I don’t consider myself a (legit) mountaineer, though I am the type of person who constantly craves hikes. Sometimes, I do it just to break the monotonous 8am-5pm routine, but most times, to remind myself this: that once I start to pursue something wonderful, things will surely get hard but I just have to keep moving forward.
Last May, I was delighted to discover that this craving was also shared by my officemates. They were mostly first timers so we decided to conquer a mountain that is forgiving to beginners: Mt. Ulap.
Our whole adventure in 3 minutes
Our hike was a reverse traverse, starting at Sta. Fe and ending at Ampucao – a route suggested by the Edelweiss Team, the tour operator we got for this adventure (read more about them at the latter part of this entry). The first hour or so of our trek was a steep assault, which made some of us question if we were really fit for this activity. Haha! But just as we were about to doubt ourselves, the sun started to peek from the sea of clouds and everyone was awestruck by the scene.
QUICK TIP: If you want to witness the sunrise and the sea of clouds at Mt. Ulap, start you day early and be at your chosen jump-off point (Ampucao or Sta. Fe) not later than 3:30 AM.
The sunrise served as the perfect dose of inspiration as we pushed ourselves to go on with the hike. We didn’t reach the peak though, because it was very foggy. We just took a quick coffee break at the campsite just below the peak, then proceeded to see the famous Gungal Rock after.
QUICK TIP: Wear a bright shirt if you want to stand out against the massive Gungal Rock.
After our stop at the Gungal Rock, we went on to trek down to Ampucao. It seemed endless. Our guides kept on saying “20 minutes na lang” (Just 20 minutes more), but we didn’t believe them anymore at some point, because we knew our pace was getting slower as we were getting more exhausted. Good thing we were all packed with energy bars, chocolates and candies. We just kept on munching on sweets and after a few hours, we arrived at Ampucao.
MT. ULAP DAY HIKE WITH BAGUIO SIDE TRIP ITINERARY
Our group didn’t want to skip a work day, so we left Quezon City on a Friday night and got back Sunday evening. Here’s a quick overview of our itinerary:
DAY 0: Manila > Baguio
DAY 1: Mt. Ulap Day Hike, Camp John Hay
DAY 2: Baguio Country Club, Baguio > Manila
For specific schedules, travel time and an acitivity guide, you may download our mobile-friendly Mt. Ulap with Baguio Side Trip artinerary HERE. (You have to be subscribed to this site to get access to our freebies. Click here if you haven’t.)
Make sure to save all images on your mobile phones in proper order. Enjoy!
RECOMMENDED VAN RENTAL SERVICE
Kuya Gil’s transport service: 0925 643 2432
We knew that we won’t have time to rest the night before our hike since we will be coming straight from work, so we made sure that our ride will be comfortable enough for us to sleep in. That’s why instead of taking the bus, we got Kuya Gil’s van rental services. The van had nice seats so everyone slept well throughout the ride. Really worth it for P16,000 all-in!
READ: Budget Breakdown: Weekender Trip in a Mt. Ulap Day Hike + Baguio Side Trip