• Elevation: 3,371 m (11,060 ft)
  • Prominence: 2,628 m
  • Ribu category: Sangat Tinggi
  • Province: Jawa Tengah (Central Java)
  • Google Earth: kml
  • Rating: 1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (19 votes) Add your rating
  • Other names: none.
  • Eruptions: 1730(?)


Bagging It!

This huge mountain is separated from its similarly conical neighbour, Gunung Sindoro, by the Kledung Pass (1,400m) and is the second highest peak in Central Java. Its only known eruption was in 1730 but there is still minor volcanic activity in the crater. It is most commonly climbed from the north from the basecamp at Garung village, which is very near to Kledung where there is a decent hotel. Public transport from Yogya is frustratingly slow so the area is better approached from Semarang if you are not using a private car. There are frequent buses through Kledung which run between Semarang and Purwokerto.

Garung village is just fifteen minutes on foot from Kledung. Guides can easily be arranged at the Garung basecamp or Kledung Pass hotel. Take the road leading south from the main road through Kledung next to a mosque and BRI bank. The basecamp is on your left (1,420m) and permits can be arranged there if your guide hasn’t already dealt with it. You can also ask for a basic map and route description (in Indonesian).

From Garung, the road leads up through Garung village and the trail through farmland begins at approximately 1,478m. You will almost certainly be able to get an ojek to the end of the road. There are actually two routes – old and new – that you can take (‘jalur lama’ and ‘jalur baru’) and they join together at two possible places further along the hike. The new route (baru) is more slightly more west than the old route but the distance between them is not great. However, this can lead to confusion as there are no signposts and guides have known to become lost themselves on minor farm tracks on the lower slopes! The new trail has presumably been opened to combat erosion on the old route, which is steeper and more slippery. Your guide is likely to take you up the new route (‘jalur baru’) which is a wise decision – even more so for the descent, which is slippery whichever route you take!

Experienced hikers should be able to reach the crater rim in 5-6 hours because although the trail is steep it is only 7 km long. ‘Jalur baru’ (new route) is better for water sources as a stream runs parallel to it on the west. On ‘jalur baru’ (new route) the last place for water is a large stream on the edge of farm plantation at 1,900m. Jalur baru has Pos 1 Malim (1,922m) and Pos 2 Gatakan (2,235m) which are both very basic wooden frames. They will protect you from rain but are of little merit as places to actually camp. There are numerous places to pitch a tent on the way up but most places can only accommodate 2 or 3 tents at most. At 2,317m is a monument to a hiker who died on Sumbing and a slightly larger camping area. Beyond this, the forest becomes thinner and thinner and views over to Gunung Sindoro become correspondingly magnificent. After the two different routes have met, the first major landmark on the hike is ‘watu kotak’ (stone box) at 2,983m. The trail leads along the left side of this and a second rocky cliff of considerable length (known simply as ‘tebing’) a little higher up at 3,000 – 3,040m. This is near the area known to guides as ‘tanah putih’ (white land).

As you near the crater rim there are two destinations for hikers. Almost all hikers simply continue to the top of the rim. The peak is known as Puncak Buntu (3,308m) and and in good weather conditions hikers are rewarded with the tremendous view over to Merapi and Merbabu. Down below is the large crater – smoke may be billowing from the middle section and there is a large pool of water on the eastern end of the crater complex. It is possible to explore the crater by descending into it from the rim but be very careful of the gases and do not camp there.

The highest point of Sumbing mountain is a steep rocky part of the crater rim further south-west. Most hikers are happy to consider the crater rim as their destination. Although the real summit is not far away, it is slightly difficult to reach and not often visited. Indeed, if this is your plan you must mention to your guide before setting off that you want to climb to Puncak Rajawali or ‘puncak tertinggi’ (the highest peak). Just below Puncak Buntu, there is a trail skirting across the mountain, just 20 metres or so below the top of the rim. It leads up to a rocky part of the rim with an Indonesian flag (October 2010). This is where hikers are most able to descend into the crater itself should they wish. From here you will be able to see two further rocky peaks on the rim, further west. The second one is the true summit. Getting to the first one is fairly easy but the terrain is dangerous because there are sheer drops and a little mistake would have terrible consequences. Indeed, by following the very crest of the rim you will encounter drops that are impassable without ropes but can be avoided slightly lower down from the top of the rim. The most difficult section which must be negotiated is an awkward step between the true summit and the rocky peak preceding it. Unless you are a very confident scrambler it is difficult and dangerous to attempt alone. However, if you are with others who can give you a hand you should be able to manage it. Please be careful.

