Crocker Range, the longest mountain chain in Sabah, stretches from Sorinsim, in the state’s northern district of Penampang, south to Maligan, in the Tenom district. Rising to an average height of about 5,000ft, it effectively separates Sabah‘s west coast from the interior villages.
Crocker Range Park, covering about 139,919 hectares and extending from Penampang district to Tenom, was gazetted in 1984. The Park Headquarters are situated in Keningau district, on the Kimanis Keningau highway, with sub-stations in Penampang, Tambunan, Papar and Tenom.
The SALT TRACK was a trail originally created by the natives of Sabah’s interior who, for one hundred years, used it to carry their jungle products across the Crocker Range to the coastal Penampang villages, where they engaged in barter-trade for salt. Several salt routes were established, but the one most frequently used, linking Tikolod in Tambunan to Inobong in Penampang, is that now known as the CROCKER RANGE SALT ROUTE.
In 2003/4, Sabah Parks officially created the SALT ROUTE, constructing two Crocker Range Park sub-stations, one in Tikolod and another in Inobong, to facilitate Sabah tour operators wishing to extend their range of adventure tourism products. As the track traverses thick primary forest and incorporates many river crossings, it is compulsory for those wishing to trek along this historic route to engage the services of a park guide, obtain the necessary permits and insurance, and pay conservation fees.
The SALT TRACK can be walked in either direction, between Tikolod sub-station in Tambunan and Inobong sub-station in Penampang, a distance of about 45 kilometres.
The ideal time frame for this trek, which allows trekkers to enjoy the scenery, culture and natural beauty along the way, is a total package of 5 days and 4 nights, with overnight stays at Terian, Buayan, Kionab and Melungung. The area between Melungung to Kionob is thick primary forest, while the sector Kionob to Buayan passes though numerous large rivers, including the Papar and Kionob. From Buayan to Terian, and onward to Inobong, the range is steep and densely forested. For adventurers who wish to embark upon something completely different, the CROCKER RANGE SALT TRACK is an unforgettable experience.