Mount Rinjani Trekking Guide 2020
The official Mount Rinjani Trekking Guide. Climbing a mountain can be intimidating, especially if it is in a different country where people speak a different language! We wrote the Mount Rinjani Trekking Guide to share years of experience safely guiding people up and down one of South East Asia’s most coveted summits. Mount Rinjani is Indonesia’s second highest volcano, boasting surreal panoramic views as well as a diverse landscape, flora and fauna. In this article we cover the essentials – how to plan a trek, what to bring, when to go, and most importantly what routes will be open in 2020.
The Only Mt Rinjani Guide You’ll Ever Need!
Interesting Mount Rinjani Facts:
- Location: Lombok Island
- Elevation: 3,726m / 12,224ft
- Volcano Type: Stratovolcano
- Volcanic status: Active
- Biggest Eruption: 1257 AD (Mt Samalas)
- Awarded UNESCO Global Geopark status in 2018
- Rinjani is considered a sacred mountain, and attracts pilgrims every year who make offerings at lake Segara Anak, or “Child of the Sea”
Why should I trek Mount Rinjani in 2020?
Because Mount Rinjni is awesome – it will blow your mind! But don’t just take our word for it – National Geographic have just included the Rinjani trail in their book “100 Hikes of a Lifetime: The World’s Ultimate Scenic Trails”. If you don’t like reading, you can also check out this awesome video – we’re sure it will win you over!
I’m not a mountaineer…can I still trek Rinjani?
Yes! Despite its size Mount Rinjani is an achievable summit for the beginner. This is because it isn’t technically difficult – you don’t need ropes or rock-climbing skills to reach the summit. We’re not saying it’s easy – you still need to have a moderate level of fitness and lots of determination, but we can advise you on how to prepare. If you believe you are too unfit to attempt the summit there are other options, such as the intermediate level trek to Senaru Crater Rim or the beginner trek to Pergasingan Hill.
How to train for Mount Rinjani
The Mount Rinjani Fitness Guide provides some in depth training advice for training for Mount Rinjani. In short, develop cardiovascular fitness and endurance by walking and running. Develop stabilising muscles that improve balance by doing specific exercises. Practise hiking up hill with a pack (this will be the most specific preparation you can do). For videos demonstrating useful exercises, please visit our YouTube Channel, specifically the Playlist: Mount Rinjani Training Guide.
When is the best time to hike Mt Rinjani in 2020?
Mount Rinjani National Park is open from April to January every year (it is usually closed in January, February and March due to heavy rains). As Lombok is a tropical island it is warm all year round, so for 9 months a year you are good to go! If you are coming in the rainy season it is still possible to do some adventure tours, trekking to Bukit Pergasingan, sightseeing and camping in Senaru, and exploring Lombok’s many beautiful waterfalls.
How do I get to Mt Rinjani?
People often ask how to go to Mount Rinjani. If you are already on Lombok, getting to Mount Rinjani is fairly simple – there are only 2 main roads – one going up the West of the island (to Senaru), and one going up the East (to Sembalun). Some trekking companies include a form of transport to get you to the start point of the trek, but this is usually from North Lombok. If you are coming from Kuta Lombok or Lombok Praya airport, expect to pay extra. If you have rented a scooter it is possible to drive to Senaru or Sembalun yourself – just be careful as driving standards on Lombok are not as high or regulated as elsewhere in the world. From the Gili Isles get either a public boat or private charter speedboat to Bangsal Harbour. From there we will either pick you up or you can arrange a driver to take you to Senaru. Public buses on Lombok are infrequent and unreliable. Rinjani Dawn Adventures uses cars (as opposed to minibuses) to collect our customers and transfer them to Senaru or Sembalun. These are comfortable, having air-conditioning and seat-belts.
Lombok Island travel times:
- Bangsal Harbour (if coming from the Gili Isles) to Senaru: 1.5 hours
- Sengiggi to Senaru: 2 hours
- Mataram to Senaru: 2.5 hours
- Lombok Praya International Airport to Senaru: 3 hours
- Kuta Lombok to Senaru: 3.5 hours
What should I pack for the Mount Rinjani trek 2020?
Most of the leading guiding companies that organise Mt Rinjani expeditions provide camping and cooking equipment. Rinjani Dawn Adventures send-out a comprehensive equipment list and packing guide to all of our customers, but here is a shortened version of what we recommend you bring:
- Daypack– a small backpack of around 30-40l volume should be large enough, but it depends how light you travel, and whether you will be taking a camera equipment.
