|Elevation:||1,580 m (5,183 ft)||Prominence:||842 m|
|Ribu category:||Spesial||Province:||Sulawesi Utara (North Sulawesi)|
|Google Earth:||kml||Other names:|
|Eruptions:||1375, 1775, 1829, 1893-94, 1930, 1942, 1948, 1951-53, 1958-59, 1961-66, 1969-71, 1971, 1973-80, 1975-80, 1986-88, 1991-92, 2000-03, 2011-12|
Lokon is a twin volcano with the adjacent Empung and is located close to the pleasantly cool town of Tomohon, which is surrounded by agricultural land. All recent eruptions have originated from the Tompaluan crater which lies in the saddle between the two peaks – when most people say they climbed Lokon they mean they visited the crater and most guides will think you only want to go to the crater.
There is actually a Volcanological Centre in Tomohon where you can find out information about the activity of volcanoes in the area and obtain an English speaking guide – several guides have quite good knowledge about the history and geology of the area. However, all the guesthouses and hotels will also be able to provide a guide too. A good thing about the hike to Lokon is that it starts from wherever you chose to stay in Tomohon. You begin by wandering along pleasant country lanes with good views of Lokon, before you have to pass by a small stone quarry and start the climb up to the crater.
The route is along a (usually) dry river bed that is actually an old lave flow; this can be quite slippery because it is so smooth. It takes 2 to 3 hours to reach the crater lake from Tomohon. Most people stop at the crater rarely go to the summit, for a very good reason. The steeps slopes of the dome shaped Lokon mountain quickly become dominated by 8 ft tall grasses that are razor-sharp. You really need to wear some gardening gloves and long trousers. If possible, you should also bring a machete to hack away the worst of the grasses that will be encroaching on the narrow path. The true summit on the relatively flat top is hard to find because of the grasses, but a trail is identifiable that winds through to a high point.
Warning: there is another overgrown crater near the summit of Lokon, avoid this area and skirt around it to the left to reach the summit area. There is no view from the summit unless you cut away at the grass; the best views of Tomohon, the crater and the Bunaken islands can be achieved only part of the way up the slopes of Lokon. Return the same way you came.
Bagging information provided by Andy Dean.