A Rainy Hike in Mt. Ulap (1,846+) | Benguet

February 05, 2017

Have you ever tried hiking on a rainy day? Does it ever enter in your mind if that would be enjoyable? And lastly, will you even try? If someone had ask me these questions before I hike Mt. Ulap these would be my answers: No, Never and definitely NOT. I believe that hiking is best done when the trail is dry, sun’s up and shining.

Though it was foggy, the view was still mesmerizing.

I would also welcome all the sweats that’ll trickle down to my face rather than the rain drops. But, no matter how well we planned our hikes, we could never predict how the weather would turn out. And this kind of experience is usually the ones that shapes us to be stronger and more resilient to adversaries, when it comes to travelling. Anyhow, this article should excite you and give you a glimpse of how appealing Mt. Ulap can be, despite of the unruly weather we had.

One word = Picturesque!

MT. ULAP ECO-TRAIL
Itogon, Benguet
Entry point: Brgy. Ampucao, Itogon
Exit point: Brgy. Sta. Fe, Itogon
LLA: 16.2904 N, 120.6312 E, 1846 MASL (Mt. Ulap)
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2-3 hours
Specs: Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3,
Features: Grassland and pine ridges, scenic views of the Cordilleras, burial caves

Credits: Pinoy Mountaineer

We had the Mt. Ulap traverse.

We went to Mt. Ulap last November 26, 2016 with my highschool friend together with his girlfriend and her four colleagues. We joined a group tour that was organized by First Gear Travelers and availed the package for P 1,300. If you would thoroughly search Facebook especially DIY Travel Philippines, you’ll find groups that offer cheaper rates.

Inclusions: 
  • Private Van Transfers (MNL-Itogon-Baguio-MNL)
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance (during Land Transfer only)
  • Registration Fees
  • Local Guides Fees
  • Entrance Fees
  • Tour Coordinator’s Fee
The Hike

We slept throughout the 4-hour drive to Brgy. Ampucao. Chilly breeze welcomed us, as we hop out of our van and explored the covered court that is use as parking lot for those in group tours. My stomach started to shudder and I realized that I brought the wrong jacket. I was so confident that it’ll be sunny and picked up a thin-cotton jacket. After layering with my also thin dri-fit shirt, I had chicken mami for breakfast, I enjoyed the food as it helped the quivering to subside.

Bracing ourselves as we start the trek.

At around 6 o’clock, we started our trek complete with ponchos or trash-bags-turned-into-poncho to protect us from getting wet but failed to since it was also windy.

How hikers look like on a rainy day.

I don’t know if this is a private property since there are fences.
The gang!
Rock formation near a cliff. We had to take a photo even if it was foggy.
What to Wear:
  • Dri-Fit Shirts or Long Sleeves
  • Jacket
  • Leggings / Jogging pants / Compression Pants
  • Gloves
  • Thick Dri-Fit Socks


What to Bring:
  • 1.5L Water
  • Poncho
  • Snacks
Read: Day Hike Travel Essentials
The rain adds hue to the lush color of the leaves and grasses.

We reached the 1st peak around 8:30am.
My thought was “Do I have to go down there too?”.
These are the reason why there are so many poop along the way. 
If ever you’ll see cows on the move, by all means, let them pass through first.
We were grateful to have some clearing.
The wind was so strong it sounded like there was a waterfalls nearby.
Itinerary:

22:30 – Meet up at MOA
0430 – ETA for Brgy, Ampucao
0500 – ETA at Ampucao Registration
0530 – Start of Trek
0630 – Ambanao Paoya
0830 – Gungal, photos ops
1030 – Summit of Mt. Ulap ( Lunch)
1130 – Pongol Human cave
1330 – Wash up Bound to Baguio City
1500 – Baguio City – Optional Side Trip
1630 – Early Dinner – Good Taste (own account)
1730 – ETD Baguio to Manila
2300 – ETA Manila

Too foggy but still a refreshing hike.

Read: How to save a Travel Fund?
I wonder how it feels like to live in that little house.
I’ll never get tired with this kind of view in front of me.

The famous Gungal Rock, I bet this photo would look great with those hills as a background instead of that fog.
Read: Travel Philippines First
2nd Peak at 1814 masl
Rain drops tripled when we reached the 2nd peak.

It was also our last stop since our tour guide and the organizers decided to turn back as the rain poured down and leave us with zero visibility. They said that the trail to the 3rd peak would be more slippery and steeper. We didn’t have a choice but to follow with a heavy heart.

How to Get There:
  • Take a Bus to Baguio
  • Take a Jeep from Baguio to Brgy. Ampucao via Philes-Bound route, get off at Ampucao Elementary School

Private: Proceed to Baguio from Manila, then take the road to Itogon/Philex and make a left turn to Brgy. Ampucao. 

Other Fees

Registration Fee – P 50

Camping Site Fee – P800 (10 Pax and below)

Guide Fee (7 Pax Per Guide)

  • Day Hike – P 600
  • Overnight – P 1,000

Read: Day Hike Travel Essentials

Contacts

Brgy. Ampucao Tourism – 0998-9589549

Mt. Ulap Council – 0928 483 1133 | 0946 115 9154 | 0946 340 4561

It was a nice hiking even if the sun, the wind and the rain conspired to make it more memorable. And since we didn’t reach the last peak, I made a promise to go back for a revenge hike and experience Mt. Ulap on a fine weather.