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Reaching the Clouds – Mount Ulap, Itogon, Benguet, Philippines

Updated: November 2, 2017

“ I’m a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds.”  – Mike Tyson (American former professional boxer)

God bestowed the Cordillera Region with majestic mountains, lovely waterfalls, chilly rivers, numerous hills and varieties of flora and fauna. No one can resist to discover its beauty.

Located in Cordillera Region specifically Ampucao, Itogon, Benguet is Mt. Ulap. Mt. Ulap was new to tourists and mountaineers since it was newly opened to the public last October 2015. As months passed, it gained popularity to wanderlusts and zealous hikers because it features pine ridges, grasslands, and exquisite scenic views of some parts of Cordillera, Mt. Sto. Tomas and Philex Mines.

Browsing and checking my Facebook, I saw some posts of my friends about their Mt. Ulap adventures so we decided to go too. Fortunately, it was the best time to go since ending the month of January with an adventure would be exciting.

Hiking wasn’t a new experience for me, so I did the usual stuff- woke up early, eat enough breakfast and prepare. Hiking shoes, wicking t-shirt, quick-drying pants, sun-shielding hat, packed lunch, snacks, water bottles, insect repellent, bag for collecting trash, outdoor journal and camera. All set. I am ready to conquer Mt. Ulap.

The jeepney took us to the Barangay Hall where the registration for the trail takes place. Upon registration, they assigned us our tour guide, Elvira.

We walked through a concrete way before starting our hike, at that moment we got to know Elvira. At the age of 18, she was a tour guide since Mt. Ulap opened, she was only there on Sundays because she’s studying in Baguio.

The starting point of the trail will truly test your endurance. It is a combination of rocky roads, grasslands and concrete ways. The first view you will see is an over view of Baguio City and Mt. Sto. Tomas which I trekked a few years ago.

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Just after 30 minutes of hike we felt exhausted. We need a place to regain our stamina because there are a lot of uphill assaults and narrow trails which measured our endurance, so we decided to take a rest in the rock formations we saw.

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It was tiring but we knew we were just starting the cold breeze of air helped a lot. After an hour hike in the pine trees and forests, we saw a clear view. No pine trees. No rocky roads. No slippery trails, just the grasses. It’s like a grass field with few trees that you can count in your hands.

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I can say that I really liked the hike in this part. It was a “chill” hike for me. Moreover, the hot ray of the sun that contradicts to the cold wind is a perfect combination.

After some time, a more captivating view of Mt. Sto. Tomas was seen.

Hiking farther (approximately 2 hours), we saw Philex Mines and the dam.

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And at last we reached our destination. It was 1814 meters above sea level. The toil and sweat were totally paid off.

(Fun Trivia) This (picture) rock is called the “Gungal Rock”. Elvira said that the star was from the Japanese colonizers which represents that there were hidden treasures at that place.

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Mt. Ulap is indeed God’s art. It is really the place for you to enjoy and appreciate God’s given treasures.

Like what Mike Tyson said I’m a dreamer. I have to dream and reach for the stars, and if I miss a star then I grab a handful of clouds.but for us we didn’t miss our star and we merrily grabbed a handful of clouds.

Travel Details:

  • Jeepney to Mt. Ulap: P24.00 (Student)
  • Tour Guide Fee: P400.00
  • Registration Fee: P100.00 (Regular) P50.00 (Student)
  • Jeepney back to Baguio: P24.00 (Student)

UPDATES:
The number of hikers going up to Mount Ulap is now regulated. This is because there were environmental concerns and issues raised over time. You need to reserve a slot prior to your hike. The number of hikers will be limited to 150 individuals on weekdays. For weekends and holidays, the limit will be 500 individuals.
FOR RESERVATIONS/ BOOKING: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdRF6bgE-hHMvNwK2h2slu-BzzT8ZiEbSdIY-qyh7x9d6ejbg/viewform

For more details, you may also visit their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/mtUlap/

These are the updated rates:
1. Registration fee = 100 pesos per head
2. Local Guide Fee (1 guide: 7 persons); Dayhike = 600.00; Overnight Camping = 1,000.00
3. Campsite fee (Overnight Camping for group of 10 persons and below) = 800.00
4. Porter fee (OPTIONAL) – Dayhike = 500.00; Overnight Camping = 800.00

Recent Mount Ulap hike last October 31, 2017 with friends:

Climbing Mount Ulap is sweeter the second time around!

 


When we visit a place, let us all adhere to the motto:
“Take nothing but pictures. Kill nothing but time. Leave nothing but footprints.”
If you have questions, ask me and feel free to leave comment in the comment box.
Thank you for reading, please check my other blog entries too!

About the author

Aspiring to travel as much as she aspires to pursue her dreams, Hannah is fascinated with planned adventures and shares tidbits of her travel experiences and photographs on this website. Outside of travel, she mastered finishing an entire season of a TV series in one go or replenishes her soul by indulging herself in reading well-written novels and substantial non-fiction books.

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