Gunung Penanggungan is also called as the miniature of Mt Semeru as the summit is a barren. Its height is 1653 m asl, and the summit consists of rock and rarely overgrown by trees, that from far away it looks like a bald head. At night the temperature at the peak can reach to 10-15 deg while at day around 15 to 25 deg. There is a cave, Botol Cave, that was recently found located on Mt Penanggungan that can accomodate 15 people. The cave is located 500 m from the summit on the west direction. There are 2 entrances of the cave. One entrance from upper side. The cave room is in L shape. The entrance faces north and south and 2 meters depth. This cave is used as shelter for climbers from wind, rain and cold temperature.
From the foot of Mt penanggungan there are several protected forest with trees such as jempurit, kluwak, ingas, kemiri, dawung, bendo, wilingo and jabon. Under the trees grow spices such as turmeric, laos, ginger, and smal flowers. The lush trees cause the area humid, sunlight does not shower the earth surface entirely. The slope is overgrown with Calliandra calothyrsus, Resap, Pundung and Sono. Red Calliandra dominates the slope, though it grows stunted in the middle of grass. On the top, there are only gebutan roots grow through hard rock of Mt Penanggungan.
Mt Penanggungan climbing route is flat, awry, hilly and has ravines. On the foot of the mountain, the track is flat for 2 km and then followed by 30 to 40 deg slope. On the middle of the route, the slope is very steep, 40 to 50 deg for 1 km. Closer to the summit, there are ravines of 50 60 deg, and rocky track fro 2 km. Then followed by avery steep, slippery, and slope track of 60-80 deg for 1.5 km. At the summit, there are rocks and there is a 4 ha cavity, could be a inactive crater. The cavity can be used as camping site and suitable to enjoy beautiful night. To get to the summit of Mt Penanggungan, there are 4 climbing routes, via Trawas, Jolotundo, Ngoro and Pandaan. If climbers climb via Jolotundo and Ngoro, along the track will pass historical temples.
Trawas Climbing Route
To get to Trawas, from Surabaya or Malang, to Pandaan and then take minibus to Trawas. From Trawas, Mojokerto to Rondokuning village (6 km) by 2 wheels or 4 wheels vehicle. From Rondokuning passing footpath natural forest for 3 hours and along the track there are scenery among calliandra trees, and summit of Mt Bekel, the child of Mt Penanggungan looks very spooky. Houses, factories, sawah can be seen down the mountain.
To reach to Jolotundo from Trawas, we should take another minibus for 9 km. Jolotindo village is one of villages located nearby Mt Penanggungan. This route takes 3 hours to top through jungle and 40 deg slope through narrow path. On the left and right side there are big tress, and be careful here as sometimes will make you lost. After hiking for an hour, there are lush calliandra trees and the track is steep. 30 minutes later, passing Batu talang, a 7 km long rock from the neck of Mt Penanggungan to Jolotundo village and Balekambang village. From Batu Talang, then proceed deeper to calliandra forest, after 300 meters, you will arrive at Candi Putri remain from Airlangga period in non-intact condition with size of 74×74 m. Candi Putri is surrounded by lush calliandra forrest. 200 meters from Candi putri, located Candi Pure, a temple made of andesit blocks. 150 meters from Candi Pure lies Candi Gentong, where there is located a table and a barrel made of andesit blocks.. Gentong (barrel) is 40 cm diamete on its lip and 90 cm on its middle and 15 cm thick. And the table is 175 smx 100 cm and 125 cm high. 50 meters from Candi Gentong located Candi Shinto. This temple is a bad condition with size of 6mx 6 mx 3m and located in area of Seloliman. After passing 300 meters through forest , there are another temple Candi Carik and Candi Lurah, and the the summit of Mt Penanggungan.
To reach Ngoro can be via Pandaan or Mojokerto. The village to start climbing is Genting village, where climbers should pass through forest and thenpassing Candi Wayang and after 2 km there is a very steep track of 70-80 deg. This route is more difficult than via Jolotundo.