December 1, 2022

Hiking in Mount Gede: which routes should you choose for your hiking holiday?

Author: Salsabila Diladara Dewi

Reading Time: 8 minutes

The view from the top of Mount Gede. Source: personal documentation.

Get to Know About Mount Gede

If you plan to climb a mountain this year, you can choose Mount Gede, one of the favorite mountains to hike in West Java. However, it is essential to make a mindful plan before heading out the door to climb a mountain. One of the things that require careful planning is choosing a mountaineering route.

Things about mountaineering routes that you should know include how many miles you will hike, how long it takes to walk, and where you will camp. Also, you should consider and investigate the skills needed for hiking on a particular track to make your hike safer and more enjoyable.

Mount Gede is located in three cities, which are Cianjur, Sukabumi, and Bogor. The area is one of the first five national parks in Indonesia besides Gunung Leuser National Park, Ujung Kulon National Park, Baluran National Park, and Komodo National Park.

With a height of 2958 masl, Mount Gede is suitable for new mount hikers. To hike in Mount Gede, you should register online on TNGGP (Taman Nasional Gunung Gede Pangrango) at www.gedepangrango.org

Mount Gede has three official routes that have their own uniqueness. There are Cibodas, Putri, and Selabintana routes.

Cibodas, the most famous route in Mount Gede

If you want to go hiking from Cianjur, Bandung, or Bogor, you can choose this route. Located in Cianjur, Cibodas is Mount Gede’s most famous hiking route.

This route has many ramps. This causes the journey to the top of the mountain to take longer than other routes. However, this is not a big problem because this route has a beautiful view.

When you want to start your mountaineering journey from Cibodas, you don’t have to worry about food or a place to stay. In July 2019, I went to Mount Gede via Cibodas and slept at the local house for free. Also, there are many food stalls with low prices on Cibodas basecamp.

The entire ascent takes around ten hours. The starting point of this route will lead you to a rocky path. You need to register first in Tarentong. In this post, your belongings will be checked.

Next, after checking your stuff, you will walk for about fifteen minutes to Telaga Biru. This lake is called Telaga Biru because there are algae at the bottom and edges of the lake, which makes the lake blue. On this route, your eyes will be spoiled by the view of the dense tropical forest area.

You will cross the bridge in a forest and swamps made of concrete for about thirty minutes. From here, the real mountaineering will begin.

After hours of walking, you will get to the famous track called Air Panas. Here, you will walk on the slippery stones with hot water falling from above. I could say that this trek is very extreme. You can only hold on to a piece of rope.

The most dangerous part of this track is a narrow road with a steep ravine beside the lane. Here, you have to be very careful not to slip and fall.

Knowing the high chance of getting wet on this track, you should prepare your backpack to stay waterproof. 

After struggling at the Air Panas track, you should continue your journey for about two hours to Kandang Badak. It is a favorite place for hikers to set up a tent and spend the night. In this post, there is a fountain and a clean toilet.

After spending several hours in Kandang Badak, the mountaineers usually summit the top of Gede at 3 AM. The journey from this post to the top of Mount Gede takes two hours.

Tanjakan Setan. Source: personal documentation.

On the way to the summit, mountaineers must pass a steep grade called Tanjakan Setan. Why is it called Tanjakan Setan? With a slope of almost ninety degrees and a height of about thirty to fifty meters, the name Tanjakan Setan was taken because this track is very extreme.

After climbing the mountain for seven to ten hours, you can finally enjoy the view at the top of Mount Gede.

Gunung Putri, the steepest track in Mount Gede

Located in Cipanas, Cianjur, Gunung Putri is easy to access because it is close to big cities in West Java, such as Bandung and the Jabodetabek area.

Putri route has a heavy track because it is dominated by uphill. Even so, this climbing route is the fastest. This reason makes many climbers prefer to climb through Gunung Putri.

So, you already know that this route has the steepest track. Therefore, you must prepare your physical and mental readiness. Without mental and physical preparation, climbing can be dangerous for mountaineers. 

The route to the Putri track is close to the Cibodas track. We can use our own vehicle or public transportation and get off at Pasar Cipanas. You can also use transportation services to shuttle to the climbing location to make it effortless.

If you want to rest for a while, the basecamp has facilities such as lodging. Also, there are additional accommodation services such as parking lots, outdoor equipment rental, guide services, and porter services.

The entire ascent takes around seven to eight hours. You will walk through plantation fields and local settlements at the starting point of this route. The road you take here is still flat and not too uphill. To get to Legok Leunca, you have to walk for about an hour.

