Trekking Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok

Mount Rinjani in Lombok, being the second highest volcano in Indonesia after Mount Kerinci in Sumatra, is one of the most popular trekking in Indonesia. This is because it offers amazing adventurous hike that promises breathtaking view at the peak. It is also partly because of its good location in Lombok which is many independent travelers’ favourite.

Standing at 3,726 m, Mount Rinjani is one of the most active volcano in Indonesia, similarly to Mount Bromo in Java. It bears a caldera of 50 km square that holds a crater lake called Segara Anak (Child of Sea), which has a natural hot spring.

Mount Rinjani had been proposed by the government to UNESCO to be one of the world’s first official geoparks if approved.

Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok


Where is it

Mount Rinjani is situated inside Mount Rinjani National Park at Lombok, Indonesia. The national park is a 41,000 hectares of mountain and surrounding forests that represents the Nusa Tenggara ecosystem.

Map of Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Map of Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok


Why go

To be awe in nature’s best combination of beauty and danger, an active volcano that can be so foreboding and desolate yet so beautiful. The demanding trek that requires two days to conquer the mountain will make it all worthwhile when greeted by the view at the summit.

Panorama view of Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Panorama view of Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok


When is the best time to go

Weather at Mount Rinjani is like the rest of Indonesia, divided into two seasons – dry and wet season and the temperatures are quite even.

Best time to go is May – November during the dry season where there is less rain but more tourists. This is also the safest time to do trekking.

Time to avoid going is January – March when the park is normally closed due to heavy rain.

At other times, it is possible to trek Mt Rinjani mostly due to the tropical climate but please do not attempt to climb Mount Rinjani during lots of rain time because the path may be treacherous. Always check out for local weather before attempting the trek.

Also try to avoid weekends if you do not want the crowd.

Crater Lake and Gunung Baru, Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Crater Lake and Gunung Baru, Rinjani, Lombok


What to see

Mount Rinjani of course.

Segara Anak Lake, the vast crater lake with a new cone forming in it, called Gunung Baru

Mulang Pakelem – the annual Hindu ceremony at the crater lake, dated back to 18th century when the Balinese invaded Lombok. You will get to see hundreds of white clad Hindu pilgrims sitting and praying at the lake.

During rice-planting season, the people here would have ceremonies on Mt Rinjani and Segara Anak lake where they would release small artificial fish made of very thin gold into the lake.

What to do

Sendang Gile Waterfalls, Senaru, Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Sendang Gile Waterfalls, Senaru, Rinjani, Lombok

Other than trekking and summit Mount Rinjani, you can:

Explore Gua Susu (Susu Cave) – one of the famous caves in Rinjani worth visiting. The other two caves that you can explore is Gua Payung and Gua Manik.
Enjoy the natural hot springs in Aik Kalak at the crater rim

Explore local villages at Senaru where there are nice waterfalls around the area or at Sembalun Lawang where you can find weaving villages.

Trekking Mount Rinjani

There are two routes to go up Mount Rinjani:

Senaru ascent
Easier and most convenient route, it starts about 2 km to the west of Bayan village, on the way to Anyer. The trek will lead up to Batu Koq and from there to Senaru. From Senaru, the trek summit will take two days of 10 hours solid climbing. On the third day, if you still have the energy, you can do a steep trek down to the caldera where you will be rewarded with natural hot springs bath and also the view of the crater lake.

Campsite at Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok,Indonesia

Campsite at Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok,

Sembalun Lawang ascent
This is the harder but claimed to be a more interesting route to trek Mount Rinjani is the Sembalun Lawang on the east side of the mountain. This trek is less well marked and a guide is highly recommended. You would need two nights via this ascent, one night to reach Pelawangan Sembalun campsite (9 hours) and next night to go up the summit of Mt Rinjani and down back to Sembalun.

Hike and climb to the summit of Mount Rinjani

Climbing to Summit of Mount Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

Climbing to Summit of Mount Rinjani, Lombok

Most people will start at Pelawangan Sembalun around 2-3am in order to catch the sunrise at the peak. The starting path is difficult for its steep and slippery and the final ascent is worst where it is narrow. Travelers report that if you do manage to make it to the top, the view is magnificent and well worth it with view of the crater and all the way to the island of Bali while surrounded by giant clouds. The photography here is also amazing!