After the tricky section, all you need to do is follow the trail round the side of the true peak and then up onto the top of it (don’t attempt to climb directly up the steep cliffs!). There is a tiled cairn with Javanese Edelweiss at the very top of Puncak Rajawali and the views are – understandably – even better than from Puncak Buntu. To reach the true summit from Puncak Buntu and the main Garung trail takes about 45 minutes each way. It could also be reached from the trail from Cepit – see below – if hikers climb up to the part of the rim with the flag on it.

To descend the same way to Garung from the crater rim takes about four and a half hours., but there are lots of other options

Located just a couple of kilometres north-east of Garung is another trail starting in Sipetung (1,316m). It leads up via Pos 1 (1,717m), Kyai Santri (2,004m), Pos 2 Petai Cina (2,413m), a stream at 2,460m, Lembah Suci (2,615m) and Pos 3 Watu Ijen (3,060m) before meeting up with the Garung trail.

Sumbing is also climbed from another basecamp further east at Cepit (near Pagergunung village) which lies 7km from Parakan. This route leads directly into the crater but it is a longer trail and starts a bit lower down at 1,280m. It is requested that you register and pay a small fee at the basecamp. There is no water along this route so take plenty with you. The route (which takes about 7 hours) goes via forest and savanna before reaching Batu Kasur (Stone mattress) and Batu Lawang (Stone door). After these landmarks you reach the caldera and sulphuric gases and also some caves, the biggest of which is called Jugil. There are also local ancestral tombs, known as Ki Ageng Makukuhan.

The Banaran route leads in from the east, starting at an elevation of just 1,128m, and passing via Pos 1 Sekelenteng (1,925m), Pos 2 Siwel-Iwel (2,170m), Pos 3 Punthuk Barah (2,368m), Pos 4 Watu Ondho before reaching the crater rim on the east side.

There are two routes in from the south, both starting fairly high up and joining together halfway. The Dusun Butuh, Kaliangkrik trail starts way up at 1,708m in an area becoming known as Nepal van Java, and leads via Camp 1 (2,119m), Camp 2 (2,460m) and Camp 3 (2,613m) which has a water source. Camp 4 AKA Pohon Tunggal is at around 3,000m before the trail finally reaches the crater rim on the east side not far from the Banaran trail. Just to the south is a peak which some locals call Puncak Sejati (3,323m) but it is not Sejati in the sense of being the highest on the range (that is Rajawali at around 3,371m) so we have called it Southeast peak.

Finally, a trail from Mangli (1,475m) meets the Kaliangkrik trail at Camp 3 and leads via Pos 1 Kongsen (1,755m), Pos 2 Siruwet (2,227m) and Pos 3 Ratan Butuh by which point the trail has joined up with the Butuh, Kaliangkrik trail.

Bagging information by Daniel Quinn.

Trail Map

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

Local Accommodation


  • Getting there: Buses between Purwokerto and Semarang run through Kledung. From Yogyakarta, take a bus to Magelang and a second bus to Wonosobo. Kledung is just under 3 hours from both Yogyakarta or Semarang by car.
  • Guides and GPS Tracks: Want a PDF version for your phone? Looking for a guide? Need GPS tracks and waypoints? Gunung Sumbing information pack can be downloaded here.
  • Permits: Sign the book and pay the small fee per person, available at all basecamps, take a photocopy of your passport photo page just incase.
  • Water sources: According to the Garung basecamp map: Jalur baru – available fairly near the trail up to 2,350m, Jalur lama – available at 1,900m and none higher up. Available at Camp 3 on the Kaliangkrik and Mangli trails and just beyond Pos 2 on the Sipetung route.
  • 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):



Origins and Meaning

Mount Hare-Lip. The “mouth” of this volcano, or the “lip” of its crater, has a cleft in it like a hare-lip. (George Quinn, 2011)

Links and References

Wikipedia English
Wikipedia Indonesia

27 thoughts on “Sumbing

  1. I climbed Sumbing this morning from Garug Basecamp.

    I left the Dieng Kledung Pass Hotel at 1am and arrived at the basecamp to park my motorbike. This was kind of a mistake because then I had to go through the hassle of registering and wasting time. If I had my time over I would have ridden straight to Pos 1 or just parked in the village.

    Anyways I registered at the basecamp and had to leave my motorcycle registration as collateral as I left my passport in the hotel. I filled out the paperwork and was on the trail at 1.20am. Registration fee was 20k.

