The Cordillera region has been known for its promising cordillera mountain ranges, pine trees, cool weather and warm-hearted locals. One of its well-known provinces for mountain hiking is Benguet; I went to Itogon to personally experience the beauty of one of the most famous mountains for hikers, Mt. Ulap or Mt. Cloud. From the word itself, you can really experience a vast scenic view of the sea of clouds up there in the summit!
With an estimate elevation of 1846 MASL, and a trail difficulty of 3/9 according to Pinoy Mountaineer. You can finish this day hike for about 3-6 hours depending on your hiking level experience. Let’s now begin our hike to Mt. Ulap Itogon, Benguet via Eco trail!
During this time, my friends and I rented a van from Manila going to Benguet; but if you opt to take the public transport and be adventurous, here are some DIY guidelines you can take with you:
Ride a Victory Liner bus going to Baguio either from Pasay EDSA, or Cubao EDSA for around P485 pesos per head. Travel time is around 5-6 hours. From Baguio City, take a jeepney going to the jump point which is Brgy. Ampucao via Philes-Bound route; travel time is around 40 mins, just prepare around P30-50 pesos per head.
You may also rent a taxi from Baguio City to take you all the way to Brgy. Ampucao and back if you want a more hassle-free ride. Fare would vary from time to time, I suggest you to ask the taxi driver yourself when you get there.
If you are taking a private car with you, you can open your Waze app and search Baguio City from your current location, then take the road to Itogon/Philex and make a left turn to Brgy. Ampucao.
Going back to Manila, take a jeepney from Sta. Fe Jump Point to Baguio City – around P50 pesos per head. Then take a bus to Manila – Victory Liner – around P485 and up per head.
Registration at Mt. Ulap
From the barangay hall, log in your details and pay for the registration fee of P100 pesos per head. Tour guides are required for P400 pesos for day hike and P800 pesos for an overnight stay for a group of 5 pax. These guides can accommodate 5-10 persons per group, so you may divide the budget and expenses depending on your group’s headcount.
I strongly suggest to bring your own snacks and water so you can replenish yourself as you move along the trail; but to give you a heads up, there is a sari-sari store near the summit where you can buy some snacks, the famous Filipino instant noodles “pansit canton” with rice and “inihaw” like bbq’s and hotdog.
The trail is basically grassland and pine ridges with breathtaking scenic views of the cordillera mountains. You will be amazed and awed with its majestic beauty! Mt. Ulap is an easy hike since there are no difficult assaults on this ECO-TRAIL. I felt like I was in the Twilight series! Although it will take roughly 6 hours of hike but the way up isn’t that difficult and stressful at all.
Instead, all your worries and stress will be relieved in every spot you will lay your eyes on and set your feet onto! If you are planning to hike the famous Mt. Pulag, the second highest mountain in the Philippines, Mt. Ulap is the best mountain to get your momentum started.
Mt. Ulap Eco-Trail, aside from its accessible location from Baguio, it is the perfect day hike among any beginner friendly mountain as you get to experience to hike almost 2000 MASL of its height, feel the cold breeze of the cordilleras, wander under the sea of clouds, without any hard assaults along the trail.
There are 3 peaks and 1 summit. In one of the peaks you get to experience the New Zealand vibes: vast grassland-ridges and you will be welcomed by some cows living in that area!
Your Mt. Ulap hike wouldn’t be complete without having a photo op in the Gungal rock. Brace yourself and get ready to stand on a slanted rock. Be careful with how you support your whole body as you stand, because you will really feel like you’re going to fall off. It is one of the best highlights of Mt. Ulap that you shouldn’t miss!
As you move along the trail, you will be welcomed by this vast grassland summit and you’ll get to experience closer the sea of clouds! The sari-sari store I mentioned earlier is located near the summit so you can have your lunch there.
This trail is a traverse trail, so jump off would be at the Sta. Fe exit. Shower and restrooms are also available with a fee of 20-30 pesos either hot or cold bath.
Sample Itinerary for a Day Hike
10:00pm: ETA at Victory liner
10:30pm: ETD from Manila
03:00am: ETA in Baguio City
03:30am: ETD to Brgy. Ampucao
04:30am: ETA at Ampucao registration
05:00am: Start of trek
06:30am: Ambanao Paoay, photos ops
08:30am: Gungal, photos ops
10:30am: Summit of Mt. Ulap (Lunch)
01:00pm: Wash up Bound to Baguio City.
03:00pm: Baguio City; Explore baguio
06:00pm: ETD from Baguio to Manila
12:00md: ETA Manila
Prices might change without further notice. Please feel free to comment in this post to let us know of any changes in the price so we can update the article.
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*Group of 5
Why Should You Hike Mt. Ulap?
If you are a beginner and want to challenge yourself for a long day hike with breathtaking view of the mountains and warm welcome by the pine trees, then Mt. Ulap is really the one for you! I advise that you go there during weekdays as Gungal rock is a very popular stop over; it will spare you from having to fall in a long line!
Also, make sure to hike as early as 5 am, or 4 am if possible, so you can enjoy the sun rising while you are on the trail! You will witness it while you are on the pine trees. Perfect scene, perfect view.
De-stress and de-load from the city life. Mt. Ulap is the best way to breathe fresh air in the Cordillera Region! Will I get to hike with you soon?