72 Hours with Mountain Kerinci and Gunung Tujuh Lake

Mt.Kerinci known as the highest volcano in Indonesia also the most visited mountain and the highest peak in Sumatra. Meanwhile Gunung Tujuh Lake is the highest and the vastest lake on the mountain in South – East Asia, surrounded by 7 hills. This two beautiful magnificent places still in the same area of Kerinci Seblat National Park, Kersik Tuo Village, Kayu Aro Regency, Jambi Province – Indonesia. Of course it is possible for you who think that the 3-days trip in Jambi will fit perfectly on your busy schedule.

Mt. Kerinci was my first mountain after such a long-break (re: Having a Job). Since working, I only had 3 days (well, actually 2.5 days) of holiday per week or more specifically less than 72 hours. I never thought before, Mt. Kerinci will fit my only 3 days of holiday perfectly, since most of my previous hikes that took 4 – 7 days.

I took a late night flight to Padang. Why Padang ? Because the closest and the fastest way to reach Kersik Tuo (the last village before trekking) is from Padang. From Padang it takes 5 – 6 hours by car, meanwhile from Jambi takes 10 – 12 hours. *For more about itinerary detail you can check on FYI Section at the end of the story.

Day One ! Kersik Tuo.

The driver from my travel car drove me and some other hikers towards Kersik Tuo. Started from Padang 11. 30 PM, within 5 hours we already reached Kersik Tuo around 04.00 AM, Crazy right ?. An Hour afterwards local people started their activity, the sun showed up far behind the hills and right exactly in front of us was a beautiful tea plantation. A traditional market was only a step away from my Guest House in Kersik Tuo. Since I haven’t had foods from last night, so I decided to look for some snacks at the market. And for God Sake !!, I kind a love this Pink Kind of doughnuts, I didn’t know the name but it was sweet and pretty feeling actually.

I went back to Guest House, preparing my stuffs, a day pack, some snacks, and trekking outfit. My first destination was Gunung Tujuh Lake. Gunung Tujuh lake located differently with Mt. Kerinci, From Paiaman Guest House, I met another hiker (Ilham), he’d like to join me at that time so that we could share a cost, I was like (why not? The cheaper is the better right?).

So we rent a motorcycle from Paiaman Guest House, we were told the direction to “Resort Gunung Tujuh” the place to obtain the permit for Gunung Tujuh Lake. The way to the resort Gunung Tujuh was quite easy actually, it was the same way as we came to Padang, or simply by asking local people they will happy to help. However, the permit was as easy as 1,2,3…

The unfinished road lead our steps to a dense rain forest. A signpost was placed right before we entered the forest, Gunung Tujuh’s terrain was reminding me about Mt. Agung in Bali. The higher step I took, the more excited I was.

The blue sky was covered by lush-green trees above us, while we kept going up leaving our footsteps behind. Sometimes, I glimpsed to the right and left, was looking for the birds that chirped rhythmically beautiful. It was almost 2 hours of trekking, our breaths were getting heavy, we often stopped and rested for a while. Within a half hour, we finally reached the top of the hill and saw the vastest lake on the mountain we’ve ever seen in our life. Gunung Tujuh Lake was incredibly stunning!!

72 Hours with Mountain Kerinci and Gunung Tujuh Lake by Gema Drakel (10)

A second to minutes, minutes to hours, we’ve spent 3 hours already connected with nature, enjoyed the solitude and the misty of Gunung Tujuh Lake. The sunlight started to fade away, the sound of thunder echoed from a far, on the other side of the lake the dark gray mist gathered slowly approached us till covered up the whole surface of the lake. Soon we decided went down and back to Guest House, 3 hours was enough for us. Since my logistic weren’t fully prepared so I re-checked it for the next day dealing with Mt.Kerinci.

Day 2, Mountain Kerinci !

I slept like a baby last night, and woke up early. I woke up so so excited, why? Because it was my first mountain after having a job. I packed my stuff, checked my carrier, had a breakfast and went to national park office to obtain my permit


At Paiaman Guest House they provide almost everything for your transport and accommodation during your trip in Kersik Tuo. I paid for 20k Rupiah for a car that brought me from Paiaman Guest House – National Park Office – Pintu Rimba (where you will start trekking).


Started trekking at 8 AM, from Pintu Rimba we reached Pos 1 around 8.20 AM. It was easy walk with rain forest all the way to Pos 1. The path was quite muddy with the footprints of others hikers on it. on the other hand, pretty much same with previous one, from Pos 1 – Pos 2 took us around 30 minutes still with easy terrain.

An old unmaintained cabin welcomed us at Pos 2. From Pos 2 – Pos 3 the terrain was begin rough with roots along the way, took us 50 minutes and still we haven’t met any other hikers at that time. since we were the first time on that day who started early in the morning.


