Well known environmentalist and Tiger expert Dr. Ullas Karanth, undertook a detailed and systematic survey of the distribution of the endangered Lion-tailed Macaque in Karnataka during 1983-84 with support from the Government of Karnataka. He observed that suitable and extensive rainforest habitat for the Lion-tailed Macaque existed in Kudremukh and that the tract probably harboured the largest contiguous population of Lion-tailed Macaques in the Western Ghats, outside the Malabar region. He further suggested that Lion-tailed Macaques could be effectively used as a 'flagship' species to conserve the entire biotic community in the region and prepared a conservation plan for the survival of wild populations of Lion-tailed Macaques in the region delineating the present national park area as a proposed nature reserve. Based on his report, the Karnataka State Wildlife Advisory Board suggested to the Government that Kudremukh National Park be created. Subsequently, in 1987, the Government of Karnataka declared these Reserved Forests as a National Park based on the above suggestion.
Kudremukh National Park is spread partly over the thick hilly forests near the coastal plains on the western portion and the shola vegetation on the Western Ghats uplands, covering parts of three districts, viz., Chickmagalur, Udupi and Dakshina Kannada. The Kudremukh peak, by which the national park derives its name, is the highest spot at 1892 meters. The hills, which bear the brunt of the severe monsoon winds, preclude any tree growth added to that the region is known for its rich low grade magnetite soil which primarily inhibits plant growth. As a result, the landscape is covered with grass. The valleys which are tucked in, have reasonable protection from wind and a deep soil profile, as a result of which stunted evergreen forests exist creating a unique microclimate, rich with mosses, orchids, etc. The whole scenery of grassland interspersed with narrow strips of forests provides a fantastic vista.Three important rivers, the Tunga, the Bhadra and the Nethravathi are said to have their origin here. A shrine of goddess Bhagavathi and a Varaha image, 1.8 m within a cave are the main attractions. The Tunga River and Bhadra River flow freely through the parklands. The area of the Kadambi waterfalls is a definite point of interest for anyone who travels to the spot. The animals found there include malabar civets, wild dogs, sloth bears and spotted deer.