Here is everything you need to know if you are thinking about dedicating a few days to explore Mount Rinjani. Plan your trip around this incredible adventure and come prepared for an experience of a lifetime.
First, consider if you will be able to handle the hike.
For inexperienced trekkers, the hike will come as a surprise, with uneven terrain and steep inclines. Even experienced hikers have said the hike was challenging. To begin the journey, a 1,500-metre climb across 8 kilometres will be a great warm-up. With little trail maintenance, this makes the walk slippery, steep and hard to grip. Prepare to push yourself to the limit and endure the struggle, as the views from the summit will be worth it. After you have overcome the first day, the second day brings an early start to watch the sunrise. Another 1,000-metre of elevation on a narrow trail is to come, all to reward you with the finish line! Bring your warm clothes as the height brings chilly temperatures, dropping all the way down to freezing. One of the best rewards is being able to swim in Lake Segara Anak, showcasing views across the island as its backdrop. The incredible blue colour of the water will keep you in awe. The lake is a mix of four natural hot springs with a natural waterfall falling into the lake. Stretching out over 11 kilometres and reaching up to 230 metres in depth. Many travellers climb Mount Rinjani purely to experience these "healing waters". Once you have reached the top and rejoiced, the descent is just as steep and can be quite harsh on your knees and hamstrings.
If you are still convinced and fearless, the next thing to know is that there are two entrances to Rinjani National Park. One from Sembalun and the other from Senaru. Longer hikes will start in one village and take you to the other.
Will I need to train for the hike?
While the hike across Mount Rinjani is tough, if you are fit, then you will not need to train for the hike specifically. However, if you have not exercised for months, then preparing for the hike might be a good idea. With treks stretching out for 6 to 8 hours and an intense incline, it will be a rewarding challenge.
What about the time of year?
Timing is also essential when it comes to hiking Mount Rinjani. Organise your trip over the dry season from April to November, as when the rainy season begins the trails close. Hiking up the mountain can only be completed with a local guide, and many tours also offer porters to carry certain items. You will still be required to carry your own daypack with your personal belongings.
If you are ready for the adventure, then begin by planning your holiday around this incredible hike. Ask yourself: are you prepared to endure steep and challenging heights? The reward of swimming in Lake Segara Anak—azure hot springs overlooking the island—may just be enough to motivate you.