East Java, Gunung Liman

Written by on July 17, 2012 in Java Mountains with 0 Comments

East Java, Gunung Liman



This peak is the highest point of a vast and complex mountain range. There are three main peaks: Liman (in the northwest), Limas (east) and Wilis (south) but there are a huge number of other peaks with considerable drops between them. Wilis is the most well-known name and Limas is the most often often climbed (from the Kediri side.) However, Liman itself is rarely climbed and unfortunately access seems to be a grey area. Technically, it would appear that the most of the mountain range is closed for ordinary access (unless you are conducting scientific research, for example) and this has been the case since 2006, presumably when a change in the forestry law, or the implementation of a new one, closed access to wild places across Java if they were not on a recognised climbing lane.

You may be able to obtain special permission from KPH in Kediri, but even if you get lucky they are likely to send their staff members on the expedition with you – and charge a considerable price for it. It’s a bizarre and incomprehensible situation given the popularity of hiking in the province and the fact that more hikers means more people visiting the area and hence more revenue for local people. So, you can either get on with it yourself, ignoring the strict rules (which are, or course, ignored by local farmers anyway) or attempt bureaucratic negotiatons which are tiresome and often unpleasant. Finding local guides can also be difficult because so few people know the mountain range.

As can be seen from Google Maps, there are three main places that seem like reasonable starting points for a hike to the highest ridges of Liman: Air Terjun Sedudo (waterfall to the north, south of Nganjuk), Pundak Kulon (to the southwest) or Kare (northwest, accessible from Madiun). According to Google Maps there are small tracks, presumably accessible on motorbike leading up to an elevation of 1,200m in all three places.

At first glance, the most accessible starting point would appear to be Sedudo.  The waterfall is a popular place with local people and is indeed very impressive. It is about one hour by motor vehicle from the friendly and laidback town of Nganjuk via Sawahan. The entrance gates and ticket booth are at an elevation of 930m but the road itself leads all the way to the waterfall itself at 1,292m. From here, steps lead down to the waterfall and a trail leads across to the right along the side of the ridge to the right of the waterfall. This vague and overgrown path is very tiresome to follow in the heat and makes for incredibly slow progress but it does eventually lead up to the top of a ridge (1,388m) which has a reasonable path running along the top of it, used by local farmers. There are good views eastwards to Penanggungan and Arjuno-Welirang in the distance and a small hill in the north, lying north of Nganjuk, labelled Gunung Gede on Google Maps but seemingly known as Gunung Pandan to local people.

From the trail on the ridge, you would be forgiven for thinking that it would be an easy stroll southwards up onto the highest parts of the ridge. After a kilometre or so of steady climbing along a perceivable path, the trail almost entirely disintegrates, at an elevation of about 1,750m. This is perhaps because local farmers do not climb much higher than this and nobody has climbed up this way for a matter of years.

The terrain is very troublesome – steep, sometimes bouldery long grass where you never know just how or where you next step is going to land. Overgrown is an understatement. It is assumed that the terrain is similar for much of the Liman ridge, sadly due to the fact that it is so rarely hiked at the present time and it would be a very time-consuming expedition to reach the highest point of the range from this route.

Looking at the two alternatives, Kare is definitely the more accessible of the two, though even if there is a trail leading up onto the ridge it is a considerable distance to the highest peak (there are two peaks of a very similar height about one kilometre apart from each other, listed as 2,552m and 2,555m on Bako maps and similar – at least in relative terms – on Google Earth). The higher of the two highest peaks is the more southwestern, which makes an approach from Pundak Kulon an attractive option, if there is actually a trail from this remote area! We hope to find out more about different approaches to the Liman ridge soon – please contact us if you can contribute any information.

Bagging information by Daniel Quinn


Getting there

One or two express trains between Jakarta and Malang/Surabaya/Jombang call at Nganjuk and many call at Madiun. For Sedudo from Nganjuk there are angkots to Pasar Sawahan (Rp 7,000) from where you can get an ojek to Sedudo waterfall. Access from Kare and Pundak Kulon currently unknown.


There are several hotels in Nganjuk and Madiun.


You may wish to speak to KPH (Kesatuan Pemangku Hutan) in Kediri.

Water sources

Available at Sedudo waterfall but not sure if there is any higher up or on other access routes.

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