The playground of the gods, famous for its sea of clouds: Mt. Pulag! Mt. Pulag is the third highest mountain in the Philippines, but it’s a perfect climb for every hiker from amateur to professional.
Mt. Pulag has 4 trails with varying difficulty:
- Ambangeg Trail – located in Kabayan, Benguet. This trail is the least difficult so it is recommended for beginners. It’s a 8km trek with a gradual incline to the summit, which would take around 4-5 hours.
- Akiki Trail – also located in Kabayan, Benguet. This is a more difficult trail where you’ll encounter steep slopes. The trek to the summit will take around 10 hours, but you will find scenic views (Marlboro Country, Eddet River) along the way.
- Tawangan Trail – considered to be the most comprehensive trail to the summit. This trail will also take around 10 hours to trek.
- Ambaguio trail – jump off point is from Nueva Ecija. Ambaguio is the longest out of the four. The trail is characterized to be steep and mossy.
Regardless if you are a beginner or professional, you must always come prepared. Pinoy Mountaineer has a detailed guide on how to prepare for Mt. Pulag.
Tips: When to visit, what to bring, etc.
- Schedule on a weekday. Weekends come with a massive influx of hikers, so if possible schedule your hike on a weekday. On weekends, you can only camp at Ranger Station. Camp 1 and 2 are only open during weekdays.
- Wear multiple layers. Expect temperature drops and rain (which happens often) in Mt. Pulag. Warm up by wearing multiple layers of clothing. Also bring waterproof gear just in case.
- Be a responsible traveler. Mt. Pulag has endured the negligence of irresponsible hikers throughout the years, so let’s do our best to preserve the place. Leave no trace.
Reaching the summit
We began the hike at around 1AM in the pitch dark. We passed through wide trails, forests filled with all kinds of flora, to mossy lands. It took us 5 hours until we reached the summit. Just in time to watch the sunrise. Treks to the summit are usually done either early in the morning to catch the sunrise, or late in the afternoon just in time to watch the sunset.
Whichever trail you choose, all of them will be pretty rigorous. But being able to see the thick sea of clouds makes it all worth it. The temperature at the summit can reach to zero or subzero levels, but as long as you come prepared, you’re good to go.
Watch my experience in Mt. Pulag: