The KK-Sandakan Highway connects Kota Kinabalu city to the small town of Ranau in the north east, leading through the mountainous landscape of the Crocker Range. The entrance to Mount Kinabalu Park is located along the side of this road, at the 90 km mark. Just a little further away is Kundasang town (6 km) while Ranau can be reached in another 20 km.
Visitors coming from eastern destinations in Sabah, such as Sandakan and Lahad Datu, will approach from the opposite direction, passing by Ranau and Kundasang before reaching the national park, but the drive is far longer in duration and distance.
There are daily bus departures throughout the day from two major terminals in Kota Kinabalu; City Bus Terminal (North) from Inanam and Mini Van Station at Padang Terminal, just a short distance away from Gaya Street. Technically, these coaches are headed towards Ranau or east-bound destinations, but will drop you off at Kinbalu Park/Kundasang when indicated.
A bus ticket from Inanam costs between MYR10-15; hop on any one heading towards Sandakan and Tawau and indicate your stop to the conductor. Since the bus terminal is 10km away from the city center, it's far easier to take mini vans or shared taxis from the bus station in Jalan Padang, which is at the base of Signal Hill next to Padang Merdeka.
Look out for a messy deluge of white vans and taxis in a large square along the main road, then narrow down your search to the signpost that says 'Ranau'. Rates for the mini vans ride are priced at MYR15 per person, MPVs (Toyota Unser) at MYR16 each and taxis at MYR20 each. The vehicles wait till they are filled up with passengers before departing.
The drivers will drop you off anywhere along the main road (Tamparuli-Ranau Highway) before Ranau, which includes the Kinabalu Park entrance or nearby hotels. To get back, you can hail any large bus along the same main road but in the opposite direction, as all of them are heading towards the Inanam Bus Terminal in KK.
Within Kinabalu Park, vans can be chartered from the office for getting around Kundasang. A cheaper alternative is to ride on the local taxi - offical or non-marked vehicles that ply the main road from Kinabalu Park to Kundasang that can be hailed by hand. A token fee of MYR1 is charged for anywhere you choose to stop along the road till Kundasang town. At Kundasang itself, there are licensed taxis and vans clumped at a square where visitors can ride to Ranau and Mesilau.