Mt. Pulag

Mt. Pulag

Mount Pulag is the third highest mountain in the Philippines and the highest peak in Luzon. Because of this, many mountaineers, professionals and amateur alike, dream to reach its summit. Hikers can expect to be rewarded a majestic view of a "sea of clouds". With mountaintops peaking through the white expanse of fluffy cottons, it truly is a sight to behold. As natives would call it, it is literally the “playground of gods”.

But even on your journey up this steep mountain, the trails already display scenic landscapes, which can take your breath away - rolling hills, mossy forests, wide grasslands. Mt. Pulag brings you close to nature. It is home to a wild array of rare species such as dwarf bamboo, Benguet pines and cloud rats. It is a bird sanctuary, where birds sing to you as you make your way through their homes. The long hike is all worth it once you see the wonders of this mountain.

So, what more can we say? If you’re looking for an adventure that’ll make you one with nature, Mt. Pulag should be your next adventure! Beware of cold temperature though. Rainfall is to be expected, most especially in August to January, while temperature in the summit is known to reach sub-freezing levels. To have a hassle free adventure, make sure to do necessary research before your trip!​

Elevation: 2,922 m above sea level

Wyatt in Mt. Pulag
Wyatt in Mt. Pulag

Ambangeg Trail

Difficulty: Moderate

Days needed to complete hike: 1 to 2 days

Average hike duration to reach summit (From jump-off point): 4 to 5 hours

Major jump-off point: Ambangeg Ranger Station, Bokod, Benguet

Ambangeg trail is the most common trail used by hikers. It is the easiest way to the top and perfect for first time climbers of Mt. Pulag. With an 8-kilometer trek from the Ranger Station, hikers will be rewarded with the picturesque view of the trail. You will be surrounded by various species of plants, flowers adding color to the mossy forests.

There are three campsites to choose from if you want to spend a few hours of rest. Camp 1, relatively close to the start of your journey, is located within the forest. Camp 2 is a little farther out, much nearer the grassy area of the trek. It takes around 3 hours from the Ranger Station to Camp 2. Camp 3, or more popularly called as the Saddle Campsite, is located near the summit.

Akiki Trail

Difficulty: Hard

Days needed to complete hike: 2 to 3 days

Average hike duration to reach summit (From jump-off point): 10 to 11 hours

Major jump-off point: Brgy. Doacan, Kabayan (Akiki), Benguet

Dubbed as the “Killer Trail”, Akiki trail is one of the most challenging trails to hike up Mt. Pulag. From start to finish, hikers should expect steep slopes on their way to the summit. However, the trail boasts a diverse view of forests and grasslands. The trail passes by Eddet River and scenic slopes Marlboro Country. These, together with the Saddle campsite, are areas where you can rest and enjoy the view.

Tawangan Trail

Difficulty: Hard

Days needed to complete hike: 2 to 3 days

Average hike duration to reach summit (From jump-off point): 10 to 11 hours

Major jump-off point: Sitio Labang, Brgy. Tawangan, Kabayan, Benguet

Another trail mountaineers may opt to take would be the Tawangan trail. Just like the other trails up Mt. Pulag summit, Tawangan trail also displays an amazing view of mossy forests, grasslands and scenic landscapes. DENR has set up several markers wherein campers may stay and rest.

However, it is important to note that DENR has discouraged hikers to use the Tawangan trail. This is due to security concerns. It is still best to contact the center to ensure the safety of your trip.

Ambaguio Trail

Difficulty: Hard

Days needed to complete hike: 3 to 4 days

Average hike duration to reach summit (From jump-off point): 17 to 18 hours

Major jump-off point: Ambaguio Poblacion, Nueva Vizcaya

Ambaguio trail is the longest among the four trails up Mt. Pulag summit. Starting from Nueva Vizcaya, hikers can expect a different scenic route from those starting in Benguet. However, it is still as exciting as the others. You can still expect to pass through mossy forests and rolling grasslands. It has several hanging bridges, ranging from short to long ones.

Wyatt in Mt. Pulag
Wyatt in Mt. Pulag

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:

Ambangeg, Akiki, Tawangan Trails

(Baguio City – Visitors’ Center – Jump off points)

From Baguio City, you may choose to charter a jeepney to the Visitors’ Center. There are several monster jeepney rentals. Make sure to do some research before you go. Aside from renting, you may also opt to use the public bus. However, this may cause a delay on your adventure!

Once you reach the DENR Mt. Pulag National Park Visitors’ Center, you will need to register and take a quick orientation. This is to ensure hikers know the safety regulations and various rules and regulations when climbing Mount Pulag. Also, be sure to call DENR in advance to book your hike in order to avoid any unexpected inconvenience once you get there.​

After your stop at the Visitors’ Center, you are set to go to the different jump-off points of the various trails. This is where final arrangements, such as hiring guides and porters, will be made.

Ambaguio Trail

(Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya – Local Police Station – Jump off point)

For Ambaguio trail, your journey starts from Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. You may also choose to charter a jeepney to take you to the drop off point. But don’t forget to drop by the local police station to register your hike. Here, you will receive necessary precautions and briefing before you embark on your trek to the summit.

Wyatt in Mt. Pulag
Wyatt in Mt. Pulag

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