Do It Yourself Mount Pulag Itinerary via Ambangeg Trail

Warning: To much use of hyperbole might be read in this article. 

The Return

It was just last year when I climbed, for the first time, Mount Pulag. I was with my college friends joining an travel agency to have a hassle free journey to Ambangeg, Benguet. The experience was so surreal that it led me to explore the other mountain gems of the Philippines.

Overlooking Mount Pulag Summit at the Mossy Forest

A year after, me, my best friend with her sister and cousins, made our own itinerary to hike Mount Pulag.

First things first

You need to inform the DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources) Ambangeg office that you will be there to climb Mount Pulag. State your intended date of climb and the number of people in your team. Since Mount Pulag has gained lots of attention among hikers, the crowd sometimes is too much for the mountain to handle. That is why DENR limits the number of climbers per day and a reservation call is a prerequisite in climbing the famous mountain.

Contact person: Emerita Albas, the DENR Superintendent, at +63 919-631-5402.

The Journey

A week before our hike, #SuperTyphoonMaysak (#TyphoonChedeng) was targeting to hit Central or Northern Luzon on Black Saturday (April 4) until Easter Monday. So, we were at the mercy of the storm if the hiking event would push thru on April 6 (easter Monday). Sunday came, and by the grace of God, or luck, or by the praying powers of our fellow countrymen, the Super Typhoon gradually dissipated and passed over the country as a LPA (low pressure area). 

Go Signal For Mount Pulag

We made our way to the Old Slaughterhouse in Magsaysay, Baguio City.

If your from Manila (Victory Liner, Genesis etc), hail a taxi and tell the driver to go to Magsaysay Old Slaughterhouse.

We hailed a van for 6 pax costing 2,000 pesos from Baguio to Ranger station (one way). Other option would be to ride the Van to Kabayan and ask the driver to drop you off at the junction in Ambangeg near DENR Office.

Along the way to DENR, our van driver stopped at Lolo Cancio, a newly opened restaurant in Bato, Bokod Benguet. 

Cactus for sale in the Resto

It may seem the new stop over for hikers going to Mount Pulag. This resto has the picturesque view of the Ambuklao Lake. The food was ok. What made it interesting was the appetizing view. Good for the soul and body.

Ambuklao Lake seen from Lolo Cancio

We arrived at DENR around 11:30 am after a 2 hour ride from Old Slaughterhouse. (Last trip from Old Slaughterhouse going to Kabayan/Bokod, Benguet is 10 am. We rode the van around 9:30 am)

We watched the mandated orientation then Q&A portions. Ask away!

After the registration process we made our way to the Rangers Station in Ambangeg to booked a travel guide. 

Blacky the Dog at the Rangers Station

We arrived at the Rangers station, the jump off point to Mount Pulag around 2 PM. We were warned to make haste if we were to arrive at our desired camp site - Camp 3 before the night falls or rain will pour down on us. Our guide, Uncle Andrew Bugnay was asking us to hasten our walk as it will be a long journey. 

It was an easy hike until we reach Camp 2 around 4 PM. 

Camp 1

Camp 1 after 30 minutes of hiking

Look who welcomed us!

Rain poured for a while so we stayed at the newly constructed waiting shed within the mossy forest of Camp 2. 

We didn't really see this quick drizzle of rain as a sign that IT WILL RAIN RELENTLESSLY along the trail. We were optimistic. Vigorous and hype to reach our destination. 

Upon seeing the Grass lands we were stopped at our feet and was awed with the sight. 

Amazing!! Then rain started to drizzle so we stopped the photo ops to make haste. But as minutes passed by the rain didn't stop. 

Rain rain go away!

We were not prepared for that. No proper water proofing for our things. Uncle Andrew insisted at the start of the hike to get some rain coats but we were so fixated that the garbage bags we brought is sufficient. 

We were totally wrong. 

For one the garbage bag was so small. Only a sleeping bag would fit in it let alone our bags and body for make shift rain coats. 

The difficulty of the hike was worsen by the down pour of rain. The simple walk on a 30 degree slope was made difficult by water flowing on the muddy trail.

It took us 1 and 30 mins to arrive at the very steep slope of Camp 3 just below the Summit of Mount Pulag

See the Small hut down below?

Nearly there! Ingat baka madulas..

Around 5:30 PM,  we were the only ones at Camp 3. One group in camp 2 were supposed to stay there but didn't pushed thru because of the weather. We were not informed LOL. There were only 3 small groups hiking Mount Pulag, our team included, so the place was deserted. Unlike my hike last year, during the peak season for hiking Mount Pulag (January - March) even camp 2 and 3 were not enough, that the saddle camp was the overflow area for setting up camps for hikers.

