a track that was originally wide enough for a 4WD. What reason could there be to create such a track? I am wondering if there is some kind of ranger station or disused telecommunications tower or water works further on for which this path was the access road. It would be fantastic to push further next time.