Bagging It!

This Ribu is the highest peak in North Sulawesi province and is a popular hike for local residents, including from the adjacent Gorontalo province. It is also popular with tourists who want a different type of challenge after diving around Bunaken or the Lembeh Strait. Mount Klabat is very accessible; it is only 1 hour drive from Manado along the main road towards Bitung by car, and there are regular buses. The starting point for the hike is the town of Airmadidi, which is at an elevation of only 267 m. You are encouraged to register (free-of-charge) in the guestbook at the police station on the main road. The police can also recommend a guide, although local guides indicated they were planning to set up a small trekking centre office near the police station. The guides can also act as porters and you can rent tents and sleeping bags, and other equipment you require.

The trail is in good condition and it is a steep but steady climb. It is possible to complete the climb as a day hike, although the 1,750 m elevation gain makes this quite challenging. The following are the three popular options from Airmadidi, and require 4 to 5 hours for the ascent and 4 hours for the descent:

  • Day hike for sunrise – starting at 1 or 2 am. Obviously you need a torch/flashlight and the mental energy to climb through the night;
  • Day hike from sunrise – starting at 5 am, you climb as the sun rises and hopefully make it to the summit before the midday clouds gather on the summit; and
  • Overnight – start with enough time to get to the summit to set up camp and see the sunset. It’s better to start early to avoid the heat in the first part of the climb.

The trail is easy to follow once you are in the forst, but negotiating the many tracks and paths between Airmadidi and the forest is very difficult without local help as there are no signs. It is also very hot due to the low elevation. Beyond Airmadidi, the trail leads up a gravelly road and then along the side of a few crop fields before ascending up into the forest at about 500m elevation. One short section here is actually paved with cement bricks. There are 6 ‘pos’ (Posts) on the way up although there are several other places suitable for resting or even camping. The numbered Posts are 1 (557m), 2 (916m), 3 (1,050m), 4 (1,206m), 5 (1,520m) and 6 (1,910). Water is available near Pos 2 – take a right turn for approximately 100m and Pos 3 features a nice log bench to rest on. Watch out for leeches as there are a few. Pos 6 is the final pos and is located at the lowest point of what was originally the crater. Rasberries grow here. If you take a left here you can walk down to the rather muddy crater lake.

The trail does not leave the forest until just before the top, but although this means there aren’t many extensive views during the climb it also means you can stay out of the hot sun for much of the trek. As you reach the reed-covered top there are some staggering views down to the city of Manado and the island of Manado Tua, Lokon, Soputan and the guitar-shaped Lake Tondano, plus the eastern coastline.

The trail continues along the ridge through head-high reeds, grass and bushes. There are two places where you are able to peer down the steep cliffs of the crater. The highest point of the mountain is crowned with a large cement trig point. There is not much of a view here unless you climb onto it and stand up! However, the finest viewpoint is actually a couple of minutes’ walk beyond the summit, about 10 metres lower down the other side. From this point, you can admire views of the entire northern peninsula of North Sulawesi. You may even spot the island volcano of Karangetang off in the distance to the north – this is most likely in clear conditions at dawn. The sun rises over the steep cone of Gunung Duasaudara.

It is possible to continue in a northern direction and descend to Kampung Klabat to the north of the peak although this route is rarely used and the vast majority of hikers return the same way to Airmadidi.

Bagging information by Andy Dean and Daniel Quinn.

Trail Map

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

Local Accommodation


Featured Guides

If you are a reliable local guide and would like to be featured on this page to increase your bookings, or a tourist who would like to support the development of a local guide business, please email danpquinn@gmail.com with the following information: Mountain name, guide name, guide location, guide contact details, and at least one English language review from a previous hiker who was pleased with the guiding services. An example is given below for reference. We have a maximum quota of 3 featured guides for each mountain page on the site. The fee for this is £20 (British pounds sterling, typically via the Wise app or PayPal) for a period of 1 year and helps to pay towards the ongoing development of the Gunung Bagging project.

  • Name and location: Pak Budi, Surabaya, East Java.
  • Contact details: +62812xxxxxxxx, budi@gmail.com, https://www.instagram.com/budi_mountain_guide/ 
  • Review from previous client: “Budi was a brilliant guide for our September 2023 trek up Gunung X and I would definitely recommend him to other tourists“, John, USA.