    The second mistake was not taking an ojek to Pos 1. I walked the 3k and 500m up. That added significant extra energy that I didn’t really need to use. From basecamp to Pos 1 it took me 50 minutes. Then I reached the summit of Puncak Buntu at 520am, 4 hours after setting off. The trail is quite hard and I had a significant climb of over 1800m vertical.

    I saw to the right the real summit and thought I cant come here and say I’ve been to the summit when there is this really obvious and higher peak to the right. I found a very well worn trail that is just below the rim and this took me all the way to the true peak Puncak Rajawali. From Puncak Buntu to Rajawali it took me 20 mins and I gained the summit just before the sun came up.

    I descended into the crater afterwards to check out the sulphur plumes and then climbed up another path that leads to the half way point between Buntu and Rajawali. You could spend hours in here exploring all the different areas it’s really amazing.

    I left the summit at 630 and was at Pos 1 by 8am. I hired a young boy to take me down on his bike to basecamp for 25k. Which is well worth it because the walk down would have been over those terrible cobbles.

    No guide necessary and no one mentions anything about it. Just register and go on. If you can get the bike to Pos 1 it will save a lot of effort. The path is also very obvious, no chance to get lost at all, even in the dark.

  2. Climbed Sumbing this morning, and here are some updates for the climb (the description is outdated, and contains a little error)
    There is now a cobbled road all the way to Pos 1 at 1930 m. It is VERY well signposted from Garung. However, do not attempt to ride a simple ojek all the way up – it is too steep (35%) and you might topple backwards. I left the ojek I had rented from the Kledung Pass Hotel receptionist at 1780 m – you can park it nicely where a wide track veers off to the right. Alternatively, get a local on a cross motor to drive you all the way up to Pos 1.
    The track itself is well-signposted too, so no possibilities to get lost. It is extremely eroded between 2300 and 2500 m, but with a bit of care this is OK – not in rain though, do not even think of this top in rain.
    The lip (Puncak Buntu) is reached much higher than 3008 m – this must be a typo or another trail. I reached it at around 3200 m.
    Climbed up from Pos 1 to the Puncak Buntu in 1 hour 40 minutes, underscoring that this is not the most extreme climb in Indonesia. I am a competitive mountain runner though – left the hotel at 4:45, parked my ojek 10 min below Pos 1 at 5:00, was at the crater rim 6:50, and after 15 min there I ran down again and took my car at 8:30 from the hotel to make my Semarang flight. Fast but still hugely enjoyable!

    • Many thanks for your report. 3208 is probably the correct height for the rim. Updated.
      It’s more or less impossible to keep writeups for 300 hikes across the archipelago up to date without it being a full time occupation! As always you are more than welcome to make a donation towards our efforts. Best regards from Jakarta.

      • Your website is indeed fantastic, helps so much with information one otherwise would not have found (always had to contend with the half-baked info in Lonely Planet). Will look at donation possibilities as I understand this is a lot of work!!!

      • also agree to the 3308 – my GPS has the tendency to show somewhat low after a long ascent.

  3. Sumbing on Boxing Day was the busiest mountain I have seen in Indonesia. Hundreds of tents were strewn across every forest clearing and flat patch of earth on the upper slopes, and sometimes across the trail itself! Despite this, there seemed to be very little litter left behind the next day, a sign of the discipline of the thousand or more hikers.

    For our hike up Sindoro last year, the Kledung Pass Hotel put us in touch with an excellent guide. But their guide for Sumbing proved less satisfactory. It’s probably better to arrange a guide at Garung base camp (a house where you can also sleep), which was a hive of activity when we visited and is only a 3 minute drive from the hotel.

    I paid Rp20,000 hiking fee at the base camp and Rp25,000 for an ojek up the cobbled track to Pos 1 (1930m), where there are a couple of warungs selling hot snacks and drinks. Setting out at 22.30, we reached the crater in 6 hours 30 minutes, including some long rest stops to wait for the dawn. I then hiked alone to the mountain’s highest point and back to Puncak Buntu, taking 45 minutes each way. (My guide declined the chance to accompany me.) Our descent to Pos 1 took 4 hours.

    According to the guys at Basecamp, the highest summit of the mountain is called Puncak Rajawali (or Puncak Sejati), which is confirmed by a sign there and an Indonesian flag, currently the only one fixed anywhere around the crater. The second highest peak (3332m), which you must pass on the way to Puncak Rajawali, is called Puncak Kawah. Puncak Buntu, the peak that most people congregate on, is still called Puncak Buntu!

