Mt. Pulag Hike Guide: What First-Timers Should Know Before Going to Luzon’s Highest Peak
Mt. Pulag hike is on every mountaineer’s bucket list and it’s not hard to see why. From the majestic view of sea of clouds and rolling hills to uphill trails and scenic sunrise, Mt. Pulag surely knows how to make someone fall head over heels for her.
About Mt. Pulag
Pulag is Luzon’s highest peak at 2,926 meters above sea level and is popular among hikers and trekkers because of its picturesque trails and a stunning view of Mt. Pulag sea of clouds.
Did you know? The indigenous people there treat Mt. Pulag as sacred because it’s close to heaven and they believe that they can speak to God.
What’s inside this blog?
- What to Expect from Mt. Pulag
- Mt. Pulag Trails
- What to Bring for Mt. Pulag Hiking
- How to get to Mt. Pulag
- Tips on Hiking Mt. Pulag
- Frequently Asked Questions About Mt. Pulag Hike
Read this Mt. Pulag travel guide to help you have a great and safe hiking experience.
What to Expect from Mt. Pulag
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons
Here are the things you should expect when you’re planning to hike Mt. Pulag.
1. Sea of Clouds
This is probably the main reason many travelers want to hike Mt. Pulag. Because how can you not? Upon reaching Mt. Pulag summit, you will be welcomed by the majestic view of Mt. Pulag sea of clouds that look like soft and fluffy cotton balls.
2. Cold Weather
Since Mt. Pulag location is in Benguet, the northern part of the Philippines, the weather there is so cold that the Mt. Pulag temperature usually drops to 1°C but some hikers said that they recorded -5°C.
3. A lot of hikers
For sure you’ve seen many feed-worthy Mt. Pulag photos on social media where a solo hiker poses in the middle of tall grass wearing a thermal jacket, without any photobombers. But don’t let these aesthetic photos fool you. Because Mt. Pulag is now popular, except for a lot of hikers in the area.
Mt. Pulag Trails
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons
Mt. Pulag hike may not be beginner-friendly but newbies can definitely ace it with the help of several trails that lets you hike easily.
1. Ambangeg Trail
It is the easiest trail among the four. In fact, it has been described as a “walk in the park” by many hikers. Think rolling trails and open spaces—yes, it’s that easy.
2. Akiki Trail
If Ambangeg trail is a walk in the park, Akiki is the “Killer Trail” because it’s more physically demanding compared to Ambangeg, and it takes three days to cover. Hikers usually exit via the Ambangeg trail. Though it’s difficult, Akiki trail offers scenic views like the Eddet River and Marlboro Country.
3. Tawangan Trail
Tawangan Trail is the farthest jump-off for hikers. The trail gives hikers an extraordinary experience because you can see the nearby Mt. Tabayoc, Luzon’s second-highest peak, as well as the four lakes: Tabeo, Ambulalakao, Iculus, and Detanapco. Tawangan trail also consists of many river streams, lush mossy forests, and of course, blood leeches.
4. Ambaguio Trail
Out of the four trails, Ambaguio is considered to be the longest trail. It is rarely traversed because the trail has been cemented, has steep ascents and mossy forests.
Mt. Pulag Difficulty Level: 3/9
What to Bring for Mt. Pulag Hiking
Photo source: Wikimedia Commons
One of the most important and helpful tips for hiking is to pack light. Here are some of the things you must bring for your Mt. Pulag National Park hiking.
Make sure to bring clothes that will keep you warm when hiking Mt. Pulag. The basics include a moisture-wicking shirt, leggings or trek pants, underwear, socks, lightweight rain jacket, cap, thermal jacket or fleece, hiking shoes, and gloves. Layering is a must when you reach camp because the Mt. Pulag temperature usually drops to 1°C but some hikers said that they recorded -5°C.
Personal hiking gear
Backpack, umbrella, camera, headlamp with extra batteries, sleeping bag, first aid kit, toiletries, mess kit, emergency blanket, water, waterproof bag, lip balm, and sunblock.
Stove, tent, food load, and more water if you can.
Don’t bring food that is easy to expire. A good combination of trail food should be a mix of fat, sugar, and salty food.
How to get to Mt. Pulag
From Manila, you can either ride a bus bound for Baguio or hire your group’s own van. Upon arrival in Baguio, take a monster jeep to Kabayan, Benguet, where the DENR Visitor’s Center is located. Travel time is about three hours from Baguio.
From Manila, it will roughly take around 12 hours of travel time to Kabayan, Benguet.
Tips on Hiking Mt. Pulag National Park
- Make sure to attend your group’s pre-climb meeting and pay attention to the information. This meeting gives everything you need to know about the hike and what to prepare.
- Exercise prior to the hike and make sure you’re physically fit. Some activities that will prepare you for hiking include running, circuit training, HIIT, and core exercises.
- Secure a climb permit before hiking Mt. Pulag, and your medical certificate from your doctor to ensure that you are physically fit for hiking.
- If you can, go for a tune-up climb that will help you prepare for the big climb.
- Always remember the mountaineer’s creed: “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time.”
- Don’t litter. Whatever you bring with you, take it home with you. Respect nature.
Hiking Mt. Pulag may be challenging but nothing compares to the experience it brings to every mountaineer. Not only do you get to take home priceless memories, you can make new friends along the way.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mt. Pulag Hike
Q: How long does it take to climb Mount Pulag?
A: The climbing days depend on which trail you’re taking. Hiking Mt. Pulag can take anything from 6 hours to 2-3 days.
Q: Is Mt. Pulag advisable for beginners?
A: While Pulag is not highly recommended for first-timers, the mountain offers several trails for options. Ambangeg Trail is the easiest while Akiki and Tawangan trails are more challenging.
Q: What should I wear in Mt. Pulag?
A: Make sure to bring the most comfortable hiking clothes like leggings and wear a jacket so that the cold Mt. Pulag weather will not bother you on your climb.
Q: How high is Mt. Pulag?
A: Mt. Pulag height is 2,926 meters above sea level. IT is Luzon’s highest peak at, and is popular among hikers and trekkers because of its picturesque trails and a stunning view of the sea of clouds.
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