Mt. Ulap, Benguet
There’s a number of mountains in Benguet and one of the famous choices of mountaineers is Mt. Ulap located in Itogon, Benguet. Mt. Ulap showcases a stunning view and an endless sea of clouds which makes the hike more special and exciting to climb. Grassland and pine ridges, burial caves and a scenic view of the Cordilleras comprises its stunning views on top.
The Mt. Ulap traverse coming to popularity has served as a major reason for other mountains to open up as a hiking destination in the region and hopefully, people will come to realize that Benguet is not only about Mt. Pulag or Mt. Ugo.
Mt. Ulap is also the best choice for pre-climb in major hikes in the region since you can conquer Mt. Ulap in a day hike of 3-5 hours and in a trail class of 1-3 and a 3/9 difficulty. Moreover, trail runners have been targetting the mountain as well for its spectacular features and its accessibility. Just a 40-minute ride from Baguio City is a memorable hiking experience.
Contact No.: Brgy. Ampucao Tourism – 0998-9589549
How To Get There:
Ride a bus from Cubao Victory Liner Station to Baguio. Bus fare is about PHP445.00 and travel time is 6-7 hours depending on traffic.
Option 1: Via Jeepney
Ride a jeepney bound to Brgy. Ampucao and tell the jeepney driver that you are going to Mt. Ulap so they could drop you to the jumpoff point where you can register and pay the necessary fees. Jeepney fare is PHP50.00 and travel time is about 40-50 minutes. The jeepney terminal is located near Center Mall Baguio City. The jeepney drivers in Baguio are very kind and matulungin so don’t be shy to ask around.
Option 2: Via Taxi
You can always hire a taxi to go to Mt. Ulap’s jumpoff point. PHP500.00 for a one-way fare is reasonable.
Option 3: Private Vehicle
From Baguio, take the road to Itogon or Philex then to Brgy. Ampucao.
Jeepney Fare: PHP100.00 roundtrip fare
Guide Fee: PHP600.00 (required)
Entrance Fee: PHP100.00/pax
0100 Take a bus from Cubao to Baguio
0700 ETA Baguio, take a jeepney bound to Brgy. Ampucao
0740 ETA Brgy. Ampucao then head to Brgy. Hall for registration and securing guide
0800 Start trek
1030 ETA Gungal Rock
1130 ETA Mt. Ulap Summit, photo-op and lunch break
1230 ETD Summit to exit point
1500 ETA Sta. Fe exit point, side-trip to mini-waterfall and wait for jeepney to Baguio
1600 ETA Baguio back to Manila
2300 ETA Manila
Mt. Ulap 3 Peaks:
🌸 Ambanaw Paway: 1st Peak
Mt. Ulap comprises of 3 peaks and the first peak which can be achieved in 1 and a half hour is the Ambanaw Paway. The first peak is a wide greenery grassland. There’s an optional hill that you can climb and there’s one standing tree on top of it where we spend an hour break to take our lunch. Some hikers did not climb the hill since it’s optional and not part of the trail. Although I still recommend you guys to check it out.
Spectacular Views and Photo-Ops on our way to 1st peak:
There are a few stunning points where you can take a photo if you’re a vain Filipina like me. Well, in my defense, our guide always proposes to get a picture of us so we could enjoy our hike. She’s actually right, take nothing but photos and leave nothing but footprints.
🌸 Gungal Rock: 2nd Peak
You can’t leave the second peak without taking a photo of you on the famous cliff. The Gungal Rock formation is quite popular and is one of the main reasons why a lot of people chooses to hike Mt. Ulap. Although a lot has mistaken it as the summit, it’s still just the second peak of Mt. Ulap and not yet the highest point.
For people who have fear of heights, they would probably chicken out on this. As for me, I didn’t get this far to pour chicken sauce on me so I shake away the fear and did what I have to do. Just don’t forget to always practice extra caution. Don’t always be the person of in-the-name-of-adventure, no! SAFETY IS ALWAYS FIRST, you guys!
Spectacular Views and Photo-Ops on our way to 2nd Peak:
Mt. Ulap traverse is also an endless photo-op on a cliff. Yeah, that’s another cliff! On our way to Gungal Rock is another wonderful view! I so love our guide because she again proposed to do the honor of taking a photo of us.
🌸 Mt. Ulap: 3rd Peak
And finally, the summit! It doesn’t have much of the spectacular rock formations like Gungal Rock’s but the feeling of finally conquering the highest peak after hours of hiking and walking is just so incredible. The 3rd peak composes of a wide greenery grassland like the 1st peak and a lot of cows which I found really funny because they’re cows and they don’t know they’ve conquered the highest peak.
Since there’s a thick fog and we barely see our trail, we failed to see the view on top. We’re supposed to wait there for an hour to let the fog drift away but our guide said that it might rain anytime soon so better to descend after 20 minutes. But it’s fine because the thick fog just made our hike extra special. It’s not every day you experience that in a busy city.
On our way to 3rd Peak:
This trail on our way to 3rd peak is a cliff-edge trail. When I first saw the path, I got really nervous and all because that’s a cliff-edge! But I realized that it’s actually a lot harder when you think of it. Our guide took this photo because she said it’s gonna be amazing, and she’s right!
Waterfall plus Hanging Bridge Side-Trip:
Our guide was kind enough to let us bathe in a waterfall we came across to which was at the end of the trail. Not all hikers stop by to check this mini-waterfall since it’s not along the trail but we still did check it out. We were so exhausted especially our feet and it’s just so relieving to wash it with a refreshing cold water. It was worth it!
The hanging bridge, on the other hand, is part of the trail on your way down. There were 2 hanging bridges and according to our guide that once we pass through the 1st and 2nd hanging bridge, the trek is almost finished.