The Park is situated in the rugged Crocker Range that divides the western coastal plains from the rest of Sabah. Lying more than 300 metres above sea level, it is spread over 139,919 hectares of densely forested terrain. The Padas River which bisects the range between Beaufort and Tenom on its journey southwest, is just one of the twelve that flow through the mountains. Passage by boat was impossible due to the boulders strewn along the swift flowing Padas Gorge. However, human ingenuity led to the construction of a railway alongside the scenic gorge. Roads crossing the range have also made the interior more accessible from the coastal areas making it possible for visitors to enjoy the serene tranquility in the rugged mountains.
Flora and fauna
The vegetation is predominantly a mix of dipterocarp forests and the montane forests of the upper slopes. The bright yellow flowers of the Dillenia suffruticosa, a woody shrub usually found on infertile deforested soil are a common feature here. So too are the Tetrastigma, the wild vine, playing host to the Refflesia pricie, one of the three parasitic rafflesia species found on Sabah’s mountain ranges. The forest is home to at least five species of primates, such as orang utan, gibbons and the furry tarsier (kera hantu) with its enormous round eyes and frog-like hands and feet. Here too resides the extremely sociable long-tailed macaques. Easily identified by their prominent cheek whiskers, they are often spotted obligingly grooming each other and picking out edible insects, in the process! Their intelligent pig-tailed cousins (pigtailed macaques) are extremely adept at plucking coconuts and can contribute significantly to the labour force in coconut plantation! Bears, civet cats, marble cats, and wild pigs also roam the forest floor while hornbills, pheasants and partridges may be spotted flitting between the dense foliage.
There are no visitor facilities within the park at present. However, there are plans to establish a Park Headquarters at the present site of the Forestry Department building in the near future. Private accommodation is available at a resort outside the park area.