Arjuno Lalijiwo Nature Reserve

Arjuno Lalijiwo Nature Reserve

Arjuno Lalijiwo, Arjuno Lalijiwo Nature Reserve, Cagar Alam

The Arjuno-Lalijiwo Nature Reserve comprises an area of about 5,000 ha. The site is mountainous and holds one of the last untouched mountain forests of east Java. Several of the many mountains, among others Gunung Arjuno (3,359), Gunung Welirang (3,156) or Gunung Anjasmoro (2,277), in the reserve can be climbed.
On the lower slopes of Gunung Arjuno, 30 km north east of Malang you will find Purwodadi Botanical Garden. South of Gunung Arjuno and Gunung Welirang, near Junggo, is the 2,500 ha Grand Forest Park Cangar.
There are two ways to reach the area around Arjuno-Lalijiwo Nature Reserve.
* The south is accessible from the mountain village Batu, 20 km north west of Malang. You can reach Batu by bus from Dinoyo busstation in Malang. From Batu there are buses to Junggo and Selecta, two villages higher up in the mountains.
* The north is accessible from the mountain villages Tretes and Prigen. Tretes and Prigen are about 6 km of the main road Malang-Surabaya. Take a bus from one of these cities and get out in Pandaan. From Pandaan catch a minibus to Tretes and Prigen. In both villages you’ll find guides who will show you the reserve.
The area is visited by many local tourists. Accommodation can be found in all price categories in the following villages:
* Batu
* Tretes
* Selecta
The Arjuno-Lalijiwo Nature Reserve is a hikers paradise. You can make several walks and ascents. Some examples:
* Junggo – Gunung Arjuna 8 hours
* Junggo – Gunung Welirang 8 hours
* Junggo – Gunung Anjasmoro 5 hours
* Tretes – Gunung Welirang 8 hours
The area is used by local people for collection of sulphur from the volcanic fumaroles


Arjuna/ Welirang mountain chain in East Java consists of 4 peaks over 3,000m from the active Welirang in the west to the long dormant Arjuna in the East. This mountain is set in the ancient Mojopahit heartland and is dotted with temples, graves and other historical sites which are still visited by local folk today. The lower slopes are forested and the upper slopes are covered with tussock and a type of local alpine pine tree. The lalijiwo plateau between the twin peaks of Kembar and Arjuna is noted for deer and wild pigs. Most tracks start off in good condition but as one gets higher the tracks frequently dissappear or turn into a multitude of trails left by animals and lost hikers!

Getting There
The mountain is located about 50km south East of Surabaya and it is easy to rent a taxi from Juanda (Surabaya) airport to take you to Tretes. (or anywhere else for that matter!)
Tretes is a mountain resort town with lots of hotels and guesthouses to suit any budget. A good place to spend a few days chilling out. Guides, porters and supplies can be got here.
There are three main routes on the mountain.
The most popular starts from the village of Tretes and follows a wide trail to the Sulphur carriers camp located at a water source between Arjuna and Welirang. From here, one can turn left and head for Lalijiwo Plateau and Arjuna or continue on to the active Welirang.
Another route starts above Selecta above Batu to the South.
A further route climbs directly to Arjuna from Lawang in the East.

The Routes
From Tretes.
Ask around in Tretes to be directed to the start of the trail which heads off behind the forrestry post on a good trail. The trail, (which is surfaced with rocks painstakingly handplaced) winds on steadily upwards towards Welirang and the sulphur camp.

In someplaces the trail has been severely damged by the carts the men are hauling down full of sulphur and they have formed several dusty shortcuts as well. Stick to the rock path or follow up the dusty shotcut as there are no turnoffs and the trails soon rejoin. Takes 4-5 hours at a relaxed pace to reach the Pondok.

From the Pondok to Welirang should not take more than 3 hours and a further 2 hours to scale the Kembar twins and descend into the saddle campsite.

From Selekta either walk, or ride a motorbike, to Kampung Junggo. The trek begins among asparagus plantations. After 1.5 hours walking you enter montane forest, where a narrow footpath winds up Arjuno’s western slope. This path is often hidden under thick ferns, particularly after the rainy season.

After 3 hours you should reach the top of a 100 m gorge. This is an excellent picnic spot. Keep quiet and you might see black and red monkeys on the opposite side of the canyon.

The path continues precipitously to Arjuno’s peak region where some sections are as steep as 45 degrees. After another 2 hours of crawling between tall conifers you reach the tree line and an open plateau. Keep left at the turnoff: the path on the right descends to Singosari and Malang.

