Mt. Ulap Traverse Dayhike Guide | Ampucao -Sta. Fe Trail

Mt. Ulap

Mt. Ulap in Itogon, Benguet features enchanting views, rock formations, rolling hills, and pine trees. It is one of the most visited mountains in the Philippines.

Location: Itogon, Benguet
Entry point: Brgy. Ampucao, Itogon
Exit point: Brgy. Sta. Fe, Itogon
LLA: 16.2904 N, 120.6312 E, 1846 MASL (Mt. Ulap)
Days required / Hours to summit: 1 day / 2-3 hours
Specs: Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-3
Features: Grassland and pine ridges, scenic views of the Cordilleras, burial caves

I always wanted to visit Mt. Ulap so when my friends set up a date, I decided to join them. This mountain in Northern Luzon is one of the destinations on my bucket list. Though our squad is fond of DIYs, this time we decided to find a good deal that offers tour packages, so we could relax more. We found an organizer that offers low-cost packages and transportation.

It was really fun because it was our first time joining a very large group. This photo was taken at the Ampucao Barangay Hall, the jump-off point of Mt. Ulap Eco Trail.

Mt. Ulap is one of the most popular mountains for hikers, so expect a queue once you get there. Good thing the local government took action to limit the crowd. Mt. Ulap Eco Trail Tourism released a statement to set the allowed number of hikers per day. All groups organized or not will be limited to a maximum of 20 individuals only. Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays – 500 people and for Mondays to Fridays – 150 people.

What to expect during the hike?

After arriving at the Brgy. Hall, our organizer had our names registered and secured our local guides. We had a quick orientation and most importantly prayed before we started trekking. Locals also gave us this stamp before we left the jump-off. As per them, it’s their way of knowing the number of hikers for that day.

Ambanaw Paoay

The first part of the trek was the trail going to Ambanaw Paoay Peak. This trail offers up and down ridges and some assaults that will make you catch your breath.

We started the hike early in the morning so I only brought 2L of water, coz I knew I wouldn’t get thirsty more often because the trail was cold and breezy. On this trail, you’ll find beautiful spots that are all Instagram-worthy shots of the scenic dawn sky. I love the view.

As we continued our hike on the pine-forested trail, the weather became cooler and I could hear and feel the strong gush of the wind which made the hike more refreshing.

mt ulap
Sunrise at the mountain is so perfect.
mt ulap
This reminds me so much of my Twilight fan days. Can I find Edward Cullen here? 🙂

There’s an open wide trail going to the first peak. A series of slopes. There a also no tree covers when reaching this spot.

Most of the hikers are enjoying their time here, appreciating the beautiful view.

mt. ulap
Arriving at the 1st peak known as Ambanaw Paway

Gungal Rock

After the first peak, we head to the famous Gungal Rock. The trail going to the famous cliff offers endless slopes of grasslands and a 360 view of the surrounding mountains. Our guide was able to show us Mt. Ugo, Mt. Pulag, Mt. Sto Tomas, Mt. Cabuyao, and a little bit of Baguio City from afar.

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While waiting for our turn.

Gungal Rock is probably the highlight of our climb. Its magnificent view is breathtaking. I like how they organize the photo sessions. There were rangers that would ask you to fall in line and would only allow you 10 seconds to have your photo with the famous peak. And you’ll hear a whistle once your turn is over. They will also ensure your safety. They were really nice I must say.

Mt. Ulap Summit and Campsite

After another hour of trekking with a descent and an assault, we reached the 3rd peak which was the summit of Mt. Ulap. The sun was already up when we arrived.

Mt. Ulap

For some hikers who prefer an overnight hike, this is where they set up their tent. A very wide area perfect for relaxation. What a picture-perfect landscape. It feels like the clouds are just within reach. 🙂 There are no tree covers in here because it’s an open grassland. But the place will make you appreciate the clouds even more.

Forested descent

This is the last leg of the hike, it felt like it would knocked off our feet because of it’s unforgiving steep and rocky descend. It took us an hour or two to Sta. Fe exit.

Mt Ulap Itinerary:

(Time will depend on your pace)

Day 0 – Friday
10:00 pm – Calltime / Meetup @ Mcdo Quezon Ave
11:00 pm – Travel to Baguio

Day 1: – Saturday
03:00 am – ETA Brgy. Ampucao / Register
04:00 am – Start trek
07:00 am – ETA Gungal Rock
08:00 am – Resume Trek
10:00 am – ETA Summit
10:30 am – Start Descent
12:30 pm – ETA Sta Fe (Lunch)
01:30 pm – Travel to Baguio
02:00 pm – ETA Baguio
(Open Itinerary)
06:00 pm – Back to Manila

Flashlight / Headlight
extra clothes/undergarments
sun block/arm sleeves
1.5Liter water, depending on your personal consumption
trail food (Jellies, Chocolates, Nuts)
packed lunched
first aid kit/personal medicine
poncho/raincoat – in case of rain
extra money

Shoutout to my travel buddies- 1KBTeam! Never a dull moment with you guys!

Until our next adventures!

If you have questions let me know in the comment section below. Another mountain to hike? Tarak Ridge (Mariveles) Day Hike Itinerary and Guide. Please subscribe to our Youtube Channel below.

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