- Hiking Boots or trail-running shoes (trainers are a minimum requirement). The key is tread – the path is steep and slippy in some sections, so confidence and control will be aided by decently gripping sports shoes.
- Daywear – Shorts and t-shirt, or trekking clothing. Hat & sunglasses. Sunscreen.
- Eveningwear – warm layers. We suggest trousers or tracksuit bottoms, fleece or wool tops, and/ or a warm jacket. Hat and gloves are also recommended.
- Summit – Warm clothes! Trousers, thermal layers, jacket, hat & gloves.
- Towel & swimming gear – if you are going to lake Segara Anak and the thermal springs
- Dust masks – at times in the dry-season the summit trail can be dusty. A cheap dust-mask is useful for parts of the trail.
- Basic First Aid Kit including any personal medication
- Sandals / flip-flops (useful for letting your feet breathe at rest-stops & in the evening)
- Insect repellent
- Money. A small amount of cash for tipping your porters and guides is recommended, as they do an amazing job carrying equipment up and down the mountain, and cooking delicious food for you 3 times per day. There is no recommended amount, so it will largely depend on how generous you feel.
What should my trekking organiser provide when climbing Mt Rinjani?
There is often a big gap between what a trekking company should provide and what they actually do. Many of the budget or black-market (unlicensed) operators will provide very little. You might be sleeping in old or damaged tents, and will have little food or snacks. This is why you should avoid booking from agents & re-sellers, and read reviews of the actual company you’re going with before making the decision. There is no point regretting going with the dirt-cheap operator when you are cold, wet, and hungry due to sub-standard service & equipment – you should ask yourself whether for the price of a few cocktails you would like a comfortable and professionally run adventure.
The following is a list of what Rinjani Dawn Adventures can provide on all their treks, and why it is important:
- Warm jackets (temperature decreases with altitude. On the crater rim and summit it can be sub-zero with wind-chill effect)
- Warm hat & gloves
- Waterproof jacket & trousers set
- Poncho (alternative to waterproof jackets & trousers – can go over your backpack)
- Trekking poles. These are very useful, even if you would not usually use them. Steep ascents and descents are aided by the use of one or two poles, and the impact on the knees and ankles is also greatly reduced.
- Sleeping bag liner. 100% cotton, freshly washed before each trek (because who wants to sleep in someone else’s filthy sleeping bag!)
- Head-torch (essential for night-time toilet runs and the summit ascent)
- Backpacks (if you need to borrow a day-pack, we have a limited supply)
- In addition to the above, we give each customer a custom RDA “buff”. This can be worn as a headscarf, hat, dust-mask or sweat-band.
Is Mt Rinjani safe?
There is an inherent risk associated with mountain climbing, but Rinjani is a generally considered a safe mountain to climb. The highest risk comes from slipping on steep sections (such as going down to the lake), and falling awkwardly down a slope. But people have died from exposure because they have not had the proper equipment – again, this is why we recommend going with a licensed operator who is equipped to take care of you.
What about the 2018 Lombok earthquakes – I heard they affected Mount Rinjani trekking?
Following the 2018 Lombok earthquakes Mount Rinjani National Park was temporarily closed. This was due to localised landslides, most prominent on the lake routes from Senaru and Sembalun Crater Rim. There has been restricted access to Mount Rinjani in 2019 – the summit was deemed off-limits, and trekking was limited to the Mt Rinajni caldera (crater rim).
Will Mount Rinjani be open in 2020?
The short answer is yes! Mount Rinjani summit will be open in 2020. It was announced recently by the national park authority (TNGR) that Mount Rinjani’s summit route will reopen in April 2020 (after the rainy season). Lake Segara Anak and the thermal springs will also be accessible, but currently this will only be possible via the Sembalun Crater Rim route (not Plawangan Senaru). So it will not be possible to do the conventional three and four day packages that usually start in Senaru and finish in Sembalun (or vice-versa).
Has COVID-19 affected Lombok / Mount Rinjani?
As with most countries around the world, COVID-19 travel restrictions have affected Indonesia and Lombok. At the time of writing this update (June 2020) Indonesia is looking at re-opening borders to foreign tourists, but this is expected to be with certain controls in place (tests). Lombok has not experienced large numbers of fatalities associated with COVID-19, but as with many places it is hard to know the true extent of the virus. Mount Rinjani has been closed for the past 3 months due to COVID-19.
