One of the most famous hikes in Benguet is Mt Ulap in Itogon. Just 30 minutes from Baguio City, you can reach the jump-off point for Mt Ulap.
With stunning mountain views, fresh air, a sea of clouds and IG-worthy spots, Mt Ulap is frequented by both locals and tourists. If you’re going to Mt Ulap, use this guide to help you plan the perfect hiking trip!
What To Expect
First things first, let’s set your expectations about the hike to Mt Ulap.
Travel Tip: You can book your bus tickets online to Baguio here:
From Baguio, you’ll have to ride a jeep going to the Ampucao Brgy Hall in Itogon, Benguet. You can find the jeepney terminal in Baguio near Centermall just a few meters away from Jollibee.
You will then be registering at the Brgy Hall where you will get a guide. Once the registration is done, it’s time to start your hike.
For a few minutes, you’ll have to walk until you reach the starting point where the real hiking begins.
The first part of the trail consists of a continuous trail going up. You’ll pass by rows and rows of pine trees for about an hour. Be careful. The trail is quite narrow and the pine needles can be slippery.
But this won’t last forever. You’ll soon find yourself looking at a view of Baguio City, Philex Mines, and Mt Santo Tomas. If you’re lucky, you’ll even see a clear view of Mt Ugo, and Mt Arayat.
From here, the trail becomes easier as you pass by grassland slopes from Ambunao Paoay to the most photographed Gungal Rock. This is marked by the famous “star of David” symbol to let hikers know that they shouldn’t cross it. Seriously. It’s a nice place to take photos but it can be dangerous.
Now, You’re Halfway There
Now, it’s time to hike to the highest point of Mt Ulap. I don’t remember the most part of this trail since we were planning to camp for the night and made the mistake of hiking after lunch. So yes, the sun was setting as we hiked. And as it got darker, we walked faster until viola! We reached the campsite! Wohooooo.
The campsite was where you’ll find a lot of cows grazing the grasses. So it kinda sucked that the whole area had cow poop all over it. But hey, be positive!
After looking for a decent area to set up our tent, we proceeded to cook dinner with our camping stove, did a bonfire and slept. And boy was the campsite freezing! But not as cold as Mt Pulag, though.
If you love stargazing, you’ll love camping here. You can get a clear view of the stars so bring out those cameras. It’s time for astrophotography.
We all woke up early to watch the sunrise at the peak. The hike from the day before was all worth it!
Depending on when you hiked Mt Ulap, there are times when you get a view of the sea of clouds from the campsite. My sister and her friends saw one.
After packing up our things, it was time to go down and go home.
When going down, you have to options: to walk back to where you started your trek or to go down the steep and slippery trail.
The steep trail is the fastest route going down but it can be dangerous. There were ropes fixed all around the trail so you have to hang on tight and hope you don’t slip.
Note: You can also take the reverse route starting from the steep trail to get the hard part over with.
Registration Fee: P100 (2 USD) per head
Guide Fee (1 guide: 7 persons):
- Dayhike: P600 (12 USD)
- Overnight Camping: P1,000 (20 USD)
Camping Fee (Overnight Camping for group of 10 persons and below): P800 (16 USD)
Porter Fee (optional):
- Dayhike: P500 (10 USD)
- Overnight Camping: P800 (16 USD)
Important Info: Reserve your slot!
Before you go to Mt Ulap, be sure to reserve your slot by filling up this form.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the trek?
Depending on how fast you walk, you can finish the hike in six to eight hours.
Is day hike possible?
Absolutely! Just make sure you start early so you don’t end up walking in the dark.
Is the trail beginner-friendly?
This depends. If you’re used to walking, the trek is quite easy and doable. If you’ve been spending the past few months sitting in front of your computer five days a week, you might have a hard time going up. Bring lots of water and some snacks to help you power on!
Is there a campsite?
Yes, there is. So if you have a tent, bring it along and camp in Mt Ulap.
Are there any stores in the mountain?
The last time my friends and I hiked Mt Ulap, there weren’t any stores. However, I heard there’s a sari sari store where you can buy some souvenirs, food (chips and cup noodles) and water.
What to Pack for Mt Ulap
For Day Hike
If you’re just going on a day hike, here are some items I’d recommend you to bring and wear:
- insect repellent
- drinking water
- camera (gotta take those shots!)
- power bank (or just fully charge your phone!)
- spare cash
- hiking shoes
- cap (it can get hot during midday)
- umbrella or raincoat (in case it rains)
- lightweight clothing
- first aid kit (better be safe than sorry)
- packed lunch
Aside from the list above, include the following items in your backpack:
- tent (unless you’re planning to rent)
- fleece blanket or sleeping bag (it’s cold at night!)
- camping stove (if you want to cook) or just buy cooked food
- plates and spoons
And that’s it. If you have any questions about Mt Ulap, leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to get back to you.
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Johanes is a digital nomad and a web content writer who loves to go on spontaneous travels. She also likes to go camp under the stars and play with her dog and cats.