Mount Rinjani


Mount Rinjani: 3 Days Trekking On Indonesia's Most Picturesque Volcano

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

Q:How do you climb Mount Rinjani?
A:Climbing Rinjani is a challenging trek, hiking up 2,600m over the island of Lombok, next to Bali in Indonesia. The Sembalun Lawang Route will take 3 days for ascent and descent at normal pace, and including exploring the massive volcanic crater. Backpacking with basic hiking gear and camping gear is needed. A guide is necessary for the trek, and a porter is recommended.
Q:Is Mount Rinjani closed?
A:Following earthquakes on Lombok Island in late 2018, Mount Rinjani was be closed off from climbing activities for the next year. It was re-opened in early-2019, but as of July 2019 the potential for landslides means that Mount Rinjani National Park is closed until further notice. Trekking to certain parts of the crater rim may still possible. It is best to check for the latest information with tour providers.

Climbing Mount Rinjani Indonesia - Mountain Stats

3,726m (12,224ft)
Climbing Height
2,675m (8,776ft)
  • #1 Highest Peak in Lombok
  • #2 Highest Volcano in Indonesia
  • #30 in Southeast Asia
Other names
  • Gunung Rinjani

Climbing Mount Rinjani Indonesia - Natural Form and History

Natural Mount Rinjani Indonesia - Natural history

Mount Rinjani belongs to a series of volcanoes that developed in the Lesser Sunda Islands because of Indo-Australian crust’s subduction below these Islands. The source of its magma lies at a depth of 165-200kms. The oldest rocks are from the Mesozoic age. Its caldera formation occurred in the 13th century during what is considered ‘one of the most powerful volcanic eruptions since humans learned to write’ and was subsequently filled by Segara Anak, the crater lake, which till then had been a volcanic mountain named the Samalas which stood higher than Rinjani.

Natural Mount Rinjani Indonesia - Climbing history

Before its eruption in 1847, Mount Rinjani was considered a remote and inaccessible location. Due to this, there is a lack of records with regards to initial expeditions up the mountain. It gained popularity with tourists after the opening of the Rinjani National Park in 1997, but the park has been closed on several occasions since its opening owing to volcanic activity, the latest being in 2016.

Natural Mount Rinjani Indonesia - Current status

In 2016, more than 90,000 trekkers were said to have made their way up Mount Rinjani. The mountain and its satellites that form the Rinjani National Park has a wealth of spectacular views on offer – from the lush forests of the lower ranges to the active cone of the volcano, the Gunung Barujari and the startlingly blue waters of the caldera, the Segara Anak.

Climbing Mount Rinjani Indonesia - Climbing Experience & Itinerary

Climbing Mount Rinjani Indonesia - Climbing Experience

Going uphill from Sembalun takes you through grassy savannahs where the sun is harsh and the inclines gradually become steep as you approach the crater rim. The most difficult parts are the walk up from the crater rim to the summit, and later from the rim down to the crater lake on day 2. Going down to Senaru on day 3 is a little easier, and that’s when some dramatic landscape presents itself with rolling grasslands giving way to exotic rainforests in the last section.

The first part of the walk starting from Sembalum winds through windy grasslands offering some amazing scenery all around and is relatively a breeze. By starting off at a higher elevation you get to avoid the humidity of the rain forests and the walk is pleasant, except perhaps on hot days when the sun decides to beat down on you throughout. The climb starts becoming steeper from POS 3 to the Pelawangan Sembalun base camp (crater rim). Anticipate a steep 3 hour climb. Tall trees in some stretches offer shade to make it a little easier for you to push through. Navigate this section slowly and steadily to make sure you get to the rest stop in time for the overnight break, while your legs remain ready for the next stretch up to the summit next morning. The trek from the crater rim base camp to the summit will really test your physical fitness. The trail to the summit takes you over loose volcanic scree, which you will need to navigate in the darkness of the night, whilst fighting the cold winds. Walking over the scree will be like taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back, as the loose rocks and sand make it nearly impossible for your feet to get a firm grip on the ground. On the way down though, the same scree will be your friend – helping you slide down slowly as every step you take sinks in deep. The climb down from the rim into the crater towards the lake is another steep descent but becomes flatter and easier as you approach the lake. Finally getting from the Pelawangan Senaru base camp to Senaru Village is a steep, rocky and gravelly path that will require your caution in gaining balance and enduring the strain on your legs. Soon the rocks and gravel give way to vast savannahs though, and to tropical rainforests in the final stretch of the hike.

