This route is the most challenging of the most popular routes.
Day 1: Umbwe gate - the Forest Caves; 7-8 hours walk
Follow the track up through the forest. The track becomes a path and continues through the forest on a ridge between two valleys. In some parts you may have to scramble up steep sections of the path using tree roots for support. Continue through occasional red paint marks on the trees, to reach the forest caves (2850m).
Day 2: Forest Caves - Barranco Hut; 5 km; 4-5 hours walk.
From the caves continue following the path up the ridge. The path exits the forest and passes through heather, and then open moorland, where the main peaks first come into clear view. You keep right to reach Barranco Hut (3950m).
Day 3: Barranco Hut - Lava Tower; 3 hours walk.
The trek continues keeping left at the junction of animal bones, and forking right in the valley when you reach the large stream flowing South-West to Lava Tower Hut (4600m).
Day 4: Lava Tower - Arrow Glacier; 4 hours walk.
Keep right (east) and continue up over the steep Lava Tower west. The path becomes increasingly steep until you reach a flat platform at the base of western breach, the site of Arrow Glacier Hut (4800m).
Day 5: Arrow Glacier - Uhuru Peak - Mweka Camp; 14 km; 4-5 hours walk.
You start this day very early in the morning, to see the sunrise at the crater rim and to avoid the fog. The snow on the ascent will still be frozen. From the peak (5896m) you descend steeply downhill through patchy giant heather to reach Mweka Hut (3100m).
Day 6: Mweka Camp - Mweka Gate; 14 km; 5-7 hours walk.
Descend through the steep forest on narrow path, along the crest of broad ridge between two river valleys to Mweka gate. Transfer to your overnight hotel in town.