  • Getting there: There is plenty of public transport from Manado. A taxi costs just over Rp100,000.
  • Guides and GPS Tracks: Want a PDF version for your phone? Looking for a guide? Need GPS tracks and waypoints? Gunung Klabat information pack can be downloaded here.
  • Trip planning assistance: Would you like Gunung Bagging to personally help you in arranging your whole trip? Please contact us here.
  • Permits: Register at Airmadidi police station – take a photocopy of your passport photo page just incase.
  • Water sources: Available at Pos 2 and Pos 6.

Local Average Monthly Rainfall (mm):



Links and References

Wikipedia English
Wikipedia Indonesia

16 thoughts on “Klabat”

  1. John Hargreaves

    In September 2018 the closure of Argopuro due to fire risk pushed me onto Gunung Tarub as an alternative. In September 2019, smoke haze caused by fires in Kalimantan persuaded me to switch islands entirely and head instead to Sulawesi, for a jaunt up Gunung Klabat.

    In Manado, an angkot to Paal Dua terminus costs Rp5,000, whence you can take a further angkot to Airmadidi (30 minutes, Rp6,000). The route terminates in the center of Airmadidi near a Holland Bakery and Fresh Mart, which is a large and well-stocked supermarket (they even sell gas canisters and Anker beer!). The polres (police station), which maintains a list of hikers, is a few hundred meters further along the road toward Bitung. Just before the polres on the left is Jen’s House, a shabby, sprawling old guesthouse with a motorcycle workshop, a swimming pool too shallow to swim in and adequately large and clean rooms.

    The ojek driver who took me from the angkot stop to the guesthouse put me in touch with guide Piki from KPA Adventur, who charged Rp1,000,000 for a two-day hike with guide and porter. Camping equipment is also available for rent for an extra Rp500,000.

    We set off at 09.00 next morning and reached Pos 6 at 16.00. However, those 7 hours included a delay of over an hour caused by a cramp to Piki. Compared to other trails I have hiked in eastern Indonesia, this was a straightforward route. The dry season had cleared up any mud there might have been, and the steeper sections after Pos 3 seldom go on for long. All Pos remain as described by Dan, while there are plenty of other camping spots, as well as a shelter beside the large boulder near the forest entrance.

    We saw monkeys, probably Celebes crested macaques (macaca nigra), in the trees not far from Pos 2 during both ascent and descent. There are plenty of birds around Pos 6, including the barred rail (Gallirallus torquatus), a local culinary delicacy. Extra drinking water and sunscreen are advisable due to the heavy sun exposure in the first hour through the coconut plantations, and also around Pos 4, where the forest cover has been badly degraded, reportedly due to fires in 2015.

    On the second day, we set off to the summit from Pos 6 just before 05.00. It’s a 10 minute hike from Pos 6 to Puncak Satu (1970m), where there are views back toward Airmadidi, and the trail levels off for ten more minutes through the tall reeds to the true summit, Puncak Dua (where our GPS height was 1991m). A further 2 minute walk leads on to Puncak Tiga, an outcrop with views in all directions except southeast over the summit itself. Karangetang remained hidden in the distance but we had great views south to Lake Tondano, Soputan and Lokon, west to Manado and Bunaken, north to Talisei and Bangka Islands and east to Gunung Dua Saudara and Lembeh Island.

    We left the campsite at 09.00 on Day 2 and arrived back at Jen’s house at 14.30. Again this included a delay of well over an hour, caused this time by our porter staying behind to accompany a group of 14 uniformed hikers from ‘Customs and Excise’, and assist them with their lack of cooking gear and other needs. At my normal pace, this hike would be about 6 hours up and 4 hours down.

    There was no usable water anywhere during our hike except near Pos 6, and even that was hard to find. The ‘crater lake’ also has dried up into a muddy pond of just a few square meters; apparently the dessication has been going on for several years so even the rainy season might not reverse it.

    Overall, this is a highly recommendable hike. Since the start point is only 30 minutes from Sam Ratulangi International Airport, it could certainly be accomplished in a weekend from any major city in Indonesia.

