Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java

Ancient tales:

Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java
Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java

When looking at the history of Gunung Lawu one cannot ignore the story about the three summits, Hargo Dumilah, Hargo Dalem and Hargo Dumling. Each has its own legend and mystery. The story began during the government of Sinuwun Nata Bhrawijaya Pamungkas at Majapahit Kingdom. At that time, the King’s wife, Dara Petak gave birth to a son, Raden Fatah. Unlike his father Raden Fatah chose to convert to Islam as he grew up. He then established a Kingdom in Glagah Wangi (Demark). This caused great grief to his father, who then turned to meditation in search for guidance from God. His newly found understanding and perception showed that the glow of the Majapahit Kingdom would fade away and the divine revelation would shift to the Demak Kingdom.Trekking @ Gunung Lawu Central Java

The King then left the Kingdom and fled to Gunung Lawu escorted by Sabdopalon. Ontheir journey to the summit they met Dipa and Wangsa Menggala, two village heads that escorted the King to Hargo Dalem the summit. Before retreating at Hargo Dalem the King designated Dipa Menggala as the ruler Gunung Lawu and to be in charge of the invisible of the area. The King also appointed Wangsa Menggala as the vice regent and honored him with the title of Kyai Jalak.

Due to their loyalty and perfection of supernatural power, Dipa and Wangsa Menggala turned into mystical creatures to carry out the King’s mandate. Thus until today Gunung Lawu is still closely related to the cultural tradition of the Yogyakarta and Surakarta Palace.

Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java
Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java

The Massive Gunung Lawu, lying on the border between Central and East Java and is one of Java’s holiest mountains. Mysterious Hindu Temples dot its slopes and because of the colorful past, each year thousand’s of pilgrims seek spiritual enlightenment by climbing its peak. The unique temples on the mountain are actually the last ones that were built in Java before the region converted to Islam. The most famous ones are Candi Sukuhand Candi Ceto. Hiking @ Gunung Lawu

Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java
Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java

A climb filled with lots of little bonuses:

Due to the colorful history of Gunung Lawu and the fact that annually thousands of pilgrims make their way to the summit it is no surprise that the trek is by far the best maintained path to any summit in Indonesia that is over 3000 meters.

Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java
Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java

A further bonus is the fact that the starting point is at an altitude at 1800 meters, meaning that the actual climb covers “only “ about 1400 meters altitude. Comfortable accommodation only 150 meters below the summit, giving you a chance to forget your tent at home. To our greatest astonishment our host for the night not only cooked a delicious hot dinner but also stocked a little store with all the essentials for the hungry adventurer. But what makes Gunung Lawu special are the views, which are thoroughly stunning. It is actually very easily possible to climb this mountain in one relatively long 8-9 hour hiking day. However I strongly suggest spending the night near the summit in one of the hostels. Depart during the later part of the morning and reach the summit around 4.  This will give you a terrific chance to marvel at a hopefully spectacular sunset, and then an even more beautiful sunrise the next morning.Trekking @ Gunung Lawu Central Java

A walk in the park:

Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java
Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java

The adventure starts in Cemoro Sewu where at the beginning of the trek one has to register and pay a small entrance fee. Bring along copies of your ID or Pass Port. An additional packet of clove cigarettes is always most welcomed by the caretakers and will greatly speed up the administrative component, which often can be rather time consuming and frustrating. The entire path to the summit is rather straightforward without offering any specific challenges. The scenery is great and the mountain constantly rewards you with a magnificent landscape. There are 4 pos (rest points) along the route and it will take approximately one hour to reach each of the points. The lower sections will cross some vegetable plantations followed by a forested section and as you get higher the trees will give way to high alpine bush land.Trekking @ Gunung Lawu

Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java
Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java

Starting point Cemoro Sewu 1800 m:

Pos 1:  Taman Sari Bawah, Wesen-wesen 2203 m

Pos 2: Taman Sari Atas, Watu Gedeg 2589 m

Pos 3:  Sendang Panguripan, Watu Gede 2787 m

Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java
Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java

Pos 4: Cokro Srengenge, Watu Kapur 3099 m

Overnight camp:  Jolo Tundo  3177 m

Argodumilah: Summit 3265 m

Argodalam:  Second lower summit 3170 m

Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java
Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java

The descent:

The easiest way back is obviously to take the same path as you come up. However there is actually a rather seldom taken second bath which is a little longer but will end up at the same starting point. It is best to ask for directions at the summit, which the locals will happily give you. Another smart alternative would be to ask a local to guide you for the first ½ hour until you reach the defined trail which is in good condition and can be easily followed. If the weather is clear you will get some fabulous views of Gunung Merapi on the far horizon.Trekking @ Gunung Lawu Central Java

Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java
Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java

Summery Gunung Lawu:

Elevation: 3065 meters
Coordinates: 
Gunung Lawu summit  -7.627162, 111.194344
Cemoro Kandang, starting point -7.627162, 111.18782
Location: 110 km northeast from Yogyakarta on the border between central and east. The journey will take roughly 3-4 hours on a public bus

Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java
Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java

Difficult Grade V2: Moderate: No major obstacles along the entire trek. Keep sudden weather changes in mind and bring a good raincoat and some warm clothing. The morning on the summit can be very windy and very cold.
Physical Challenge V2: Moderate:  Straight forward if you are in reasonable good condition. From all the tall volcanoes in Java, Gunung Lawu is perhaps the easiest one to climb.
Hiking time: 4 ½ hours up and 4 hours down
Water source: 2½ liters is sufficient for the climb. Water available just below the summit in one of the Warungs.
Guide: Not essential
Permit: Registration essential at park entrance in Cemoro Kendang US$0.50
Transport: Yogyakarta-Depok–Prambanan-Ceper-Solo-Mojolaban-Karanganyar- Tawangmangu-Cemoro Kandang. Plenty of public busses available.

Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java
Gunung Lawu travel guide and tips-How to Travel around Central Java

Accommodation: There are serviced shelters on the summit, which provide a cooked meal and basic essentials. If you wish to spend the night in the tent then there are several spots just below the summit.

Gunung Prau travel guide and tips – How to Travel around Central Java

Dieng Plateau:Gunung Prau – Central Java

Most travelers visiting the Dieng Plateau will make their journey to this high altitude plateau for several main reasons. One to escape from the tropical heat of densely populated cities of central Java. Two to visit the ancient, well over 1000 years old temple ruins, and three for the scenic beauty of this volcanic wonderland. While in the area and if you enjoy hiking, why not to add a fourth reason and venture up to the rim of the caldera, which will offer superb views in various locations? ”Provided the weather is on your side”. Trekking @ Gunung Prau

Gunung Prau – Central Java

Ancient Dieng:

The lofty Dieng Plateau is home to the oldest Hindu temples in Java that were built between the 7th and the 9th century. The name Dieng comes from Di-Hyang (Adobe of the Gods) and it is believe that this was once a flourishing temple-city. Over 400 temples were built and covered the highland plain, of which only eight small temples still remain. They are often shrouded in mist and also known as the nation’s main potato growing area. The temples are simple in detail but it is the extraordinary beauty of the surroundings and the close proximity to volcanic activity with bright colored sulfur springs, lakes and bubbling mud holes that are an immense tourist attraction.Gunung Prau – Central Java Especially during weekends, locals from Semarang and Yogyakarta overrun the place as they escape from the humid heat of the tropics. The landscape is simply stunning, steep mountainsides terraced with vegetable plots enclose the huge volcanically active plateau, a marshy caldera of a collapsed volcano. Many great walks can be made around the village of Dieng, or a walk or a 7 km bike ride to Java’s highest village, Sembungan should be a must. Hiking @ Gunung Prau

Gunung Prau – Central JavaSunrise in the mist of Gunung Sikunir:

One should not stop at the village Sembungan but continue the ride or hike passed the village, following the only road through the village. About 1 km after the village passing the crater lake and more vegetable plantations you will get to a car park which during high season (May- October) houses a small Warung serving simple refreshments and of course some delicious hot coffee, that always comes in handy in the very cool early morning hours. Gunung Prau – Central JavaRemember you are well over 2000 meter over sea level where the temperature often drops into the low tens in the early morning hours. This again means that a warm jacket is absolutely essential. In this area look out for a very special type papaya tree, with fruits that hang tightly clustered from the top of the stem. Trekking @ Gunung Prau Central Java

Gunung Prau – Central Java

Breakfast glory:

From the car park follow the large well-defined path for a good 30 minutes. The first 400 meters ascends slightly passed more terraced vegetable and potato fields and more interesting, unusual fruit plants. Then, just as you get towards the first ridge the path turns to the right and winds steeply up the mountainside.Gunung Prau – Central Java Here the trail is steep but offers little challenges and within 15 minutes you will reach the first main look out that offers some of Indonesia’s best scenic views. Gunung Prau – Central JavaRight in front of you towers the well over 3000 meter high Gunung Sindoro, to the south East Gunung Merbabu with one of Indonesia’s most active volcanos, Gunung Merapi on its side. Breathtaking is also the steep drop down into the valley with countless vegetable terrasses carved in to the hillside, and several villages nestled along the river on the foot hills. Trekking @ Gunung Prau

A little extra for paradise:

Do not stop at this point for too long and make your way a little further up the hillside. Then just as you leave this view point on the way back, a small trail will lead you to the left up to yet another and much better vantage point. Due to the fact that this section is rarely used the trail can be rather overgrown as it was in our case. Gunung Prau – Central JavaDespite this fact you will have little challenge working out the direction of the path. Within 20 minutes and climbing a few more altitude meters you will get out of the woods and the scenery in every direction is simply stunning. From the highest point you will have endless views to the west, with the village of Sembungan and its own small crater lake deep below. This would also be a terrific area to set up camp for the night, as it offers plenty of firewood and many small hilltops that protect you from the often-torrential cold winds. Hiking @ Gunung Prau

Gunung Prau – Central JavaGunung Prau:

Unfortunately when we arrived in Dieng the weather was not exactly on our side with rain and heavy clouds covering the mountaintops. But then within an hour after our arrival the skies cleared and without thinking too much we decided to immediately pack our raincoats, get a bottle of water, and as always a change of t-shirt and immediately embark for the summit of the caldera.Gunung Prau – Central Java As we stayed in the center of Dieng in Bu Djono’s home stay, the trail started virtually behind the home stay which is next to the main turn off to Wonosobo. We departed for our short hike just after 3.30 pm in the afternoon. Right behind the home stay the trail first leads for a hundred meters passed a few more rows of houses before a set of stairs will lead you steeply up towards the town’s cemetery, which you will reach within less then 10 minutes. Surrounded and protected by large trees, this last burial ground can clearly be seen from the village. A short stroll around this last resting place is well worth a stop. Trekking @ Gunung Prau Central Java

The trail:

The farm trail now flattens and leads for about 1 km passed mainly potato, spring onion and cabbage plantations. Then at an elevation of 2123 meters you will leave the plantations behind you and enter the forest, which will stay with you right to the summit. As you enter the forest the trail will ascend more steeply on a well-defined good trail that offers plenty of good grip. Gunung Prau – Central JavaSimply follow a power line that will lead you up the mountain into the right direction. Within 20 minutes you will reach a border marker of Wonosobo,(2390 meters) which is located right on the ridge of the caldera. Here the path flattens for a few meters and then gets rather steep, winding up the mountainside. 50 meters higher the trek gets even steeper and the last 150 meters of altitude will challenge your fitness slightly, your heart beat rises quickly and as normal within a few minutes you will bathe in your own sweat. Unfortunately this work out will only last a good 20 minutes before you reach the slowly collapsing TV-Tower. Be careful on the way down, as this section in wet conditions, as it was in our case can be very slippery. Trekking @ Gunung Prau

Gunung Prau – Central Java

The grey summit:

For a change we remember the summit of Gunung Prahu not for the incredible views from this point, but for the absolute horrible weather conditions. Here we stood, almost on top of another mountain and the wind was howling and cold. Thick mist covered the entire mountaintop in a dark grey blanket that barely allowed us to see our hands in front of our face. Protected by our high quality rain jacket and warmed by thermal Merino wool jumper we actually enjoyed the bad weather tremendously. Hiking @ Gunung Prau

Gunung Prau – Central JavaBad weather conclusion:

Yes it is very special to be on top of a mountain after an exhausting climb and enjoy the views in perfect weather conditions. But lets face it, weather on most mountains is unpredictable and why should one be stopped by a “little” (in our case it was pouring), rain, wind and other circumstances to stay at home? However it is of utmost importance when venturing into alpine regions to bring only the very best gear that money can buy. Then only the very best will keep you dry and warm and with it will bring you safely back from where you started.

Summery Gunung Prau:

Elevation: 2599 meters
Coordinates: -7.189889,109.926109
Location: Central Java 120 north west of Yogyakarta
Difficult Grade: 2 Easy comfortable hike and good trail
Physical Challenge: 2 Easy
Hiking time: 3 hours for round trip
Water source: 1 ½ liter recommended
Guide: Not essential
Permit: Not required
Transport: Yogyakarta – Dieng 120 km 4 hours, Plenty of public transports available
Yogyakarta – Magelang – Secang – Parakan Kauman – Parakan – Kledung – Kertek – Wonosobo – Dieng
Accommodations: Plentiful available in Dieng. Ranging from cheap to very cheap, and very very basic

Gunung Muria travel guide and tips – How to Travel around Central Java

The setting:

Gunung Muria – Central Java

Every mountain is remembered for some specific facts, sights and reasons. Some volcanoes are tall and very strenuous to climb, others are isolated and it takes forever to get to the starting point of the hike, and then there is Gunung Muria which is the shortest of any mountain we have climbed in Indonesia. But it is not for this that we remember this incredible picturesque mountain “Shorty”. Gunung Muria – Central JavaWhat really struck us is the peacefulness and harmony of the entire mountain range, and the way it seems to bring people together. On one side there is Colo that is a most important pilgrim place for Muslims, then there is a very strong Christian movement in the area and then there is still plenty of space on the summit of Puncak 29 where very recently a new Hindu temple was build. It seems so easy that various groups of religious orientations can live together. Trekking @ Gunung Muria Java

Gunung Muria – Central JavaGunung Muria is a long dormant volcano in the center of the Muria peninsula, on the central north cost of Java, approximately 80 km east of the city of Semarang. This region is known for several historical and cultural reasons.

It is home to the gravesites of two of the Wali Sanga of Java – Sunan Muria, also known as Raden Umar Said, whose grave is in Colo on the southern slopes of Mount Muria, and Sunan Kudus, known also as Ja’far Shadiq, whose grave is in the city of Kudus. The Wali Sanga are the nine Islamic Saints associated with the spread of Islam in Java. These graves are part of the network of Islamic sites in Java considered to be sacred. The name Kudus means “holy.” Kudus is the only city in Indonesia with an Arabic name.

Gunung Muria – Central JavaThen the same area is home to the Gereja Kristen Muria Indonesia Mennonite (Muria Mennonite Christian Church in Indonesia or GKMI). The church has more than 16,000 followers living in Java, Bali, Sumatra and Kalimantan. GKMI started as an Indigenous Christian movement that was started by Tee Siem Tat and Sie Dioen Nio a Chinese Indonesian couple in the city of Kudus before 1920. The group identified with the Mennonite family of churches when the first believers sought baptism from Russian Mennonite missionaries working under the Dutch Mennonite Mission (Doopsgezinde Zendingsvereeniging) in the Muria area in December 1920.

Major crops of the Muia and Kudus region are rice, sugar, coffee, fish, rubber, coconuts, clove and clove cigarettes factories and a large variety of vegetables and fruits in the higher regions. Then on the way to Kudus from Semerang there are several large textile factories. Hiking @ Gunung Muria

The ascent:Gunung Muria – Central Java

One of the trails to reach Puncak 29, the highest of a number of various summits starts in the village of Rahtawu at an elevation of 820 meters. The well-defined trek is pretty much in perfect condition right from the beginning to the very summit. As the steep mountainside of the lower section is heavily farmed the surrounding villages use the rather large farm track as a main route to bring their harvest to the markets in the surrounding villages down in the valleys.

The first kilometer of the trail leads almost flat into the deep valley with the actual summit clearly visible straight ahead high above slightly to the left. The views in this lower section are already stunning with a good flowing mountain stream deep down embedded to the left and many smaller streams flowing down from countless smaller valleys. Trekking @ Gunung Muria Java

Gunung Muria – Central Java

Gunung Muria – Central Java

The intersection:

After crossing several streams, in about 20 minutes, you will reach a Y-section with a stone marker that points straight to the left towards KEPUNTON and PUNCAK 29 and towards SAPTOHGO, SENDANG and BUNTON to the right. Take the left turn and follow the path that is just over one kilometer shorter than when taking the trail to the right. Eventually both trails will meet again further up and bring you to the same summit. Trekking @ Gunung Muria

Gunung Muria – Central JavaGunung Muria – Central Java

The tiny settlement:

Turn right and after 20 minutes you will reach a small settlement with a tiny Warung. The lady running this food stall seems to be too happy and delighted to serve you some refreshments. Coffee and cakes are highly recommended. Shortly after the turn off towards this small village the trail gets quickly much steeper allowing gaining altitude quickly. Then about 20 minutes after you pass the village the trail will once again join the main trail to the summit. People living in this area grow lots of coffee, some vegetables and a little fruit. Hiking @ Gunung Muria

Gunung Muria – Central Java

The stone marker:

If you decide earlier at the stone marker for the trail straight ahead towards Puncak 29, then the big wide path quickly gets substantially steeper allowing good and quick progress. With every meter altitude gained the views and with it the scenery gets better and better, especially in the early morning sun. The entire area is covered by forest which offers some shade if hike during the day.Trekking @ Gunung Muria

Gunung Muria – Central Java

The part time settlement:

At an altitude of 1340 meters you will reach a small deserted settlement consisting of several small buildings. These small living quarters appear to be occupied only during the dry season between April to October.Gunung Muria – Central Java Safely protected by the buildings you will pass in the center a small shrine with three small gravestones. We really enjoyed the many colorful flowers in this area. Hiking @ Gunung Muria

The intermezzo:

Once you get passed this “Mini Village” then there is only 30 minutes of steep and slightly more stringent hiking ahead of you. The forest now gives quickly way to smaller vegetation that allows spectacular views in every direction. This is without question the steepest section of the entire trail.

Gunung Muria – Central JavaAfter about 15 minutes into this section you will reach once again a slightly flatter 50 meters, where at the end towards the mountain a small shrine clearly is one of strong Hindu presence over the past centuries. Hiking @ Gunung Muria Java

Gunung Muria – Central Java

The finale:

Just after this small religious monument the still well defined and maintained trail gets quickly rather steep and winds zig zag up the flank of the hillside and within 20 minutes you will reach the summit where Pak Sijan the Warung 29 care taker will welcome you with the friendliest happy smile you have ever seen. Next to the Warung is a beautiful Hindu temple that was build only very recently, and is often used by worshippers as a place to meditate. Gunung Muria – Central JavaAfter a little rest and a change of t-shirts Pak Sijan will serve you the finest strong Robusta coffee you have ever tasted on a mountain. If time permits, then this summit is the perfect place to spend a night and with it enjoy a hopefully glorious sunset and then the following morning a sunrise in a thorough paradise.Gunung Muria – Central Java There is water for a wash and you will be looked after by a sincere genuine host. Trekking @ Gunung Muria

The summit:

To reach the actual summit you will need to follow the ridge for a further 300 meters eastward. Here at the highest point of Gunung Muria you find again a small Hindu shrine that is frequently used by worshippers. Gunung Muria – Central JavaIf the weather Gods are kind and the sun is out, then the views from this peak are simply spectacular.Gunung Muria – Central Java On clear days you can see as far as Gunung Sumbing and Sindore in the distant West and Gunung Lawu a little closer to the East. Turn around and the coastline of the Muria peninsula can clearly be seen. Hiking @ Gunung Muria

Beautiful people:

The highlight of the journey was definitely the time we spent talking to the Pak Sijan the Warung care taker and one of his close friends, a retired university professor that spend some quality days resting on the summit.Gunung Muria – Central Java Once again, just like on so many other mountains we meet people with such a clear, open and friendly mind that it made us jealous for not being able to spend more quality time with these two genuine gentlemen in remote parts of this great country. Trekking @ Gunung Muria JavaGunung Muria – Central Java

Summery Gunung Muria:

  • Elevation: 1625 meter
  • Coordinates: -6.616439,110.89041
  • Location: Central Java 80 km east of Semerang
  • Difficult Grade: 2 for the ascent
  • Physical Challenge: 2
  • Hiking time: 4 – 4 ½ hours for round trip
  • Water source: 1 ½ liter recommended. Available from mountain stream in lover section
  • Warung serves refreshments on summit
  • Guide: Not essential
  • Permit: Not required
  • Transport: Semerang – Kudus by public bus 60 km, Air-conditioned US$0.80
  • Kudus – Rahtawu by public mini van 20 km US$4.50 one way,
  • Or on the back of a motor bike $4.50 one way

Trekking @ Indonesian Volcano Adventures

Gunung Ungaran travel guide and tips – How to Travel around Central Java

Gunung Ungaran – Central Java

The setting:

For some mountains it is great to be on the summit for sunrise, meaning that the ascent is always a race in the dark against the sun. Then there are mountains where it is worth spending the night close to, or on the summit for a super cold night, but a very special daybreak with a sunrise that will be in your memories forever. Other volcanoes or mountains you should approach just like so many mountains in the European Alps, rise early and start your hiking adventure when the first rays of the sun illuminate the surrounding. Gunung Ungaran is definitely a mountain you should hike up during day light hours, as the scenery especially in the lower section is simply breathtaking. The setting says it all… 9 magnificent Hindu temples that are more then 1100 years old and a kaleidoscope of volcanoes as a backdrop making this part of central Java seriously striking. Trekking @ Gunung Ungaran Java

Gunung Ungaran – Central JavaGedong Songo Temple:

The adventure starts at the entrance to the Gedong Songo Temple complex, a set of ancient Hindu shrines dating back to the ninth century. You are required to purchase a ticket, which is essential as the actual trail turns of the main tourist track a few hundred meters up hill. After entering the gate follow the main path to the first Candi, which will take only a few minutes. Here it is of utmost important to stop and enjoy the astonishing views of the surrounding volcanoes. The twins of Gunung Sumbung and Sindoro a little closer and in the southeast the massive Gunung Merbabu with Gunung Merapi make a dramatic backdrop in the golden early morning sun. Hiking @ Gunung Ungaran Java

Gunung Ungaran – Central JavaThe trail:

