Mount Merbabu

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Central Java, Indonesia, Asia
10308 ft / 3142 m
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Mount Merbabu
Created On: Jul 19, 2002
Last Edited On: Oct 8, 2004


A large beautiful Mountain overlooking Mt Merapi. The Trails are good and easy to follow though water is a big problem. Routes from Selo to the North and Kopeng to the South West. Kopeng trail is twice as long as leaving from Selo. Water available at several points on the Kopeng trail. Get a guide and someone to carry lots of water anyway. No water on trail from Selo. Go from Kopeng and camp on the summit for one of the most rewarding treks in Indonesia. Descend to Selo in the North.
Like most volcanos it is technically easier but one needs to be fit for the constant ascent followed by constant descent.

Getting There

You get there from Semarang, Solo or Jogyakarta.
If going to Kopeng turn off at Salatiga on the Solo- Semarang road and if to Selo turn off at Boyolali on the same road.
There are hotels in Kopeng then take an Ojek (motorbike taxi) to the trailhead at Tekelan a few Km East. The ranger post is here. It is also possible to overnight at the rangerpost. (pretty basic) Leave early because you will need all day to get to the summit. From Selo, head straight up from the market. Ask around as many confusing trails. Once again take an Ojek to the trailhead. The losman in Selo has a guide service.

Red Tape

As with all mountain hikes in Indonesia, register at the ranger staion and pay a few thousand rupiah. Be patient, polite and leave a small tip. (Less than US$1.00 )

When To Climb

Merbabu is best climbed in the dry season from May to October, though it can rain at any time.
In the wet season it is wet cold and very exposed.
The monuments on the summit indicate climbers have perished here in the past. However you are unlikely to lose the trail as it is well formed.
The route basically follows a ridge to the summit and although there are times that you may meet a side track stay on the best well formed track (Heading up) and you shouldn't go wrong.


Plenty of camp sites but their effectiveness is curtailed by lack of water.
There is water about 150m down from shelter V (2800m or so) which is down then up again to the next saddle after the radio antennas if comming from Kopeng. Important to search around for the good water up a valley below the bubling sulpherous springs. You can hear the water at shelter V.
Shelter V is a name. There is no shelter here but flat spots dug out of the hillside for camping. If you don't want to camp on the summit, stay here, load up with water the following morning and go on to the summit and down to Selo in about 6 hours

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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David Donaldson

David Donaldson - Aug 9, 2002 5:38 am - Hasn't voted

Untitled Comment

In Early August 2002 Indonesian Newspapers reported fires burning on the slopes of Merbabu.

This is common on most Javan volcanos as the dry tussock burns. Blackens the trees but doesn't seem to do much damage other than leave black scars on the slopes


sunawang - Sep 20, 2016 5:04 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Untitled Comment

Hi David, great to find you post. I'm from Indonesia and have hiked Mount Merbabu twice. It's a great mountain anyway. Right?

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