A complete guide to the Mount Rinjani Crater Rim Hike on the incredible island of Lombok. From booking a guide, thoughts on independent hiking, and what to expect from this epic adventure.
Lombok is known as Bali’s adventurous little brother— and the Mount Rinjani Crater Rim hike is one of the most adventurous things you can do in Lombok! The hike is accessible to anyone with relatively good fitness and rewards you with some of the best views in Indonesia.
In this blog post, I’ll detail everything you need to know about hiking to the Mount Rinjani crater rim on Lombok. I’ll go through what to expect on the journey, what to look for in a good guide, and some epic photos from the crater rim!
Everything You Need to Know Before Hiking to the Mount Rinjani Crater Rim
Below are some commonly asked questions about the Mount Rinjani Crater Rim hike. This is some of the most up-to-date information you’ll find as of January 2020.
Here’s a quick video that Haylea made with some of the footage we snapped on the Rinjani Crater Rim hike. This will give you a good idea of what to expect once you reach the crater.
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Is Mount Rinjani Closed?
Mount Rinjani trekking is definitely not closed. That being said, the summit track from Sembalun has been seriously damaged. So much so, that the summit is technically closed for trekking. There are still some tours operating treks to the summit, however, the price of these trekking tours has skyrocketed and the teams going up are much riskier.
However, trekking is still open to the crater rim from Tete Batu and from Senaru.
UPDATE 2020: Although the trails are still technically closed, there has been progress on rebuilding the Sembalun summit route. Some tour operators will take small groups to the summit, however, however, not all operators do.
Mount Rinjani Trekking After the Earthquake
As you could probably imagine, trekking routes on Mount Rinjani were seriously damaged during the earthquakes. As a result, the families that had their houses destroyed also lost their income. Tourism still hasn’t fully recovered but is slowly on the rise again. If you’ve been planning a trip to Lombok or a Mount Rinjani Crater Rim hike, then this is definitely the time to do it before the crowds come back!
Can I Hike Mount Rinjani Without a Guide?
Technically, it is possible to trek to the crater rim of Mount Rinjani without a guide. However, you’ll need to carry your own food, water, tents and supplies with you. I wouldn’t recommend hiking Mount Rinjani without a guide for a few reasons.
- Local families rely on trekking tours for income
- You’ll have to pay a 15 000 rupiah National Park Fee per person anyway
- You’ll miss out on local knowledge and epic mountain-cooked food
- You’ll have to carry your own supplies
What do I need to Bring?
Your guides and porters will carry all necessary supplies for camping and cooking. However, you’ll need to be responsible for bringing the following in a small day-size bag.
- Warm clothes for the top
- Good shoes or boots
- Camera or GoPro
- Change of Clothes
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Mount Rinjani Crater Rim Hiking Guide
Here’s a full Mount Rinjani Crater Rim hiking guide that should answer all your questions about the trek. Most guided tours to the crater rim run for 2 Days and 1 night. This gives you the opportunity to reach the rim by sunset, spend the night then descend again after an epic volcano sunrise breakfast.
Booking a Trekking Tour
To book a trekking tour, most hikers either show up and haggle for a price in Senaru. This is great for saving money, but can often be hit-and-miss, as you don’t really know what to expect.
If you’re looking for a reputable and high-quality tour where everything is organized for you, including transport to and from Senggigi and one-night accommodation before the trek in Senaru, you can book online here.
Most Rinjani Crater Rim trekking tours include the following below. If you’re haggling, make sure you ask what is included.
- Experienced trekking guide
- Porters to carry all equipment
- Rinjani National Park Entry Permit
- Food and unlimited water
- Tents, sleeping bags, and sleeping mat
- Something to cover your mouth and face with (to protect from dust)
The trekking tour I booked gave us plenty of food and water on the mountain. However, I’ve been told that some cheaper tours skimp out on food. Another important factor is whether the tours pick up and carry down plastic waste. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of rubbish on the trails, so rewarding companies that do their part to clean up will go a long way.
Mount Rinjani Crater Rim Trekking Price 2020
Depending on the quality of your trekking tour, prices to the Rinjani Crater Rim from Senaru vary between 1.8 Million to 3.5 million rupiah. If you have a larger group, you can also negotiate a cheaper price.
For those interested in trekking from Tete Batu, expect to pay a little more since this side has less hiking infrastructure.
I have been told that some smaller trekking groups based in Sembalun will charge less to either the summit or the crater. However, this will heavily depend on how experienced they believe you to be, the size of the group and of course, the trekking company’s reputation and professionalism.
Mount Rinjani Trek Difficulty
Trekking to the crater rim requires no technical climbing abilities. A generally fit person will be able to reach the rim from Senaru in one day of hiking. Although dusty, the path is well-worn and easy to follow. On the way down, however, it can get a little slippery as you sand-skate down the mountain.
Altitude and Elevation
Mount Rinjani’s summit is 3726 meters (12,224 feet), which makes it the second tallest volcano in Indonesia. However, the Mount Rinjani Crater rim altitude is 2639m (8,658 feet).
The starting point, Senaru, sits at around 650 meters, which means you’ll climb nearly 2000 meters of elevation in one day. It’s a leg burner, but the views are worth it!
Mount Rinjani GPX Map
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What to Expect on the Mount Rinjani Crater Rim Hike
The day begins nice and early with your trekking guides driving you to the National Park entrance. Here, you’ll sign your names on a register and your guides will pay for your entry permit, which should always be included in your tour. Ahead of you is a steep 7-hour ascent to reach the crater rim.
Along the way, there are three main stops where trekkers can rest their legs. The first stretch is mostly in dense jungle, where you can spot the famous black monkeys. Depending on your pace, your guides and porters will most likely stop at POS 2 to make a cooked lunch, typically rice and vegetables.
After POS 2 and shortly before POS 3, roughly 5 hours into the trek, you’ll break out of the jungle and into a savannah-like landscape. It can get pretty hot in this section, and the dust is a killer.
The final section is the steepest, but soon you’ll reach the crater rim where you’ll get incredible views of Lake Anak and the entire volcanic crater.
Camping on the Mount Rinjani Crater Rim
While you get busy snapping photos, your guides and porters will set up your campsite. Our guides seemed to have claimed the best spot, right on the edge of the Mount Rinjani Crater Rim.
You’ll get some of the best views by walking around to the communications antenna just over to the right of the path. Here, there are no trees that block the view.
Sunset is arguably better than sunrise on Mount Rinjani, as the sun positions itself perfectly to light up the volcanic lake and torch the cotton-candy clouds below you.
After falling asleep under the galactic night sky, you’ll wake up probably a little sore, but undoubtedly still stoked about catching the sunrise. Soon after, we indulged in a banana pancake breakfast before making the tiring descent back to Senaru. Expect about 4 hours for the entire descent.
While not as tiring, the descent is much harder since you’ll undoubtedly be slipping and falling on the loose sandy ground. I found it easier to just make an improvised light run down to avoid falling over.
Before you arrive back at the National Park entrance, your guides will cook you another jungle lunch at one of the rest spots. This was the last time we saw our porters, who quickly darted down the mountain eager to see their families.
More Photos from the Mount Rinjani Crater Rim
Here are a few more photos that I snapped during my time on the trek. I sent the drone up and got some of my favorite drone shots of the year so far!
Over to You
Did you end up doing the Mount Rinjani Crater Rim hike? Did you fork out the cash for the summit? I’d love to hear about your experience, let me know below. Also, if you have any updated information regarding the summit, please let me know so that I can update this blog post.
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