Mt Rinjani is the second highest peak in Indonesia, rising up to 3726m above sea level. It is also a very active volcano. We went on a 4 day/3 night trek with Green Rinjani trekking outfit to the summit of Mt Rinjani then down to the crater lake and hotsprings before hiking back up to the crater rim on the other side and descending. Here is our adventure in pictures!
Leaving Sembalun village through rice paddies, garlic fields and grasslands with Mt. Rinjani on the horizon
The first stretch from the village to Pos 1 and Pos 2 are relatively easy without any extended climbs. However, the hot sun is beating on us. Whenever I started feeling tired, I was inspired by the porters with their heavy loads.
The porters carry all of the tents, camping gear, food and cooking supplies to make delicious meals from scratch! This is at Pos 2 where all groups on the trail stop for lunch, as you can see from the many porters gathered cooking
Look at that delicious lunch!
After lunch, we start to really ascend up into the welcoming cold misty clouds
More climbing on the last stretch to the crater rim!
At last we make it up to the crater rim! On day 1 from Sembalun Village to Sembalun Crater rim, we climbed from 1150 m to 2639m, ascending almost 1500m in our hike today!
Enjoying that view above the clouds
The summit doesn’t look that far away from the Sembulan crater rim….however, this is just an optical illusion!
We woke up at 2am to start the 2.5km trek up to the summit, which took us until dawn to reach. Looking back, the climb on the knife ride of volcanic scree was indeed steep! Another over 1000 m climbed on volcanic gravel and sand that slipped back with every step. The final hours on the final stretch was like a scene from a zombie film: no one was talking, everyone was trudging along in slow motion, randomly stop and some would just sit or lay down and be done.
Yay we made it!! 3726m above sea level. The views were amazing
From the summit, we descended back to camp, ate second breakfast and slept for a little bit then descended further into the crater lake
The crater lake has an active mount puffing away
One of the bonuses of Rinjani being so active is that there is also a lovely hotspring at the crater lake! Swim in the lake, soak in the hotspring…amazingness!
On day 3, we leave the crater lake behind and start ascending to the crater rim again. We first ascend in the humid forest
There are some steep sections both descending into and ascending out of the crater rim. Some scrambling required!
A 600metre climb later from the crater lake at 2008metres, we reach Senaru crater rim at 2641 metres elevation. Our campsites are perched on the rim.
Amazing views of the summit, crater lake and our campsite last night under the approaching fog
The next day we descend from the crater rim to Senaru village. We descend over 2000 m to 601m at Senaru
I was slipping down the steep slope while our porter is running down in flip flops carrying all our gear! Porters are amazing!
We make it to Senaru Gate at the Rinjani National Park boundaries
However, the hike continues after the gate for another 1.5km walk through lush coffee plantations
Truly at the end of the hike and feeling exhausted but exhilarated with our adventure over the past 4 days!
Tips and advice for hiking Mt Rinjani:
- My biggest recommendation is to do the 4 day/3 night trip. Everyone we met doing the 3 day/2 night trip said that it was hell since the second day involved over 12 hours of hiking. The extra day breaks it up a bit and makes it much more enjoyable. If you don’t have time, then go with the 2 day/1 night summiting or just going to the crater rim from the Senaru side (which is a prettier and better trail).
- Choose a trekking outfit carefully because some are much better than others in terms of guides, gear, food and mandate. There is unfortunately a lot of garbage on the trail so if you’re thinking of doing the trek, please please please double check if your trekking company carries out their garbage. It seems like basic backcountry etiquette but many companies do not practice “pack in, pack out”. We talked to another hiker from another tour company that said that she didn’t give her guide any of her garbage anymore because she knew it would just be left at the camp afterwards. Green Rinjani was definitely one of the best with an environmentally friendly mandate.
- Some things to bring on the trek include toque and gloves for the chilly hike to the summit, flip flops for lounging at camp and make sure those cameras are charged because you’re going to want to take a lot of pictures!