Bukit Pergasingan is one of the easiest and fastest hikes in Sembalun where you can hike up 500m and be on the summit to see the sunrise. Bukit Pengaingsan is also famous for paragliding and if you like, a paragliding trip can be arranged for 600k so then you don’t even have to walk back down the mountain.

I hiked Bukit Pergasingan in October 2019 so here is my account below.

The hike begins in the town of Sembalun, around 2.5 hours drive from the international airport in Praya. Sembalun is also the gateway to Mount Rinjani National Park and if you want to hike Rinjani, tours can be arranged here. I climbed Rinjani back in 2011 and I can certainly say that it is a beautiful climb. 
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Bukit Pergasingan is like the baby sister to Rinjani where you’ll find people hiking up to watch the sunrise or sunset. Rinjani looms in the distance dominating the western sky and if you’re lucky you’ll see Mount Agung, far off in the distance. 
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Click here for the start of the hike.

 

From town, the trails up almost all of the mountains around the place are clearly visible as they cut a line through the grassy slopes. It’s just a matter of getting to the start of the hike that is the hard part as almost all of the hiking starting points are wrongly marked on google maps in Sembalun. You also don’t have the luxury of asking locals where the start is at 3 or 4am as there is no one around. A good way is to go in the afternoon and find the start and then come back. I wasted around 30 minutes each morning trying to find the starting point as google maps leads you to places that don’t even exist. I’ve added here the exact point of the start of the hike and you should be able to just follow the road to get there. 
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A good trick is to use google satellite and you can zoom in on the trails and see exactly where they start. As none of them are in the forest they are quite easy to spot and it makes navigation that little bit easier.

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I landed at the Lombok International Airport in Praya at around 930am after a short 20 minute flight from Bali. If you want to come to Lombok I would highly recommend flying as the flight ranges from 200k-300k one way and this is cheaper than taking a taxi to the ferry and then taking the long 5 hour ferry to Lembar. Just get on the plane and 20 minutes later you are in Lombok. If you are against flying because of climate change then there is always the ferry option. 
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A good trick when travelling Indonesia is to get your scooter delivered to you wherever you are. I found online on google maps a scooter hire business that was right by the airport. For 30k they would deliver the scooter to me just after I landed. I didn’t have to take a taxi, didn’t have to haggle and the process was seamless. You can type “motor rental Praya” into google maps and it brings up the companies that are offering this service. From there, locate the number and add it to watsapp. You then message them and ask them if they rent to foreigners (not all do) and then once they say yes you ask how much per 24 hours and if they can deliver. Usually I do all my correspondence in Indonesian but if you can’t write or speak Indonesian just use the google translate app to do it for you.

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I had my motor bike ready and it was time for the 2 hour ride up to Sembalun. The roads in Lombok are really quite nice and after just coming from Bali I was totally blown away by the lack of traffic clogging the roads. I found that I could sit on 70-80km/h with absolutely no issues. To go these speeds in Bali you would have to either leave very early in the morning or use the toll road near the airport. 
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You pretty much take the road towards the ferry terminal before taking a left and heading up into the Rinjani National Park on a brand new tarmac road that was laid after the earthquake of 2018. Google maps is your friend here and will lead you straight to Sembalun.


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Once you pop over the rim the whole town of Sembalun is laid out before your eyes. It is quite a sight with twin towns separated by strawberry fields. The town was once a huge volcano. The magma chamber was so big that the volcano collapsed into it creating what is now Sembalun with its high mountains that surround the town. 
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I stayed at Radiya guest house which I booked via Booking.com. Pak Nanang is very friendly and showed me all of the trails around the town that can be hiked. He is a wealth of knowledge and cooks a mean nasi goreng for breakfast. 
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Start of the hike

From Ridaya Guesthouse the walk to the start of the trail is about 1.5km but I did get lost as the google maps kind of takes you to the wrong place. After the earth quake the town shut the hill for around a year because it was still considered dangerous. There is evidence that the hill was damaged by the earth quake but it is totally safe to climb at the moment as there has been no after shocks or other earth quakes for over a year now.
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The hike starts of quite steep, climbing straight up the side of the mountain. The trail begins with steps and its here that you can see where the earth quake really did a lot of damage. The stairs are half destroyed with just the right side of them walkable. After the stairs the trail turns to rocks where it gets quite technical and steep. You gain height quite fast and you’ll have amazing views down to Sembalun. After about 20 minutes the steep trail joins the main ridge line and it’s here that you take a right and follow the ridge up to the summit. The first part of the ridge is quite easy before it gets steeper and steeper. After about 45 minutes after turning right onto the ridge you should have reached the summit as it isn’t that far along. The total ascent is only 500m so it isn’t too bad and a fit hiker can easily reach the top in an hour.  The main view point is a big open wide field at the top where some cows call it home, the true summit lies further along in the trees and its a really nice hike if you continue along the trail past the first viewpoint. 
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Summit

 

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I hiked in the early hours of the morning so I didn’t see too much but there were 2 lots of tents on the summit where some tourists from Korea were camping. It is quite a nice campsite with a great view of the surrounding area. 
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If you are looking for a really quick and easy hike in Lombok then this is the one for you. The trail is very well worn, the views are great and the hikes is only an hour from the base to the summit. 

 

Would I recommend this hike?

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This hike is one of the most popular hikes in Lombok and for good reason. It’s quite short, being only one hour from the base to the summit and is hugely popular with Indonesian locals on the weekend. The trail is in great condition and its is excellent for those that aren’t that into hiking but would still like to experience the amazing views with just a one hour hike up. 
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Logistics for the trip

How to get there

 

I walked to the starting point from my guesthouse. Google maps isn’t the best to use in this area but I’ve pinned the exact start below and you can click the link and it will get you right there. You can either walk or ride to the start if you like. Walking is fine and I was at the start from my guesthouse in about 20 minutes.
For the exact starting point of the hike click here.

Where to Stay

I stayed in at the hotel Ridaya Guest house in Sembalun and it was around a 20 minute walk from the guesthouse to the base of the climb. If you have a bike you can certainly ride there but I just decided to walk as the main hike is only 1 hour up anyways so it isn’t that long at all. 

How long is the hike

The hike to the summit is only around 2km from the base of the mountain to the top. I walked from my guesthouse and I also continued on a long way along the ridge line to another peak making it almost 12km return for me. If you just ride to the base and then climb to the summit and back the distance can be bought way down to 4km return. This makes it one of the most popular hikes due to its accessibility. 

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Gear

  • Small backpack
  • Head Torch 
  • Rain proof jacket and pants (the weather may be clear but you want to always be prepared. Mountain weather is unpredictable) 
  • Breakfast and snacks 
  • Warm Jacket 
  • 2l water minimum 
  • Camera
  • Hiking boots or trail shoes with really good grip
  • Hiking poles – the trail is very steep in parts 

 

 Do you plan to hike Pergasingan? Let me know in the comments how you get on.

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