Mt Kelud, Among Indonesia’s Most Active Craters
Together with the Merapi Volcano, Mount Kelud belongs to the club of the most powerful volcanoes of Indonesia. Its eruptions have always been very explosive and very large.
From the snaky road leading to the crater, you can’t miss the bizarre-shaped huge rock, actually part of the crater rim. The crater used to be home to a lake, but it completely disappeared with the last eruption.
In late 2007, the Indonesian authorities evacuated tens of thousands of people before the eruption. In the following weeks, a lava dome was pushed out from the lake, ending up covering the whole lake as it grew in size. That’s the rocky “hill” you can see in the panorama.
This volcano is much less visited than the super famous Mount Bromo or Kawah Ijen, but it is worth stopping by its crater. The environment is very different from these other volcanoes. The lava dome is a real curiosity, I had never seen something like that before. The crater walls full of greenery and the calm could trick you in thinking that this is a peaceful place, but the slightly smoking lava dome reminds you the potential destructive power of the volcano.
Kelud Volcano is not very easy to reach. The road to the crater is narrow and snaky. You will either have to be renting a car like I did to go around Java, or arrange a transportation from your hotel in nearby cities like Kediri, Blitar or Malang. After you park your car, you can access the crater via a tunnel.
That day was rainy. The road leading to the crater already has many sharp turns and steep slopes, the rain didn’t help the driving. The rain stopped to let me take my panorama and walk around a tiny bit. The dark clouds added some drama to this already impressive place.
Update: Mt Kelud has erupted in 2014, changing the geography of the place once again. The landscape is of course much less green after the eruption has killed the vegetation. The access to the crater is now limited and you can’t go as far as before. The lava dome visible in this panorama is of course gone after the eruption and a new crater lake has appeared.
Address: Jl. Gn; Kelud, Blitar, East Java, Indonesia
GPS: 7°56’15.22″S, 112°17’49.35″E
Best way to go: Rented car or arranged visit from Blitar.
Entrance: Rp. 5,000 (0.40 USD) per person.
Best season: June to October.