Disclaimer: All views expressed on this blog are my own based on my own experiences and do not represent of any entity with which I have been, are now or will be affiliated
Date of Hike: April 09, 2022
Mt. Ulap is located in Itogon Benguet. It is 1846 MASL (meters above sea level) and offers the best of Cordilleras has to offer – grassland, pine ridges and scenic view of the mountains. It is named Mt. Ulap (cloud in English) because the summit is a rolling hill resembling a fluffy cloud. Once a province of trail runners, it has now opened it’s doors to hikers. It can be completed for 4-6 hours making it an easy and feasible day hike.
I booked my Mt. Ulap hike with JessiClimb – owned by my fellow hikers – Jess and Eban. The hike cost Php1,850 inclusions of roundtrip van transfers, registration fees, guide fee, eco and coordinator fee. My overall budget for this hike is Php3,000.
Benguet is accepting leisure travelers provided that they follow the standard health protocol. No medical certificates, S-pass, RT-PCR test to be presented to some establishments or checkpoints. We only presented QTP to schedule a visit to Benguet, vaccination card and IDs in the barangay hall.
9:00pm Manila time
The team’s meet up was in Alabang and I saw one familiar face whom I hiked with in Kinabalu and she (KC) asked me to join them in Mt. Apo hike – the highest mountain in the Philippines. I’m ecstatic for a 3 day hike in October!
Moving back haha, we left Alabang at 9:00pm. The trip from Alabang going to Benguet takes 7-8 hours by land. Whenever I travel at night, I’m always asleep so I already woke up when we arrived in Benguet at 4:30 in the morning on April 09.
4:30am Manila time
We arrived in Benguet. We have to register first and secure guides as these were requirements to hike up in Mt. Ulap. We had 2 guides – Adora and we started our ascent at 5:30am when it’s much clearer part of day. It was really cold at 23degree Celcius. I fell in love with the surrounding pine trees during the ascent and it’s really an easy hike with the mountain breeze blowing in my face. The downside though was there were a lot of hikers during this time as it was a weekend and it has already become popular to so many and everybody wants to go out post pandemic. I’d rather have a weekday hike next time here.
We reached Gungol rock – the famous spot in Mt. Ulap which offers picturesque view of the mountains at 10:00am and there was a long queue and the fog covered the mountain view even if it’s sunny. The backdrop when our photos were taken was just plain white haha. I guess we really need to go back here.
We rested for an hour after we reached Gungol rock and reached the summit around 12:30pm. At the summit, they made pressed coffee and we ate Kat’s baked cookies (my gosh! they were all delicious). I had strawberry, chocolate and butterfly pea cookie. I highly recommend you to meet her for her baked goodies! haha Coffee is always a good idea in the mountains as well!
We started our descent at 3 in the afternoon, it was really an afternoon well spent. Although, it rained upon the descent I still had a great time. The only thing that made me scared were the 2 hanging bridges in barangay Sta. Fe nearing the climax of the hike. These bridges actually completed the whole experience in Mt. Ulap.
At 5:00pm, we reached the end of the trail in Mt. Ulap and had to take a very cold shower for a cost of Php40-00. It was really cold at 19 degree Celcius and we had a side trip in Baguio to eat dinner at Good Eats.
Otek St, Baguio, Benguet
Accepts Cash only
Good Eats was highly recommended by my brother, Lewdan and I went here once before and it did not disappoint. I am very glad the team chose to have dinner here and as usual I had the best gastronomical experience. It is affordable, tasty, fresh and with huge serving of food. Good Eats has a huge following and there was a long queue when we arrived but even the customer service was spot on the best, they were efficient and it’s a seamless experience in this restaurant. I highly recommend and will definitely go back.
I arrived back home at 1:30 in the morning in Alabang on April 10. Of course, being in the mountains was always the best experience. I can’t wait to hike again! 🙂
Maria, sometimes Niskie