With many great images in your camera continue to follow the main path for a couple hundred meters uphill where soon you will reach a set of solidly built wooden Warungs that sell the usual selection of refreshments and lots of tacky souvenirs. Pass these Warungs straight up for about 100 meters or until the main path turns to the left, slightly down hill. It is here where a small trail leads you into thick forest where a small but relatively well-defined track will lead you into the right direction.Gunung Ungaran – Central Java Within a few meters you will reach the steepest section of the entire track that winds zig zag up the flank of the mountain and in less then 20 minutes you will gain about 150 meters of altitude. Once this steepest section is behind, the trail then continues to ascend comfortably steeply through picturesque forest that is littered with an array of colorful wild flowers. Trekking @ Gunung Ungaran

The 20-minute interval:

In some ways the 20-minute rhythm continues and before long you will get out of the dense forest and for the next couple of hundred meters you cross a grassed flank that follows the ridge thirty to forty meters high above.

Gunung Ungaran – Central JavaGunung Ungaran – Central Java This short section is not very steep and shortly after you get back into the forest you arrive at a terrific campsite that is embedded and protected by giant old trees. This will end the first hour of a most joyful early morning hike at an altitude of 1750 meters and with it is also the halfway point. Hiking @ Gunung Ungaran

The second hour:

The following 100 meters of altitude are once again rather steep and can be quite tricky on the way down, especially during rainy days when the soil is wet and with it can be rather slippery. However a little extra attention and some additional support from small trees, bushes and roots will assist you greatly, especially on the way down. Then at 1900 meters you will arrive at another ridge with yet another Y-junction. Here you take the left trail which will lead you first down the side of what appears to bean ancient crater of a long extinct volcano that is now densely forested. After about 50 meters the trail flattens and crosses the base for a good 150 meters before once again ascending up the side of the rim. Trekking @ Gunung Ungaran

Gunung Ungaran – Central JavaThe overgrown circumnavigation:

From this point it will take another good 30 minutes of solid hiking to reach the summit. Rather large portions of these upper sections are totally overgrown by grass and at times it is a bit of guess – work where the actual bottom of the track is. Gunung Ungaran – Central JavaSimply follow your nose and instinct, slow a little down as it is actually quite easy to work out where to place your foot. Somehow it seems that you circumnavigate the summit and gradually make your way to the top. Along the entire trail you will notice iron signs with the inscription CANDI that will guide you safely up and down from Gunung Ungaran. Gunung Ungaran – Central JavaOnly the last 50 meters of the actually summit are not forested. These will reward you with absolutely stunning views in every direction. Hiking @ Gunung Ungaran Java

The beauty and the clouds:

Gunung Ungaran definitely deserves a detour from the “Big 3000 meter volcanoes” as you are rewarded with stunning views in every section of the trail. Ancient Candies, beautiful forests, a large variety of flowers and to top it all the mountain offers a great work out.Gunung Ungaran – Central Java Despite all these great features make certain to be on the summit well before 10 am as it seems common for the clouds to come in around this time and cover the summit in heavy clouds which seem to burst almost daily into serious down pours. Trekking @ Gunung Ungaran.

Summary Gunung Ungaran:

  • Elevation: 2050 meters
  • Coordinates
  • Summit: -7.183502,110.348396
  • Gedong Songo Temples:-7.209709,110.342131
  • Location: Central Java 100 km north of Yogyakarta or
  • 40 km South of Semerang
  • Difficult Grade: 2. The trail is rather with two relatively steep sections. The first one begins almost immediately once you depart the Gedong Songo temple area. The second steep section begins immediately after the1/2 way camp site.
  • Physical Challenge: 2. Good shoes will greatly help in the upper section where the path is often over grown and after downpours can be rather slipery
  • Hiking time: 4 – 4 ½ hours for round trip
  • Water source: None. 3 liters recommended
  • Guide: Not essential
  • Permit: Not required
  • Transport: Yogyakarta – Magelang – Secang – Pingit – Jambu – Ambarawa – Bandungan
  • Start of trail: Bandungan – Gedong Songo Temples – 5 km
  • US$ 3.50 on the back of a motorbike
  • Accommodation: Plentiful available for any budget in Bandungan

Direction to Gunung Ungaran: