Project Description

Gunung Tujuh is a massive, extinct volcano whose eruption in ancient times blew apart the top of the mountain, eventually forming a large, 4.5 km long lake in the crater left behind. Being completely within the Kerinci Seblat National Park, the surrounding peaks (of which there are 7 – hence the name “Tujuh” in Indonesian), are home to a wide variety of wildlife. The lake, at around 2000 meters, is the highest in Southeast Asia. Being up there, with the clouds clinging to the primeval forests all around, it truly feels like you’ve stepped into a prehistoric lost world. There are even tales of the mountain being home to a mysterious creature: the elusive Orang Pendek.
The trek up to the lake takes approximately three hours, plus or minus an hour depending on your level of fitness, and how much time you take to slow down and notice the environment around you. It’s a fairly strenuous hike (no switchbacks in Indonesia), with the tree roots forming a type of staircase in places.
Once at the lake, its possible to take a 1.5-2 hour canoe ride to the other side (Pasir Putih), to camp (based on canoe availability). Or you can walk a short distance around the left side of the lake to camp at a closer spot. Other options, if requested ahead of time, could be to take our trail camera to set up along a trail, and after dark, take a night walk or canoe ride out on the lake using flashlights to try to spot wildlife.
Wake up in the morning to the beautiful song of the Siamang gibbons as they echo throughout the caldera. There are a number of options for exploring from your camp. If arranged ahead of time, you could choose to follow the shore line with the canoe, looking for birds and wildlife.  If you’re doing the two day option, pack up around noon, and head back down the mountain.
If you’re doing the three day option and have a lot more time, you could cross to the south side of the volcano and find game trails to follow. You could head into the forests and swampy areas around Pasir Putih. Or you could choose to climb up one of the surrounding mountains. Keep an eye out for Nepenthes pitcher plants – there are a number of endemic species only found on Mt. Tujuh.
Don’t forget to take a night walk or canoe ride in the evening to try and spot nocturnal creatures. 
After enjoying the sunrise and a little morning exploration along the trails, or a final dip in the lake, head back across the lake and down the mountain.
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Difficulty: Moderate. Difficulty significantly increases if you choose to climb one of the peaks surrounding the lake.

Activities: Hiking, Camping, Canoeing, Swimming, Bird Watching, Wildlife

Terrain: Jungle, Mountains, A Lake

Nearest Village: Pelompek, Gunung Tujuh subdistrict, Kerinci regency, Jambi province, Indonesia

Months of Operation: Year Round, but it’s usually somewhat drier from May – September

  • A quality pair of hiking shoes – preferably waterproof – are essential.
  • Comfortable trekking socks are recommended.
  • Long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Preferably made from quick-dry material.
  • A headlamp, especially if you want to take any night walks.
  • A waterproof jacket in case it rains, and to keep you warm in the chilly evenings and mornings.
  • Sunscreen, especially if you plan on spending much time on the lake. Being so close to the equator, it’s easy to burn quickly-especially when the air is so deceptively cool.

The trek up can be a bit challenging if you’re carrying too much or trying to go too quickly. At the top, the temperature can be quite chilly, especially during the night, so bring a jacket or enough clothing to layer. Best to avoid times of extended rain, but, as it sits within a tropical rainforest, be prepared for it.

Keep an eye out for the Orang Pendek – Sumatra’s version of Bigfoot. The most frequent sightings are reported around Mt. Tujuh.

Like all of our trips, you travel at your own risk. Keep in mind that you are visiting a wild and extremely remote area of rural Sumatra, far from quality medical care. It’s your responsibility to make sure you are covered with valid travel and medical insurance.

We are proud that 5% of the total cost of this trip goes directly to 21st Century Tiger in support of forest rangers and wild tiger conservation projects in the Kerinci Seblat National Park and other areas of Sumatra.

As always, we use only local guides and porters from nearby communities, who are paid a fair, ethical wage above the standard local price.

Come discover Kerinci for yourself! Learn about the region, or view additional points of interest around Kerinci to create your own custom trip. Be sure to check out our travel tips when you’re ready to start planning.

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