Climbing Mount Rinjani Indonesia - Trail options

Number of options

There are two well-established trails up Mount Rinjani with a few newer ones also opening up recently. A serious expedition up the mountain will have you touch base at the crater rim, descend to the warm waters of the caldera and also access the summit of the mountain. Less experienced trekkers opt to miss the summit (given the difficulty of the final stretch up the summit) and limit their trek to the crater rim which offers dramatic views. However, allowing yourself three days on the trek will provide the best experience of the mountain with all its variety of flora and fauna as well as the divergent experiences of the crater rim and the summit.

Of the two popular trail options, one provides a scenic walk through rainforests and a visibly changing landscape, while the other requires a greater degree of physical fitness to attempt. Both meet at the crater rim, from where there’s a single trail up to the summit. A combination of the two options is also widely used, with trekkers ascending up to the crater rim via one option and returning down the other.

Time to complete
3 days

Since visitors are usually put up in hotels in Senaru, the first part of the trip is to get to the village of Sembalun. The first day starts off in a relatively relaxed manner, as you walk up across open fields in the beginning, and mountain slopes in the 2nd part, until you get to the rim of the crater. The second day is where all the action is at when you get to experience the summit and then the crater lake. Day 3 brings you back to the starting point towards Sembalun, or down to the other side to the village of Senaru. This route is generally preferred by trekkers who intend to summit the mountain, especially on the way up.

Number of days
Day 1

 Wake up early, get your breakfast, check-out of your hotel and make your way to the Sembalun village where you will begin the trek.


On reaching Sembalun, you will need to register with the Rinjani Information Center which stands at about 1,051m. Then you can pick-up your bags, and embark on the trek. The first part is a gentle walk up along open grasslands.


Arrive at POS 1, Pemantuaun at 1,300m about two hours later and take a short break. There are drinks vendors if you’re thirsty and would prefer to restock your drinking supplies for the stretch ahead, which could be the case on a particularly hot day.


Arrive at POS 2, Tenengean at 1,500m for another short break. The trail in these sections is relatively flat and smooth, which allows for local entrepreneurs to ply motorbikes for tired hikers.


At POS 3, Pada Balong, is where your guide will lay out a mat for you to relax a bit, and even set up chairs if you have asked for those beforehand, while he and the porters serve you lunch. Catch your breath and re-energize yourself, for the climb from here on will get steeper.


The last section on day 1 is the most difficult part of the day, for the incline picks up. But there are rest stops along the way for you to catch a breath. Walk steadily to try and arrive at Pelawangan Sembalun at the crater rim before sunset, and set up camp for the night. Being on the edge of the crater, this location offers a breathtaking view on both sides. One faces the way you would have come up from on the first day, and looks over small villages in the distance that will twinkle at night. The other stretches across the crater lake whose waters will have a faint silver glimmer if the moon is up. Your guide and porters will serve you hot dinner here, which is best had out in the open as clouds are moving in for the night.

Day 2

 Rise early to start the walk up to the summit. If your alarm clock doesn’t wake you up, the footsteps and early morning chatter of fellow trekkers walking beside your tent will. Start the ascent to the summit after a cup of hot tea.


 The walk up the summit is a gruelling 3-4 hour stretch, the most difficult part of it being loose rock and sand, also called scree, laid all along the path as you get closer to the summit. Struggle through this part though, and you’ll be rewarded with one of the most beautiful views you can get at sunrise anywhere in the world – with Bali on one side, Gili Islands on the other, and the calm ocean stretching out 360-degrees around you. Start walking down after spending some time at the summit, and admire the beautiful views of the crater lake slowly emerging from the shadow of the mountain as the sun rises up in the sky.


Arrive back at Pelawangan Sembalun base camp and have the breakfast that your guides would have prepared for you. Catch a break while you admire the day-time views on both sides of the crater edge.


Pack your bags, and begin the 2nd part of the day as you descend down to the Segara Anak crater lake. The climb down is not easy either, as you step down over big rocks. But it’s a special feeling a few hours later when you’re resting by the side of the crater lake, or even taking a swim in it.


