Mount Kitanglad is the fourth highest mountain in the Philippines. This mountain range includes Mt. Dulang-Dulang, which is the second highest mountain in the country. The range is located in Bukidnon, Mindanao and is rich in biodiversity. Hikers enter mossy jungles and foggy trades surrounded by all kinds of different species of plants and animals. Those lucky enough may catch glimpses of rare creatures such as the Philippine eagle and pygmy bats. Once you reach the summit, you will witness the beauty of the lengthy mountain range. The hike will be worth it once you see the different peaks of nearby mountains and watch the sunrise in the morning.
The Kitanglad mountain range is also home to the native tribe of Talaandig. This is considered as their ancestral domain, giving them the right to perform sacred rituals before a group is allowed to climb.
As for its climate, Mount Kitanglad is known to experience short dry seasons. Temperature drops as cool wind blows through the trees. Be reminded to make necessary research should you choose to go on this particular hike. Also, since electricity is available on the summit, electric wires run near the hiking area. Be sure to take necessary safety precautions when climbing up this mountain range.
Elevation: 2,899 m above sea level
Days needed to complete hike: 1 to 2 days
Average hike duration to reach summit (From jump-off point): 4 to 6 hours
Major jump-off point: Sitio Intavas, La Fortuna, Impasugong, Bukidnon
This particular trail is a much shorter version of the Dulang-Dulang to Kitanglad traverse trail. But rest assured, the sights and scenic landscapes do not fall short in astounding climbers. With just a few hours away from the jump-off point, you will encounter a first glimpse of “aerial roots” or hanging roots. This is one of the highlights of the climb as you witness the natural art winding through the thick jungle.
One unexpected surprise for most visitors is the working electricity in the summit of the Kitanglad mountain range. You may opt to stay at the bunk house in the summit than pitch your tent. Since it tends to get chilly in the mountains, you can escape the cold by choosing to stay at the bunk house.
Mt. Dulang-Dulang – Kitanglad Traverse Trail
Difficulty: Very Hard
Days needed to complete hike: 3 to 4 days
Average hike duration to reach summit (From jump-off point): 18 to 19 hours
Starting point: Sitio Bol-ogan, Brgy. Songco, Lantapan
Ending point: Sitio Intavas, La Fortuna, Impasugong, Bukidnon
This traverse trail allows hikers to see another part of the Kitanglad mountain range. Most would consider this as one of the hardest hikes in the Philippines. Starting the trek on the second highest mountain in the Philippines, Mount Dulang-Dulang, climbers are able to experience the challenging trail. It encompasses of very steep slopes with mossy landscapes. Keep in mind that this is an especially hard hike. This trail is definitely not for the faint hearted!
You may also choose to start the hike on Mt. Kitanglad and then traverse to Mt. Dulang-Dulang.
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:
(Cagayan de Oro – Impasugong – Jump-off point)
The Kitanglad mountain range is located in Northern Mindanao. From Manila (Luzon), hikers usually take a plane to get to Cagayan de Oro (Mindanao). It is important to note that climbers should coordinate with locals for a more convenient journey. Since it is very hard to do the hike with little knowledge, it is smart to bring along a local to act as a guide.
From CDO, your group may proceed to ride a jeepney to Impasugong, where the jump-off point is located. Make sure you secure proper permits from DENR Bukidnon. You will need to register and receive further instructions about your trek up the mountain.
Mt. Dulang-Dulang – Kitanglad Traverse Trail
(Cagayan de Oro – Malaybalay – Jump-off point)
Similar to the previous trail, hikers must proceed to Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao. Local guides are also recommended for easier process. Upon arrival to CDO, go on to Agora Terminal and take a bus to Malaybalay.
From Malaybalay, ride a jeepney to Lantapan. This is where hikers make a courtesy call to the Datu of Talaandig tribe. Also, final arrangements and rituals are done here. After everything is finished, you are ready to start your trek!