The hiking trails on Mount Rinjani in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, are set to be closed to hikers for three months, from Jan. 1 until March. 31.
Mount Rinjani National Park (TNGR) head R. Agus Budi Santoso told Antara news agency on Wednesday that the trails would be closed due to extreme weather and also to restore the ecosystem in the national park.
Agus mentioned that there were four official hiking trails located in Sembalun and Timbanuh in East Lombok regency; Senaru, North Lombok regency; and Aik Berik, Central Lombok regency. Those coming from other trails are considered to be carrying out illegal hiking.
The 3,672-meter mountain is among Lombok’s tourism icons. Mt. Rinjani is recognised for its beautiful mountain top and a crater lake shaped like a crescent moon named Segara Anak.
The national park recorded that up to 13,956 people had climbed the mountain in 2010. Last year, the number increased to 93,018 people or 666.51 per cent higher.
Agus explained that other national parks, such as Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in East Java and Mount Gede Pangrango National Park in West Java, would also close their hiking trails due to extreme weather.
However, the closing schedule varies, depending on the weather condition in each mountain.