Mount Kinabalu is a mountain in Malaysia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Why Is It Famous?

The mountain is the tallest peak within the Crocker Range of Borneo. It is also the tallest mountain of the Malay Archipelago and Malaysia’s highest mountain. Based on topographic prominence, it is also the world’s 20th most prominent mountain, with a prominence of 4,095 meters.

What Is Nearby?

Mount Kinabalu is along the West Coast Division within Sabah, Malaysia. It is the main attraction in Kinabalu Park, which is a World Heritage Site.

Geological Description

Within Mount Kinabalu, you can find the ecoregion of the Kinabalu montane alpine meadows as well as the biome of the montane grasslands and shrublands. This makes its surroundings, and the mountain itself, one of the world’s most important biological sites. There are 326 bird species, over 100 mammalian species, and 5,000 to 6,000 plant species identified in the region.

Low’s Peak, the mountain’s summit, slopes gently enough that anyone who is in good physical shape should be able to climb it, without any mountaineering equipment. But there is a risk of altitude sickness, and national park regulations require a guide.

Mount Kinabalu is a large granodiorite pluton with the granodiorite intrusive into ultrabasic and sedimentary rocks. It is the core of the larger Kinabalu massif. The granodiorite intrudes into strata that are strongly folded and probably from the Eocene or Miocene age. Millions of years ago, molten rock pushed out of the earth’s crust, creating the mountain. It is a geologically young mountain since the granodiorite only hardened after cooling around 10 million years ago.

Events in Time

Before 1997, experts thought that Mount Kinabalu’s summit was 4,101 meters. A re-survey that relied on satellite technology that year found it was 4,095 meters above sea level.


Mount Kinabalu has an impressive amount of biodiversity and can be hiked by beginners, unlike most mountains that require specialized equipment and skills.