Mt. Timbak

Wyatt in Mt. Timbak

Mount Timbak is considered the 9th highest mountain in the Philippines. However, despite its amazing height, this peak can be reached on just a day trip. With only a few hours of trekking through its small villages and vegetable farms, hikers can already reward themselves of the nice view up at the summit. This helped the mountain gain its popularity among avid hikers, beginner or experienced ones. The summit offers a nice view of nearby peaks, such as Mount Pulag and Mount Tabayoc.

Aside from this, the Timbak Mummies and Tinongchol caves are also one of the must-sees during this hike. This site has already been featured in several local and international travel magazines and blogs. The mummies can be found in the caves and the person in-charge will gladly show you the site and answer your questions, with a fee of course! But all is worth it as you catch a glimpse of another wonder the Philippine mountains hold. Be mindful of your actions inside the caves though! The mummies are delicate artifacts and must not be disturbed as to preserve it for many more years to come.

That’s not all Mount Timbak has to offer. Why not go on this hike and discover more attractions yourself? From a quick day hike to a full 4-day adventure on three different mountains, Mount Timbak is the place to go for both beginner and expert climbers alike! Do expect the temperature to get quite cold, especially up at the summit. Prepare appropriate clothing and hiking gear should you choose to go on this adventure!​

Elevation: 2,717 m above sea level

Wyatt in Mt. Timbak
Wyatt in Mt. Timbak

Mount Timbak

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: Km 55, Halsema Highway, Atok, Benguet

Most hikers choose to take on this short day trip as they hike up Mount Timbak. From the jump-off point, you will start your journey on a cemented road. You will eventually reach the Timbak Elementary School and this is where your hike officially begins. You will pass through small towns where you will meet some of the locals. Hikers can catch a glimpse of their lifestyle as they go about their day in the village or in the vegetable farms, which serve as their livelihood. Be careful not to step on their crops though!

Hikers can reach the summit after about an hour to two depending on the pacing. Expect a wonderful view of a sea of clouds with a few nearby mountains peaking through the white expanse. Mount Timbak’s summit itself is marked with three large white crosses. This is called the “Mini Cavalry” and is one of the icons of the mountain. Spend some time here on the peak and enjoy the cool mountain breeze.​ 

The Timbak Mummies can be accessed a few minutes from the elementary school. So, plan your trek wisely to get the most out of it!​

Traverse to Kabayan Barrio

Difficulty: Moderate

Days needed to complete hike: 1 day

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

Starting point: Km 55, Halsema Highway, Atok, Benguet

Exit point: Kabayan Barrio, Benguet

Another trail option for Mount Timbak is the traverse trail. It starts off on the same path as the traditional trail which is Km 55. Hikers will pass through the same villages and vegetable patches, all up until you reach the summit. Once you start your descent, you will be surprised on how much harder it becomes as compared to the hike up. It takes around 4 hours to finish the trail, and expect to go through a slightly challenging path. From the start of the descent, you will see a lot of pine trees. Hikers will mostly pass through a cemented road, although there are rocky paths and sloping roads. For sure this is an exhausting descent, so stock up on your water supply and extra energy!

Wyatt in Mt. Timbak
Wyatt in Mt. Timbak

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 Timbak

(Baguio City – Km 55 – Jump off point)

From Baguio City, ride a bus bound for Bontoc or Sagada. Get off at Km 55 of Halsema Highway. Proceed to the jump-off point located very near here. Don’t be afraid to ask the locals for directions if you are unsure of where to go.

Another alternative for the day hike would be to bring your own private transportation or hire a jeepney service to take you to the jump-off point. You may go directly to the Timbak elementary school and begin your hike there.

There are no permits necessary before you climb Mount Timbak. Guides are also not mandatory. Nevertheless, be mindful of where you’re going and be responsible of your own trash as you go on your journey.​

A few reminders: Mount Timbak is ​sacred to locals. When you're in the summit, make sure to be silent. Also, picture taking with the mummies are not allowed. If you happen to do so, just don't upload it on social media. We have to respect the locals' beliefs and culture.

Wyatt in Mt. Timbak
Wyatt in Mt. Timbak

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