    If your main destination is Puncak Rajawali, there’s no need to go first to Puncak Buntu, as you may then be tempted to hike around the crater rim, creating needless difficulties. Instead, stop at the 3–way junction at 3264m, where there is a somewhat uninformative metal “puncak” sign. The straight ahead path heads directly up to Puncak Buntu, while the well-defined path to the right mostly remains 20 to 30 meters below the rim, as advised by Dan, and leads to Puncak Rajawali, with only 2 tricky sections.

    First, when you clamber up the rocks that guard Puncak Kawah, the second highest peak, you need to stop after the first (easier!) half and veer right, as mentioned in Frank Creedon’s post, onto a narrow, but clear footpath. Don’t fixate on climbing to the top of the rocks!

    Second, there is a near-vertical drop of perhaps 4 meters down to the col between Kawah and Rajawali peaks. On my visit, there was a long cloth strap suspended from a tree trunk to help with the descent. Coming back up it might be easier to scramble directly up the rocks; using the rope needs more arm strength. In any case, the drop is well back from the crater rim, so there is no danger of tumbling over the edge!

    The col between Kawah and Rajawali peaks also has the easiest looking trail down into the crater. In 15 minutes you could probably reach the active area in the middle of the crater floor, though nobody was down there on the day I was there.

    Although this was the rainy season and predicted rain, we only suffered a heavy downpour in Kledung before starting out. For the hike itself, the weather was superb, with minimal cloud cover, a full moon and superb visibility throughout the morning. To the east we could see Merapi, Merbabu (with Lawu partly obscured behind it) and Telomoyo, and to the northeast Ungaran. To the north is Sindoro, with Prahu behind its east shoulder and the other Dieng mountains behind its west shoulder. Slamet, and even Ciremai, were visible in the far west.

    • Hi John, I’m thinking of going to climb Sumbing in September and been trying to find a contact to get a guide online with not much luck. Is it possible to get a guide after reaching Kledung at short notice?

      Thinking of taking a bus from Semarang airport and just trying to find someone locally.

      • I twice arranged guides directly on arriving at Kledung Pass Hotel. The Sindoro guide was good, the Sumbing guide less good. It’s probably better to go to the ‘base camp’ in Garung village, a small house just a kilometer or so from the hotel and a few hundred meters off the main road. It seemed very well-organized when I was there. There was a committee of ticket-sellers, ojek rides up to the trailhead and lots of information. I’m sure that in September, which is still the dry season, you will be able to arrange guides there.

  4. Anyone have a rough estimate of transport cost from Semarang? Thinking of grabbing a taxi / private hire at the airport. Thanks!

    • hi tim . i did take a taxi from the semerang airport to kledung. i cant remember how much i payed but it wasnt much.i think roughly between 200,000 to 300,000 rupiah. maybe even less. one tip when arriving at the airport, dont go to the private car company inside the terminal.they have limosines that were millions.go outside to the taxi stand and ask to kledung pass. they have a book with the prices written down to all the places so you pay upfront and dont get ripped off.

  5. It is possible to go by ojek most of the way to Pos 1 on new route but the road is extremely steep. Arrange ojek @ basecamp to ensure the driver knows the way. Got to 1 KM before Pos 1 then the back tyre on the ojek blew. The road is cobbled & as you get near Pos 1 the gradient is about 1:3. Once you are near Pos 1 the route up is fairly obvious. No water anywhere on the route. Went solo to the true summit but would not recommend this unless you are very confident with route finding & exposed scrambling. Safer to go with a guide. When you are scrambling up the second summit go about half way up then on your right there is a tiny trail, follow this round to your right & it will give you an easier route up Summit 2. From summit 2 go down & a little right there is a little broken tree, this is the route down to the narrow windgap between summits 2 & 3. The downclimb is the crux of the route. There are a few tree roots & branches for handholds but only dusty footholds. Be extremely careful on this section. Then you are facing summit 3 which is a cliff but a small trail goes slightly to the right of it avoiding all difficulties to reach the true summit. Be sure to descend the same way you came up. Going back up to summit 2 is a lot easier than the downclimb. Took 7 hours round trip to the true summit & back to Garung village. Allow longer & start early, if you are in good condition you can do it as a daytrip from Kledung Pass Hotel. The hotel is nice & staff are friendly. 310,000 R for single room with breakfast, they even gave me lunch instead of breakfast which I missed due to early start. When I was there (July 2015) access to Sindoro was closed as it was getting very active.

