Apart from the “tourist trail” on the Cameron Highlands, there is another mountain nearby that can offer something more rugged for the more adventurous. Gunung Irau is one mountain that can be easily reached from Cameron Highland. The trail to its summit is obvious although one have to take note that there is a false summit before the true summit. The starting point of the trek is near the summit of Gunung Brinchang, which is just a few meters lower than Gunung Irau. As the trek is always above 1000m, the air is cool and refreshing unlike most other Malaysia treks, which starts from the lowland tropical rainforest.
Due to the high human traffic, the damp mossy forest of that altitude turns to muddy, soggy mudflats where too much human feet had trampled on. Though one may try to avoid stepping into the mud, it is just a matter of time for the shoes to turn into muddy lumps. Attempts to avoid the mud by stepping on the mosses at the side of the trail will only aggravate the situation and enlarge the mud covered trail. As the starting point of the trek is close to the summit of a mountain, it is apparent that one needs to make a descent before ascending to the summit of Gunung Irau.
The descent down the side of Gunung Brinchang is a very long and very muddy journey. Once you reached the saddle, the trail up Gunung Irau is steep and less muddy as a result. But, there is still enough mud on the trail to make your hands and feet muddy. At the end of this ascent is the false summit where there is space for tents. The trail continues on the left side with a very steep descend before ascending to the true summit of Gunung Irau, which is marked by a signboard. There is no water source throughout the whole route thus it is essential that one brings sufficient water for the return journey.
As cab drivers did not like to drive up the steep road up Gunung Brinchange, one has to find a 4-wheel drive to go to the starting point, which is at a clearing by the right side of the road close to the summit. Fortunately, it is not difficult to find 4-wheel drivers in the main town of Tanah Rata.