As the second highest volcano in Indonesia, Mount Rinjani dominates the landscape of the island of Lombok. While summiting the mountain is certainly possible, most hikers stop at the crater rim where the views of the crater lake are simply stunning.
There are two main routes to summit Mount Rinjani - one starting in Senaru, the other in Sembalun. We recommend starting the trek from Sembalun because of the way the trails are configured, but either route works fine.
Mount Rinjani is best climbed during the April - November dry season. The hiking trails are generally closed during the rainy season from December to March. Even in the dry season, expect rainfall and near-freezing temperatures at the summit.
All hiking trails on Mount Rinjani were closed for about a year following earthquakes on Lombok in 2018. As of July 2019, it’s possible to hike to the Crater Rim, but not to the summit. All trails are scheduled to be fully operational by April 2020, including the route to the summit. Be sure to check trail conditions before you start planning your hike on the official trail website.
Mount Rinjani is located on the Indonesian island of Lombok, just east of Bali.
There are two starting points for climbing Mount Rinjani - Senaru and Sembalun. Here are the pros and cons of each trailhead:
Whether you start in Senaru or Sembalun, fly into Lombok International Airport and take a taxi to the trailhead (2.5-3 hrs). It’s also possible to take a ferry to Lombok from Bali, but this will add an extra day to your itinerary.
While no permit is required for summiting Mount Rinjani, you will have to buy an entry ticket to Mount Rinjani National Park (Rp 150,000 per person). If you decide to hire a guide and porters (which is highly recommended), the park entrance fee is included in the total cost.
There are three campsites along the trail: Sembalun Crater Rim, Segara Anak Lake, and Senaru Crater Rim. If you opt for a 3 days / 2 nights hike, you’ll be camping at Sembalun Crater Rim and Senaru Crater Rim. If you have four days on the trail, you’ll spend the second night at Segara Anak Lake.
As of July 2019, it’s possible to hike to the Crater Rim, but the route to the summit is still undergoing maintenance. All trail routes should be fully open by April 2020, but be sure to check trail conditions before you start planning your hike on the official trail website.
If you’re attempting to summit Mount Rinjani, be physically and mentally prepared for the climb. It’s a grueling 3573 ft push to reach the summit on the second day. The sunrise views coming down make it all worthwhile.
Mount Rinjani National Park
From the village of Sembalun, you’ll start your trek up the foothills of the mountain and have lunch at Base Camp III. Next up is a steep ascent through pine tree forests before reaching the Sembalun Crater Rim campsite.
The push to the summit starts at 2 am, in time to see the spectacular sunrise. On the way down, take in the amazing view of Segara Anak Lake and the volcanic cone.
After breakfast, you’ll descend to the crater lake and optionally make a visit to the hot springs and waterfall nearby. After a short walk around the lake, climb up the other side of the rim to Senaru Crater Rim where you’ll spend the night.
Enjoy a final sunrise before starting the hike down to Senaru Village. It’s a massive descent, so get ready for some sore calves and thighs.