Hiking Mount Rinjani: A Guide to Conquering the Mighty Volcano - Rizal Trekking - Mount Rinjani Trekking Guide

Hiking Mount Rinjani

Mount Rinjani is not for the faint of heart. Standing at 3,726 meters above sea level, it is the second highest volcano in Indonesia and one of the most active ones. Its last major eruption was in 2016, when it spewed ash and lava into the air and disrupted flights in the region.

But for those who dare to take on this epic adventure, Mount Rinjani offers some of the most stunning views and rewarding experiences you can find in Southeast Asia. From the lush rainforest at the base to the barren summit, from the turquoise crater lake to the steaming hot springs, from the starry night sky to the glorious sunrise, Mount Rinjani will take your breath away in more ways than one.

If you’re planning to hike Mount Rinjani, here are some tips and information to help you prepare for this unforgettable journey.

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When to hike Mount Rinjani

The best time to hike Mount Rinjani is during the dry season, which runs from April to October. The weather is more stable and predictable, and the trails are less muddy and slippery. The peak season is from June to August, when you can expect more crowds and higher prices.

The wet season, from November to March, is not recommended for hiking Mount Rinjani. The rain can make the trek more difficult and dangerous, and there is a higher risk of landslides and flash floods. The park may also close during this period due to bad weather conditions.

How to hike Mount Rinjani

Hiking Mount Rinjani is not a walk in the park. It requires a good level of fitness, stamina, and mental strength. The trek involves steep ascents and descents, rocky terrain, loose gravel, and thin air. The temperature can also vary drastically, from scorching hot during the day to freezing cold at night.

The average duration of the trek is 2-4 days, depending on your route and pace. There are four main routes to choose from: Sembalun, Senaru, Timbanuh, and Aik Berik. Each route has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you should do some research before deciding which one suits you best.

Sembalun is the most popular route, as it offers the shortest and easiest way to reach the summit. However, it also has less shade and more exposure to the sun. Senaru is the second most popular route, as it offers more scenic views and forest cover. However, it also has a longer and steeper climb to the summit. Timbanuh is the newest route, as it was opened in 2019 after the 2018 earthquake damaged some parts of Sembalun and Senaru. It offers a quieter and less crowded experience, but it also has fewer facilities and services along the way. Aik Berik is the least popular route, as it is the longest and most challenging one. It offers a more remote and adventurous experience, but it also requires more time and energy.

No matter which route you choose, you will need a guide and a porter to accompany you on your trek. This is mandatory by law, as well as for your safety and convenience. A guide will lead you along the trail, provide you with information and assistance, and arrange your accommodation and meals. A porter will carry your tent, sleeping bag, mat, food, water, and cooking equipment. You will only need to carry your personal belongings, such as clothes, toiletries, camera, snacks, etc.

You can book your guide and porter through a reputable trekking company or agency online or in Lombok. They will provide you with a package that includes transportation to and from the park entrance, entrance fee (150k IDR per person per day), guide fee (300k IDR per day), porter fee (200k IDR per day), camping equipment (tent 100k IDR per night), food (3 meals per day), water (3 liters per day), insurance (optional), and tips (optional).

The cost of hiking Mount Rinjani varies depending on your route, duration, number of people in your group, and quality of service. The average price range is between 2-5 million IDR per person for a 2-4 day trek. You can compare different options online or negotiate with local operators in Lombok.

What to pack for hiking Rinjani

Packing light and smart is essential for hiking Mount Rinjani. You don’t want to carry unnecessary weight or forget something important. Here are some items that you should bring with you:

  • Backpack: A comfortable backpack that fits your body size and has enough space for your essentials.
  • Clothes: Layers of clothes that can keep you warm or cool depending on the weather. A waterproof jacket, a fleece jacket, a long-sleeved shirt, a t-shirt, a pair of trousers, a pair of shorts, underwear, socks, and a hat are recommended.
  • Shoes: A pair of sturdy hiking boots or shoes that have good grip and support. Make sure they are well broken-in and fit you well.
  • Headlamp: A bright and reliable headlamp that can help you see in the dark. Don’t forget to bring extra batteries or a power bank.
  • Sunscreen: A high SPF sunscreen that can protect your skin from the harsh sun rays. Apply it generously and frequently throughout the day.
  • Sunglasses: A pair of sunglasses that can shield your eyes from the glare and dust. Choose ones that have UV protection and fit you well.
  • Lip balm: A moisturizing lip balm that can prevent your lips from cracking and bleeding. Choose one that has SPF protection and apply it regularly.
  • Water bottle: A reusable water bottle that can hold at least 1 liter of water. You can refill it from your porter or from natural sources along the way. Make sure to drink enough water to stay hydrated and avoid altitude sickness.
  • Snacks: Some energy bars, nuts, dried fruits, chocolate, or candy that can give you a boost of calories and sugar when you need it. Avoid salty snacks that can make you thirsty.
  • Medicines: Some basic medicines that can treat common ailments such as headache, nausea, diarrhea, fever, etc. You may also want to bring some painkillers, anti-inflammatory pills, altitude sickness pills, or antibiotics in case of emergency.
  • First aid kit: A small first aid kit that contains some bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, tape, scissors, tweezers, etc. You may also want to bring some blister plasters, insect repellent, or anti-itch cream in case of minor injuries or bites.
  • Toilet paper: A roll of toilet paper that can come in handy when nature calls. There are no toilets on the trail or at the campsites, so you will have to dig a hole and bury your waste. Please be respectful and leave no trace behind.
  • Trash bag: A plastic bag that can store your trash until you reach a proper disposal site. Please do not litter on the trail or at the campsites. Keep Mount Rinjani clean and beautiful for everyone.

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