(Last Updated On: September 23, 2017)

BASIC INFO

Name: Mt. Ulap or Cloud Mountain
Jump Off: Ampucao Itogon Benguet
Exit Point: Sta. Fe Itogon Benguet
Elevation: 1846 MASL
Difficulty: 3/9 (Pinoy Mountaineer)
Features: Grassland and Pine ridges. Scenic views of the Cordilleras. Burial Caves.

Adding to the impeccable selection of stunning mountains in Benguet is Mt. Ulap, a newly opened hiking heaven located in Itogon. She first welcomed avid mountaineers to her rich, unspoiled lands in September of 2015 and quickly, she rose on top sitting next to the more coveted Mt. Pulag and all for the good reasons. She would knock you off your feet during the first leg of the hike not only because of relentless assaults but also because of the beguiling scenery which your eyes can feed on in every direction. Early on she would give you tons of reasons not to regret giving her a try. Passed the sea of pine trees are endless slopes of grasslands and a marvelous 360 view of the surrounding mountain ranges. She won’t give you a hard time and will keep you cool despite the unforgiving sun. She would get you closer to the clouds at her summit and just when you think she is pretty much uneventful as you inch closer to cap off the day, she would entertain you with a steep 80-degree cliff descent.


THE UNEXPECTED HITCH

My Saturday on February 27 was pretty much a run-of-the-mill kind of day until the clock hit the hour of 8PM. I was to meet with the coolest gang, Sir Teo, Joyce and the rest of the friends I met in Mt. Pulag for the promise of an exciting climb to Mt. Ulap. I together with Ian (Boyfie) journeyed the roads bound for Edsa Central from our home in Biรฑan at 6PM. It wasn’t until 8:30 PM that we joined Sir Teo, Joyce and another guy Rey in McDonald’s Teleperformance. We waited for a couple more hours until the van and the other guys joining in the climb arrived.

MT. ULAP AMPUCAO STA FE TRAVERSE
Beautiful morning in Ampucao with Mt. Pulag in the background

It wasn’t all the time that a situation is pleasant and that evening, we tasted the sourest grape. Sir Teo rented an 18-sitter van but what arrived was a gorgeous, comfy looking 12-sitter! I was already dying to sit on those fabulously cushioned seats, close my eyes and sleep my way to Ampucao but this vehicle just won’t do. It won’t fit 18 people with huge backpacks no matter how we do it. We didn’t have any alternative available and worse, the person from whom the van was rented was no longer responding. We all were frustrated and the longer we linger as the clock ticks the hours away, the more we risk the climb being postponed for another day.

MT. ULAP AMPUCAO STA FE TRAVERSE
The Jump Off!

The situation was becoming hopeless and before it finally consumed us, we decided to take another route. We walked to the bus stop in front of Edsa Central and hopped on one of the buses bound for Balagbag in QC. The ride took another 20-minutes. We alighted the bus in front of 5-Star bus terminal and waited for Sir Teo to sort things out. The hour was quickly ticking its way to midnight and everyone was already wondering what’s gonna happen next. Just before matters turn even more unfavorable, Sir Teo found us another van hindering impatience from taking its toll. The van wasn’t entirely our best option but was the only one we got. We each hopped on to it, find our respective seats, head on to pick our other lovely friend Reawel in Trinoma then started the journey to the ever hyped Mt. Ulap.

MT. ULAP AMPUCAO STA FE TRAVERSE
Posing before the ordeal

I wanna skip to the climbing part as I don’t wanna tell you anymore how nerve-wracking our ride was to Baguio [Read: Baguio City Tourist Spots: A Showcase Of The City’s Art for possible sidetrip options]. Our driver that night couldn’t seem to get himself enough of the gas! But I reckon he knew what the breaks are for since we still managed to make it back to Manila ALIVE!


