Belumut

Facts

  • Elevation: 1,010 m (3,314 ft)
  • Prominence: 975 m
  • Ribu category: Spesial
  • Province: Peninsular Malaysia
  • Malaysian state: Johor
  • Google Earth: kml
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  • Other names: Also spelt ‘Berlumut’.

Photos

Bagging It!

Gunung Belumut is Peninsular Malaysia’s southernmost peak over 1,000 metres and is therefore arguably the closest excellent day-hike for hikers living in Singapore. It is located in the Hutan Lipur Gunung Lumut (Mount Belumut Recreational Forest) around 30 minutes by car from the pleasant town of Kluang. Most fit hikers can reach the top in less than 4 hours, and be back down in less than 3, though there are two potential camping spots.

Though many mountain hikes in Malaysia require an e-permit from the forestry website, in 2022 it is possible to turn up and pay on the day (RM30 per foreigner and RM10 per Malaysian) though it is advisable and perhaps even essential to have a guide with you and book in advance on weekends. Note that the office is closed on Mondays so it is probably impossible to hike up on a Monday as the gates will be locked. Note also that the gates are not usually opened until 0830 so there is little point aiming for an earlier start than that.

There are 4 ‘checkpoints’ on the way to the peak and several water sources. If the signs are correct, the trail length is 6,030 metres, or just over 6 kilometres (one-way).

The trail starts at the Gunung Belumut Recreational Forest car park in Ulu Dengar (51m above sea level) and leads over a suspension bridge and then up some steps and finally onto normal forest trail towards Checkpoint 1 – Lata Tengkorak (197m). The Checkpoint has a little sheltered seating area to the left of the trail. There is a camping area on the right of the trail plus a junction where a right turn leads to the waterfall.

And then the trail gets considerably steeper, with some roped sections which greatly assist over what is occasionally tricky terrain. Checkpoint 2 is a named after a fabulous weathered rock known as Batu Kerang (‘clam stone’, 494m). This is the perfect place to stop for a quick break and there are some decent wooden benches on which to sit. It marks roughly half-way in terms of distance, elevation and (hopefully) time, with most being able to make it here in less than 2 hours from the trailhead.

Beyond Batu Kerang, the trail leads along some delightful forest ridge, mostly less steep than before. Checkpoint 3 Lara (673m) is next and comes before another very steep section of trail complete with ropes. After a cluster of rocks (768m) the panoramic views begin, mainly across to the shapely peak of Gunung Chemendong (846m, lying to the north). The vegetation here begins to change and it becomes clear you are reaching the higher slopes of the mountain.

Checkpoint 4 Kabus (903m) is a pleasant section of forest ridge complete with a couple of wooden benches. Down to the left of the trail is a water source, but as it is a fair distance down it is much better not to use unless you are camping or for an emergency. This is the last water point.

Beyond Kabus is a cleared area (939m), known variously as Bukit Botak, the false summit or Helipad. There are some decent views here and it is an obvious spot to camp. The true summit is a further 10 or 15 minutes via a short drop between the two tops. Finally you will emerge at an area of large boulders and various official signs. This is the top of Gunung Belumut and the views are excellent in clear weather.

There are two especially large rocks. One is a smooth, round boulder. Until 2022, there was a short ladder fixed to the base to allow hikers to clamber onto the top of the boulder but in 2022 this has gone, perhaps to avoid any accidents occurring. But the highest rock is a striking shard, jutting up towards the sky like a sword. This is known as Batu Keris and is the true peak of Gunung Belumut. Obviously, reaching the top of Batu Keris is highly technical and way beyond what most ordinary trekkers would want to consider. Yet the 1,010m figure given to Gunung Belumut is on account of Batu Keris – your GPS on the grassy area with the signs will show a lower figure of around 1,005m.

In 2022, a new sign points towards both Gunung Chemendong and Gua Harimau, though both are very much separate hikes to Gunung Belumut itself.

Most hikers will be back down at the trailhead in well under 3 hours.

Bagging information by Dan Quinn, May 2022

Trail Map

Peta Jalur Pendakian Gunung Belumut
For a high quality PDF version of this and other trail maps, please download from our Trail Maps page.

Local Accommodation



Booking.com

Practicalities

  • Getting there: Ulu Dengar trailhead is located near Kluang and is often hiked as a day-trip from Singapore as it is only 2 hours by car. The trailhead area has food stalls and a toilet block. The gates are only opened at 0830 and the place is entirely closed on Mondays.
  • Guides and GPS Tracks: Want a PDF version for your phone? Looking for a guide? Need GPS tracks and waypoints? Gunung Belumut information pack can be downloaded here.
  • Permits: In 2022, very simple. RM30 per foreigner or RM10 per Malaysian at the office at the trailhead. In previous years it was a real hassle, with a permit required from Johor Forestry (a ludicrous RM150 per group irrespective of group size) and the need to get a nominal roll stamped at Kampung Gajah Police Station. Let’s hope it stays simple. You can now register and pay for an e-Permit online from the Forestry Department of Malaysia website.
  • Water sources: CP4 Kabus (903m) is the last water point though the actual stream is a fair distance down from the checkpoint.

Local Average Monthly Rainfall
Average precipitation (rain/snow) in Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Location

8 thoughts on “Belumut

  1. Hi. I’m thinking of hiking this mountain but wondering about the permit. You mentioned permits could be purchased on the spot. Do you have the address of the office that sells the permits? And would I be allowed hiking up without a guide?

    • Hello there. The office is in the carpark at the trailhead. As for hiking without a guide, I am not sure about the rule but it is definitely not a good idea to hike alone.

      • Hi, can I apply for permit and get a guide on the spot at the trailhead? How do I get a guide?

  2. Hiking is a hobby as most would like to reward themselves with a final view from the mountain top, fresh air and relaxation. Stay there for an hour then descend to town for some local acclaim coffee. Can the authority consider open the gate at 7 am? It would help the communities as well, hikers will shop, fill up the restaurants and so on….they don’t has to rush back.

  3. After the troubles on Tioman’s Gunung Kajang, Gunung Belumut was an absolute delight! Kluang town is rather pleasant too and was a great base for a couple of days. It took me 3hr15 up and 2hr15 down and this being newly-reopened after the whole Covid chaos, I can only congratulate the Johor authorities. Firstly for simplifying the permit procedure and secondly for the excellent ropes now in place. The trail is clear and atmospheric and it deserves to be explored by many more. I guess I could complain about the 830am start (surely 7am would make more sense, based on daylight) and excess signage at the summit, but generally I think the Gunung Belumut is a great example that others could follow. Barely a speck of litter either. A clean, well-managed mountain with some excellent views. Thoroughly recommended, even if you can’t technically bag the highest point (Batu Keris). Perfect as a warm-up for something longer but well worth the hike for its own sake. All JB and Singapore hikers should give it a try.

    Contrary to my final sentence in the write-up above, some folk do actually hike Chemendong-Belumut-Gua Harimau in one expedition (usually 2 nights camping) thought Chemendong can be hiked separately as a day-hike. Gunung Gua Harimau/Gua Rimau (Tiger Cave Mountain, allegedly 889m high) lies to the south of Belumut peak, on the other side of a considerable valley between the two.

  4. Was supposed to hike Gunung Belumut on Monday, after Endau Rompin’s highest peak Gunung Besar on Sunday, but disaster struck when my would-be guide, Azizi, to whom I sent the money in advance, never appeared to meet me and stopped answering his phone.

    More details will be up on the Besar (Endau-Rompin) pages shortly, but in brief we arranged two days of hiking in Johor, I sent the money in advance, mainly due to the laborious permit procedure, and then he never showed up or answered my calls when I arrived, effectively stealing the money. Instead I spent my weekend making a police report in Johor Bahru and complaining at Johor Tourism office about the complicated permit procedure and excessive price of simple hikes in Johor. Not a great weekend.

    In short, Azizi, or Muhammad Azize Bin Zuaini to give his full name, is worth avoiding at all costs. Do not trust this individual. I will do what I can to see that he never works as a guide again. If there is any justice I will have my money returned and the extra charges I incurred by having to book extra hotels paid for out of his pocket. Realistically this could well not happen, but please do not trust this ‘man’. He is a liar and a cheat and is unlikely to be employed by Johor Parks as a guide ever again after this incident as my police report has been forwarded to management.

    General advice to all trekkers…. never send any money to guides in advance except if it is direct to a National Park account. There are lots of thieves out there. Don’t be fooled by the smiles or ‘friendliness’. It’s fake.

    • Haven’t done this myself yet (but planned for a July weekend). Probably easier from the south (Johor Bahru or even Singapore) to Kluang train station and then taxi but also possible from the north. As with many of Malaysia’s mountains it is much easier if you have a local friend with a car! A shame there is no ‘ojek’ culture as in neighbouring Indonesia as this would make life a lot easier for hikers.

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