Gunung Rinjani - Trek in the cloud

Rinjani had been lingering in our minds since quite a while, ever since we came back from Merbabu in Java. We booked the trip three months in advance and we put honest effort in training for this trip. (Running 5 km, 3 times a week and 100 km cycling on Saturdays ). 
Situated in the center of Lombok in Indonesia, Gunung Rinjani is an active volcano. It is considered as one of the challenging treks in South East Asia. A 3 day 2 night trek is quite popular and gives just enough time to explore the crater rim and summit. A relatively comfortable trek would be 4 day 3 night one. 

For the ones interested in summit attempt, Sembalun route is the way to go. We found Sembalun route as more comfortable and scenic also. Sembalun itself is 2 and half hour from Lombok Airport. 

The other route starts at Semaru (3.5 hrs from airport) but it ends at crater rim. One will have to do an additional day trek to reach Sembalun side for summit attempt, with low on energy. 

Road to Sembalun

Trek fragmented by days

Day 1

Sembalun(1000m) -> Pos1(1400m) -> Pos2(1600m) -> Pos3(1800m) -> Crater Rim(2600m) ||5 hours

Sleep in evening to start from Rinjani summit  at 2 am

Day 2

Crater Rim (2600 m) <--> Rinjani Summit (3726m) || 3.5 hours(going up) + 2.5 hours coming down

Breakfast at camp, Prepare to leave for crater lake and hot spring at 9 am

Crater Rim (2600m) -> Crater Lake (2000m) || 2 hours

Enjoy the view and have lunch by the crater lake, prepare to leave for semaru rim at 2 pm

Crater lake (2000m) -> Semaru Crater Rim (2600m) || 2.5 hours

Nice view of Sunset, and plenty of time for good comfortable sleep. Start decent at 7am next morning

Day 3

Semaru Crater Rim (2600m) -> Semaru Village(600m) || 5 hours

Map showing our start point in Sembalun and end point in Semaru village. We finished the route in 1 day 19 hours :-)

The altitude profile is here. Please feel free to email if you are interested in GPS data of the trek.

Coming back to day 1, Sembalun to Crater Rim, the trek passes through beautiful savannah grassland and only near the crater rim, there is evidence of volcanic rock and sand.

Savannah Grassland
Seems like an effort less walk for the porters
View from Pos 3

When we reached the crater rim, it was almost dark, while our guide helped to prepare dinner, we engaged ourselves in star trail.

Star trail

Day 2 

After the dinner, we had a sleep for 4 hours. The temperature was 5 degrees. We prepared for summit attempt at 2 am. It was a difficult trek, 2 steps up, 1 step down. Gives a feeling of quick sand. Though all the tiredness is gone once at summit. 

View of crater Rim from top of mount Rinjani

The View of sunrise from the top is equally mesmerizing

                   After the sunrise, its time to come down and prepare for a decent to crater lake.
First look of the lake

During our stay, the lake was filled with clouds, It was time to climb up to Semaru and click sunset.

Crater rim on our way to semaru rim

Sun set at Semaru

The colors after sunset.
Finally it was time to decent. three awesome days have come to an end. 

Our trip in video


  1. oke terima kasih banyak gan

  2. thanks for posting about Lombok that we proud especially that about Mount Rinjani. hope you come here again soon!

    Cheers cheer

    1. Thank you for your kind words :)

  3. You wrote great articles. Sure those have good contribution especially introducing our country. We live in Senaru the main gate to the national park of Rinjani. Hajar Trekker

  4. Hi, I walked Sembalun -> summit -> Sembalun (slept only one night), and I want to know how long it was, and I can't find it. But on your picture it looks like 12-13 km, do you have the exact length?


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