Lunch and rest beside the lake.


Pack up again and head to the other side of the crater rim – Pelawangan Senaru.


Set up camp for the 2nd night at Pelawangan Senaru base camp, from where you’ll get another glorious sunset over the mountains, this time from a different side.

Day 3

Sleep in to recover from the first two days, and get breakfast once you’re up and ready to begin the final day.


The descent down to the Senaru village starts with a steep path, and for the first few hours you will need to balance carefully along the trail down.


Get your lunch at rest stop POS 2 on the trail down. From here, the difficult section of the trail will slowly give way to vast savannahs and in the final stretch you get to the tropical rainforests rich in flora, bird and butterfly varieties. Look out for honeyeaters, cockatoos and tailor-birds as well as the rare ebony leaf monkey.


Arrive back at Senaru village and head back to the airport or to your hotel for a well-deserved break.

Time to complete
Half a day

The easier of the two, this route starts from the village of Senaru and brings you to the crater rim after a 6-hour climb. The first part of the climb is through lush mountain forests, which slowly eases away as you get to the crater rim to set camp for the night.

Climbing Mount Rinjani Indonesia - Support facilities

Guides and porters

Guides are required
Porters are required

Trail facilities

Trail head - Registration kiosk
Trail - Rest stop shelters, such as huts, pavilions, etc.
Summit base camp - Toilets / Bathrooms
Summit base camp - Shelters for overnight rest

Food & water

Trail head - Food
Trail head - Potable water
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

Climbing Mount Rinjani Indonesia - Safety & Accessibility


The Rinjani trails are closed from January to March due to the rainy season, so the best time to climb are the dry months of April to November. Even though the temperatures in the lower altitudes range between 23-26 degrees, this changes when above 2,000m. The nights can be extremely cold at the base camp, even reaching freezing levels at the summit.

Climbing safety

Volcanic activity: Mount Rinjani is an active volcano so you’ll need to stay up-to-date on local developments before embarking on the trek.

Altitude: It is recommended to climb slowly so that you get accustomed to the altitude. Stopping for a few deep breaths every couple of steps will help ease/avoid any discomfort. 

Slips and falls: The summit section of this trek is notoriously difficult due to the slippery terrain and steep climb. Make sure you’ve got trekking poles, and do not hesitate to ask your guide for walking sticks if not. You should definitely carry high-calorie protein snacks, pain relief creams/sprays and other necessary medication in your backpack. Lives have been lost on this trek due to an underestimation of the dangers along the way.

Personal safety

The Mount Rinjani trek is popular so it’s highly unlikely you’ll be doing this climb alone. Though the risk of theft is minimal, it is advised that climbers keep their precious belongings like cameras, passports etc. in their possession at all times.

Permits, Fees, and Regulations

You’ll need to book beforehand so you can get the required permit from the Rinjani Information Centre. The entry fee is 150,000 IDR per person/day.

Emergency contacts

Police: 110/112

Fire: 113

Ambulance: 118

Getting there and away

The nearest airport is the Lombok International Airport, with regular connecting flights from Bali, Jakarta, Singapore etc.

If you’re starting in Senaru village, you’ll be taking a 3-hour drive from the airport circling almost half of the island. To get to Sembalun village, it’s a 2-2.5-hour drive from the airport along the east coast of the island.

Money Matters

Depending on how long you’ll be taking, the cost will be approximately 150,000IDR per person/day. The additional cost of booking a licensed guide and porter will vary depending on where you’ve placed your booking through. To reduce costs, you can always try joining a group so you can share their guide.

Climbing Mount Rinjani Indonesia - Special Tips

Tips for amateur climbers

Trekking poles are a must for this trek.

Tips for women

Many women have climbed Rinjani alone or in groups. Just keep in mind that Lombok is a rather conservative part of Islamic Indonesia, so you’ll need to keep the local customs in mind for before and after your trek.

Tips for trail runners takes registrations from October for the races held in May. The various categories include 100km, 60km, 36km and 27km.

Tips for nature lovers

Many like to take a dip in the Segara Anak crater lake. There’s belief that the hot water springs with sulphur-infused thermal waters have healing properties.

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