The area around Mount Kinabalu, spanning 754 square kilometers, was converted into a National Park in 1964 because of its geographical and geological importance and the abundance of diverse flora, 4500 species of plants, 1200 types of orchids, 290 known species of butterflies and 326 types of birds.
At 4,095.2m, Mount Kinabalu is Malaysia's highest mountain. In December 2000, UNESCO recognised Mount Kinabalu as Malaysia's first World Heritage Site for its “outstanding universal values” and its role as one of the most important biological sites in the world.
Located at 1,585 metres above sea level, Kinabalu Park showcases a complete and interesting ecological system unrivalled anywhere else in the world and is the main starting point for the summit trail up the mountain. It also carries lowland, mountain and alpine vegetation that are not seen anywhere else between the Himalayas and the snow-capped peaks of New Guinea.
Managed by Sutera Sanctuary Lodges, Kinabalu Park also hosts the annual Mount Kinabalu International Climbathon event, proclaimed as the 'World's Toughest Mountain Race' which attracts top mountain racers from around the world to climb up and down the mountain in a few hours. The climbathon is part of the Sky Runners World Series Circuit.