Local and foreign mountain climbers have at least 95 reasons to explore the mountain ranges in the Philippines. That’s the total count of mountains in the country, and more than 30 of these have summits that are prominently greater than 1,000 meters. There are beginner-friendly mountains and then there are mountains for hardcore mountaineers. Regardless of which category you fall into, here are the 10 must-climb mountains in the Philippines.
1) Mount Apo
Location: Davao del Sur
Elevation: 2,954 m
A source of pride of the Bagobo tribes, Mount Apo is the highest peak in the Philippines. In addition to the three major summits with steep and mossy trails that make each traverse a challenge, the mountain has Lake Venado in its crater. Conquering Mount Apo is considered as every mountaineer’s finale.
2) Mount Pinatubo
Location: Zambales, Tarlac and Pampanga
Elevation: 1,486 m
Mount Pinatubo is considered one of the most beloved hiking destinations by the mountaineers for two reasons. First, the trail is not too easy, not too difficult. Second, a hiker is rewarded by the stunning view of the turquoise water of the crater lake. You may drown your sweatiness in the lake if the conditions permit.
3) Mount Pico de Loro
Elevation: 664 m
Mount Pico de Loro is named after the summit’s close resemblance with a parrot’s beak. Most hikers will find the rare flora and fauna a delight during the hike as well as the beautiful views of the forests and beaches. While it has a rocky summit with steep, forested terrains, it can still be considered as a beginner-friendly mountain.
4) Mount Pulag
Elevation: 2,922 m
Dubbed as the Playground of the Gods, Mount Pulag is the highest peak in Luzon. The two most famous trails at the Ambangeg (the easiest) and the Akiki (the hardest). Various types of vegetations are met along the trails – a pine forest, a moss forest and vast grassland. Also, the mountain is a home to Benguet pine and dwarf bamboo. Standing at the summit, you will have a 360-view of the Cordillera.
5) Mount Makiling
Location: Batangas and Laguna
Elevation: 1,090 m
A home to Maria Makiling, a goddess who protects the mountain and its treasures, Mount Makiling is one of the most mystical mountains in the archipelago. One of the highlights of hiking this mountain is seeing the Rafflesia flower, an exotic flower that is also regarded as the world’s largest flower.
6) Mount Mariveles
Elevation: 1,388 m
Mount Mariveles’ present slopes are the past’s battlefields. Hiking the mountain requires at least 5 hours and the trails are both rocky and sunny. Halfway across the trek you will see a river to cool off. At the summit, savor the picturesque of the Corregidor Islands, Mount Pico de Loro, South China Sea and Manila Bay.
7) Mount Banahaw
Location: Laguna and Quezon
Elevation: 2,170 m
Another mystical mountain is Mount Banahaw not just because of fairies and goddesses in the area, but it is also said that aliens are taking refuge in this mountain. The mountain is also commonly visited by hikers and non-hikers alike during the Holy Week. Divine apparitions and miracles are said to be happening here during those days.
8) Kitanglad Mountain Range
Elevation: 2,938 m
Kitanglad Mountain Range is consist of five mountains, the highest of which is the Mount Dulang-Dulang. The best thing about hiking the mountain range is seeing rare animal and plant species such as orchids, brown deer and cloud rats. Definitely, you will need high levels of endurance to reach the summit; not for the faintest of hearts.
9) Mount Kanla-on
Location: Negros Occidental and Negros Oriental
Elevation: 2,435 m
The mountain is named after Kanlaon, a legendary prince. Even the mountaineers themselves will agree – Mount Kanla-on is the most beautiful mountain in this side of the planet. Its features are a caldera at the north and an active crater at the south. There are also natural gardens, hot springs and mini forests along the trails.
10) Mount Guiting-guiting
Elevation: 2,938 m
Mountaineers claims that Mount Guiting-Guiting is the ultimate hiking experience. Guiting-guiting literally means ‘saw-toothed’ so you have to traverse along vertical and jagged rock peaks. Not to mention, the mountain has 87-degree slopes as well as a number of deceiving summits.
For a thrilling climb or just a leisurely hike, for sure, the Philippines has the right mountain and trails for you. The choice is all yours.
About Author : Justin is a Filipino blogger, freelance writer and a traveler at times. He currently blogs and writes for Country Club Philippines.