“When you think you can? YOU can! Nothing’s Impossible”
Location: Itogon, Benguet
Entrance: Brgy. Ampucao, Itogon
Exit: Brgy. Sta. Fe, Itogon
LLA: 16.2904 N, 120.6312 E, 1846 MASL (Mt. Ulap)
Hours to summit: 2-3 hours
Tour Guide Fee: Php 400.00 good for 1 or more persons
Entrance Fee: Php 100.00 per person
From superb mountains, pine trees and grassland, Mt. Ulap features the best of what the Cordilleras could bargain including a glimpse of Igorot’s culture with villages, burial caves and hanging bridges. Its Eco trail has a stretch of 8 kilometers through several peaks along Ampucao- Sta. Fe Ridge. It is best experience in dayhike.
THINGS TO BRING:
Here are some important things to bring that I personally very essentials:
1. Water to satisfy thirst
2. Foods to feed hungry tummies
3. Extra clothes
4. Umbrella in case it will rain
5. Flashlight for night and dawn hikers
6. Extra Battery / portable charger for low battery and empty phone
7. Camera and phone to capture moments
From preparation to the actual trail itself, I and my friend Flori were so excited to experience Mt. Ulap’s Eco-Trail. Because of our excitement, though we slept late we both woke up early as 11 pm haha. At least we got some sleep and prepared too early for our planned Dayhike Adventure.
We traveled from Philex accommodation to Barangay Ampucao where the registration is. We’re lucky because we got reserved a tour guide a day before to accommodate our eco trail adventure. She happened to be the sister of one of our employees in the company where we are also working.
After the registration, we started the trail with a body stretching. It’s better to be prepared than to shock our bodies, right? lol! Anyways, we started in Tomtombek. Actually there are 6 points in the trail that hikers must cross.
6 points of Mt. Ulap – Eco Trail are:
1. Tomtombek – starting point
2. Ambanao Paoay
4. Mt. Ulap - The Peak
5. Pong-ol Burial Cave
6. Sta. Fe – exit point
We started the trail as early as 4 am, it was a 1 hour hike going to Ambanao Paoay from Tomtombek. And because of our eagerness to see Mr. Golden Sun to rise, we were really too patient for him to rise. It was almost an hour of waiting then but it was really worth it. While at the peak of Ambanao Paoay, we both shouted because of our “Kilig” brought by the beauty of the sun and the cold breeze of the air. Best Feeling Ever! 😙
Following the steps of our tour guide, we’ve reached finally the Gungal. This point is where the famous rock located which I personally always seen in many reviews on the internet and where the best to take selfie. I thought it was scary to be in the rock but when I was there, all fears were gone.
About an hour again we hiked and reached The Peak of Mt. Ulap. To be on the top feels like we were in other country. The air is cold and breezing. We’ve seen some hikers as well at the peak that had their overnight.
Our next stop supposedly was the Pong-ol Burial Cave but unfortunately it was closed because of some improvements on-going. So we went down about an hour to an almost 90 degree slope to Sta. Fe our exit point. We’ve found houses, hanging bridges, sari-sari stores and souvenir stall while going down.
Many told us that Mt. Ulap Eco-Trail is not fun and so tiring, but for me and my friend, the trail is great really GREAT. It was pretty fun and a true adventure indeed. It gave us true happiness while at the peak. It made us shout on the top and smile even hiking at the very stiff part of the mountain. The views and the challenges that the eco trail have, gave us the sense of eagerness to hike more mountains in the future. As in, Best Hiking Experience so far!
I would love to hear any thoughts from you, kindly share that in the comment section below ^.^