Asian Mountains, Bali
Gunung Agung/ Mount Agung, 3031m - High point Bali
Gunung Agung (Mt. Agung) is a (perfectly) cone-shaped stratovolcano (last eruption in 1964) and is the most sacred mountain on Bali. The two main routes runs from the mother temple of Besakih and from Pura Pasar Agung near Selat. This page will describe the route from Besakih, which is by far the hardest of the two routes.
The Besakih route starts at approx. 970m and is more than 8km long (one way). The vertical gain to the summit is approx. 2100m. The vertical gain alone makes this quite a tough hike (although the route is technically easy) and you might need to allow up to 6-8 hours for the ascent. It is normal to walk the route at night and arrive on the summit at sunrise. And from the top, you can enjoy the view of Rinjani (105km to the east) rising 3700m up from Lomboc island.
Do hire a guide! Although it is not a requirement, finding the route from the Besakih temple can be tricky without someone who knows the area. It is not very expensive, and the mountain guides need the jobs. It is a win-win situation. You find mountain guides everywhere, and some are of course more skilled than others. It is important to find guides who speaks decent English. Lonely Planet lists a few guiding companies, including Gung Bawa Trekking, which we used and would recommend to others.
The main Agung crater
Agung has a primary factor of 3031m, being the high point on Bali island.
Google's interactive map. You can zoom, pan and click on the markers.
These route descriptions are valid per
Route 1: Besakih temple - Agung
The route starts at the Mother Temple of Besakih (S8.37420 E115.45236). Allow for a couple of hours drive from Denpasar, if this is where you are staying on Bali. It is normal to start from the temple between 10pm and midnight.
Navigate through the temple complex and continue northeast for 1,6km on small roads and trails. Pass another temple (S8.36388 E115.46142) and then follow the path into the forest.
The route climbs steeply up the forest, and occasionally you might need to use your hands to negotiate big roots and high steps. Higher up in the forest, the forest ridge can feel a bit exposed and a stumble can actually lead to some bad consequences.
At approx. 2600m, you rise above the forest and pass steep cliffs. There is a small shelter here. Above the cliffs, you start climbing Agung's west ridge which takes you up to the west top (S8.34033 E115.49848) - approx. 3020m.
Continue 550 meters along the ridge crest (don't stumble!) to the east to get to the high point (S8.34146 E115.50330) - 3031m. Some maps use 3142m as height, but this seems to be too high. Hopefully, you've timed the hike so you reach the summit at sunrise. Note that the weather can be quite severe and do not attempt to reach the summit during lightning strikes.
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