The Crocker Range Park was gazetted by the government in 1984. It covers 139,919 ha and is presently the single largest totally protected area in Sabah. The boundaries of this park are being surveyed but no facilities have yet been developed, thus making it a popular destination for real jungle trekking for adventure lovers. In June 2014, Crocker Range Park was recognised as a Biosphere Reserve by the International Coordinating Council for Biosphere Reserve (CRBR), a programme under UNESCO.
Moving eastwards from Kota Kinabalu, a long range of hills dominates the landscape. The Crocker Range is a giant backbone of green-clad ridges that stretches down the west coast from Mt. Kinabalu’s granite peaks, across the gorge of the Padas River and down into the swamp-forests of the Sarawak border!
The easiest way to access the Crocker Range Park is by road from Kota Kinabalu City to Tambunan. The modern highway follows an old bridle path that was once the only link between the west coast to the interior plains. The road passes close to the highest point of the range, the Sinsuron Pass (1670 m) and the drive takes one from steamy lowland heat to cool mountain air with orchids and rhododendrons flowering on roadside cuttings within an hour.
The KK-Tambunan Highway cuts right across the Crocker Range Park. Another, rougher road further south cuts across from Kimanis Bay to Ranau. The Kimanis – Ranau road is now being upgraded but some parts are still best mastered by 4×4. Guided tours are the best way of discovering this route. Some companies offer 4×4 excursions through this area and beyond, into abandoned logging concessions where off-road driving can become rather challenging, especially during the rainy season.
The Crocker Range receives low number of visitors, mainly because the spectacular scenery of Kinabalu National Park is the main mountainous draw in Sabah and also due to limited exposure and shortage of tourism facilities. You can choose from a range of overnight programs including the Salt Trail expedition, Gunung Alab hike, Trusmadi expedition, and traditional Dusun village stay. Or simply head up for for a day trip from Kota Kinabalu to visit the Rafflesia Information Center, Kipandi Butterfly Park, with a dip at Mahua Waterfall to finish your day. Crocker Range Park is also a premier birding destination for spotting Borneo’s endemic montane birds.
The headquarter (HQ) of Crocker Range Park is in Keningau district, about 105 KM or less than 2 hours drive from Kota Kinabalu city.