It’s another 30 minutes from the plateau to the peaks (6 to 7 hours in all frorn Kampung Junggo). A few hundred meters below Arjuno’s summit look for a big cave on your left, this is a useful spot to bivouac in bad weather. If the weather’s clear when you arrive at Arjuno’s summit, which lies at 3,339 rn above sea level, you get stunning views of East Java’s volcanoes stretching into the distance.

A steep and arduous path leads from the summit to Lalijiwo Plateau. After 12 noon it often gets very misty along this section : sometimes you can’t even see your guide walking directly in front of you. If the mist descends do not stray from the footpoth: in certain places it winds alongside a deep, invisible nothing.

Take it easy and allow two hours to reach the fairytale-like Lalijiwo Plateu. Hight meadows of alang-alang grass with muddy swamps, pools of clear mountain water, surrounded by stands of tree fern, groups of rustling casuarinas and pretty alpine flowers await you at this idyllic resting place. If you don’t want to bivouac on Arjuno’s icy summit or foggy Lalijiwo Plateau, make sure you leave the summit by 2 pm to ensure that you can reach Pondok Welirang, the sulphur colectors’ camp, which lies at 2, 400 m.

Continue nortwest after the pools at Lalijiwo and find the path with a plastic tube snaking along it. The tube provides the sulphur men with fresh drinking water, and climbers with freezing ahowers. Just follow it and 30 minutes later you enter a clearing in which lies Pondok Welirang, looking like a Tibetan mountain village.

Leave the camp before daybreak (4:30-5 am) to give you enough time to explore Gunung Welirang’s craters and descend to Tretes without undue haste. From the camp start on the trail which climbs straight up. The turnoff to, the left behind the watertank leads back to Gunung Arjuno, Lalijiwo and back down to Selekta.

After ascending at a gentle 15 degrees, the rocky trail suddenly becomes steep. It climbs up onto the small Bluntu plateau, winds around some smaller peaks on the saddle between both volcanoes, and finally zigzags up Welirang’s steep flank from the southeast.

Around 3 hours later you reach Welirang’s flat crater complex. The first one you pass is extinct but a bit higher up is a bigger, active crater. WARNING: Do not stand on the edge of the crater rim, especially if it is still dark. Crater walls consist of porous ash and loose debris, and are often overhanging. Just a small step too far and that’s it…

From the highest point (3,156 m) you can enjoy marvelous views over the region. Try to get here before 9 am, when clouds begin to travel frorn the humid lowlands and engulf the surrounding area, including you, by noon.

To witness the sulphur collectors doing their hellish work, trek back to the extinct crater. Off the main trail to the west lies a track that descends 100 m to a parasitic crater which faces the Selekta valley. This is called “the kitchen” and it is Welirang’s acidic heart. Here sulphurous vapor condenses to form a yellow mass which workers gather in blocks. After carefully loading A steep and arduous path leads from the sum- their baskets they carry the sulphur down the mit to Lalijiwo Plateau. After 12 noon it often rocky serpentine paths-some only wearing slippers and smoking kretek cigarets.

To get to Tretes by public bemo, continue for 200 m beyond the gate, turn right and continue for another 200 m until you reach the Tanjung Plaza Hotel. Wait opposite it for minibuses heading for Pandaan.

If you want to continue back to Selekta, go to Pandaan and change onto another minibus to Malang (Pattimura statior-0. From there take a minibus to Batu and another one to Selekta (around 2.5 hours and Rp2,000 in total). You’ll reach your losmen much more exhausted than the sulphur-men arrive in Tretes, and you will be two kilograms lighter than when you began.

Itinerary trek to Mount Arjuno
Day 01

05.00 – 05.40 Travel from Lawang to Tambak Watu
Check in at park ranger station;
06.10 Start trek
06.45 Cave ontoboego
08.05 Pos II Tampuono
08.40 Pos III Eyang Sokri
10.15 Pos IV Semar Conservation area
11.10 Pos V Makutoromo, Lunch break
13.23 Continue trek
13.35 Arrive at Candi Sepilar
15.30 Jawa Dwipa
19.00 Overnight

Day 02
06.52 Summiting
07.20 Arrive on Summit
08.45 Walk down, breakfast and pack
10.30 Continue to walk down
13.50 Savanas trek
14.35 Arrive at Pos kaliandra
16.50 Arrive at pos Kamling tea plantation of Wonosari and return to Lawang

Source : Tom Otte and David Donalson

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