Mount Rinjani National Park

Mount Rinjani National Park is located on the island of LombokIndonesia in the North Lombok Regency. The park covers about 41,330 hectares (102,100 acres) and consists of mountainous areas. Mount Rinjani (Gunung Rinjani), which is the third highest mountain of Indonesia at 3,726 meters (12,224 ft), is located in this national park, giving this park its name.

Azmi Trekker header photo

At 3,726 m, Rinjani is the second highest volcano in Indonesia, second only to Mount Kerincion Sumatra, and it dominates the landscape of the relatively small island of Lombok.

Within its huge 50 km² calderas sits the crater lake Segara Anak (Child of the Sea). Eruptions within the caldera have formed a new small cone called appropriately enough, Gunung Baru (New Mountain). Segara Anak has a natural hot spring.

The mountain and its satellites form the Mount Rinjani National Park (Taman Nasional Gunung Rinjani) officially 41,000 hectares within the park boundaries and a further 66,000 hectares of protected forest outside.

In 2008, the Indonesian government proposed to UNESCO that Mount Rinjani be one of the world’s official geoparks. If this was approved by UNESCO, Mount Rinjani would become the first such geological park in Indonesia.


This is a very active volcano.

The oldest recorded historical eruption was in 1847. Previous to that this was a very remote region indeed, hence the lack of records.

There was a spate of activity from 1994 to 1995 which resulted in the further growth of the crater cone Gunung Baru since renamed Gunung Barujari (Finger Mountain).

On 27 April 2009 Gunung Barujari became active again with that activity continuing through to May 2009. The summit ascent routes were closed at that time as the eruptions intensified with plumes of smoke and ash as high as 8,000 m. A Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI):2 rating was issued for the activity between May and December 2009. The ascent routes re-opened on September 14th, 2009 but hiking routes down into the crater lake were still deemed unsafe and remained closed.

In February 2010 observers at the Gunung Rinjani Observation Post detected a smoke plume that rose 100 m from the volcano. The activity in early 2010 is centered around Gunung Barujari. On May 1st, 2010 a column of smoke was again observed rising from Rinjani issuing eruptions 1,300-1,600 meters tall with thick brown color and strong pressure. On May 5th, 2010 a possible ash plume rose to an altitude of 5.5 km (18,000 ft) and drifted 150 km NW. Accordingly, the Center of Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation advised that intermittent activity could produce ash plumes to 1,500 m (5,000 ft) above the caldera. In light of this, The Volcanic Explosivity Index Alert Level was raised to 2 with a recommendation that there be no activity within a radius of 4 km from the eruption at Gunung Barujari.

Recent activity

Rinjani erupted three further times on 23 May 2010 with activity continuing until 24 May 2010. According to the volcano’s official monitoring agency, ash from Mount Barujari was reported as rising up to 2 km into the atmosphere and damaged crops. Lava flowed into the caldera lake, pushing its temperature up from 21°C to 35°C, while smoke spread 12 km. The volcano did not directly threaten villagers during any of the eruptive activity in early 2010, however, access to some sections of the Mountain was officially closed or restricted at sometimes.


The lower and mid levels of the mountain are quite heavily forested. Above the tree line through the slopes are barren and rugged scree slopes and volcanic rock. The views of the crater lake are quite breath-taking from the caldera rim, as is the sunrise. From the absolute peak, you can see Bali to the west and Sumbawa to the east.

Flora and fauna

The lower and middle elevation slopes are densely forested with typical tropical species, including species which occupy the Wallacea transitional region between the SE Asian and Australasian flora. Fig trees are especially apparent in the lower forests, as are the giant Syzigium Jambu, with the gnarled and epiphyte-hung Engelhardia Bak Bakan becoming prominent in the higher elevations. Casuarina woodland (cemara) takes over higher up and eventually these give way to an alpine flora above the treeline.

Lombok is East of the Wallace Line and some bird species with Australasian affinities are therefore apparent. These include honeyeaters, cockatoos and green hanging parrots, in addition to species whose heartland is to the West including tits, weavers, and tailor-birds. Birdlife can be difficult to observe here due to the density of the forest, though if you have patience and are practiced at mimicry many species can be tempted out from cover – if you have the time to spare and the forbearance of your trekking partners.

The familiar long-tailed grey macaque (the Bali temple monkey) is common right up to the crater rim. Of much more interest is the rare ebony leaf monkey which inhabits these forests and whose soft hooting contact call often provides a soothing backdrop to the birdsong. Rusa deer and muntjacs more often heard than seen.


Rinjani is best climbed during the April-November dry season. The trekking trails are generally closed during the rainy season. In recent years the early months of the ‘dry season’ have become more prone to rain and you should be prepared to encounter heavy rain and low visibility with slippery tracks underfoot at any time, particularly in the afternoon.

It gets very cold on the mountain above 2,000 m and nears freezing at the summit. Warm clothing is an absolute must.


Entry to the park costs Rp 310,000 (+-25 USD) per person. This fee is split up as follows: 13% to the national park authority, 62% to the Rinjani ecotourism trekking program and 25% for trek route maintenance etc. Although these fees should help maintain the path, the path still is littered with detritus thrown away by the guides and porters. it is strongly advised to seek guides who confirm in advance they respect the nature and traverse without littering.