It was 25th of March 2017, when another dream of mine came to reality. This day, I was not only glad to make it true, but I was immensely satisfied with what I experienced: the picturesque views (wherever you turn your sight), an opportunity to make new friends, and entering an unspoiled world that has left me marveling at the memory of it.

Mt. Ulap

  • Location: Itogon, Benguet
  • Jump Off: Bargy. Ampucao
  • Difficulty level: 3/9
  • Features: Grassland, 360 degree view of Cordillera and healthy pine trees.

Jests during the trail, scenic view points, photo opps, scented pine trees made me immune with the agony of the 4-hour trek towards the peak of the mountain. The weather, in addition, was calm and fair.

Our assault started at about 5:30AM after the orientation (Do’s and Don’t’s).

I’ve been to many mountains already, but the trails of Mt. Ulap were way easier to hike. It’s indeed a beginner-friendly hike; no treacherous ascend, rock climbing and rappeling. I expected to encounter boulders, though.

Paved road and healthy grass alongside marked  the first part of the trail. After that, we arrived at the point where we could try to wear traditional Igorot accessories. 

Soon after, we entered the second part of trail which was favorable because of the shades provided by the mighty pine trees. 

Brisk walking was not necessary (in our case) for we savored each step in the midst of bracing creation. The up and down trail was a witness to how we took delight in our walk as we got to know each other.

Our relentless hike continued until we reached a spot where we could clearly see a far-flung mountain ranges and inviting grassland. 

I caught myself being stunned by an unequivocal beauty -staring at them with one thing in mind, “God, You are beautiful beyond description”.

Not Christmas yet, but the pines thrilled me.

You will hear the pine trees singing of His love, and the mountains are praising His holy name.
While enjoying the relaxing view along the trail, we did not notice we had finally reached the first peak and the campsite 1. 

The highlight of every travel is when you learn and win a friend.
The ridge provided more breathtaking picture of nature and limitless open sky.

“Okay, smile”, “one, two, three, alright”, “one more, smile”, “another shot”, are the words we heard from each other as we try to get the best shot of ourselves in the place. People love to keep good memories.

Our facile assault continued. 

Another beautiful spot welcomed us as we ascended towards the summit. Everybody wanted to take a picturesque shot, hence, we had to wait in the queue to take our turn.

After almost 40 minutes of languid walking, we finally reach the 2nd peak -Gungal Rock. 

If Mt. Pico de Loro has a jaw-dropping monolith, Mt. Ulap has the famous Gungal Rock which happens to be the highlight of the whole climb. 

“In the presence of eternity, the mountains are as transient as the clouds” -Robert Green
Truly, nature doesn’t run out of piece that will satisfy your wandering soul.

After feeding our eyes with stellar views of nature, ’twas time to feed our grumbling stomach. Thanks to my friends for sharing their meal. (I wasn’t able to prepare my own)

We walked up the hill for one more hour to reach the highest peak of Mt. Ulap. It was around 11 in the morning when our team reached the summit. 

Even though we had more time to spend at the peak, we did not stay there that long; our team decided to descend the mountain instead.

As always, descending became rigorous since all your strength and energy were used up. Nonetheless, we still enjoyed our remaining time while leaving the mountain.

We had to pass through another series of up and down slopes and precipitous trail. 

It was 2PM when we traversed to Sta. Fe (2.5hrs of walk). There, our coaster was waiting; we took the chance to tidy up and prepare for our quick side trip to Baguio City.

We reached Baguio City at about 4PM. My friends and I went to Burnham Park to have our early dinner, and also to buy pasalubong.

Afterwards, we headed back to Manila.

Mt. Ulap brought me to a new level of climbing, not because of its rigid trail, but because of its immeasurable beauty. I won’t hesitate to come back if time permits. Mt. Ulap must be in every traveler’s bucket list.


• Get a confirmed reservation before the climb. Walk-in is discouraged.

• Better to get a package rather than DIY. (especially when your group is less than 10)

• Registration fee: Php 100.00/head

• Tour guide: Php 500.00/10pax (required)

For DIY:

 📍Get a confirmed reservation prior to arrival.

 📍Ride a bus from Cubao or Pasay to Baguio (Php 500.00 – Php 750.00)

 📍From Baguio, ride a Jeep to Brgy. Ampucao (jump off) (Php 50.00)

 📍Register at the jump off, pay registration fee and get a guide.