Mount Sindoro is separated from its similarly conical but slightly higher neighbour, Gunung Sumbing, by the Kledung Pass (1,404m). Together, they dominate the Dieng plateau area and can both be climbed from Kledung village where there is a decent hotel. There is another straightforward and slightly shorter ascent from the north at Sigedang (1,900m). From Kledung it takes 5 – 6 hours to the top and from Sigedang a little less – maybe 4 hours for fast hikers. For its size, Sindoro is an easy hike and would make a great introduction to hiking in Indonesia. From the top there are great views to Sumbing, Merapi, Merbabu, Ungaran, Slamet, Dieng plateau’s high ridge Gunung Prau and the north coast of Java. Sunrise is usually magnificent so it is worth climbing overnight. Camping is not advised at present (2014) due to poisonous gases at the top (since 2011 – one hiker died camping by the crater in 2013). Though there is a small lake at the top, there is no water source on the actual route so make sure you take plenty with you.
From the main road at Kledung, take the cobbled road leading north opposite the Kledung Rest Area. It is difficult to miss because it’s the first turning east of the Kledung Pass hotel. The cobbled road leads gently up the hillside for about one mile and it is recommended you get an ojek (motorcycle taxi) to take you up as far as possible. The end of the road is at 1,654m. The well-defined and occasionally slippery trail leads up through pine woodland past the remains of Pos 1 (1,761m), Pos Payungan (1,857m), across some very small wooden bridges and on to the remains of the shelter at Pos 2 (1,978m). There are a few good places to admire the views of Sumbing across on the other side of the Kledung Pass but it is not until the first major camping area (pos 3 at 2,320m) that the vegetation becomes sparse. If you are going to camp anywhere other than at the summit (not advised at present), Pos 3 is recommended because the views south and east are spectacular and there is plenty of room for tents. However, there are many places suitable for just one or two tents all the way up.
The trail climbs more steeply and passes scattered rocks, notably ‘batu tatah’ (at 2,843m). There is little shade here so for the light-skinned it is essential to use sun cream during the day. Finally the top is reached and you are on the edge of Sindoro’s crater. There are actually two craters next to each other: a deeper, water-filled one (2010, no longer any water by 2014, but lots of fumarole activity) and a smaller swampy one higher up. If you follow the crater rim round to the right (east), it descends to a large, flat grassy area which sometimes has a small lake in it. This would appear to be the remains of a very old third crater. It would make a great place to camp. Further round, is the alun-alun, an even larger area, perfect for camping. However, given the present fumarole activity it is not recommended at present (2014) to camp near the top. Check with guides or local people regarding the situation in future.
Much of the crater rim is of a very similar height. It takes only 30 minutes to circuit the crater rim so baggers don’t need to worry too much about missing the very highest point if they’ve had a wander around the crater edge! The highest reading I got on my GPS was on the edge of the crater just above the small depression where there is often a small pool of water. In clear weather you can see the north coast of Java. The edelweiss-covered summit area is very large and flat and the mountain apparently takes its name from the fragrant scent of the edelweiss flowers.
Fast hikers can be back down at the Kledung Pass hotel in less than 4 hours. You may even be able to arrange an ojek from a local farmer when you reach the cobbled road.
Route from Sigedang: The first two posts (Pos 1/2) are an hour and two hours respectively from Sigedang tea plantation and are actually both tea-weighing shelters. From there it is less than 3 hours to the top.
This huge mountain is separated from its similarly conical neighbour, Gunung Sindoro, by the Kledung Pass (1,404m) and is the second highest peak in Central Java. Its only known eruption was in 1730 but there is still minor volcanic activity in the crater. It is most commonly climbed from the north from the basecamp at Garung village, which is very near to Kledung where there is a decent hotel. Public transport from Yogya is frustratingly slow so the area is better approached from Semarang if you are not using a private car. There are frequent buses through Kledung which run between Semarang and Purwokerto.
Garung village is just fifteen minutes on foot from Kledung. Guides can easily be arranged at the Garung basecamp or Kledung Pass hotel. Take the road leading south from the main road through Kledung next to a mosque and BRI bank. The basecamp is on your left (1,420m) and permits can be arranged there if your guide hasn’t already dealt with it. You can also ask for a basic map and route description (in Indonesian).
From Garung, the road leads up through Garung village and the trail through farmland begins at approximately 1,478m. You will almost certainly be able to get an ojek to the end of the road. There are actually two routes – old and new – that you can take (‘jalur lama’ and ‘jalur baru’) and they join together at two possible places further along the hike. The new route (baru) is more slightly more west than the old route but the distance between them is not great. However, this can lead to confusion as there are no signposts and guides have known to become lost themselves on minor farm tracks on the lower slopes! The new trail has presumably been opened to combat erosion on the old route, which is steeper and more slippery. Your guide is likely to take you up the new route (‘jalur baru’) which is a wise decision – even more so for the descent, which is slippery whichever route you take!