THE CLIMB

With barely enough sleep from the entire night spent on the road, we started the hike at 7AM from the registration point in Ampucao Elementary School to the main jump off along a concrete highway which took at least 10 minutes. From the jump off, we ascended a narrow concrete road which stretched for about 15 meters before reaching the mouth of the trail of Mt. Ulap. Passed the sign that welcomes visiting hikers is a steep assault which stretch for about 4 meters. After the first steep assault is a walk along slopes of overgrown bushes in both sides. After probably 5 minutes, we stumbled into a trail carved few inches from the edge of a cliff where we first marveled at the far-flung mountains. It led us west towards another steep ascent.

MT. ULAP AMPUCAO STA FE TRAVERSE
Stunning view after an assault

I found myself in a spot overlooking the mountain ranges to the east after the ascent. We rested for about 2 minutes. After that, we took off for another steep ascent. The steep assaults and walks over flat surface went on for couple of hours but it was made bearable by the splendid scene anywhere we looked. The refreshing scent of towering pine trees, the colorful flowers sprinkled everywhere and the intricate rock formations made Mt. Ulap to have one of the most beautiful trails out of all the mountains I’ve climbed. After probably 2 hours from the time we started the hike, we reached the place locals called Ambanao Paoay.

MT. ULAP AMPUCAO STA FE TRAVERSE
The beautiful indulgence

Ambanao Paoay as the local guide told me is the term they use to pertain to the vast ridges of grassland and endless skies. To me that was probably the first peak we reached. There the scene became even more breathtaking with acres of grasslands seeming quite rich which is not a wonder why this mountain is known for grazing cows. We spent several minutes taking in the view and snapping some photos. From the first peak, we went through a very steep descent which took about 20 meters. After which we went on to pass through several slopes until we reached the infamous Gungal Rock another 2 hours later.

MT. ULAP AMPUCAO STA FE TRAVERSE
Another painstaking assault

We waited for several minutes to get our obligatory photos taken with the much talked about piece of rock! After that we continued to trek towards the summit along slopes of grasslands with some parts blocked by fences which we needed to cross over. Lunch was calling when we were only one slope away from the summit. We settled in a spot near the uprooted tree trunk blocking the trail. We indulged over a sumptuous meal which consisted of rice, relyenong bangus, salted eggs and tomatoes. When we were all filled, we took another 30 minutes to take a nap.

MT. ULAP AMPUCAO STA FE TRAVERSE
Towering pinetrees

At 1.30 PM, we resumed the hike. We took the shortcut from the spot where we rested continuing to its peak and went on to approach the summit from the side or the back area.. At exactly 2PM, we reached the summit! There we had some photos taken too with the clouds slowly engulfing the peak as the backdrop.

MT. ULAP AMPUCAO STA FE TRAVERSE
Stunning view atop a cliff

We didn’t linger too long at the summit although there wasn’t that many people at the time. In fact, we were probably the last group to have reached it. We really did take our time! From the summit, we went through another steep descent which stretch for about 30 meters then went to walk at the side of another slope then took another assault to the trail that leads to the steepest descent of that day’s hike.

MT. ULAP AMPUCAO STA FE TRAVERSE
Sprinkle of flowers

The others went ahead leaving me and Ian at the tail. We started the steep descent which I consider the most challenging part of the hike after taking a short breather. If you are wondering why I say it was the most challenging, it’s because literally we went down an 80-85 degree cliff. Locals put some wooden bars as support along the ladder-like trail and when I say ladder-like, I am talking about patch of soil put together with just a wood stretching for about 2 feet keeping it in tact. It was a straightforward descent and if going down along an eroded trail is what normally slows you down, expect to take it for another 2 hours. Worse you may also go home with a broken and aching toes!

MT. ULAP AMPUCAO STA FE TRAVERSE
Serenity

We survived the first part of the steep descent after more than an hour and went to rest at the store nearest the trail leading to another steep descent. We took 15 minutes to chill and rest our feet! My toes were already bothering me and I longed to rid my feet of my shoes! Resuming the descent was another agony we needed to endure. It lasted for another 20 minutes and by the time we reached the ground crossing an empty river and a hanging bridge, that was when I felt the most relief. We passed by 2 more steel hanging bridges before reaching a house where we reunited with our climb buddies who were already wrapping things up after getting a much needed bath.

MT. ULAP AMPUCAO STA FE TRAVERSE
Yoga pose in Ambanao Paoay

We too took a refreshing bath and when we were ready, we resumed to complete the trek down to where the van we hired from last night awaits. We passed by residential houses along a concrete path and another 3 steel hanging bridges before finally capping off the day on a high!

MT. ULAP AMPUCAO STA FE TRAVERSE
Beautiful Day!
MT. ULAP AMPUCAO STA FE TRAVERSE
The gang’s groupfie
MT. ULAP AMPUCAO STA FE TRAVERSE
This adventure is definitely far from over.

MY 50 CENTS AND OTHER INFO

  • If you have noticed, I haven’t written anything about me having a hard time hiking up Mt. Ulap but truth be told. I actually had countless breathless moments, not just because of the beauty of the place but also because of several assaults that made me run out of breath many times. I just didn’t want this post to be overly dramatic. Maybe it’s because I enjoyed Mt. Ulap way too much.
MT. ULAP AMPUCAO STA FE TRAVERSE
Not so perfect heart shot at the summit fronting the clouds
  • If you are to hike this mountain, bring with you lots of patience. Her trails may be tons less grueling than the other mountains but long walks along ridges can still take up much of your energy and time making you feel like the hike is taking way longer than necessary.
  • We had not seen a single trash anywhere along the trail or anywhere in Mt. Ulap that even those tiny cigarette butts and candy wrappers were nowhere in sight. Let’s keep it that way. Let us help the locals keep this magnificent mountain clean. Observe LNT (Leave No Trace). Bring your trashes down Mt. Ulap and dispose them upon getting home.
  • Don’t let the cool weather fool you. Wear sunscreen to protect your skin. The sun is still up there even when the air blowing through the whole time is as cold as the early morning breeze.
  • Feel free to climb DIY style. Make sure to make early reservation through their authorized Facebook account. 
  • If you are to join a group hike, make sure to go with a group of 15-20 participants max. We don’t really want to wear down the beauty of Mt. Ulap too quickly, do we? And it’s now mandatory.
  • Mt. Ulap is now limiting hikers to 500 heads on weekends and 150 on weekdays. Everyone is asked to make reservation prior to your hike.

HOW TO GO THERE

  • Commute – Ride a bus in Cubao/Pasay to Baguio City. From the bus terminal, ride a jeep going to Central Mall then from there ride another jeep enroute Phillex Mines and get off Ampucao Elementary School.
  • Private – Take NLEX continuing to SCTEX taking the exit to MacArthur Highway. From MacArthur Highway turn right to Kennon Rd continuing to Loakan Road then to Balatoc Road until you reach Ampucao Elementary School.

  
SUMMARY OF EXPENSESDIY Commute
-RT Fare Bus Manila-Baguio P900
-RT Fare Jeep Central Mall P16
-RT Fare Jeep Ampucao P70
-Registration Fee P50
-Guide Fee @ P600 x 2 - P120

Total - P1,156/pax for a group of 10

DIY Van Rental
-Van Rental @ P10k - P1000
-Registration Fee P50
-Guide Fee @ P600 x 2 - P120

Total - P1,170/pax for a group of 5 ***Can be a lot lesser if more people will share the van rental cost.