Not much happened at Pos 3, we took a rest for 10 minutes and then continued trekking. We were still hours from shelter 3 where we had planned to overnight there, before tomorrow summit. Within 1 hour climbed up though the small path we already reached shelter 1.

#Shelter1-Shelter2(1.45 min)

There were several tents at shelter 1 at that time we arrived but we weren’t met anyone. The way to shelter 2 from shelter 1 brought us to the most difficult yet still beautiful track of Mt. Kerinci. Along the path start from 65 degrees of climbing track and 2 caves that naturally made from roots also over grown by moss on each site of the cave that made the track quite slippery.


We had lunch at shelter 2 and rested for 45 minutes before continued the trekking. Shelter 2 usually the place for most hikers overnight before summit attack, it is approximately 3 hours away from peak. I didn’t choose the Shelter 2 to overnight since I still have much time before dark, that is the perks of being a early start hiker. More times it means the more flexible it could be. At Shelter 2 was almost full of people, tends were at every corner of the camp site.

We walked through an open air terrain, the weather was cloudy. The track was getting steeper, we walk among a small slippery V-shaped trench that getting worse when the rain comes! A 60 minutes struggle was real, sometimes I got cramps on both of my clalfs, I fell every time I was grumbling at my self, sometimes I stopped was wondering something or just breathing in an open air while I heard the beating of my heart pumping the blood through all of my veins, I often trapped in high demanding of some of my favorite foods.

As we arrived at Shelter 3, the sun shone and the sky was opened as we built our tent. At this point the height around 3.300 ASL, in front of our tent was Kersik Tuo village far beneath us meanwhile behind us was the peak of Kerinci dominated with black sand and gravel. By the end of the day, the sunset was incredibly breathtaking. Soon afterwards, we cooked for dinner and took a rest for tomorrow summit attack.

Day 3. Gunung Kerinci.

#Shelter3-Tugu Yuda-Peak of Kerinci

A sky full of stars gave us a positive vibes, we started at 03.00 AM early in the morning. The tracking Path from shelter 3 – The peak of Kerinci dominated by pebbles, black sand, gravels, and some of boulders embedded among the way up. Remains me about “Lautan Pasir” on Mt.Semeru. The pebbles, the gravels and the strong wind were successfully slowed our moved. At some point we had to stop behind the boulders to avoid the wind.

After crawling for almost 3 hours we finally reached Tugu Yuda, and for the next 20 minuets we reached the Peak of Mt. Kerinci. It was still dark, far beneath us on the path of the track were several flashlight slowly but sure moving up. Right behind us was a mouth of Mt. Kerinci’s crater wide enough opened, took a care less steps we could possibly slide down and never be founded again…

72 Hours with Mountain Kerinci and Gunung Tujuh Lake by Gema Drakel (48)

Within 30 minuets the light of the sun made an orange straight line from its west to east far beyond the horizon line. The sun rise at the top of Mt. Kerinci was seriously phenomenal, Gunung Tujuh Lake was still covered by thick mist. Meanwhile, Kayu Aro regency’s landscape was seems as a tiny – small city with 7 hills as that seen as the main gate of the village. As the sun fully showed up made a perfect a-triangle-shaped shadow from Mt. Kerinci.

After we’ve done taking photos at the peak, we started decent following the same path. Around two hours we reached our tent we immediately packed up all the stuffs and of course brought back down inorganic trash. During the way down we only took once stop at Shelter 1 (had lunch). The day was really nice with the sun shone all day long helping us moved constantly faster.

We reached Pintu Rimba Around 04.00 PM (Total 5 – 6 hours trekking). Mr. tumin Had been waiting us to take us back to Paiaman Guest House, where my Travel Car had been waiting for me to Take me Back to Padang ! THE END

Important Thing about Mt. Kerinci

Mt. Kerinci was one of the dirtiest mountain I’ve been up to. I’m sorry for saying that. During my visit to Mt. Kerinci, I nearly couldn’t found a path without rubbish such as, Mineral water bottles, Instant noodles packs, biscuits packs, candy packs, chocolate pakcs, etc. Mt.Kerinci is very dirty at that time ! It is because a lot of irresponsible people climb Mt.Kerinci. Everyone who visit any mountains anywhere should become responsible hikers, put their first priority concern to trash and such a thing. If it is not us who concern, who else does ?


  1. Paiaman Guest House should be your “Trusted” Guest House in Kersik Tuo Village. Reach them up through this number 0853-777-14-001.
  2. Where ever your come from, do not over pack your logistic. Since in Kayu Aro – Kersik tuo already provide all your logistic needs for hiking,from gas, foods, equipment to rent and etc.
  3. Don’t bother to bring a lot of cash since there are ATM around Kersik Tuo.
  4. Consider, to use local guide/porter service.
  5. You can make a reservation for a car from Padang – Kersik Tuo, the fare is around IDR 150 – 175, reserved by phone ! SKW travel 0813-6339-9897.
  6. Paiaman Guest House could arrange your accommodation to and from Padang.

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