- Elevation: 2,885 m (9,465 ft)
- Prominence: 1,551 m
- Ribu category: Tinggi Sedang
- Province: Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam
- Google Earth: kml
- Other names: none
- Eruptions: Bur ni Telong 1937
Bur ni Geureudong is a large forested mountain range which is occasionally hiked by local university hiking clubs on expeditions that take a minimum of 5 or 6 days. There is an old triangulation pillar about 400 metres north of the true summit. There are apparently some fascinating megaliths and also hot springs on its slopes.
Bur ni Telong
At the southern end of the range is the striking Bur ni Telong (2,617m), a historically active volcano complex which is climbed frequently (and separately from Geureudong) and the summit of which offers great views and can be reached in a few hours.
Bur ni Telong is perhaps Aceh’s most popular hike, with a decent registration post at the trailhead, accurate signs and a straightforward trail. Local students climb to the top every weekend, but even on weekdays you are likely to meet other hikers on the trail. Pos Ranger (1,568m) is the place to start – a building at the top of a minor road up from the main Bireuen-Takengon road at Lampahan. Motorbikes can be left here for a small fee, and possibly even a car or two.
The best time to enjoy the views from the top of Bur ni Telong is just after sunrise. Therefore, most hikers camp at one of the most suitable places on the trail. However, it may be possible to find a local guide who is willing to set off at, say, 1.30 or 2am in order to reach the top just after 6am.
From Pos Ranger, the route follows a paved path which can be a little slippery up through a coffee plantation. Within 30 minutes you should have reached Pintu Rimba (1,726m) which is the forest entrance. Shelter 1 (1,800m) follows soon after and down to the left of the trail is the last water source on the mountain. Shelter 2 (2,000m) and Shelter 3 (2,100m) follow soon after, and most hikers will have reached Shelter 3 in 2 hours or less. As with all the shelters, there are no actual buildings to shelter under, but of the three, Shelter 3 is probably the best area for spending the night camping as there are plenty of flat spots and if the weather is fine then also a view of the top of Bur ni Telong on the left.
If you have camped at Shelter 3 and want to reach the top for sunrise then the best time to leave is between 3 and 4am, depending on your speed. Sunrise here is not until around 6:30am but the sky lightens nicely from around 6am. Fast hikers can be at the top in two hours, but many will take a little longer.
Not long after Shelter 3, the end of the forest is reached, and the views are open from here all the way to the top. It is beautiful at night, with the constellations overhead, and also great during the day when you can see the slightly higher Geureudong massif over to the left (north) and down to Rembele airport and beyond to Takengon the right. There are lots of edelweiss plants here.
About 20 minutes short of the peak is a small cave on the right which would be ideal for basic shelter in poor weather. Just beyond this cave is a roped section of trail where care is required as you pull yourself up over steep rock. The summit itself (2,617m) is on the edge of a steep cliff and it is quite clear from the jagged shape of the higher part of the mountain that this was once a fearsome volcano capable of powerful activity. It appears that there has been little activity here since 1937, but that is not to say that there will be no more in the future.
The views are brilliant, with numerous forest-clad peaks in all directions, including Bur ni Kelieten just on the other side of Danau Laut Tawar. It is a shame there is no trail between Telong and Geureudong as they are part of the same range and it would be great to be able to do both together. Perhaps that’s a plan for the future.
Fit hikers can be back down at Shelter 3 in about 1 hour, and need just another hour from there to reach the trailhead.
Bagging information by Dan Quinn (April 2018).
Thanks to Maria Angela H for information on Bur ni Geureudong practicalities.
- Getting there: The closest airport is Takengon’s Rembele airport which (in 2018) has a daily Wings Air flight from Medan. From here you are less than 30 minutes from the mountain. You can also fly to Lhoksumawe which is about 3 hours away. For Geureudong: From Bireuen to Simpang Kompi on the Bireun-Takengon road, then 25 minutes to Bukit Mulie village. For Telong: Follow the minor road up to Pos Ranger from Lampahan.
- Accommodation: Takengon has a number of hotels to choose from, but best book in advance. For places closer to Geureudong, you can stay at Bukit Mulie’s or Pulo Intan’s residents’ homes because there are no commercial places such as hotels.
- Permits: As always, take a photocopy of your passport photo page or ID card. For Telong, register at Pos Ranger (Rp 10,000 per person). For Geureudong, you need permission from the head of the village.
- Water sources: For Geureudong: There are 3 water sources. Tengebesi River near resident’s fields, Water Springs at Savanna , and River at around 0,6km from the Bur ni Geureudong second peak. For Telong: Available about 50m from Shelter 1 (1,800m).
- Travel insurance: We recommend World Nomads insurance, which is designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities including mountain hiking.
Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm):
Origins and Meaning
‘Geureudong’ may mean a sound like thunder (Mark Durie, 2011).