TREKKING & CAMPING ON PERGASINGAN HILL IN NORTH LOMBOK
Pergasingan Hill is an epic viewpoint at the top of a steep 1-hour trail in the north of Lombok. The trail is suitable for most hikers and offers some of the best views in all of Lombok! It is best done for sunrise or sunset and you can even camp at the top with the help of a trekking guide. I’ve done it both the front way and the back way. When I did it the front way I did it just for sunrise and when I did it the back way, I actually camped up the top. Both times were with Rinjani Dawn Adventures who I will discuss later in the blog.
Pergasingan Hill is in Sembalun, which is right near Mount Rinjani. In fact, you pass by the launch-off spot for the Mount Rinjani Trek and the big volcano looms in the background on the other side of the valley throughout the Pergasingan Hill Trek. It’s important to note that the local name for this trek is called Bukit Pergasingan, which means Pergansingan Hill.
WHERE IS PERGASINGAN HILL
Below I have placed a map with Pergasingan Hill pinned so you can find the way. The best directions you will get are to head past the Rinjani Trekking Center in Sembalun and then take the left fork in the road. From here you will take another left about two minutes later before hitting a small river where we parked at a little hut. Walk across the river and follow the path until you see the sign pictured below. This is the beginning of the trail and it is hard to go wrong from here.
DO YOU NEED A GUIDE
It isn’t incredibly difficult to trek up Pergasingan Hill and is possible to DIY. However, because the directions to the trailhead are a bit vague and the track can be slippery it would be a good play to book a guide. I went with the team from Rinjani Dawn Adventures. It was myself, Angus the co-founder and Aef the co-founder and one more local lad trekking up together. It was great to have them to chat and share experiences about the trek and the region.
At the top Aef prepared some coffee, biscuits and then even an entire meal of rice, fish, and tempe. It was a great way to start off the day with the crew and they were all super friendly and great hiking companions.
Contact Rinjani Dawn Adventures: If you would love to get in touch with Rinjani Dawn Adventures about trekking Pergasingan Hill or other hikes in Lombok you can do so by clicking through to their booking page here. You can also contact Rinjani Dawn by email to organize a tour: [email protected]
Pergasingan Hill is open all year even though Mount Rinjani is closed until April each year due to the weather. I hiked this trail in February and the conditions were great.
CAMPING: If you are camping, you can still go by yourself. However, when you go with the tour company they will employ local porters to carry the food, water, camping equipment, and supply everything you need. They were excellent cooks and it allowed us time to photograph and enjoy the views.
TREKKING UP PERGASINGAN HILL IN LOMBOK
At 430am I woke up at my homestay in Senaru. We could have left even earlier to catch the full sunrise but this ended up being good timing for some morning light. I joined up with the Rinjani Dawn guides at the front of the homestay and jumped on the mopeds. It was an hour and a half drive up the rocky roads to Sembalun. The roads were being re-done after the earthquake of 2018 so I expect by mid-2019 they will be nice and smooth for your early morning drive.
We cruised into Sembalun with the clouds on fire over Mount Rinjani on our right. After the Rinjani Trekking Center, we took a left and then another left a few minutes later as we cruised through a small village looking straight up towards the mountain. You will pass a small sign on the right and this is where you are meant to pay the 50,000 rupiah entrance fee. No-one was there at sunrise but they were on the way back to pay. We dropped the bikes and gave our helmets to a local to hold onto safely. You first cross a small river before you reach a little trail on your left with white signs that mark the trailhead.
The trail starts off with a steep set of stairs and it doesn’t level out for a few hundred meters. The incline is quite aggressive on this trail and you will be breathing and sweating as you tackle the steep trail of Pergasingan Hill. The stairs soon disappear and are replaced by rocks and boulders, which make the trek up quite exciting. Make sure you keep your hands free and go slowly as the rocks can be quite slippery in the cool conditions of the early morning.
The trek up Pergasingan Hill takes about 1-hour but it was halfway up that the light flowed into the valley and the conditions were just prime. Fog covered the farm fields and base of the mountains while the morning light created beautiful shadows in the creases of the sharp ridges on the mountains in the distance. It was a pretty spectacular view and my favorite part of the morning.
About halfway up the trek, the trail levels out and becomes quite thick. The cool morning dew of the bushes swept past us on every step and before long my shorts were saturated. From here the trail emerges from the bushes and you begin another short climb to the summit, which is a small plateau. I believe you can continue on up towards the true peak of the ridge but this may be the better viewpoint as there are no trees or obstructions to the view.
The viewpoint, with the right lighting, is phenomenal. A patchwork of multi-colored farmland covers the valley below. Huge ridges tower over the valley in all directions with dramatic drop-offs. As you look down from the summit, you can see the town below and hear the sounds of the morning routine as the prayer from mosques bellows out over the city.
Not to be outdone by the beautiful farmlands below, Mount Rinjani demands your attention on the other side. The famous volcano is to your right in full view. Having been at the top of the summit before, I know how tough it is to reach the top, although from Pergasingan it doesn’t seem so intimidating.
We sat at the top and Aef, our guide, brewed some Lombok Coffee and shared some coconut biscuits. We chatted about the different vegetables being grown below, the other trails in the area and stories about Mount Rinjani. It was great to be at the summit with experienced locals to hear their insight about the region.
After a couple of drone flights, Aef made us some rice, fish, and tempe. This gave us more than enough us enough sustenance to make our way down the trail. On the way down it was quite slippery and I made a couple of small tumbles so be sure to tread carefully.
