One of my very best friend, let’s call her P, really wanted to climb a mountain. Well P actually has ever done a trek to Semeru mountain in East Java, but not until the summit. That time we only trek until Ranu Kumbolo to camp there. She often said that she really wanted to climb a mountain or volcano before she moved from Jakarta. We made several plans to try to make her wish come true. We were aiming to climb Merbabu mountain, but the mountain was on fire (info from a friend of mine this frequently happens at Merbabu due to the very dry conditions) so we switched to Merapi.

hiking merapi volcano indonesia

We started to hike from Merapi volcano base-camp in Selo village around 7.30 pm. We were planning to walk until Pasar Bubrah and camp there before attacking the summit. We reached New Selo at almost 8 pm and from there we continued to Shelter I (Gerbang Taman Nasional). We reached the National Park Gate or Shelter I at around 8.50 pm and decided to have a break for 15 minutes. The next journey from the National Park Gate to Shelter II took around 1 hour. Walking slowly through the night was quite nice, we were not really able see to how steep the ascent was. The path was mixed soil-gravel and stones. From Shelter II we started to doubt that we would reach Pasar Bubrah before midnight. Long story short, we decided to camp at Shelter III, which is around 1 km from Pasar Bubrah.

hiking merapi volcano tips

Early the next morning, at 4 am, we headed off to climb the summit. We could hear a lot of hikers passing by our tent. Walking from Shelter III, passing Watu Gajah and trekking to finally reach Pasar Bubrah.

hiking merapi volcano sunrise

Pasar Bubrah is the point that you actually start climbing the summit. The distance to the summit from Pasar Bubrah is around 0.7 km and it is extremely challenging. We almost took the wrong track (We did actually!). So for you guys, a tiny bit of advice, from Pasar Bubrah to the peak take the left hand path and you will not have to make the crazy ascent we did. 🙂

the top of merapi volcano


We finally reached the summit after the sunrise (we were aiming to be on the peak before sunrise), but she was very happy with her achievement! Hiking Merapi volcano with her was a very pleasant experience. She is truly a fighter, never complained even once. Allow me to share some pictures and a video of our journey up Merapi volcano. We were lucky enough to be accompanied by two of my friends who can be relied upon for any outdoor activities, A and W. A and W were really helpful and supportive. Both P and I couldn’t find words for how thankful we were for their presence on that journey.

The journey down Merapi was hillarious. Slowly, a lot of sliding here and there and lots of laughter. The video is really about the descent as we climbed in the dark so it was pretty much impossible for me to record anything. I hope you guys enjoy the video and the photos.

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Have you ever hiked Merapi volcano? How was your experience?