Mt. Ulap Traverse to Sta. Fe Day Hike: DIY Guide and Itinerary 2017

Name: Mt. Ulap or Cloud Mountain
Jump Off: Ampucao, Itogon, Benguet
Exit Point: Sta. Fe, Itogon, Benguet
Features: Grassland and Pine ridges
Elevation: 1846 MASL
Difficulty: 3/9 

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The magnificent view at Mt. Ulap Summit

       What a great summer day! A perfect day to start my mountaineering adventure. Hmmmm! Where to go next? Well, I would love to trek in a cold and breezy place under the scorching heat of the sun. One of the destinations in my bucket list is Ampucao, Itogon, Benguet where MT. ULAP is located. Mt. Ulap is a newly opened hiking haven located in Itogon. It was  officially launched on October 31, 2015 and first welcomed avid mountaineers to its rich and unspoiled lands and mountains.

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Mt. Ulap Survivor 2017

Do-It-Yourself Day Hike (DIY):

         Before our climb to Mt. Ulap, we had an advanced reservation of slot thru their Mt. Ulap Facebook Page. I downloaded and filled up the Mt. Ulap Eco-Trail Registration Form  then press submit button in the filled-up form. An automated e-mail from google form was sent to me. Then, I received a text message from Celine Palubos confirming our reservation for the Mt. Ulap Eco-Trail Day Hike. You may call or text  Ms. Celine Palubos at +63018-2788-626 for inquiries.

Jump Off Point Direction

1. From Manila, we took a Victory liner Bus in Cubao terminal going to Baguio City. We opted to purchase a ticket with 10:40 P.M. (friday night) schedule trip. The fare costs Php 445.00 per person for one way and it took us six (6) hours travel time.

2. We arrived in Baguio City  at 5:00 A.M. (saturday). Then, we rode a taxi cab going to Baguio Center Mall where the jeepney terminal going to Ampucao, Itogon, Benguet is located.  The fare costs Php 60.00. We had our breakfast at Jollibee Restaurant just beside the jeep terminal.

3. After our breakfast, we rode a jeep at exactly 6:30 A.M. going to Ampucao Barangay Hall, the jump-off point of Mt. Ulap Eco Trail. The fare costs Php 30.00 per person for one way. It took us one (1) hour travel time and we arrived at the Ampucao Barangay Hall at 7:30 A.M.

Note:

  • There are jeepneys waiting at the foot of the mountain ridge in Sta. Fe. going back to Baguio City with a fare costs Php 60.00 per person for one way. Then, going back to Manila is just the same as the above transportation and rates. 
  • If you want to catch the beautiful sunrise and see of clouds, I suggest to have an overnight camping at Campsite 1 or 2 of Mt. Ulap Eco Trail.
  • You can opt to spend overnight in a hotel or homestay in Baguio City before or after the day you climb Mt. Ulap so you have enough sleep and energy. Just Book and reserve at TravelBook.ph or click the Book Now button below.

Rates and Fees:

  • Registration Fee (per person)                                         Php 100.00
  • Local Guide Fee (1 guide for  group of 7 persons)    

            –  Day Hike                                                                             Php 600.00

           –  Overnight Camping                                                       Php 1,000.00

  • Campsite Fee

           –  Overnight Camping for 10 pax below                 Php 800.00

  • Porter Fee (optional)

           – Day Hike                                                                               Php 500.00

           – Overnight Camping                                                        Php 800.00


We arrived at Ampucao Barangay Hall at 7:30 in the morning and registered our names. Then, we paid for the registration and local guide fee, arranged a guide and a quick orientation was conducted by our very own local guide. 
The Ultimate Climb:

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          We started trekking at 8:00 AM from the camp base. The climb was relaxing with some moments of up and down ridges and some assaults. During the first leg of the hike, it felt like it would knocked off our feet not only because of relentless assaults but because of the astonishing scenery which your eyes can feed on in every directions. 

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Welcome to Ampucao – Sta Fe Traverse Eco-Trail hike

          After about two (2) hours of trekking, we reached the First (1st) Peak  at 10:00 A.M. The Ambanaw Paway which is also the Campsite 1.  A sea of pine trees, endless slopes of grasslands and a marvelous 360 view of the surrounding mountain ranges reminds me of New Zealand with lovely cows everywhere.

           An hour after the first peak, we reached the Second (2nd) Peak at 11:00 A.M. The Gungal Rock is the famous landmark in Mt. Ulap which is one of the highlights of our climb. The view was simply breathtaking and stunning! We enjoyed every part of it even the trek was kinda tiring. We took some time at this heart-stopping and thrilling peak for photo ops as it has unique rock formations and magnificent view. However, you have to fall in line and wait for your turn to take photos at the famous peak since there were several hikers especially during holidays and weekends.

          Finally! After another hour of trekking, we reached the third (3rd) Peak, the Mt. Ulap’s Summit at 12:00 P.M. OMG! It was worth every step with picture perfect landscape. The mountains would get you closer to the clouds at the summit. It was a relaxing climb with plenty of chances to rest and catch our breath.

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        During the descent, there were absolutely no straight path. From 1,864 MASL, it was a steep, rocky and unforgiving 300 meter descent. We passed by the campsite 2 just near the Mt. Ulap Summit and if you’re lucky, there were free range cows that adds to the attraction of this scenic view. From campsite 2, we passed by few stalls selling refreshments, foods, and souvenirs. I got a fridge magnet to add to my collection which costs php 55.00 after bargaining. It was almost 12:45 P.M. when we had our lunch at one of the stalls. 

          We continued descending at 1:15 P.M. The descend at Sta. Fe ridge was quite an adventure itself. I thought that since it was going down, it won’t be difficult but I was wrong. The slope was roughly steep. In fact, it was more difficult than ascending. You will know the descent is over once you see hanging bridges. It signals the end of the Mt. Ulap trek. We completed the trail at around 3:30 P.M. with 7 and half hours trek.

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The refreshing view while descending..

Expenses:

  • Transportation:

Bus – Victory Liner Bus Cubao to Baguio City

Taxi – Baguio Bus Terminal to Baguio Center Mall

Jeep – Baguio Central Mall to Ampucao, Benguet

Jeep – Sta. Fe to Baguio City

Taxi – to Victory Liner Baguio Terminal

Bus – Baguio to Cubao

Php445.00

Php60.00

Php30.00

Php60.00

Php60.00

Php445.00

  • Miscellaneous Fee:

Registration Fee to Mt. Ulap

Guide Fee (1 guide for a group of 7 persons)

Ref Magnet (souvenir)

Php100.00

Php200.00 (Php600 divided by 3 persons)

Php55.00

Total Php1,455.00
  • Foods  (it depends on your budget)
Php1,000.00
  • Accommodation: (optional)

Hotel for 1 night – Hotel Henrico Kisad

Php750.00 (Php1,500 divided by 2 persons)
  • Pasalubong (it depends on your budget)

TOTAL EXPENSES

Php3,205.00

“The best view comes after the hardest climb..”

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