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Monday, April 10, 2017

Mt. Ulap Itogon Benguet: New Year Hike, Gungal Rock + Traverse to Brgy Sta. Fe #iAmSuperInMtUlap

I know many have blogged and shared on social media their experience in Mt. Ulap. But as each experience is different, here's mine. It was special because it was my first hike this year 2017, January 2 to be exact, and extra- special because I hiked with a special someone. Naks! The weather was perfect and I celebrated new year's eve in Baguio so I didn't feel the stress of going here. Based on photos one might think that this mountain is in the middle of nowhere. Wrong! It is actually only 45 minutes away from Baguio City. Cool ayt? As cool as the weather here so hiking was a breeze.

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How To Get To Mt. Ulap 

1. Ride the jeepney bound Felix Mine or direct to Ampucao Benguet
 at Baguio Central Market. Fare is around 35-50 pesos and travel time is 45 minutes. 
2. Alight at the junction of Brgy. Ampucao for registration. 
3. Hike to Mt. Ulap -- 3.5 hours 
4. Traverse and exit at Brgy Sta. Fe Itogon Benguet 
5. Take jeepney back to the City


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Registration Fee: 
Environmental Fee : 20 php per pax 
Guide Fee: 500 pesos

Important Peaks along the way 

1. Totomtombek 
2. Coral- tapak 
3. Ambanaw-Paoay 
4. Gungal 
5. Mt. Ulap



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And it was funny because I was able to done my cape during this hike. It was perfect for a mountain hiking setting because it looked like I flew from out of nowhere to get here. The thing about this trail is that there are so many beautiful vantage points so your eyes get full and you will hardly feel the 3.5 hrs hike (5 hrs incl traverse) and you get to have tons of postcard perfect photos as we did. I got lots of favorites especially the ones at Gungal Rock where I seemed to have landed at the edge of the rock formation with my cape being blown y the wind.


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Gungal Rock

When people hear Mt. Ulap, what automatically registers in their head is the protruding rock formation that seems to have an infinite drop and a dramatic mountain backdrop. That's actually not Mt. Ulap but Gungal Rock. The 4th among the 5 scenic points in the trail and definitely the highlight of the hike. It's just beautiful both in picture and in personal. And so easy to access too. A few steps and you are there. We were lucky we hiked Monday as it is difficult to have a photo opt on the rock on your own especially on weekends when there are so many visitors. We didn't have to wait long for our turn and we actually have a lot of time for so many shots. Kudos to our guide who easily learned to manipulate my telephoto camera as he did a perfect job in capturing dramatic photos of us on the rock especially with my cape on.


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Mt. Ulap
The trail continues after Gungal Rock towards Mt Ulap which I said is the highest point in the hike. Mt. Ulap is actually this bare, chocolate-hills-sh peak that affords an uninterrupted view of the scenic surrounding. One can even notice Mt. Pulag from here on a clear day. Below Mt. Ulap is a vast campsite where people can pitch tent and stay overnight to wake up early the next day for a sunrise. So what others do is hike up from Brgy. Sta. FE as it is closer there but I don't suggest this for beginners as the trails is all ascent and will prove a bit exhausting. There is also a mossy forest below Mt. Ulap which we failed to visit as we went the other trail up the summit. All on all, this hike was so memorable and fun. A store just a few minutes down Mt. Ulap proved to be very helpful in refreshing our energy before we hiked down.

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The whole Mt. Ulap Trail 
as seen from the summit of Mt. Ulap


Traverse to Brgy Sta. Fe
The trail is easy but quite long it will take roughly 3.5 hours to Mt. Ulap which is the final and highest peak. Whilst the view is so picturesque, going back the same route could be too painful to bear. I would suggest you traverse to Sta Fe as it only takes another 1.5 hrs through this route for a total of 5 hrs. Once you get down this trail. There are more jeepneys available for transport back to the city. It is a little painful on you lower legs as the trail is all ascending but still better than another 3.5 hrs of going up and down.

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Take Note: 

Effective Feb 4, 2017 - 20 Pax per Group ONLY
Saturday, Sunday and Holiday is limited to 500 People
Monday to Friday - 150 People Only.
BOOK/RESERVATION is MANDATORY:
https://www.facebook.com/mtUlap/
https://www.facebook.com/mtulap.ecotrail


YOU MIGHT ALSO WANT TO READ:
C-Boutique Hotel Baguio: Bad Choice!

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