Up and down both sides
To get the best of both routes and they offer different views of the place, you can always climb up one of the route and down the other. Recommended way is to trek up via Sembalun Lawang, cover the rims and even summit if you like and then down to the caldera before heading back to Senaru.

Take extra precautions and safety when you plan to trek up Mount Rinjani and whether you want to reach the summit or not. There have been reports of fatalities here. The trek is also challenging and not to be taken lightly. Make sure your guide are well concerned with the safety of everyone. Also stay informed with the volcanic activities as it is still an active volcano.

Also please keep the mountain clean and do your bit to clean up after yourself. It is also recommended to take a guide or join a hiking trip up Mount Rinjani for safety.

Where to stay

You cannot stay within the park itself but can always find various guesthouses and basic hotels at Senaru or Sembalun Lawang. The popular ones are Green Haven Homestays, Matra Bungalows and Rinjani Lodge *. If you want to go upmarket a little, at northwest Tanjung can be of choice. Many other travelers normally stay at Senggigi * instead and travel to Mount Rinjani by road for trekking.

You should decide on your accommodation base on which route you are taking to trek Mount Rinjani.

-> Find the best hotel deals near Mt. Rinjani at Booking.com *


How to get there

The popular way to get here is via Senaru village on the north of Mount Rinjani, it is also closer to the popular resort areas such as Senggigi.
Mataram-Selong-Sambelia-Sembalun Lawang
Another way of getting there is via Sembalun Lawang entry point on the east of Mount Rinjani, and at 1,150 m, it is closer to the summit from here.

Fees / permit cost
The entry to the national park costs IDR 150,000 / person. Most times this is included in your trek package but do check before you sign on to any.

Trekking Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok,Indonesia

Trekking Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok,


Where to go nearby

Back to Lombok beaches like Kuta beach or Senggigi and Tanjung.

Sail to nearby Gili Islands for an escapade, and there are a few more mountains for you to climb if you haven’t have enough.

Anak Segara Lake at Mount Rinjani, Lombok,Indonesia

Anak Segara Lake at Mount Rinjani, Lombok,


Travel Tips

Always be safe and check the seismic activities report or on local media. This is a very active volcano therefore extra precaution for safety is recommended. Last Rinjani eruption was on 23 May 2010.

Some people might hit altitude sickness here, so know yourself.

Mount (Gunung) Rinjani in clouds, Lombok, Indonesia

Mount (Gunung) Rinjani in clouds, Lombok

Bring a jacket and gloves as it may get chilly up there. Remember proper attire like windproof clothes and appropriate hiking boots and headlamp.

Also, do not forget your sunblock as you can get sunburn easier the higher you go.

Photo credits from top: NeilsPhotography, Paul Hessels, NeilsPhotography, Blek, Jos Dielis, Trekking Rinjani, Trekking Rinjani, Paul Hessels and Trekking Rinjani

Related Articles
Hiking Mount Bromo
Top 10 Volcano Mountains to hike in Indonesia
Top 10 Outdoor Activities in Bali
Bali and Lombok Travel Guide




Author: Rachel

Fascinated by Indonesia, Rachel hopes to bring the best Indonesia Travel Guide to independent travelers so that they can enjoy what Indonesia has best to offer. Being an independent wanderer herself, Rachel knows what it takes to make a good, fun-filled yet responsible independent traveling. So let’s join her to discover wonderful Indonesia together. Google+

5 thoughts on “Trekking Mount (Gunung) Rinjani, Lombok”

  1. Nice reviews and information about Rinjani Mount.
    I think, you also should love Lombok extraordinary because of their beauty., like me.. hehehe ;)

    Thanks so much for promote our island !!

  2. Lombok Island is indeed save lot of beauty. Not only Rinjani, the beach and Gili island also very exotic place to visit. I love this island. culture and society is also very friendly. fitting to echoing the beauty of the Lombok island to the whole the world.

  3. Hi Rachel! Your website is truly a gem!
    Which one would you recommend for a first-time hiker, Rinjani or Bromo? If it’s more or less the same, which one you think is more beautiful and cleaner (I’ve heard about trash problem in many popular hiking destinations in Indonesia)? Also, which one has more decent accommodation?

    1. Hi, Rinjani is definitely more for serious hiker and considerable fitness. Bromo is easily done by anyone. Both of this is beautiful and clean in my opinion. Bromo has more lodges to choose from while Rinjani is more for camping. They are very different mountains depending on your interest!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *