Mount Arjuno

indonesia

Mount Arjuno-Welirang: The Twin Peaks

Mountain Stats
Natural Form and History
Climbing Experience & Itinerary
Support Facilities
Safety & Accessibility
Special Tips
Gallery
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Quick Answers

Q:What is the Arjuno-Welirang?
A:Arjuno-Welirang is a twin volcano located in East Java on Java, Indonesia. Mount Arjuno-Welirang lies about 50km south of Surabaya, and 20km north of Malang. Summiting it makes for a challenging 2-day hike.
Q:How do you climb Arjuno-Welirang from Tretes?
A:Tretes is the most popular trail amongst hikers trekking up Arjuno-Welirang. The trail can take 2-3 days depending on your stamina and pace but offers gorgeous views at each summit.

Climbing Mount Arjuno Indonesia - Mountain Stats

Country
indonesia
Height
3,339m (10,955ft)
Climbing Height
2,811m (9,222ft)
Numbers
  • #36 Highest Mountain in SE Asian Region
Other names
  • Arjuna
  • Arjuno-Welirang
  • Arjuna-Welirang

Climbing Mount Arjuno Indonesia - Natural Form and History

Natural Mount Arjuno Indonesia - Natural history

The massive Arjuno-Welirang mountain range in East Java consists of 4 peaks over 3,000m from the active Welirang in the west to the long dormant Arjuna in the East. It is located just 50km south of Indonesia’s second largest city, Surabaya. Whilst the lower Welirang peak is active and still mined by local sulphur collectors, Arjuno itself is dormant. The twin Kembar peaks are nestled between them.

Natural Mount Arjuno Indonesia - Climbing history

This mountain is set in the ancient Mojopahit heartland and is dotted with temples, graves and other historical sites which are still visited by local folk today. “Arjuna” was named after the third of the five Pandawa Brothers who are heroes of the Indian Mahabharata epic and the plays of the wayang purwa, the classical Javanese shadow theatre. Arjuna is renowned as the handsome, invincible warrior of the shadow play, so perhaps the mountain is named “Arjuno” because it is as beautiful and impressive as the shadow theatre character.

Natural Mount Arjuno Indonesia - Current status

Today Welirang is known as a major sulphur deposit. One of its summit craters is being quarried. To traverse the entire range is an incredible hike, but given the size of the undertaking it is not as popular as others in Java.  

Climbing Mount Arjuno Indonesia - Climbing Experience & Itinerary

Climbing Mount Arjuno Indonesia - Climbing Experience

Traversing the entire Arjuno-Welirang Mountain range is one of the finest hikes you can enjoy in Java, Indonesia. There’s a range of ecology, volcanology, and history to explore over a number of peaks and craters. 

Most tracks up the mountain start off in good condition, but as one gets higher the tracks frequently disappear or turn into a multitude of trails left by animals and lost hikers!

Climbing Mount Arjuno Indonesia - Trail options

Number of options
3
Summary

There are 3 trails available, of which Tretes is the most popular. However, due to the substantial climb on this trail, Sumber Brantas/Cangar is slowly growing in popularity amongst climbers.

The main trails are rocky paths. Some of the trails have been damaged by carts that used to carry sulphur down from the deposits in the higher reaches of the mountain. Dusty shortcuts have also been formed by this activity, which can cause confusion as to where the main trail is.

Time to complete
2 days

This is not one for weak legs and feet with its 2,400m climb on foot with elevation gain.

Itinerary
Number of days
2
Day 1
07:30:

Once the gates open at 07:00, get permits and guides/porters sorted and set off from Tretes.

12:30:

Reach Pondokan.

14:30:

Set off for Welirang.

16:30:

Reach Welirang summit

18:00:

Head back to Pondokan and set up camp

Day 2
03:00:

Start hiking to reach the Arjuno summit by sunrise.

06:00:

Reach Arjuno summit before sunrise.

07:30:

Head back after a scenic breakfast (weather permitting).

09:30:

Get back to Pondokan. Then head off back towards to the Tretes trailhead.

14:30:

Land back at the Tretes trailhead, and head back to Surabaya.

17:00:

You’ll be back in Surabaya in time for a shower before heading out to dinner.

This trail is useful for anyone wishing to quickly climb either Welirang or Arjuno as it starts pretty high up and leads to a pass between the Kembars. Hikers can then choose to turn left (north) towards Welirang or right (south) towards Arjuno.

The range is also accessible from Selekta/Selecta in the south-west near Batu.

Climbing Mount Arjuno Indonesia - Support facilities

Guides and porters

Guides are required
Porters are recommended

Trail facilities

Trail head - Registration kiosk

Food & water

Trail head - Food & potable water only available from guide / porters
Trail - Food & potable water only available from guide / porters
Summit base camp - Food & potable water only available from guide / porters

Network connectivity

Trail head - Network signal
Trail - Network signal
Summit base camp - Network signal

Climbing Mount Arjuno Indonesia - Safety & Accessibility

Weather

The weather in this part of Indonesia switches between the dry season from May to October, and the rainy season from November to April. This renders May-October the best time of the year to climb. Despite how pleasant the weather may be when starting your trek, climbers must be prepared for remarkable drops in temperature at night, even going below 10°C.

Climbing safety

Volcanic eruptions:  Always check the news before you start planning your trek. Despite not having erupted since 1952, Welirang is still considered an active volcano.

Personal safety

As Arjuno-Welirang is a popular hike. There is little chance of being left isolated or stranded. Even so, the hike is best done in a group if you have the option to find fellow travellers to accompany you.

Permits, Fees, and Regulations

Permits are required and will be granted at the entrance, provided you’ve brought a copy of your passport as well as IDR 25,000 if you’re not a local.

Emergency contacts

Police: 110

Ambulance: 118

Fire: 113

Getting there and away

The airport in Surabaya welcomes daily flights from major cities like Jakarta and Bali. There are many transport options from Surabaya and even Malang, including taxis, shared cars, buses, ojeks, angkots.

Money Matters

The permit for non-Indonesians is approximately IDR 25,000. A guide should cost around IDR 500,000, however be sure to negotiate all details beforehand so both parties are clear about what’s promised with the price.

Climbing Mount Arjuno Indonesia - Special Tips

Tips for amateur climbers

If you’re just starting out hiking, perhaps this might not be the best climb to start with. However, this may also depend on which route you take.

Tips for advanced climbers

There are more advanced routes to take if you’re looking to test your climbing skills. However, being less popular, definitely hire a guide and get them to show you the way to the more challenging bits.

Tips for women

Women summiting Arjuno should not face any special challenges. However, it is best to travel in groups and use a professional and reputable guide or tour service. Avoid unwanted attention or cultural faux pas by taking your dressing cues from locals (who tend to cover shoulders and legs, even when swimming).

Tips for responsible / safety-conscious climbers

This is a pretty unique environmental area that is worth taking steps to protect and preserve. Avoid wandering off the trail and don’t leave anything behind. Extra karma for those who take home a bag full of other people’s rubbish.

Tips for trail runners

The Mantra Summits Challenge takes place every year around July, with registrations beginning in January.

Tips for nature lovers

The lower slopes are forested and the upper slopes are covered with tussock and a type of local alpine pine tree. The Lalijiwo Plateau between the twin peaks of Kembar and Arjuna is noted for deer and wild pigs.

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