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  • Writer's pictureMier Torregosa

DIY Travel Guide to Mt. Ulap (budget: 1000php/20usd) | Nomad Life - Baguio City

Updated: Jul 14, 2023

Mt. Ulap is one of the most popular and visited mountain in the Philippines. It is located at Itogon, Benguet just a couple of minutes away from Baguio City. The hike from drop off point to summit is 6.4km plus 2km more going down. It will typically take around 5-8hrs depending on the number and speed of participants in the group. Although hiking in Mt. Ulap can be done by beginners, make sure to do your preparations at least one week prior to your hike to enjoy the whole journey rather than worrying about leg pain because there are steep assaults and long walks that can still be really challenging even for experienced hikers. Make sure as well to bring enough liquid with you and couple of dry clothes because the temperature can be really cold. The weather is also unpredictable so bring rain cover and coats with you. But above all, make sure to have your reservations because they already limit the number of tourist allowed to hike daily. Just visit MT. ULAP ECO TRAIL FB page for the updated registration process.

sitting on a rock

I know you are very excited already, so let's get down to it!

How to get there: This guide starts from Baguio City to Mt. Ulap

1. Because I am living 3km away from town, I had to take a jeepney from Home to Town proper of Baguio City. (Cost: 12php)

2. Assuming you are at the famous Session Road of Baguio City, walk down until you reach the end of the road facing the public market or Maharlika building. Then take the right turn to Lakandula Street beside Center Mall where the jeepney to Ampucao is usually parked at the end of the street. Just ask the drivers around which jeepney goes to Ampucao Elementary School and mention that you are going to Mt. Ulap.

3. Take the ride to Ampucao Elementary School which takes around 40mins from Baguio City. (Cost: 50php)

4. The jeepney will drop you right at the entrance of the school. Walk your way to the covered court to pay for the registration. (Cost: 400php) Note: You need to present here your reservation approval email, ID, and Vaccination Card. I suggest have the reservation days/weeks before the hike.

5. You will also meet your tour guide and have the quick mandatory orientation at the elementary school. (Guide fee is included already in the registration)

6. Pay the environmental fee as well at the gate of the school. (Cost: 30php)

What to expect in Mt. Ulap: Now be ready to start the hike! Let's Go!!!

1. Entrance to Mt. Ulap Make sure to take beautiful selfie while still fresh. :D Few meters trek from the jump-off point of Mt. Ulap will greet you with a stunning view that gives you an idea of the beauty that's waiting for you at the top. Of course the local government created a beautiful design for your Mt. Ulap fresh selfie. Be sure not to miss it!

mt ulap jump off

2. Multiple Assaults The mountain will reach to almost 2000 MASL so expect some challenging assaults as you climb to the summit. The first 2km assault is the most challenging but don't give up there. Take your time, rest as many times as you want to overcome that climb because it will really be worth it. That first steep climb is the hardest but once you've seen a glimpse of it's beauty after that climb, you'll surely not think of turning back.

3. First Peak: Ambanaw Paoay The first peak is 3.6km from jump-off point and 1788 MASL. This is the first taste of victory after the leg breaking assault in the start of your hike. It is also the farthest hike before peak because the rest will only be 1.5 and 1 km apart. Although you are still allowed to go back from here, don't! The journey from here to finish is way easier already than the one you just encountered on your first 2km hike.

ambanaw peak

4. Pines Everywhere You can never go wrong taking dramatic shots with the pines.

5. Rock Formations The mountain has a lot of rock formations where you can take your shots. The most popular is at the second peak but expect to wait in line specially when there are many climbers you come with. I did not take my selfie there because it rain a bit and lots of climbers are still waiting in line ahead of me.

6. Second Peak: Gungal Rock The second peak is only about 1.5km from the first peak and is 1814 MASL. You can have a CR break here and take your time to catch some air. Located here as well is the famous rock formation where this peak's name is taken from. While waiting for your turn to have a breathtaking shot of the beautiful rock formation, you can stay here to take your snack and enjoy the beauty being at the top of the world.

7. "Buwis-Buhay" Cliff Shots Be responsible and practice caution when taking these shots. The trail of this mountain will pass through cliffs and steep hills where you can take photos "at your own risk" but please make sure not to overdo your poses. There are points where your guide will restrict you to take buwis-buhay shots so make sure to listen. Of course we don't want our happy memories become nightmares. "Dapat happy lang!"

8. Mt. Ulap Summit Make sure to spend some time here and feel the glory of your triumphant journey. The summit is 1846 MASL and 6.4km from jump-off point. The struggles, leg pains, sweats and cries you made will surely be worth it when you finally witnessed the jaw-dropping view at the peak of this mountain. Plus the feeling of success that makes the journey so sweet and will be a part of you beautiful experience for the rest of your life.

mt ulap summit

9. Touch the Sky The name of this mountain speaks for itself. When the weather permits, you will be touching the sky and really needs 20-20 vision because of its thick fog specially after reaching first peak to summit.

10. Perfect Landscapes Of course, I'll let these photos say for itself!

11. Overnight Camping Yes! Multi-day hike is really possible and welcome in Mt. Ulap which is one of my next goal when going back here. There's also a designated campsite just a few meters down from the summit and near the local restaurant/convenience store. According to our guide, the store is 24hrs open when there are campers who decided to stay overnight. But make sure to buy or better bring your essentials when you decide to camp here.

12. Restaurant If you forgot to bring enough food and liquid, no worries because there's a store that awaits you after the summit. They offer rice meals and other food with a bit of "covenience store" level price. But of course given the hike that they need to bring those food there is already reasonable. Rice meals ranges from 100 to 150php.

13. Hanging Bridges Wait there's more! Aside from pine trees, beautiful landscapes and challenging treks, there are also five hanging bridges that will complete your Mt. Ulap journey.

Going back to Baguio City:

1. Since there's still a pandemic, there is no jeepney that you can take right at the end of the trail. But there are carpools available that will bring you back to Ampucao Elementary School where jeepneys are already passing through. (Cost: 400php)

2. Take the jeepney from Ampucao to Baguio City. (Cost: 50php)

3. You can then decide to roam around the town of Baguio City or just go home and rest.

Total Cost: 954 php

Enjoy Mt. Ulap, take more photos and bring more memories with you!

But above all, be sure to leave no trash in the area and let us all be responsible travelers.

Stay tuned for more and connect with me through my social media below.


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