  2. We did our trek over 2 days with Pak Joce who was a very well prepared guide with his team of 3 who looked after us and the mountain well. This guide is good for new hikers but not for super experienced hikers as they do take it quite slow which was good for us.

    I know in the post above it says that you can do the hike up in 4 hours, we did it in 8 going slowly and it was enjoyable. We are in our early 30s and quite fit but still felt that we could only have done it fastest in 6 hours.

    The walk up is quite shaded which is nice as it gets quite hot. Joce’s number is +6289515507588. If you take this guide I would suggest you ask for additional fruit and vegetables as part of your dinner as ours was lacking that but everything else was very well organized

  3. It is nice to do hiking at klabat mountain for camping or 2 day and 1 night.
    Day 1 started climbing 4 0clock early morning so stll early arive in post 2 where you can see very willd black macaques nigra and group of sulawesi large parots.
    This my experience when i guided acouple from enggland started from ariaduta hotel manado at 3 30 early in the morning and nasi kuning breakfast and to airmadidi.
    To foot of klabat mountain and hiking .

  4. Climbing the peak of Klabat volcano is a great experience. It is not an easy trek. There is a place where you can rent tents, sleeping bags and camping equipment as well as porters and knowledge guides: Mountain View Resort in Tomohon.

  5. Philip East

    I climbed Kabat recently. Arrived by Bluebird taxi 4.30am & picked up 4.30pm. Enter small road with big archway of Jl Sukarno – then trail starts next to rubbish pile on right a couple hundred metres in. 6 hours to top & 4 hours down. Tough but doable. Take poles and gloves

  6. I returned from hiking Klabat yesterday. The current trail is very nice as there are some parts of the trail where someone carved some steps wherever it may be slippery.

    The whole route is divided in to parts and has 6 posts/pos. In between every two posts there are intermediate halting places which are called ‘pos bayangan(shadow)’.

    Post 1 to Post 2 is an easier hike. Post 3 to Post 4 is what is called ‘tangga helikopter’/ladder from a helicopter. One need to uses his hands as much as his legs, if not more. We pass through steep passes and the roots of the huge trees are of great assistance to grab on and climb the rocks. Post 5 to Post 6 is the longest and seems tougher as one would be tired by then, ‘Just keep going without thinking about distance or time’

    As we went on a slower pace, it took me almost 8 hours as the other group members took a little more than 6 hours to reach the peak.

    I was there in time to get a look at the pyramid-shaped shadow of the mountain and the bright sunshine. Once you reach the peak and take a look at the beautiful scenery, you are sure to be overwhelmed.

    Hope to be back up there shortly.

    1. Hi Phaneendra, we are planning to visit Manado and climb Klabat in a couple of weeks as well. May I know whom the guide you used was? Do you have him email contact, or did you find him after landing in Manado?

      Also did you cover it in one day, or camped on the summit overnight?

  7. i am guide jotje lala many i guide people to klabat volcano accompy by tunas hijau eco guide in airmadidi many time we bringback rubist from the top. last i have been 0ne fammily from germany the top is very clean .next time if you like climb this mountain use the care enviroment. thank you.

  8. I was there about 6 weeks ago and trail was not in good condition – took us well over 6 hours+ to reach the top. Departed around 6.30pm, took some down time on the way up for dinner and reached the summit around 2am. Camped out and saw the sunrise from the top.

    Klabat is popular with local tourists but unfortunately that means there is a lot of rubbish at the summit camp sites. Recent rain and bad weather meant we had to negotiate around some recently felled trees.

    For local guides ask around for the Kelompok Pecinta Alam (Nature Lover’s Group) – who are basically a bunch of super-friendly teenagers that have a clubhouse not far from the entrance to the park. For a small ‘donation’ (and if you pay for materials including food and water for the group) they are more than willing to bring you up and down the mountain, including side visits to the lake near the summit. They are a great resource. Police officers from the station should be able to direct you towards them.

    For accomodation in Airmadidi village check out the homestay/kost/fitness center (?) combo about 1km down from the police station towards Menado. I think it’s called ‘Julia’s’ or something to that effect.

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