Rinjani Dawn Adventures COVID-19 plan
Rinjani Dawn Adventures has implemented a plan for minimising the risk of COVID-19 spread on all the packages we offer. We have created a COVID-19 action plan and operating procedures using WHO and other industry leading resources. As a company we have always catered for small-groups and private tours. We have the resources to offer people who decide to trek with us a private tent, which will be cleaned with anti-bacterial solution prior to every trek. We will be screening all of our porters and guides for COVID-19 symptoms, and training them to follow our updated health and hygiene rules. As always, the health and safety of our customers is of paramount importance to us. From the moment we collect you from your hotel or villa, to the time we drop you off after successfully summiting Rinjani, we will do everything in our power to take care of you. As a side-note, spending time in nature has been proven to be good for your health. Numbers will be restricted on Mount Rinjani, so it is expected that the chance of contracting COVID-19 whilst climbing the mountain is low. But as will all travel advice, we suggest you consult with your Dr or travel nurse, and make an informed decision based on the advice of a professional.
2020 Mt Rinjani Trekking Routes:
- 2 day / 1 night Rinjani Summit (starting in Sembalun, finishing in Sembalun)
- 3 day / 2 night Rinjani Summit (starting in Sembalun, one night at Sembalun crater rim, one night at lake Segara Anak)
- 2 day / 1 night Senaru Crater Rim
What is the Rinjani National Park Entrance Fee?
The 2019 park entrance fee was set at 150,000 IDR per person per day. This is included in the price of you package.
Do I need travel insurance for Rinjani?
It’s recommended that you should have travel insurance for all overseas travel. This is because getting treatments in hospitals or Dr’s clinics can be expensive if not a resident of the country. In Lombok Dr’s consultations and treatments are relatively inexpensive (compared to say, the US or Australia), but if you have to be flown to a larger hospital the costs can soon mount-up. Some trekking companies include a basic insurance in their packages, but this is generally just to get you off the mountain. If you need to be rescued from Mt Rinjani a team of stretcher bearers will have to be deployed. There is currently no dedicated helicopter rescue service for Mt Rinjani. This is another reason you should opt for a professional and fully licensed company. Rinjani Dawn Adventures has its own in-house rescue service, with lightweight vertical lift rescue stretcher. It is the only company on the mountain that offers this service.
I’ve read on Tripadvisor that there is a lot of rubbish on Mt Rinjani, is this true?
In the past there has been a rubbish issue on Mt Rinjani, especially at rest-stops and campsite areas. Again, this mainly stems from unlicensed operators and disgraceful individuals leaving rubbish behind to reduce the weight they are carrying. The national park is trying to find a solution to this issue, but without park rangers and proper policing it will likely continue. If you care about the environment we suggest you find a reputable company that is fully licensed. You will be paying for a better ratio of porters to customers, and helping to keep Rinjani pristine. Rinjani Dawn Adventures endeavours to reduce plastic, and also remove pre-existing rubbish from campsites and rest-areas. We work with the national park, providing resources to help. Rinjani is still a stunning place, and hopefully the culture surrounding littering will change with education and new initiatives.
How much should I tip my Rinjani guide and porters?
Although it is not a necessary, it is customary to tip porters and guides at the end of a trek. How much you tip is up to you, and is usually done as a group. As a rule of thumb you can ask yourself how much you would usually tip for an amazing restaurant meal. Multiply this by the number of days you have been trekking, and you should arrive at a fair figure. But if your guide or porters have gone out of their way to assist you (by carrying your personal bags etc), it might be worth being a bit more generous – it will be much appreciated, and will go a long way. Most groups usually get together amongst themselves and gather up tips to give to the head guide. He will ensure a fair distribution to the team of porters.
I don’t feel ready to do Mount Rinjani, are there any other cool adventures on Lombok?
For many people the thought of climbing a big mountain on their holiday is not their idea of fun! If you are one of these people, but would still like to incorporate some form of adventure into your holiday, there are lots of awesome day-trips and soft-trekking options.
I Love Lombok (3 day adventure package)
Senaru Crater Rim trek (2 days, 1 night)
Lombok Explorer (2 day sightseeing & Pergasingan Hill package)
There are lots of reasons why you should travel to the paradise island of Lombok and climb Mt Rinjani is 2020. It is a genuine challenge – a feat that demands grit and determination. You will create life long memories and maybe even life-long friends on the journey. You will see remarkable sites, and dramatic landscapes – an active volcano and crater lake. At night you will see the Milky Way and stars in all their glory, free from light pollution and above the clouds. These are just some of the reasons you should book your Rinjani Adventure today.