For 12-sitter van rental, please contact 0936 951 4130 and 0920 979 9924 or 18-sitter 0915 733 7688.
THINGS TO BRINGJacket
Weather gear (gloves/bonnet)
Extra Clothes
Toiletries
Umbrella
Trekking Pole
Poncho/Raincoat
First Aid Kit including personal meds
Trail snacks
2L Trail Water
Packed Lunch
SAMPLE ITINERARYDay 0

19:00 Assembly at Edsa Central/Cubao
20:00 ETD Ampucao

Day 1

02:00 Arrive in Ampucao
03:30 Start Trek
04:00 Ambanao Paoay
05:00 Gungal Rock
06:00 SUMMIT
08:30 Pong-ol human cave
09:30 Sta. Fe (Wash Up)
10:00 Depart for Baguio City side trip
10:30 Baguio City Free Time
19:00 Depart for Manila
24:00 Arrive in Manila
UPDATED FEES & OTHER CHARGESRegistration Fee - P50

Camping Site Fee - P800 (10 Pax and below)

Guide Fee (7 Pax Per Guide)
-Day Hike P600
-Overnight P1000

Porter Fee (20Kg Max Per Porter)
-Day Hike P500
-Overnight P800
CONTACT INFOClimb Organizer: Champ - 0995 980 5548
Guide: Frank - 0930 918 6519
Joy - 0948 250 5198

Mt. Ulap Council - 0928 483 1133 | 0946 115 9154 | 0946 340 4561

There you go lovely people. If you need more info about this much talked about Mt. Ulap, feel free to leave them on the comments box below. Until next time. Ciao! ๐Ÿ™‚

Author

Hi There!

Watashi no namae wa Kezu desu!

“A wanna be. Wanna do everything kind of badass”

Chos!

Hmm. I’m wondering what I should tell you since I really don’t wanna oversell myself. Let’s see.. Just like any other girl, I’m just ordinary. I love to travel, take photos, share stories and write. I’m an anime otaku and my favorite country is Japan although I haven’t been there yet. I have a 9 by 5 job but I hope to travel full time someday. And I’m also a blabbermouth since birth. Me blogging and writing stuff online is just some sort of therapy so I don’t get myself in trouble. You know, me and my big mouth. Lol

94 Comments

    • Hi Vince. Sa official Facebook page po ng mt. Ulap best maginquire. Meron din po numbers dun

    • Get yourself physically ready. Read and learn about survival techniques. Try hiking alone on easier mountains then to more difficult ones.

    • Hi Bajoi. Yup nasa blogpost po details nya. Pakicontact na langpo. And dont forget to reserve your slots with the proper channels to reach mt. Ulap. ๐Ÿ˜Š

    • hi po my available po bang guide dis friday 2 kami tnxs 09106274774 contact me sa my mga available tnxs

  1. cylime020715 Reply

    Hello po. Magkano po reservations niyo? Binabalak po kasi namin magpunta by April holy week.

  2. I feel everything you have written..my biggest dream eversince to conquer a mountain, too bad i let years passed by,now im 55,with hypertension,but still aching to fulfill my dream.i think and feel am fit,i read that you experience some shortness of breath,tsk,tsk..but,compared to walking in malls maybe i am halfway qualified to do this with my doctor’s consent..i weigh 115 lbs.walking 30mins around our village is my fitness partner

    • Hi Eva. Dreams do come true ansd you oath to fulfill them. With your doctor’s consent, i hope you will one day fulfill your dream. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  3. Eleja fe maralit Reply

    Gusto ko din sana umakyat jan. Pero 2 lang kami. Possible pa rin po ba yun? Saan po mka hire ng guide going to mt.ulap. thanks โ˜บ

    • Hi. Pwede po kayong dalawa lang. Sa reg site dun po kumukuha ng guide. Contact nyo na lang po si Frank kung pwede nya kayo iguide 09309186519

        • Hi Ash. We started at 7am and ended at about 4PM. Moderate pace lang at may tulog pa ng mga 1 hr after lunch. If mbilis kayo pwdeng nyo matapos yun ng 5 or 6 hrs. Depende din sa traffic ng tao na nagpapapicture sa mga photoworthy spots.

