Mount Lawu


Mount Lawu is a fun, amateur friendly hike, and a portal to other dimensions

Candi Sukuh, on the western slope of Mount Lawu
Natural Height
Hiking Period
Rest Stops & Facilities
Guides & Porters
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Summary Mount Lawu Indonesia - Summary

Mount Lawu, sitting on the border of East and Central Java in Indonesia, is a fun and easy 2-day hike. It has plenty to offer both geographically and spiritually – ancient pyramids, cracks in the earth’s surface, the smell of sulphur, and even reports of paranormal disappearances.

Climbing Mount Lawu Indonesia - Height and Distance

Natural Mount Lawu Indonesia - Natural Height

Summits Index:
5 / 10 (3,001m - 4,000m)

3,265m (10,712ft)

Natural Mount Lawu Indonesia - Hiking Period

Summits Index:
4 / 10 (3 - 4 days)

Two main trails form a loop on the southern slope of Lawu – Cemoro Sewu and Cemoro Kandang. The recommended time for both is 2 days, with an overnight rest before an early morning summit hike to catch the sunrise on the 2nd day.

There is a third trail in the Northwest as well, but it is not as popular and possibly less safe than the main two.

Difficulty Mount Lawu Indonesia - Hiking Difficulty

Difficulty Mount Lawu Indonesia - Terrain

Summits Index:
4 / 10 (Generally mild, though may be challenging in some parts)

The two main trails on Mount Lawu are not well groomed, but, apart from basic fitness, neither of them require any technical skills.

The Cemoro Sewu trail is the steeper of the two trails and therefore a bit more difficult. In comparison, the Cemoro Kandang trail is less steep and requires more walking. It does though have a few shortcuts that may need a bit of a scramble.

Both trails start in thickly forested areas, and traverse through thinner and misty alpine meadows and forests, before having exposed and rocky upper slopes closer to the summit.

Difficulty Mount Lawu Indonesia - Weather

Summits Index:
2 / 10 (Mild variability across seasons and/or between the base and summit)

Given that the Mount Lawu trails start at 1,900m (6,233 ft) elevation, the weather during the hike will vary from cool tending to cold at the summit.

Since the climate is equatorial monsoonal, prepare for rain regardless of the time of year.

Difficulty Mount Lawu Indonesia - Equipment

Summits Index:
2 / 10 (Good hiking shoes)

The Mount Lawu hike has no technical components and needs no special equipment except for a good pair of shoes to navigate the trails.

Facilities Mount Lawu Indonesia - Support Facilities

Facilities Mount Lawu Indonesia - Rest Stops & Facilities

Summits Index:
2 / 10 (Great facilities; regular rest stops, food and water throughout)

The Mount Lawu hike begins with a registration kiosk at the trailhead, with restrooms and shops for food & drinks. Both trails have regular shelters placed 1-2 hours of hiking apart each, with food and drink available to purchase at the various rest stops.

The overnight camping point has plenty of space for tents, as well as a caretaker who stays at a private hut there and can sell you tea and coffee, or help you out if you have a need.

Facilities Mount Lawu Indonesia - Guides and Porters

Summits Index:
2 / 10 (Optional; reliable and affordable easily available)

Mount Lawu is an easy enough hike for there not to be any need for guides or porters. All you require is a permit, which can be bought at the trailheads of Cemoro Kandang and Sewu on the southern access point.

Even so, if you are not experienced with multi-day hikes or you would prefer to get someone else to bring up your tent for the overnight rest, there are guides available easily locally and many recommendations available online.

Accessibility Mount Lawu Indonesia - Accessibility and Safety

Accessibility Mount Lawu Indonesia - Location

Summits Index:
4 / 10 (Not near a major city, but accessible any time)

Mount Lawu is about 50km (31 mi) from Solo and 100km (62 mi) from Yogyakarta, and easily accessible from both towns with a relatively short early morning drive on your first day.

Alternatively, you can choose to spend the night before the hike in Tawangmangu, a small town close to the starting point and an hour’s bus ride from Solo.

Accessibility Mount Lawu Indonesia - Safety

Summits Index:
2 / 10 (Little risk of injuries; not always crowded, but easy and safe for single travelers and women)

The two trails on the South flank of the mountain – which most people choose for summiting Lawu – are safe to climb.

There are no special personal safety hazards on Lawu that wouldn’t apply to the whole of Indonesia. If you’re climbing solo and would prefer to have people around, choose Cemoro Sewu. Even on the Cemoro Kendang trail though, there are a few caretakers that live at shelters along this trail that may be able to help if needed.

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