5 Highest Mountains in Luzon that are Worth Trekking

Mt. Pulag

The Cordillera region hosts the top five highest mountains in Luzon – three of which are included in the Philippines’ 10 highest. Common to these mountains are their mossy forests, cascading waterfalls, and breathtaking views of the sunrise and sunset.

These mountains are also important ecological sanctuaries, home to many endemic wildlife including the Philippine Monkey-Eating Eagle and the elusive Rafflesia flowers.

Get a glimpse of Cordillera’s grandeur and rich cultural heritage by climbing these mountains on your next trip!

1. Mt. Pulag

Vanishing mossy forests can still be found on the remoter parts of Mt. Pulag, the third highest mountain in the Philippines.

Mt. Pulag is Luzon’s highest peak and the third in the Philippines. Dubbed as the “Playground of the gods,” the mountain offers one of the best sunrise views, with its famous sea of clouds. The indigenous Ibaloi who inhabit the mountain consider it sacred and vital to their survival. Thus, they have been protecting Mt. Pulag for centuries. The trail to Mt. Pulag will take you to vegetable gardens, pine stands, and mossy forests. While atop, you’ll tread vast groves of dwarf bamboos. These are home to endemic wildlife species such as the Northern Luzon Cloud Rat.

  • Location: Kabayan, Benguet
  • Trekking time: 3-4 hours
  • Elevation: 2,922 MASL

2. Mt. Tabayoc

Mt. Tabayoc features the infamous “Monkey Trail” as hikers would need to hold unto vines and clamber on steep slopes before reaching its summit.

Mt. Tabayoc is known for its “Monkey Trail,” a challenging part of the mountain wherein hikers will have to hold on to vines and penetrate dense forests before reaching the peak. Thick mossy forests cover the mountain’s summit so the locals set up an elevated wooden platform for viewing. One will feel that time is standing still here. After enjoying the summit’s views, visitors can proceed to the famed “Seven Lakes of Kabayan,” located on the slopes. These lakes are breathtaking sceneries you should not miss.

  • Location: Kabayan, Benguet
  • Trekking time: 2-3 hours
  • Elevation: 2,842 masl

3. Mt. Timbak

Mt. Timbak offers one of the easiest hiking routes despite being one of the highest peaks in the Philippines.

Trekking to Mt. Timbak is like a walk in the park since there is a paved road leading all the way near to its summit. It also offers a view of the sunrise and often, a stunning sea of clouds appear. Most of the mountain have been converted into vegetable and flower farms. There are locals selling potted ornamental plants.

Check out neighboring attractions such as the famed Kabayan mummies and the Stations of the Cross.

  • Location: Atok, Benguet
  • Trekking time: 2-3 hours
  • Elevation: 2717 MASL

4. Mt. Amuyao

Mt. Amuyao is one of the Philippines’ last ecological frontiers, owing to its diverse and thriving flora and fauna species.

Mt. Amuyao is a recognized sanctuary of the critically endangered Philippine Eagle. Other wildlife species inhabiting the mountain are civet cats, deer, wild pigs, fruit dove, and many more. Mossy and pine forests dominate the upper elevations while there are dipterocarp patches on the lower slopes. Mt. Amuyao presents one of the most difficult hiking in the Philippines because of its steep terrains. However, it also offers one of the best views of the sea of clouds and sunrise. During summer, thousands of flowers bloom on the peak of Mt. Amuyao.

  • Location: Barlig, Mountain Province
  • Trekking time: 4-5 hours
  • Elevation: 2,702 – 2,682 MASL

5. Mt. Kalawitan

Mt. Kalawitan is not only a popular hiking destination but an important cultural heritage for the locals.

Legend has it that only the mountain’s peak was spared during the “Great Flood,” leaving two survivors. When the flood subsided, these survivors settled to a new spot and rebuilt their lost communities. Whether true or not, this story signifies the cultural importance of Mt. Kalawitan to indigenous inhabitants. Today, it has become a popular hiking destination. It also boasts a pristine mossy forests and incredible diversity of flora and fauna. The peak offers an entrancing view of the surrounding mountains including the lowlands of Isabela.

  • Location: Sabangan, Mountain Province
  • Trekking Time: 5-6 hours
  • Elevation: 2714 MASL

What do you think?