There is a small house, smaller than that in camp 2, in camp 3. 

Time to Eat

Mangan Tayo Apo!

Prepping our Breakfast for Tomorrow

We didn't set up camp since the ground was wet. And uncle Andrew advised us to stay at the guide's rest house.

All 6 of us were wet and cramped ourselves in the cozy upper floor of the house. 

Maturog Tayun

We ate our dinner early around 7 PM. And then prepared our breakfast for the next day since we had nothing to do but keep ourselves warm with the 7 deg temperature outside.
Lights out around 9 PM then woke up around 4 AM for the assault to the summit..

Amazing Pulag Experience

It was chilly and windy. But the sky was clear!!! A great sign for an AMAZING PULAG experience!! 

Outside Camp 3 - The Moon beams us with Hope!

We packed our bags and carried it to the summit since Camp 3 is well off our route going back to the Rangers Station. 

I rushed to the top.

Sea of Clouds At LAST!
I was the sweeper of the team in this hiking event but when I saw the streak of lights escaping in the horizon, my best friend didn't hinder me to stay at the end and asked me to go on ahead.

And then my jaw drop at the awesomeness: 

the Sea Of Clouds and Sun rise of Mount Pulag!

Our yesterday's experience with the down pour of rain was all worth it!

This is Epix - "Epic na Pix"

Feeling blessed (ehem ehem status update *wink) to have seen this marvel of nature. Not only we saw the sun rise, but also the setting of the moon on the other side. It was a spectacle to was as these two heavenly bodies take shifts to light up the world.

Going down.

At 7:30 am, we head back to the rangers station. It was a different experience as the hike yesterday. It was dry, no rain to make the trail slippery and best of all, it was clear blue sky! We saw the grandeur of the Grasslands.

It was already 11 PM when we arrived at the Rangers station and booked a 2500 van going back the same route as we did. Rangers to DENR for logging out then DENR to our new favorite resto along the way LOLO Cancio. Then to our humble abode in Baguio.

Here are the costs incurred on this trip:

Food Budget - Dinner and Breakfast around 1000 good for 6 pax

Transportation (From Baguio Only) 2000 one way plus 2500 going back
There are alternative public transportation since we wanted to be just us on the Van.
(adding information here soon)

Guide Fee - At the Ambangeg trail, minimum guide fee of Php 600.00 is being collected for a group of visitors with 5 pax and below. If there are more than 5 pax within the group, Php120.00 per pax is being collected as guide fee. Maximum number of pax for a guide is 10 pax

DENR Mandated Fees (Environmental, Entrance Fee etc..) Total fees of 225 per person

Contact Points:

Emerita Albas, the DENR Superintendent, at +63 919-631-5402.

Information on Mount Pulag (lifted from

Bokod, Benguet

Major jump-off: Ambangeg Ranger Stn, Bokod, Benguet
LLA: 16°34'58"N 120°53'15"E, 2922 MASL (#3)
Days required / Hours to summit: 4-5 hours / 1-2 days
Specs: Major Climb, Difficulty 3/9, Trail class 1-2
Trail system: Grand Cordillera Trail, Section 3
Features: Sea of clouds, dwarf bamboo slopes, pine forests


  1. may number po kau ng van? pwede po hinginin? tnx

    1. Hi Miss Mary Anne. sorry I have no Number nung van driver. pero madami naman dun kung di kayo peak season pupunta

  2. Hi Sir,

    Any information regarding public transportation going back to Baguio after exiting Ambangeg?

    1. Hi sir Arnold,

      Upon coming back from the rangers station. Madami ng transporation from there. But I suggest you get the contact number of your driver going to Mt. Pulag. Then they will relay to any of their colleagues about you needing public transpo.

      Another option is to hire Habal habal from the Rangers station to DENR then from there, Madami ng Jeepneys sa DENR going back to baguio

  3. I could not find the transportation cost and instruction from DENR to ambangeg jump off. Hinatid din ba kayo ng van dun?

  4. Sir, may tanong lang po ako. 11PM na po ba kayo dumating sa Ranger station? sobrang late na po?

  5. Hi Dan,

    Yung P2000 ba na van rental ay yun na yung paghahatian nyong 6 (P2000/6 = P334 each)? Or P2000 per person yun? Kung tama na P2000 per person, that will be a total of P12,000 sa van rental. Your feedback is appreciated. TIA.


Powered by Blogger.