- Elevation: 2,370 m (7,776 ft)
- Prominence: 771 m
- Ribu category: Spesial
- Province: Sulawesi Tengah (Central Sulawesi)
- Google Earth: kml
- Other names: none.
Gunung Nokilalaki is a very attractive-looking forest peak in Lore Lindu National Park and has the most straightforward trail in Central Sulawesi.Whereas many of Sulawesi’s mountains are arduous affairs, Nokilalaki is a delight, with clear signs at Shelter/Pos 1, 2 and 3, and a large cement triangulation pillar at the summit. This is a great mountain for bird-watchers but those looking for panoramas of distant mountains may be disappointed as the views are pretty limited. Nokilalaki makes a good warm-up hike for something much tougher, or a great one or two-day hike in its own right. If you started hiking at 6am you coud just about complete the hike in a single day (12 hours or so) but most people like to spend at least one night camping in the forest.
The main trail up Nokilalaki starts beyond the attractive rice paddies of Palolo and Desa Tongoa at a warung (795m) on the right side of the road. It takes about 2 hours to reach here by car or motorbike from Palu, and though the Nokilalaki trailhead sign is severely faded (in 2017) most locals will be able to point you in the right direction.
Follow the stony track up through cocoa plantations and then veer to the right after 45 minutes and enter forest near a river. Just ten minutes more and you will be at the lovely Shelter 1 (1,050m) which consists of four basic wooden shelters next to a very pleasant river. Each shelter can accommodate one tent and there is some additional space available to camp on the ground near the river itself. The temperature here is lovely and this is the ideal place to camp if you made a late start from Palu. Listen out for hornbills.
Beyond Shelter 1, the trail gets much steeper, but is very easy to follow as it leads you higher and higher up the mountain. Fit hikers should be at Shelter 2 (1,720m) in 2 hours from Shelter 1. Alas, there are no actual shelter structures at Shelter 2, but plenty of space for tents and a stream for water just 2 minutes on the right. Watch out for bees here – best keep your shirt tucked into your trousers to avoid them following the smell of your sweat a little too closely!
Beyond Shelter 2, the trail continues steeply up the mountain. After about one hour, you will be on a fairly narrow, airy forest ridge, with glimpses of Lore Lindu lake down to the right and obscure forested hills to the left. This is almost the only opportunity for panoramic photos. After another 15 minutes you will be at Shelter 3 (2,060m), which again has no actual shelters but is a tiny spot on the ridge with enough space for maximum two small tents.
From Shelter 3 to the summit takes another hour. There are some views to the fields of Desa Palolo on the left about halfway between Shelter 3 and the summit. Most sources, including summit signs, suggest that Nokilalaki is 2,355m high. However, based on GPS data, SRTM data, and one of the more offocial signs, we think the real height is closer to around 2,370m.
There is a much less popular trail beyond the summit pillar leading all the way down to Lore Lindu lake, but apparently this takes 3 days or so. The adventurous might consider doing a traverse, but those with limited time can be back down at the Tongoa/Palolo trailhead in 5 hours or so.
Bagging information by Dan Quinn (January 2018)
- Getting there: It takes about 2 hours to reach from Palu where there is an airport.
- Accommodation: A wide variety in Palu.
- Guides and GPS Tracks: Want a PDF version for your phone? Looking for a guide? Need GPS tracks and waypoints? Gunung Nokilalaki information pack can be downloaded here.
- Permits: There is no official entry booth and in reality very few local hikers pay to enter Lore Lindu National Park. As usual, foreigners are supposed to be charged over 10 times the local price (foreigner price Rp150,000 per day in 2017) just for being there, but there is no booth at the main trailhead (in 2017).
- Water sources: Available at Shelter 1 and Shelter 2.
- 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):