After arriving at Legok Leunca, you have to hike for another hour and a half to Buntut Lutung. Steep grades will be dominating this track.

From Buntut Lutung, you have to continue your journey towards Lawang Sekateng. Here, you will encounter more challenging terrain. You have to go through a steep track between the roots of the dense trees.

I think this track is the toughest because steep grades dominate the way. Besides, there are a few ramps that we can go through. To reach Lawang Sekateng, the estimated time required is one and a half hours.

After arriving at the Lawang Sekateng post, you should take more steps to Simpang Maleber. The track that you will take is still quite heavy. You have to go uphill, and you will find it hard to move because there are many lush trees on your right and left. Like the hikes to the Lawang Sekateng post, the trip to the Simpang Maleber post also takes one and a half hours.

From the Simpang Maleber post, you will hike for about an hour towards Alun-Alun Surya Kencana, the paradise of Mount Gede Pangrango. This place is an open grass plain covering an area of fifty hectares. This plain looks charming because the Edelweiss plant grows wild.

Alun-Alun Surya Kencana. Source: https://wisatacampingcibodas.com/alun-alun-surya-kencana/

Besides, a small river flows from the top of Mount Gede. However, the water is not clear, so I refuse to consume it. Alun-Alun Surya Kencana is a favorite place to spend the night. At night, the view of the stars will be clearly visible from this place.

From Alun-Alun Surya Kencana, your journey is close to the top of Mount Gede. You only need to hike for about an hour. The route you go through is an uphill rocky path.

If you made it through the rocky uphill route, congratulations! You finally arrived at the top of Mount Gede. All your tiredness will pay off when you see the view from the top of Mount Gede.

Selabintana, the longest track with pacet ready to suck your blood

Selabintana is the longest route with a distance of fourteen point five kilometers to the summit of Mount Gede. The estimated time to reach the top of Mount Gede is around eight to twelve hours.

If you want to go hiking from Sukabumi, you can choose the Selabintana route. However, this route is not recommended by the Mount Gede officer. Unlike Cibodas and Gunung Putri, this route has no buildings or gazebos for hikers to rest. Also, this route only has signposts for directions.

In Selabintana, you will probably meet pacet, a blood-sucking animal that lives among the bushes and trees. If the conditions are wet and humid, you need to be careful of the pacet’s attacks.

Selabintana only has three posts, there are Cigeber, Cileutik, and Simpang Gumuruh. To get to the hiking trail, you have to pass through plantations and forests with rocky uphill tracks. After arriving at the hiking trail, you have to go down a ridge with a narrow path flanked by a ravine.

Mount Gede via Selabintana. Source: https://infogepang.com/jalur-pendakian-gede-pangrango-via-selabintana/

There are many branches and fallen trees ready to hinder your steps. You need three hours to reach Cigeber from basecamp. When you rest in this shelter, make sure you are not leaning against the trees or sitting directly on the ground unless you want pacet to suck your blood.

Next, you have to continue your journey for about three hours to Cileutik. The terrain you are going through is a steep grade between thick bushes. The climb to Cileutik is arguably the most tiring. You also have to crawl under fallen trees that block the track.

In Cileutik, you will find the one and only fountain along the hiking trail via Selabintana. You can drink the water or use the water for cooking.

After arriving at the Cileutik post, you will hike for an hour to Gumuruh Simpang. This postal line is an intersection; one of them will lead us to Alun-Alun Surya Kencana. Then, from Simpang Gumuruh to Alun-Alun Surya Kencana, you need to hike for an hour.

Like the previous track, this path is also dominated by steep grades with slippery loose soil and fallen trees that block the lane. Arriving at Alun-Alun Surya Kencana, you can continue hiking to the top of Mount Gede for about an hour. You can start the journey at dawn to enjoy the sunrise from the top of Mount Gede.

So, which route did you choose?

Now, let’s choose the most suitable route for your hiking holiday.

You can go through Cibodas if you are still a beginner hiker. This path has minimal obstacles, such as fallen trees and twigs. However, the drawback of this route is the long distance due to the sloping road.

If you want to get to the top of Mount Gede faster, you can choose Gunung Putri. However, this route has steep grades that can drain your energy. You have to make sure you are physically strong.

Lastly, if you are interested in wild nature, you can choose Selabintana. This route is not recommended for beginner climbers. The lush conditions often make climbers confused in finding directions. Selabintana is suitable for climbers who have experience in mountain climbing and have survival skills in nature.

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