To begin, you will need to make your tour arrangements – securing transportation to the area (vehicle must be four-wheel drive), a mountain lodge or camping ground, tour guide, etc.
The tradition is to hike through the night and make it to the top of the trail in time to watch the awe-inspiring sunrise. Standing at the 2,556m summit, amidst a sea of lesser peaks and soft clouds, you can watch the the island awake to the touch of pink and orange sun rays. On a clear day, hikers are rewarded with a 360-degree panorama of of Jamaica’s entire coastline. It is even possible to view the coast of Cuba, 145 km to the north.
If a night hike sounds more like a nightmare than a dream, you and your posse can overnight at one of the lodges or camping areas in the vicinity and start your trek in the light of day. This gives you a better chance to take in the beauty of your surroundings, chat to local residents, take pictures and more.
Generally, the best time to try the hike is during the Blue Mountains’ dry season, which lasts from December to April. Tour operators advise you to carry your camera, track shoes and socks, an umbrella (optional), shorts or pants, a windbreaker, a T-shirt, a sun hat and shades.
For inspiration, read Gleaner reporter Daviot Kelly’s account of his 2003 hike.