I can still remember the last hike I did before pandemic dominated this planet. It was a minor hike in Tawi-Tawi’s humble mountains and it only lasted for about an hour or two to get to the peak. Every drop of my sweat racing down at the back of my shoulder as I try to keep my legs spontaneously climbing, hearing nothing but the whisper of nature in the wilderness and my breath struggling to keep up on its pacing. (Guide to Mt San Isidro)
I miss this kind of adventure — reminiscing the good old days out in the sun, out in the mountains, out in the wilderness and in between the dense forest covering the trail.
At last, the craving for this kind of adventure finally stopped. Last February 26 -27, Milo — my business partner in Yamang Pinas and I did a recent collaboration with The Camp Party — a group of backpackers/mountaineers residing in Pangasinan, to hack the tallest mountain in our home province Pangasinan. As a result, here is a Guide to Mt San Isidro to share our experience with you!
You can also watch our video on Youtube here: Mt. San Isidro (Yamang Pinas x The Camp Party)
FAQs About Mt. San Isidro in Pangasinan
- Trivia: Mt. San Isidro is the tallest mountain in Pangasinan that stands at an altitude of 2450 ft. above sea level.
- The tallest mounatin can be found in the municipality of Labrador in Pangasinan.
- How many hours does it take to climb the mountain? To get to the peak will take you about 3-5 hours depending on your pacing. For beginners, it would most likely take around 5 -6 hours.
- What is the level of difficulty? I could probably rate this hike to 3/9 difficulty. Given that there is water source, campsite and signal.
- Is there water source? YES. There are streams along the trail. Good news is, even in the campsite there’s water source available from a stream not too far from the campsite!
- Is it safe to climb the mountain? YES. Locals and other tourists are climbing this mountain.
- Phone reception? Yes. Both Globe and Smart users have signal.
- Did you know? You have an option to (1) hike the mountain on foot or (2) ride a habal-habal up to the peak. The fare depends on your negotiating skills but the range is usually around Php 700 – 1,000.
Guide to Mt San Isidro
From the jump-off point, the trek will start with a rocky trail. The trail for almost 80% of the hike doesn’t include trees for shade. Therefore, it would be better to start the trek as early as sunrise and don’t forget to bring cap/sun visor with you and put on some sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV ray.
The first campsite with water source and cottage is about 2 hours away depending on your pacing. For beginners, they could get to the camp for 2 hours and a half. But for experienced hikers, they could probably get to the camp for 1.5 hours.
A Rocky Trail Ahead
The next part of the trail after the campsite is still the same. It features a rocky trail and some part of it has trees covering the path but not all. You’ll get a breathtaking view of the West Philippine sea once you are nearing the summit top.
Our group is a mix of beginner hikers and experienced hikers. As far as I can remember, I was always the sweeper of the group. Lol. So even if I climbed a number of mountains before, I’d probably categorize myself back to beginner hiker again since my leg joint are out of practice. Haha! Also, the trail was too hot for me since we started the hike at 9AM. The heat is always my weakness so it’s probably the top reason that made me a snail hiker.
Reaching the Summit
The tower on top will be your landmark for the summit. However, in our case I wasn’t able to take a photo of the summit since it’s just a simple space of land, lol. I mean there’s nothing special with how it looks and honestly it’s not even picturesque for me. Our companion, Nats, told me that the campsite is the best spot. Since I was too excited enough to get there or it’s probably just my tired feet, we went straight to the campsite without even pausing at the summit to take some photos.
After about 2 hours, you will notice pine tree foliage covering the path. This is the part where the trail gives you a compliment of a cool atmosphere. So I suggest to take some time to breathe in the fresh air from nature. It’s not everyday you get the chance to inhale some fresh air.
Welcome to the campsite that will give you the best of both worlds. From sunset viewing on the opposite side and sunrise watching on the campsite’s side. The campsite will give you a refreshing feeling as it offers a breathtaking view of Pangasinan. Some of its prominent list of sights includes (1) Lingayen Gulf, (2) Sual plantation, (3) Alamino’s Hundred Islands, etc.
After arriving at the campsite around 4PM, we rested a bit and enjoyed the view before setting up our tents and hammocks.
My favorite time of the day is always the best. Mr. Sun is waving goodbye! It’s always the best time for me to reflect on what I did for the day. Self reflection while watching the sun set at the horizon is the most intimate gift I could ever give myself.
We watched the view as it slowly changed its colors. The skies that were painted with blue turned golden, symbolizing another day that passed. At night, the full moon gave us the light that we needed. I can’t remember if it was the city lights view from outside my tent or the stars I was looking at while my body sprawled down on the grass that I enjoyed so much that night.
Sea of Clouds in the Morning
No need to go to Sagada or Mountain Province to experience this. Sea of clouds in Pangasinan? Why not!
In the morning, the atmosphere turned really chilly that it woke me up in the morning. Unzipping my tent, I noticed that everywhere I look is white or covered with fog! The moment was too precious that I just chose to enjoy it instead of snapping some photos for the blog. Luckily, I was still able to take some photos. Lol.
For private tours, please contact The Camp Party! 🙂
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