Mount Sibayak



Berneh / Semangat Gunung

10 – 30 minutes



If you are planning some treks in Sumatra, then you should not miss Mount Sibayak. This mountain offers, of course, different sightseeing from other Indonesian mountains. To not waste the time, sulfur fumes, a sulfur lake, natural thermal springs are waiting for you.

Mount Sibayak

Mount Sibayak is located in Karo Regency, North Sumatra. Karo people call the mountain Sibayak “Mountain of a King”. Mount Sibayak is a volcano that erupted the last year 1881. The mountain is located about 50 kilometers southwest of Medan. Mount Sibayak is one of the volcanos in Karo highlands, with an altitude of 2,094 meters above sea level. The highest peak of Mount Sibayak is commonly called Takal Kuda in Karo language which means “Horse’s Head”. The natural area of Mount Sibayak is under the auspices of the North Sumatra Provincial Forestry Service. The name Sibayak comes from a local story about four kings who ruled the land of Karo. With the terrain that is not so difficult, anyone can travel to this mountain in a day.

How You Get There

You can choose several routes that are described from the topographic map of the hike. There are routes with different levels of difficulty that are still quite extreme, moderate, and high. Although there are still untouched trails, the followings are the common ones.

1. King Berneh (Raja Berneh), for beginners

One of the trekking routes from the foot of the mountain is the village of Raja Berneh or Berna known to the locals as the “Mount Spirit Village”. It is about 15 kilometers from Berastagi. This short trail is the most convenient one because the terrain is relatively smooth. This route is very suitable for you who are still beginners because it can be passed by vehicles and only takes dozens of minutes. The village also has a panoramic expanse of vegetables and fruits that grow lush and the air is cool. Along the way, you will see locals’ houses. They are still faithful to keep the authenticity of traditional architecture which is transformed into the typical traditional houses of Batak Karo.

2. Jarang Uda

Located about 3 kilometers from Berastagi, Jarang Uda village is at the foot of Mount Sibayak. Through this route, you will be presented with an uphill view with a stretch of trees and plantations of residents. You will also pass the zone of natural thermal springs. You can take public transportation to Jarang Uda village which will take you to the hike starting point. Most tourists usually choose this path because of the distance and the hike takes 2 to 3 hours.

3. Trail “54”

Of the available options, trail 54 is considered the most difficult and challenging route. For this reason, this route is more suitable for experienced hikers. The path conditions are quite steep and dangerous, so the trek can take up to 4-6 hours. The name “54” itself is used because the location of this route is right in front of the marker stone at a distance of 54 kilometers from the center of Medan city. You can find this route in Doulu II Village by referring to the Penatapan area which is famous as a grilled corn quarter on the side of the highway.

What You Can Enjoy

Some of enjoyable attractions you can see here are:

1. Fresh mountainous water

Mount Sibayak’s forest is under the protection of the government. The area is part of the Bukit Barisan Forest Park or mostly known by Indonesians as Tahura (Taman Hutan Raya). This park is the third Tahura in Indonesia. Along the trekking, you can see the beauty of the forest and the arrangement of cliffs and hills around. During the trip, you will also find water flowing between the mountain rocks which is very refreshing. This mountain water has been reserved as one of the sources for mineral water packaging products. As the water is fresh, hygienic and very clear, you can drink it directly during your trek. The locals also consume this water.

2. Enchantment of Mount Sibayak crater

At the top of Mount Sibayak, you will be welcomed by another charm, a sulfur crater covering an area of 4 ha. You can also hear a whistle produced from the pressure of sulfur fumes coming from the crater holes with a diameter of about 10 centimeters. Lake formed on the crater that is flooded by sulfur water has become a favorite spot among hikers for photo shooting. You will also see an exotic view of an area covered with white and black rocks as a result of the eruption. This volcanic mountain is still actively emitting smoke with a height of up to two kilometers and has been recorded producing smoke blobs that come from the heat of the earth. These sources of heat are used as a central steam-electric power station in Karo Regency.

3. Takal Kuda (Horse’s Head), the summit      

Mount Sibayak has at least three peaks and all three are possible to hike. The highs have become the main attraction of this mountain. The highest peak is referred to as Takal Kuda which means horse’s head. It has the characteristics of volcanic rocks that are beautiful to look at from a distance or up close.

4. Panorama from the top of the mountain      

From the peak area, you can see the view of Mount Sinabung standing proudly with its beauty. The scenery is identical to the cliffs and green expanses that will captivate your eyes. The extent of settlements and villages at the foot of the mountain can be seen from a height. The overlay view of the landscape of the town Berastagi and Medan by the flickering light of the lamp can be seen from a distance. Besides, you should not forget the sunrise. To hunt the sunrise from the top of Mount Sibayak, you need to hike over early. You need to start at 2:00 early in the morning to hunt your wanted moment. From the Takal Kuda, you can enjoy the moments of sunrise greeting from behind the clouds. The view from the summit of the mountain which always becomes the target of most hikers would definitely make anyone amazed.

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