- Elevation: 1,010 m (3,314 ft)
- Prominence: 975 m
- Ribu category: Spesial
- Province: Peninsular Malaysia
- Malaysian state: Johor
- Google Earth: kml
- Other names: Also spelt ‘Berlumut’.
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
For a high quality PDF version of this and other trail maps, please download from our Trail Maps page.
- 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.
- 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.
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