  4. I’ve been also at Mt Ulap and a local living here. If your planning to have a journey, better start your thrill early in the morning because the hike would either take 6 hours or more. Nevertheless, afternoon is not advisable because it might rain or umambon. It always depends on how fast you walk and take pictures along the way. For DIY, there’s a jeep going to the barangay hall near centermall jollibee for less than 30 pesos it would take less than hour drive. Going back to baguio check your time because jeepney drivers are willing to wait until 5pm if im not mistaken. If you have your own/rent car the better. Camping is also suggested after the ampaoay trail,second station. #GodBless ^_^ hope it helps

    Check out my blog for more information :
    https://lakwatserangigorota.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/mt-ulap-trekking/

  5. Hello we’re planning na mag hike this jan 15 and we are still not sure if we will join sa itinerary, 24/7 po b ang mga jeep dun if ever na mag commute kame. Tha ks

    • Hi Glord. Nope po. May time lang po ang mga jeep dun. Pag sobrang late na, wala na pong biahe

    • Sorry hindi sya 24/7 because until afternoon lng ang biyahe papunta doon..double check nyo dn kung may bagyo or ulan na parating kc ndi nyo ma enjoy and hike if ever..hope it helps ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Hi Ms. keza ask ko lng po magkano budget if ever mgtry kme ng friends ko sa mt. ulap galing na kme ng baguio nun for panabengga singit lang po sana namin yung mt. ulap 4 po kame. salamat

      • thankyou Ms. Keza for the info nkausap ko po kase si mr. champ 800 per person ung sinabe nya saken. Ask ko din po sana if ever kung mt. pulag nalang po kame ppunta instead na mt. ulap kaya po kaya ng 1 day galing po kase kme nun ng panagbengga fiestival. slamat

        • Di po kya ng 1 day ang Mt. Pulag kasi mahaba po ang biahe papunta pa lang sa DENR tapos another biahe papuntang ranger station. Tapos mas mahabang lakaran ang Mt. Pulag as compared to Mt. Ulap

        • san magbabayad ng 800..sorry ngyn lng ulit nakapag login,sa pagkakaalam k sa mt pulag is madaling araw ang hiking 3-4hrs paakyat then 3-4hrs uli pababa..

      • ok po ms. keza maraming salamat for the info. i will go to mt. ulap nalang if ever. but can u suggest me the tour guide or contact person regarding po sa mt ulap kung magkano, namamahalan po kase ako sa 800 na sinabe saken ni mr. champ. any recommendation. thankyou so much ms. Keza

        • Hi Christine,

          Make sure po to reserve prior to your hike. Nasa blog po yung update. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      • yung 800 po is payment po for the tour sa mt. ulap.. kung may maiisuggest po sana kayong tour na mura sa mt. ulap at tour guide.. maraming salamat 1 day lang po sana

  6. Hello,

    pwede po ba mag walk-in? May mga guide po ba na available sa registration site? Thank yoi ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

    • Hi Luc. Yes pwede po.. Wala nmang technical parts. Up and downhill walk lang the whole time ang mt. Ulap

  7. Rowena P. Olmedo Reply

    kaya ba ng beginner to? ๐Ÿ™‚ may alam po ba kayo na mahhhike sa mt. ulap coming dec ng weekends?? thank you!!

    • Hi Rowena!

      Yup. Mt Ulap is newbie friendly.
      Can you message me on facebook so I can arrange your hike with my friend who has na upcoming event for Mt. Ulap in December. Will be waiting for your message. ๐Ÿ˜Š

      • Hi po maam, meron po ba kayong contact sa guide sa mt. Ulap? kasi this weekend po sat-sun magcamp po kami. Baka may rental ng tent dun para di na madaming dala po. Thank you po

        • Hi Erjohn. Sorry but I don’t have any contact info for any guides in Mt. Ulap. I will try to get one and update it on the blog but now sorry can’t give you any info. ๐Ÿ™

      • Brian Xavier Reply

        Hi ma’am Keza.
        My girlfriend and I are planning to go Mt. ulap on Dec. 14,2016 wednesday. Is there a tour package available and if not is it possible to go there by ourselves and hire a tour guide?Will wait for your response. Thank you

        • Hi Brian. No need for tour package. You can simply go there and hire a tour guide. Take care and have fun.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hi! available po ba ang registration anytime? what time po ang pinaka maaga? thanks!

