Top 10 Mountain Peaks For Beginners
More than its 7,107 spectacular islands and unspoiled beaches, the Philippines has a lot of inland attractions that have yet to be discovered. More and more people have started flocking the mountains to get a glimpse of breathtaking views from various summits. But if you are sadly missing out on this trend, worry not because here are the best mountain peaks for beginners like you!
1Mt. Pinatubo (Summit Elevation: 1,486+ m.)
Mt. Pinatubo is viewed as one of the most dangerous mountains to trek not just in the country but in the entire world because of its active status. The volcano, which is located near the tripoint of Zambales, Tarlac, and Pampanga, had one of the largest eruptions of the 20th century.
Despite this, many people still flock the crater lake year after year for its otherworldly beauty. The hike from the jump-off point to the lake takes about 20 minutes along mostly the same elevation, making it perfect for beginners. The 4×4 ride, however, can be slightly intimidating considering that lahar surrounds you, but it’s all part of the fun!
2Pico de Loro (664+)
Mt. Pico de Loro, or Parrot’s Beak to describe the form of the prominent rocky tower, is a part of a small mountain range called Mt. Palay-Palay found in Cavite and Batangas. The easy accessibility by bus from Manila has turned it into a popular weekend destination. Plus, the heavily forested trails make it extra appealing. Trekkers can reach the summit, which is the base of the beak, in just two hours. As of writing, climbing the beak has been considered dangerous and is not allowed.
3Mt. Batulao (811+)
Several factors make Mt. Batulao in Nasugbu, Batangas, an appealing hiking destination for beginners: remarkable views, cool temperatures, and easy access via the MRT-LRT lines. The hike to the top will take you to gently rolling trails that are well-maintained, making it the perfect training ground for those looking for a more challenging climb the next time around.
Both old and new trails take about two hours, one way, but there are also several campsites (only one in the new trail) that allow visitors to stay overnight. Dodge the huge crowds of hikers flocking their way to the summit by avoiding the weekends.
4Mt. Daraitan (739+)
Another popular day-hike destination near Manila is part of the great Sierra Mountain Range. Mt. Daraitan sits near the border of Tanay in Rizal and General Nakar in Quezon. What used to be a logging area has now been turned into an ecotourism site that boasts of caves, springs, pools, and limestone formations.
The 600-meter ascent to the summit will be a tough climb for beginner hikers, but expect no less than astounding views of the Daraitan River and a refreshing dip in the nearby Tinipak River.
5Mt. Balagbag (777+)
Its proximity to Manila make Mt. Balagbag in Rodriguez, Rizal another popular day-hike option. With broad and easy trails, the mountain is frequented by mountain bikers. The exposed trails, which can be extremely unforgiving during summer, may be the only thing that is difficult here, so better do your trek early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Camping overnight is possible although you could also do a side trip to Mt. Maranat and Maranat Falls.
6Mt. Manalmon (196+)
Among the most famous destinations within Biak-na-Bato National Park is Mt. Manalmon, which despite being just a hill, offers astounding rock formations. The entire trek takes about two hours, and this includes passing through the Madlum Cave and crossing the Madlum River. You may set up a camp past the river or at the summit of the mountain. Other nearby attractions are the Bayukbok Caves and the Madlum Cave.
7Osmeña Peak (1,013+)
The highest peak in Cebu is surprisingly among the easiest ones to climb, taking just 20 minutes to get to the top. Hikers can enjoy the views of the jagged Mantalungon range, and the nearby Negros and Bohol islands. Because of the bare summit, make sure you visit the peak early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Some overnight campers would top off the experience with a four-hour traverse to Kawasan Falls in Badian.
8Mt. Manunggal (1,003+)
One of the most notable plane crashes in Philippine history happened on a mountain, when former President Magsaysay’s plane crashed at Mt. Manunggal in Cebu back in 1957.
At present, the highland area of Mt. Manunggal bears the bust of Magsaysay and a marker that summarizes his life and career. Trekking towards the crash site monument is pretty straightforward and involves walking along cemented roads. Many times, hikers would take the longer Tabunan trail which provides a more “natural” feel. Stores and residences can also be found at the campsite.
You can also check out this list of other campsites around Cebu.
9Mt. Puting Bato (534+)
Island Garden City of Samal’s highest point can be reached by a combination of a long, butt-numbing ride uphill, and a quick 30-minute walk to the peak. The peak is well-maintained and is covered by short trees and lots of grass. About 10 minutes from the peak, Mt. Puting Bato offers one of the most spectacular, unobstructed views of the island.
10Mt. Gulugod Baboy (525+)
The mountain, which means “pig’s spine,” was named as such to describe the contours of the hills. Mt. Gulugod-Baboy is one of the three peaks in the range, so there is still confusion as to where the Gulugod-Baboy truly is.
The peak was “discovered” by diving enthusiasts and a stay at any of the nearby diving resorts in Anilao is common among hikers. Enjoy a great view of the Balayan and Batangas Bays even before reaching the top!
Now that you know where to start, go on and begin a new hobby outdoors. Who knows, you might just find yourself falling in love with mountain climbing!