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Best Time to Climb Mount Kinabalu for a Successful Summit

Find out when is the best time to climb Mount Kinabalu so you can plan your trip to coincide with the best weather. Choose the right month for a successful and enjoyable climb to the summit.

When I decided to go to Mount Kinabalu, the first thing I did was to find out the best time to climb Mount Kinabalu. It comes as no surprise that everyone wants to time their climb with the best weather window. It’s a challenging climb to the summit of Mount Kinabalu so you want all the odds stacked up in your favor, especially the weather. 

Given that Mount Kinabalu sits in a tropical climate zone with two monsoon seasons, the window for climbing the mountain is quite short.

The best time to hike Mount Kinabalu are during the months of February, March and April (also known as the dry season). During these months, you can expect fairly stable conditions with low rainfall, good visibility and temperatures at the summit of Mount Kinabalu being fairly pleasant. 

“avoid the two monsoon seasons to climb mount kinabalu.”

At all costs, avoid the two monsoon seasons that bring heavy rain to the mountain.

First is the South West Monsoon that lasts from May to July. Second is the North East Monsoon that lasts from October to January. Between the two, the North East Monsoon is the worst.

During the monsoon season, you can expect cyclonic weather with gale force winds, heavy showers, high humidity and slippery walking trails. Many trekkers have been forced to evacuate the mountain during these cyclonic conditions.

Best time to climb Mount Kinabalu for good summit weather.
Perfect weather at the summit of Mount Kinabalu.

Best Time to Climb Mount Kinabalu – My Experience

I have climbed Mount Kinabalu twice – in February and in April. In my opinion, there has not been much difference between the two months.

On both occasions, it rained in the afternoon of Day 1, and on my second attempt, it rained on Day 2 as well. For both trips, we had lovely weather for the summit climb which, in my opinion, is the most important part of the trip.

As long as you climb Mount Kinabalu during the months of February, March or April, you are almost guaranteed to have good weather for most of your climb. Of course, there’s always a chance of a light shower but that’s not such a bad thing.

Let’s look at the historic monthly weather chart to decide the best time to climb Mount Kinabalu

When deciding when to plan my trip, the first thing I research is the monthly weather. Both monthly temperatures and rainfall. For me, I choose the month with the lowest precipitation, because honestly, who wants to go trekking in the rain. Temperature is my second consideration as I don’t want to be trekking when it’s too hot or too cold.

Below is a chart of the historical monthly temperature and rainfall for Mount Kinabalu.

Graph showing the best time to climb Mount Kinabalu
Average Monthly Temperatures and Precipitation for Mount Kinabalu. Source: Meteoblue.

Monthly Weather for the Best Time to Climb Mount Kinabalu

Since February, March and April are the three best months to climb Mount Kinabalu, let’s take a closer look at the temperatures (max and min) and rainfall for these months.

Mount Kinabalu in February

Temperature (Max °C) – 26°C
Temperature (Min °C) – 20°C
Precipitation – 216mm

Mount Kinabalu in March

Temperature (Max °C) – 26°C
Temperature (Min °C) – 20°C
Precipitation – 253mm

Mount Kinabalu in April

Temperature (Max °C) – 27°C
Temperature (Min °C) – 21°C
Precipitation – 232mm

Take a look at the next 14-day weather forecast to decide if it’s the best time to climb Mount Kinabalu

To find the next 14-day weather forecast for Mount Kinabalu, see MeteoBlue.

This article sums up the best time to climb Mount Kinabalu – February, March and April. Let me know what is your best time to climb Mount Kinabalu. 

As always, I love to hear from my readers so please leave your comments below.

Shareen Pote
Shareen Pote
Hello! I'm Shareen. I love to climb mountains. When I'm not out hiking or trekking with my family, you can find me outdoors enjoying the sunny weather in Queensland, Australia where I live with my husband and two boys.
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