  9. Hi! San yung mas mahirap? Mt daraitan or Mt. Ulap? ๐Ÿ˜Š

  10. Thank you for this, Keza! Planning to go there this coming weekend (October 5), tatlo lang kami. Do they have a minimum number of guest that they accept? We’re planning to DIY lang, kasi by Friday nasa Baguio na kami. Thank you in advance. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Hi!
    This is really helpful. I want to ask, about DIY hike, Do I need to schedule/register ahead of time for the hike, or pwede ang walk-in?

    • Hi Leah. Di naman. Mejo challenging yung start at ending kasi paahon at palusong at may part na matarik pero 95% chill lang ang hike na to.

  12. Hello, we are planning trek Mt. Ulap daytrip. When you get to Ampucao Elementary School, jump off na ba un o another ride pa?

    • Hi Krystel. That’s the registration area. You will have to hike a little on the road leading to the trail/jumpoff.

  13. gud day. mam di po ba naapektuhan ng bagyon lawin ang mount ulap okay lang po bang maghike sa sunday october 30.
    thanks

    • Hi Ryan. That I’m not sure pero di ko nman narinig na affected ang Ampacao.. Pero I would suggest that you postpone your hike to give way for clearing operations. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  14. Available po ba yung guide kahit anong oras? Saka may alam po ba kayong pwedeng tayuan ng tent kasi po baka 10pm po kami dumating dun e, magpapahinga po muna sana kami bago umakyat ng madaling araw. Thanks in advance

  15. Hi. Ask ko lang kung may mairerecommend po ba kayo na tour guide sa amin? Thanks po ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Lalinka. Nope. Wala po. Although mabait yung guide namen, we didn’t bother getting the name for recommendation purposes kasi yung local council na magaassign ng guides upon registration. Don’t worry mababait silang lahat dun. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Markoloco. I bought it in Tutuban Mall. There are trekking poles for sale on mountaineering groups in facebook for a cheap price. Another great options are those sold in basekamps. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Best to start hiking at 2-3AM so you can marvel at the sunrise and the sea of clouds. Less hikers in those hours too so you won’t have to wait long to get your photo taken in Gungal Rock and other great spots. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • Let’s you finish early too so you have time to spend exploring other sites or Baguio City. Let’s you avoid heavy traffic as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Hi kung mag DIY kami ng friend ,puwede naman dba? Pagdating namin ng Baguio pnta lang kami ng Anpucao di ba? Kahit ndi kame nag pa reserve ng maaga? Thank you sa sagot

      • kung ganun namn po pala no need na medical certificate po

        • Yup. No need na kung wala ka nman heart or lung ailment. Kasi tatanungin nila yun before the hike and you have to show medcert and sign a waiver.

      • Cords Mist Reply

        napunta na pero noong hindi pa open, wala pa registration at di rin aware mostly na local doon. Inakyat namin na walang guide. Di na kami umabot sa may gungal rock, maulap, medyo uulan na at nalowbat ba naman bigla yung Camera kaya ayun, nawalan na kami ng gana. Pagbalik namin nawala kami hehe, kaya kahit saan saan kami dumaan tinumbok na lang namin yung kalsada. Pero ang ganda di na namin nabalikan kasi wala na oras.

        • Wow. Good thing you all came out alright. Yeah maganda tlga dun pero maulap na sa summit pagpatak ng oras after lunch lalo na pag maulan. How did you know about it nung di pa binubuksan sa public? ๐Ÿ™‚

Hey Guys! Care to share me your thoughts? ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿ‘‡

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