Mt. Balagbag

Wyatt in Mt. Balagbag

Mount Balagbag is another readily accessible hike from Metro Manila. Located in Rizal, this mountain is part of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. The trail is wide and relatively easy to navigate through. Hikers should expect to pass through exposed trails, with little to no tree cover. In recent years, the mountain has been left barren and dry because of illegal logging activities. This has left the mountain in a balding state. This calls for more efforts in preserving the mountain.

This easy day hike features waterfalls and small river crossings. Up at the summit, hikers get a nice view of the city below and neighboring peaks. It makes a good campsite for those wanting an overnight stay. It is wide, flat and flat. All in all, it is a pleasant trek up Mount Balagbag. Just be sure to plan your trip and check the weather. You wouldn’t want to get stuck with the sun burning your backs during your trek! To maximize the experience, try to drop by some side trips along the area.

Elevation: 777 m above sea level

Wyatt in Mt. Balagbag
Wyatt in Mt. Balagbag

Mount Balagbag

Karahume Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Days needed to complete hike: 1 day

Average hike duration to reach summit (From jump-off point): 1 to 2 hours

Major jump-off point: Sitio Karahume, Brgy. Macabud, Rodriguez, Rizal

There are many different trails up Mount Balagabag. The Karahume trail is one of them. This trail takes hikers to see the beautiful waterfalls of the mountain. Follow the path from the jump-off point until you reach a shallow river. A few more steps and you will reach your first waterfalls. Although, expect the first few ones to be minor falls. As you progress through your hike, you will reach the “Otso-otso” falls and “Kaytitinga” falls. You may opt to enjoy a quick dip in these two falls.

You will eventually reach the trail leading up to the peak. This intersection eventually leads to the traditional Balagbag trail, which will be discussed further below. Explore the peak before you begin your descent down to Licao-Licao.

Traditional Trail

Difficulty: Easy

Days needed to complete hike: 1 day

Average hike duration to reach summit (From jump-off point): 1 to 2 hours

Major jump-off point: Sitio Balagbag, Brgy. San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal

The much more popular trail up the summit of Mount Balagbag starts of in Sitio Balagbag. The path remains wide and open all throughout the trail. This offers hikers a nice view of the beautiful surroundings of Mount Balagbag. Follow the trail all the way up the summit and enjoy the nice view of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range. Cities, such as Manila and Rizal, are also seen from up there.

Wyatt in Mt. Balagbag
Wyatt in Mt. Balagbag

Balagbag – Maranat Traverse Trail

For those looking for a much more challenging and longer adventure, why not try out the Balagbag to Maranat traverse trail? Follow the same steps as the one above, passing through the many waterfalls and rivers. Once you’re ready to head on over to Mount Maranat, go to the river separating the two trails. On a good day, the crossing is easy. But if you go on a rainy day, prepare your climbing skills, as you'll be needing ropes for safety.

How to Get There

It’s important to plan your trip in advance to make sure you know exactly what to do and where to go on the day itself. Here are some ways to get to your destination:

Mount Balagbag Traditional Trail

(Tungko – Licao-Licao – Sitio Balagbag – Jump off point)

From Manila, take a jeep to Tungko. Once you reach the jeepney terminal, get off and transfer to another jeep bound for Licao-Licao. Lastly, you may either walk or hire a trike to take you to Sition Balagbag. This is where the jump-off point is. Remember to register your hike and pay the necessary fees.

Mount Balagbag Karahume Trail

(Tungko – Sitio Karahume – Jump off point)

Similar to the first instructions, ride a jeepney to Tungko. After which, hiker should transfer to a jeep headed for Karahume.

For those with private transportation, bringing your own vehicle to the area is much more convenient. Mount Balagbag is also a popular place for biking enthusiasts.​

Wyatt in Mt. Balagbag
Wyatt in Mt. Balagbag

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