Mt. Ulap, known for its beautiful ridges of grassland, endless skies, and pine trees, has captured my heart deeply.
Although I know God will still bring me to more beautiful mountains, this one in particular stays in my heart for more than I could remember.
Maybe because I am particularly fond of pine trees, cool breeze and green ridges, I guess? I don’t know. But there is really something in Mt. Ulap that keeps me wanting back to him.
MT. ULAP ECO-TRAIL
- Itogon, Benguet
- Entry point: Brgy. Ampucao, Itogon
- Exit point: Brgy. Sta. Fe, Itogon
- LLA: 16.2904 N, 120.6312 E, 1846 MASL (Mt. Ulap)
- Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2-3 hours
- Specs: Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3,
- Features: Grassland and pine ridges, scenic views of the Cordilleras, burial caves
Mt. Ulap Day Hike
Drew Rivera, the team lead of my first hike at Mt. Maynoba, informed me that he has a new event in Mt. Ulap in Benguet which really got me excited! I asked some of my friends and luckily, Michael Ranola and Erica Poyauan (together with her friend Lady and cousin Marlon) joined me in this trip.
After almost 5 hours travel time from Manila to Benguet, our team started the hike with reminders from our team lead and local tour guide Edu Losnong and also a prayer for everyone’s safety.
At around 4AM, we started the trek and I cannot contain my happiness! That feeling of, ‘Yes, yes! Ang saya saya mag lakad ng madilim pa. Tapos malamig, tapos, tapos. Haha!’ Okay, overacting. But yes, I was really excited. Haha!
I was just so happy that my friend Erica was with me because she also loves taking pictures. Glad that our local guide is an expert photographer as well! I so love this team!
Ambanao Paoay, as our local guide said, means vast ridges of grassland and endless skies of blue.
I don’t know if I should be sad because we don’t have clearing that day because I really love how foggy the place is.
Here are some of the photos from Erica on our way to Gungal Rock.
Gungal Rock Peak
After a couple of hours, we reached Mt. Ulap’s Gungal Rock.
Some of them went up to for the photo ops but I just feel like I’m gonna roll there anytime since I don’t have my eyeglasses with me so, I just took some of their photos.
After some picture taking, we moved forward and took our lunch alongside Gungal Rock and we saw how ‘buwis buhay’ those photo ops are!
But aside from our hearts racing for the other hikers taking photos on the rock, I am more fascinated with all the greens around me. It’s like God was saying that, ‘I know what you love. And here it is. This is my precious gift to you today.’ He is the sweetest!
Before we reached the summit we encountered a number of assaults. Nakakapagod but those gave us opportunities to take photos as a group.
Mt. Ulap Dayhike Itinerary and Expenses
DAY 0 – SUNDAY
- 09:00PM – McDonald’s Panay Ave.
- 10:00PM – Departure from McDonald’s going to Ampucao, Itogon Benguet via rented van
Day 1 – MONDAY
- 02:00AM – Arrival Sison, Pangasinan breakfast at Leeza’s restaurant, secure and buy food.
- 03:30AM – Arrival at Brgy. Ampucao | Registration | Secure Guides
- 04:00AM – Start Trek (witness sunrise along the trail)
- 05:30AM – Arrival Ambanao Paoay Peak 1
- 06:45AM – Arrival Gungal Rock Peak 2 | Rest | Photo ops
- 08:30AM – Arrival Mt. Ulap Summit Peak 3 | Full Rest
- 09:00AM – Start Descent to Brgy. Sta Fe
- 10:30AM – Arrival at Sta. Fe Jump off, wash up, tidy up then travel to Baguio
- 11:30AM – Arrival Baguio City lunch at Goodtaste, City Tour, Buy pasalubong
- 05:00PM – Departure from Baguio, travel back to Manila
- 10:00PM – Arrival back to Manila (Uwian na)