We spent almost two-hours at the top and it took us just over an hour for the trek up and a little less on the way down. Our total trip time was 4 hours but this trek could easily be done in 1.5 hours if you rushed up enjoyed the view for 20 minutes and came down. We just took our time because we were in no rush.
CAMPING ON PERGASINGAN HILL
Most of this blog was written from my first visit to Pergasingan Hill so it is from the angle of just a trek but I will this segment in to talk about camping, which is how I experienced Pergasingan Hill the second time around. This time I came from the backway in a small village and instead of an hour up it took 2.5 hours to wind our way around the ridge. You will only find this private access point at the back of houses with tour guides.
The porters carried the tents, food, water, equipment and we carried our personal belongings much like on Mount Rinjani. At the summit, the guides set up the camp and cooked the food. It is luxury camping and didn’t we know it. It was great though as it gave us time to enjoy the views and explore a bit.
We had a bonfire at night and an epic sunrise in the morning. If you do have the time to camp here it is a great place for an overnight stay. There are lots of little areas to explore and an awesome experience. My first hike was great but camping was 10x better.
ADVENTURE BAG FROM PERGASINGAN HILL
This is an adventure bag (I forgot the bag). It is full of trash. Every time I go on an adventure I collect one adventure bag full of trash. It’s my small way of saying thanks to mother nature for allowing me to enjoy her beautiful creations. If we have time to go on an adventure we have time to collect an adventure bag on the way back out of the trail once we have enjoyed the waterfall, the hike or the beach. Adventure hard!
Tag your @adventurebagcrew on Instagram and mention @adventurebagcrew in your Instagram stories to be featured and inspire your friends, family, and followers to join the movement!
WHERE TO STAY IN NORTH LOMBOK
The northern region of Lombok is the perfect base for adventuring to Tiu Kelep waterfall or hiking Mount Rinjani. There are budget guesthouses and beautiful resorts available in this region. These are my three recommended options.
Jeeva Santai Villas – Luxury Villa: The first place I recommend is Jeeva Santai Villas and it is my recommendation for a few key reasons. Firstly, the location is great. You are right on the beautiful Mangsit Beach but also within driving distance of Tiu Kelep and Mount Rinjani. It is a location that offers the best of both worlds. To be honest I would prefer staying near the beach and then driving to Rinjani rather than staying in the mountains and being closer to Rinjani but having no beach. Jeeva Santai Villas is a 4-star resort with a beautiful pool, wifi and really relaxed vibes. It’s great for a couple or even a chill spot for a family getaway.
Hakiki Inn Bungalows – Value: The second place I recommend is the value pick called Hakiki Inn Bungalows. This accommodation is what Lombok is all about. Set on the edge of rice fields with the jungle feel but the comfort of a private bungalow. These huts are so damn cool with stairs up to the entrance and the curved bamboo roofs. It’s very close to the Selong Rice field viewpoint and also a good place to base while doing the Mount Rinjani hike. With breakfast included for just $26 for a private bungalow, you are cruising!
Blue Mountain Cottage – Budget (but also value): This is where I stayed. Blue Mountain Cottagewas somewhere we just randomly booked but it turned out being really good for a few reasons. The room was very basic but it was comfortable enough with a (once again) basic private bathroom. The accommodation had a restaurant attached, which is always handy and the food was tasty and very cheap. The location of this place was awesome. You could walk to Tiu Kelep and Sendang Gile waterfall entrance in about ten minutes. We also based ourselves here when we hiked Mount Rinjani. They let us leave our stuff in their office and looked after it. We also booked our Mount Rinjani trekking tour through Blue Mountain Cottage.
WHERE TO STAY IN SOUTH LOMBOK
The southern region of Lombok is where people go to chill out, enjoy the surf and the beautiful beaches. You can expect smaller crowds here than Bali in what is still quite an underdeveloped area compared to mainland Bali, although there are lots of hotels and restaurants. These are the places I recommend to stay in Kuta, Lombok.
Harmony Villas – Luxury: These villas are so stunning and picturesque you may not want to leave to go explore. The white theme throughout the property contrasts against the emerald green pool and plants. The villas are laid out impeccably and the best part about this 4-star villa is that it actually isn’t as expensive as it looks. Definitely check out Harmony Villas if you are looking for a luxurious villa in Kuta, Lombok.
Martas Windows – Value/Luxury: This place is incredibly beautiful. Bungalow-style villas surround the modern pool at this amazing property. I love the high roofs in the bungalow villas and how they have made it luxury but with the bamboo vibe. For less than $65 a night you can get yourself what would cost hundreds of dollars in most other countries at Martas Windows.
Boogie Hostel Kuta Lombok – Budget: The Boogie Hostel is everything you ask for in a hostel. It’s super modern and clean, has lots of chill spaces as well as lockers for your gear and blinds for privacy at your dorm. It is just a really relaxing vibe for travelers and only costs $7 a night… with breakfast included.
MORE LOMBOK GUIDES
Lombok Travel Guide: 17 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN LOMBOK
Mount Rinjani Trekking Guide: MOUNT RINJANI TREKKING REVIEW
Tiu Kelep Waterfall: SENDANG GILE AND TIU KELEP WATERFALL IN SENARU
Benang Stokel Waterfall: BENANG STOKEL WATERFALL IN LOMBOK