  6. To Dan. Kumpul is an excellent guide living in Garung (northern approach). He knows the other approaches including the less hiked Kaliangkrik route. His number is 0853 255 779 77.

    • Hi all,Im now 70. In 1967 as amateur trekker for this 1st climbing I managed to reach the Sumbing rim and down further the crater to stay overnight with no prior knowledge or information of any danger from the gases. Entirely primitive. Falling asleep was impossible as temperature froze much below zero indicated by green leaves covered by snow at sunrise, an unforgettable experience.
      Starting the climb by walking from Magelang, Bandongan, staying overnight at Kaliangkrik, taking 7 hrs from there up the rim. View was unbelievably magnificent.
      I will be happy to revisit sometime soon.

    • Bagged Gunung Sumbing on 27th Aug 2013. Went up from Garung village and came down to Cepit. I would suggest to bring all the water you need for the climb. It is a dry mountain. The guide told me that the names of various areas at the top of the mountain are Puncak Buntu and then next to it is Puncak Kawah and then further & higher are Puncak tertinggi and Puncak Abadi. I camped at Puncak Kawah and went up to Puncak Tertinggi. The guide said that Puncak Abadi is the highest peak but to get from Puncak Tertinggi to Puncak Abadi (both peaks are next to each other), the guide said that it would requires one and a half day of hiking and additional porters (4 porters were mentioned) to carry the required the water supplies I guess this Puncak Abadi is the 2nd peak of the “…two further rocky peaks on the rim, further west. The second one is the true summit.” mentioned in Dan’s bagging information about Gunung Sumbing? Anyone is able to clarify this?

      The Kledung Pass Hotal’s full name is Dieng Kledung Pass Hotel & Restaurant and is located by the Kledung Pass’s main road directly in-between Gunung Sumbing and Gunung Sidoro. The hotel area is rather large with garden and the rooms are clean and price is reasonable. It is a good hotel to sleep in with both Gunung Sumbing and Sidoro keeping you in their views!

  7. I’ve been climbed this mount 3 times but only reach puncak buntu. My last effor to reach the real summit is stoped at the ridge (i haven’t confident enough hehe) Next month i will try to reach the highest point.

    • Hatihati Ricky, you definitely need another 1 or 2 people with you to help. It would be very difficult if you tried to do it alone. Some of the guides at Garung know the way but they don’t go there often.

      • thanx Dan, im not going alone there. I’ll go with some friend (hope they have enough courage hahaha).

  8. The hike from Cepit has an advantage. You will have to walk through the Segarawedi (Sandsea) caldera before the summit. Segarawedi is surrounded by 200m cliffs and the air is mythical. In the dawn, the cliffs are blue and in the early morning they are gold colored. Just unforgettable. You would miss a unique beautiful place if you hike from Garung and do not descend to the caldera. If you plan to hike G Sumbing, I recommend an ascent from Cepit and descent to Garung.

    I recommend Ragil (081328096081) as he is a superb guide.

  9. hello, i’m Indonesian..I live in Magelang,not far from Sumbing Mountain. Sumbing is nice mountain, you can climb it from Kaliangkrik Basecamp(Magelang).From this road you will be able to see nice scenery and many of waterfall. so, if you want to go there, you can contact me. I will accompany you to get the nice experience.not as guides or porter, but the partner..

  10. Successfully reached the rarely-visited true summit yesterday morning. It’s a bit difficult but with help from others to – quite literally – give you a hand on the awkward drop between the highest and second-highest peaks on the rim most confident hikers should be able to reach the true top. The views are much better. Merapi was smoking more than usual but we didn’t see any major activity.
    The guides (from Garung basecamp) were very good, but we did have the usual problems – having to wait around for them to get ready even though we had arranged to start at a particular time, asking for more money for the second guide (even though we had specifically asked for just one and the second guy had come along presumably to try to get us to pay them more!). But they knew the routes well and helped us get to the true summit – something you definitely have to specify in advance! Not bad for a late October hike – good luck to Liz and Zubs who are continuing on to Sindoro, Merbabu and maybe even Lawu too later this week…

    • Thanks for letting us tag along Dan! It was a GREAT experience, a lovely mountain and a sweaty climb! 🙂
      Merbabu and Lawu were a breeze after the race to the true summit of Gn Sumbing!

  11. Been there, but didn’t have a chance to get to the summit due to weather condition. I was there on December 2007. It was rain a lot! the fog was quite thick, and it was windy and very cold :D, but you know what, that was i call experience!!! So, don’t miss climbing this one!

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