Experienced hikers should be able to reach the crater rim in 5-6 hours because although the trail is steep it is only 7 km long. ‘Jalur baru’ (new route) is better for water sources as a stream runs parallel to it on the west. On ‘jalur baru’ (new route) the last place for water is a large stream on the edge of farm plantation at 1,900m. Jalur baru has Pos 1 (1,932m) and Pos 2 (2,234m) which are both very basic wooden frames. They will protect you from rain but are of little merit as places to actually camp. There are numerous places to pitch a tent on the way up but most places can only accommodate 2 or 3 tents at most. At 2,317m is a monument to a hiker who died on Sumbing and a slightly larger camping area. Beyond this, the forest becomes thinner and thinner and views over to Gunung Sindoro become correspondingly magnificent. After the two different routes have met, the first major landmark on the hike is ‘watu kotak’ (stone box) at 2,876m. The trail leads along the left side of this and a second rocky cliff of considerable length (known simply as ‘tebing’) a little higher up at 3,000 – 3,040m. This is near the area known to guides as ‘tanah putih’ (white land).
As you near the crater rim there are two destinations for hikers. Almost all hikers simply continue to the top of the rim. The peak is known as Puncak Buntu (3,008m) and and in good weather conditions hikers are rewarded with the tremendous view over to Merapi and Merbabu. Down below is the large crater – smoke may be billowing from the middle section and there is a large pool of water on the eastern end of the crater complex. It is possible to explore the crater by descending into it from the rim but be very careful of the gases and do not camp there.
The highest point of Sumbing mountain is a steep rocky part of the crater rim further south-west. Most hikers are happy to consider the crater rim as their destination. Although the real summit is not far away, it is slightly difficult to reach and not often visited. Indeed, if this is your plan you must mention to your guide before setting off that you want to climb to ‘puncak sejati’ or ‘puncak tertinggi’ (the highest peak). Just below Puncak Buntu, there is a trail skirting across the mountain, just 20 metres or so below the top of the rim. It leads up to a rocky part of the rim with an Indonesian flag (October 2010). This is where hikers are most able to descend into the crater itself should they wish. From here you will be able to see two further rocky peaks on the rim, further west. The second one is the true summit. Getting to the first one is fairly easy but the terrain is dangerous because there are sheer drops and a little mistake would have terrible consequences. Indeed, by following the very crest of the rim you will encounter drops that are impassable without ropes but can be avoided slightly lower down from the top of the rim. The most difficult section which must be negotiated is an awkward step between the true summit and the rocky peak preceding it. Unless you are a very confident scrambler it is difficult and dangerous to attempt alone. However, if you are with others who can give you a hand you should be able to manage it. Please be careful.
After the tricky section, all you need to do is follow the trail round the side of the true peak and then up onto the top of it (don’t attempt to climb directly up the steep cliffs!). There is a tiled cairn with Javanese Edelweiss at the very top and the views are – understandably – even better than from Puncak Buntu. To reach the true summit from Puncak Buntu and the main Garung trail takes about 45 minutes each way. It could also be reached from the trail from Cepit – see below – if hikers climb up to the part of the rim with the flag on it.
To descend the same way to Garung from the crater rim takes about four and a half hours.
Sumbing is also climbed from another basecamp at Cepit (near Pagergunung village) which lies 7km from Parakan. This route leads directly into the crater but it is a longer trail. It is requested that you register and pay a small fee at the basecamp. There is no water along this route so take plenty with you. The route (which takes about 7 hours) goes via forest and savanna before reaching Batu Kasur (Stone mattress) and Batu Lawang (Stone door). After these landmarks you reach the caldera and sulphuric gases and also some caves, the biggest of which is called Jugil. There are also local ancestral tombs, known as Ki Ageng Makukuhan.
Day 1 : Yogyakarta-Wonosobo (Dinner)
Upon arrival in Yogyakarta then drive to Wonosobo, located about 3 hours from Yogyakarta. Check in hotel located in the middle of Mt Sindoro and Mt Sumbing. Or Overnight at Homestay.
Day 2: Wonosobo-Bowongso Base Camp- Post III (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Pick up at 10.00 from hotel and then drive to Bowongso Base Camp. First route you will pass soil path, the last stop of any vehicle, this route also local people route. You will pass 50 cm bridge here. You will camp at Post III. Soil Path to Post 3 = 5 hours trek.
Day 3: Post III – Peak of Mt Sumbing – Garung (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
In the morning start trekking at 03.30 to peak of Mt Sumbing, about 2 hours trek to watch sunrise. After breakfast then descend to Mt Sumbing via Kledung. ETA Kledung 18.00. Check in at Dieng Kledung Pass Hotel.
Day 4: Kledung- Sindoro Peak (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Pick up at 10.00 from hotel and then drive to basecamp Kledung. Trek about 5-6 hours to peak of Mt Sindoro, and camping on peak of Mt Sindoro which has flat texture suitable for camping.
Day 5: Sindoro Peak – Kledung / Tambi (Breakfast, Lunch)
In the morning watch sunrise and then breakfast. Descend via Kledung or Sigedang Village. Drop you to Wonosobo or Yogyakarta Area. End ofservices Rate: USD 460/person/twin share, Minimum 2 person
Rate: USD 430/person/twin share, Minimum 2 person
- Transportation (with AC), Yogyakarta – Kledung – Yogyakarta
- Guide - Snack and water
- Simple breakfast with hot coffee/tea and lunch
- Entry ticket for domestic guest - Insurance
- Porter for private equipment / camera equipment
- Entry ticket for foreign guest
- Other trip request WHAT TO BRING
- Jacket - Long trouser, shirt
- Rain coat
- Head gear
- Gloves and socks
- Headlamp or torch
- Trekking shoes
- Private medicine
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