Most Beautiful Philippine Mountains: Ultimate Hiking List

The Philippines is known for its white powdery beaches and friendly people. But do you know that the Philippines has beautiful mountains too? Some of them are so splendid that even sight from afar would make your jaws drop. Other mountains let you discover gems and witness incredible splendor when you reached the summit.

I’ve been to some of the mountains in the Philippines, and I will not get tired of coming back. If only I could, then I would!

Maligcong, Philippines

What is The Best Mountain in The Philippines?

There are thousands of mountains in the Philippines, and each has its unique marvel and fascinating sights. It is unfair that I rank them only by my experience or sole judgment of their photos. Therefore, I conducted research on Instagram about the most featured and admired mountains in the Philippines.

No one else in the world would know the beauty of the Philippines but the Filipinos themselves. So, I looked for an Instagram account that represents us, and that is SinoPinas. They are the community of Filipinos in quest of discovering the Philippines; its beauty, culture & people — one place at a time.

In my research, I scanned every photo of SinoPinas to see which of the mountains in the Philippines are most liked by travelers and ordinary Filipinos. From this day (March 24, 2021) to the start of 2020, I gathered 168 posts featuring different mountains in the Philippines.

By the way, if you are looking for more adventures in the Philippines, I suggest that you try Cebu, the adventure capital of the Philippines. 

There is also an adventure to try in the north of the Philippines. Check out this blog post about Sagada. It is the most beautiful place in the northern Philippines.

50 Mountains featured by SinoPinas:

Igcoron
Kupapey
Arayat
Mayon
Balagbag
Marami
Nangtud
Pulag
Bulusan
Espadang Bato
Kandungaw Peak
Amuyao
387
Apo
Gulugod Baboy
Guiting Guiting
Ulap
Tarak
Kom-Kompol
Dulang Dulang
Irid
Yangbew
Maculot
Lammin
Binacayan
Upao
Lubog
Ugo
Isarog
Timbak
Kalugong
Pico De Loro
Banahaw
Pinatubo
Minandar
Kitanglad
Minandiraan
Iglit-Baco
Balingkilat
Tabulhik
Iraya
Treasure Mountain
Cayabu
Ugis
Batulao
Tenglawan
Polis
Wiji
Mapalad
Pamitinan

Among the 50 mountains, here are the 10 mountains that were featured the most by SinoPinas.

Mountain No. of Times Featured
Pulag39
Mayon23
Kupapey9
Apo9
Guiting Guiting9
Balagbag8
Ulap6
Pinatubo6
Dulang Dulang5
Ugo3

Here are the number of likes of the most performing post/photo of each mountain.

Top Mountains in the Philippines

I believe that these are the mountains that SinoPinas wants each traveler, hiker, or visitor to discover since they featured them several times. Well, If I were to recommend what mountains to hike or visit, I would suggest the same mountains on the list.

Let’s dig further to each mountain and see if you would agree to the number of likes plotted on the bar graph above. But before we proceed, you must get first an idea of how the Philippine Mountains are classified. Learn it from pinoymountaineer.com.

BE INSPIREDQuotes about mountains

Mount Ugo

Mount Ugo, Philippines

Image Courtesy of @alfredforbile

One of the best mountains in the Philippines, Mount Ugo, stands 2150 meters above sea level at Nueva Vizcaya and Benguet’s provinces. It is both a major hike and a popular hiking destination in the Philippines. Every year, hundreds of mountaineers hike mount Ugo for an epic view at its peak.

Mount Ugo’s slopes are covered with pine forests, with parts inhabited by natives living in their highland villages. At the summit, a stunning view of the cordillera mountain range could be seen, especially during clear weather. The sea of clouds also appears in mount Ugo which makes it a compelling mountain to climb. However, ghost stories echo to the ears of the hikers visiting Mount Ugo.

They said the mountain is haunted by the people who died from aircraft accidents in 1987 and 1960. Well, that makes the adventure more exciting, isn’t it? Today, Mount Ugo already has an established guide system. The rescue operations held for the accidents paved the trails for hikers.

How to go to Mount Ugo?

Starting from Metro Manila, get a Victory Liner bus ride from Kamias Terminal going to Aritao. After you arrived in Aritao, rent a jeep to transport you to Kapaya. Jump-off point awaits you there in Kapaya, Nueva Vizcaya.

What is the hiking difficulty of mount Ugo?

Mount Ugo is a major climb with a difficulty score of 5 on a scale of 9. The trail of mount Ugo involves walking, hiking along rugged terrain, and scrambling. It would take a total of 9 to 10 hours to reach the peak and 2 to 3 days to finish the whole hiking activity.

Mount Dulang Dulang

Mount Dulang Dulang, Philippines

Image Courtesy of @rrmarba

With an elevation of 2938 meters above sea level, mount Dulang Dulang or sometimes called “D2”, is hailed as the second-highest mountain in the Philippines. Mount Dulang Dulang is one of the best mountains in the Philippines found in Bukidnon, Philippines, on the island of Mindanao. The trek in Mount Dulang Dulang features different landscapes such as pine forests, mossy forests, and grasslands.

On Instagram, Mount Dulang Dulang is famous for its mossy forest, comparable to the mystical elven forest of Rivendell in the movie “Lord of the Rings.” But aside from that, this mountain has many other exciting adventures awaiting for you to discover. One great experience that most hikers say about their climb in mount Dulang Dulang is their immersion in the Talaandig or Higaonon tribe’s culture.

These tribes have an ancestral claim to the mount Dulang Dulang, and before climbing the mountain, one must first seek a blessing from the leader of the tribe. Rituals, chicken sacrifice, and hanging of white bands at the summit are just some of the respect-manifesting activities that add to the mystical character of mount Dulang Dulang.

Mountaineers like Mark Osorio, who has been in Mount Dulang Dulang, has enjoyed the company of these tribes. He said, “It made me realize that we can’t just judge a place and its people based on rumors and stereotypes until we have proven it wrong by staying there for a while.” Mindanao, for years, has been pictured out by local and international mass media as a dangerous place for tourists and travelers to visit.

How to go to Mount Dulang Dulang?

Land travel to mount Dulang Dulang starts from Cagayan De Oro City if you are coming outside of Mindanao. In Cagayan De Oro City, find Agora Terminal and from there take a bus to Malaybalay, Bukidnon. In Malaybalay, ride the jeepneys headed to Lantapan.

What is the Hiking Difficulty of Mount Dulang Dulang?

Mount Dulang Dulang is a major climb with a difficulty score of 6 on a scale of 9. You would need 2 days to finish the hike and 10 hours to reach the summit. On the trail, you will walk along rugged terrain, do scrambling and climb easy cliffs (beginners should be protected by a rope)

Mount Pinatubo

Tutorial: How to take photos like this using iPhone

Mount Pinatubo, Philippines

“Beautiful Disaster” it’s what people say when they reach the summit crater of Mount Pinatubo – truly, one of the best mountains in the Philippines. The view at the crater lake shall enthrall you with a sight similar to Canadian Mountains. Indeed, an incredible work of nature. This mountain once stood more than 1700 meters above sea level. When the eruption happened in 1991, it significantly destroyed itself, lowering its height down to 1486m. Mount Pinatubo sits in the provinces of Zambales and Tarlac.

There are several ways to go to the crater lake of Mount Pinatubo. The easiest is by riding a 4×4 jeep plus a two-hour hike to the crater. During the 4×4 jeep ride, visitors experience an out-of-this-world adventure on the surface or fields of frozen lahar. The surrounding sharp triangular hills fill the visitors with awe while they traverse the sandy plains. The hike after the 4×4 ride is easy and could only last under an hour.

The trail perhaps will make hikers sweat a lot due to the lack of tree cover, but that won’t matter once they’ve made it to the crater lake. All that they will feel up there is awe. 

Before, authorities allow hikers to ride on a kayak and swim on the lake. However, after a few drowning incidents, they’ve decided to disallow them for safety reasons.

It is best to go to Mount Pinatubo from December to February. Aside from getting better weather, it is when the color of the lake turns magnificent cyan.

SEEMount-Pinatubo-like-parks in Canada

How to go to Mount Pinatubo?

From Metro Manila, take a bus going to Capas, Tarlac, then head to Sta. Juliana. Lastly, register and get your 4×4 jeep on Sitio Daipili. It is where you can start your adventure in Mount Pinatubo.

Tip: it is better to join Facebook groups or travel agencies when going to Mount Pinatubo. They will eliminate the hassle in transportation and save you money from renting a 4×4 jeep.

What is the hiking difficulty of Mount Pinatubo?

The hike to Mount Pinatubo is a minor climb. It has a difficulty score of 2 out of 9. The trail leading to the crater is very easy; it would only require walking with care.

Mount Ulap

Mount Ulap, Philippines

Image Courtesy of @find_russel

Located in Tuba, Benguet, Mount Ulap’s close proximity to Baguio City makes it an excellent choice for travelers seeking relaxation immediately after an adventure. It would only take 40 minutes before anyone reaches Mount Ulap’s jump-off site from Baguio city. Mount Ulap is one of the best mountains in the Philippines standing at the height of 1846 meters above sea level.

Mount Ulap gives hikers a totally relaxing view of the Cordilleran mountain range in different shades of blue. Visitors can spot distant mountains from Mount Ulap’s summit, like Mount Pulag and Mount Ugo.

There are other attractions in Mount Ulap like the Burial Caves and hanging bridges to spice up your nature indulgence in Mount Ulap. The trail of Mount Ulap features scenic views of other mountains and pine and grassland ridges.

Because of its easy access to the public, weekend hikes seem less convenient and less relaxing due to the crowd swarming Mount Ulap. Often during weekends, people form queues in Gungol Rock, a highlight of the trail, to take photos. When the line is already lengthy, a visitor gets only 15 seconds chance to do their pose.

How To Go To Mount Ulap?

From Metro Manila, ride any bus headed to Baguio City. In Baguio, hop on a jeepney to Barangay Ampucao where you register, secure guides, and start your hike to Mount Ulap.

What is the Hiking Difficulty of Mount Ulap?

Mount Ulap is a minor hike that has a difficulty score of 3 out of 9. The whole hiking would take only a day unless you want to do overnight camping. The trek to reach the summit typically lasts only for two to three hours. It would only involve walking along a rugged/steep terrain and a few scrambling.

Mount Balagbag

Mount Balagbag, Philippines

Image Courtesy of @francismarianophotography

Among all the mountains on the list, Mount Balagbag is the one closest to Metro Manila. It is situated in Rodriguez, Rizal, which is only two hours away from the metro. People come to Mount Balagbag, one of the best mountains in the Philippines, to enjoy watching the city lights and camp overnight. Mount Balagbag is a part of Sierra Madre and is only 777 meters above sea level.

Even though it is not as mighty as the other mountains here in my list, Mount Balagbag offers a magnificent view of the city and a sight of the Ipo watershed. Hikers can also observe from the top of Mount Balagbag the enticing image of the Sierra Madre’s mountain range transition to Central Luzon’s flat plains.

The trails in Mount Balagbag are wide. That’s why so many mountain bikers love climbing this mountain. Some parts of Mount Balagbag are barren and grasslands; this makes hiking during midday impossible due to intense heat. Late afternoon or early morning treks are recommended.

How to go to Mount Balagbag?

From Cubao in Quezon City, Metro Manila, ride a bus heading to Tungko (drop off in BDO Tungko). After reaching Tungko, hop on a jeep heading to Licao-Licao. There you can walk or rent a tricycle to transport you to the Barangay registration site to sign up for hiking.

If you a 4×4 jeep or a pick-up, you can drive directly near Balagbag campsite.

What is the Hiking Difficulty of Mount Balagbag?

Mount Balagbag is a minor hike with a difficulty of 3 out of 9. Trekking in Mount Balagbag would only be just a stroll over rugged terrain. The hike could last for 2 days as you might want to have an overnight camp. The trek, however, from base to the summit only lasts for an hour or two.

Mount Guiting Guiting

Mount Guiting Guiting, Philippines

Image Courtesy of @da_adventurer

They say the virtues of a true mountaineer, patience and perseverance, are put to the test when climbing Mount Guiting Guiting. Conquering this mountain is one of the most challenging hikes in the Philippines. Fact, Filipino hikers climb this mountain as their preparation before hiking Mount Everest.

Mount Guiting Guiting stands 2048 meters on a small island of Sibuyan in the province of Romblon, 187 nautical miles from Manila. Its peak is a marvel, defining it to be one of the best mountains in the Philippines. 

The stories I read about Mount Guiting Guiting made me incredibly amazed, mainly by how much strength and determination each hiker has shown to reach the summit. Walking over Mount Guiting Guiting’s knife edge and “kiss the wall” part of the trail seem impossible to pass, but they have made it.

Personally, I can’t see myself hiking in Mount Guiting Guiting. Still, I know it was so gratifying for these hikers to reach the summit. If the view from the top from photos is stunningly beautiful, then the actual experience of seeing it is just incomparable.

How to go to Mount Guiting Guiting?

From Metro Manila, get a bus ride to Batangas Pier, then take the ferry going to Ambulong Port in Magdiwang, Romblon. Proceed to the local Tourism Council to register and begin your adventure. Get the exact details here.

What is the hiking Difficulty of Mount Guiting Guiting?

Hiking in Mount Guiting Guiting is a major climb, and it rates 9 out of 9 in terms of difficulty. The assault to the summit takes 10 to 13 hours to finish, and the number of days you would spend on the trail would be around 3. Mount Guiting Guiting has a trail class of 5, meaning hikers would be using free hands as a climbing method.

Mount Apo

Mount Apo, Philippines

Standing at the height of 2956 meters, Mount Apo is hailed as the Philippines’ tallest mountain and one of the most beautiful mountains in the Philippines. This mighty mountain offers tons of experiences for anyone going to explore it. Mount Apo is an active volcano that sits in the provinces of Davao del Sur and North Cotabato on the island of Mindanao.

The trails of Mount Apo features swamps, cogon grasslands, pine forests, and a rocky summit filled with wild berries and temperate plants. Bodies of water like falls and lakes exist in the landscape of mount Apo. You must see the lake Akgo in your trails and crystal clear Lake Venado, a camping site in mount Apo.

Epic adventure awaits here, from challenges to relaxations. Hiking in Mount Apo involves climbing a 90-degree trail and river crossings through coconut logs without any hold for support. Visitors of Mount Apo take refreshments on Mainit Hotspring and bath on Bongolanon Falls after the hike.

How to go to Mount Apo?

Starting from Metro Manila, book a plane going to Davao City. After arriving at Davao City, take the van going to Kidapawan. In Kidapawan, proceed to the tourism office and register for a hike in Mount Apo, secure guides. After your registration, move ahead to Barangay Ilomavis to start hiking.

Tip: Arrange a trip before flying to Mount Apo for faster and easier transportation.

What is the hiking difficulty of Mount Apo?

Mount Apo is a major hike and is rated 7 out of 9 in terms of difficulty. There are a few trails in hiking Mount Apo. One of them, the Kidapawan-Magpet trail, involves only walking on rugged terrain and scrambling. It takes 10 to 11 hours to hit the summit and would require 3 days to finish the whole adventure.

Mount Kupapey

Mount Kupapey, Philippines

If you are looking for a hike that simultaneously shows 3 marvels all at the same time, then you must visit Mount Kupapey. This mountain let hikers witness a spectacular sea of clouds, together with the magnificent rice terraces and breath-taking sights of the Cordilleran mountain range. Mount Kupapey is standing 1650 masl in Maligcong, Bontoc, Mountain Province, and is an epitome of the beauty of the Philippine mountains.

Mornings at the peak of Mount Kupapey give hikers stunning sights and experiences. If the weather permits, they could witness a sea of clouds that makes everyone feel like they are in heaven.

As the sun rises, the clouds disappear, uncurtaining the rice terraces beneath them. The mountains surrounding Maligcong rice terraces cut the radiance of the sun towards the terraces. This makes each step of the rice terraces glow one by one when the sun begins to peek above the mountain.

It was a phenomenon that captivated me so bad that I can’t forget how it looked like even now.

Awe does not end at the summit of Mount Kupapey. The descent from the peak is a remarkable moment for any hiker who climbs this mountain. It is when they traverse Maligcong rice terraces built by the locals’ hands thousand and hundreds of years ago. In some seasons, like after harvesting the crops, the rice terraces are empty; they look like giant mirrors embedded on the ground if seen from above.

How to go to Mount Kupapey?

From Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila ride on a bus heading to Bontoc, Mountain Province. Alight the bus in downtown Bontoc where you will find a jeepney terminal bound for Maligcong. If you cannot find where the terminal is, rent a tricycle and ask the driver to bring you to the said place. Ride the jeep to Maligcong; the travel time to your destination from the terminal would last for 30 minutes.

What is the hiking difficulty of Mount Kupapey?

Mount Kupapey is a minor hike with a difficulty of 3 on a scale of 9. It would only take 3 hours before anyone to get to the summit. Unless you plan to camp overnight, the whole hike would only last for a day. The trail involves stiff and rugged terrain with few scrambling.

Mount Mayon

Mount Mayon, Philippines

The majestic, cone-shaped mountain, we all have heard of this before, Mount Mayon. One of the best mountains the Philippines that you should not miss to visit.

Who would not be mesmerized by its beauty? Is there anyone who does not wonder how it was formed? With a height of 2463 meters and a distinguishable shape, spotting it from a distance is effortless even if you are not in Albay, the province where Mayon is located.

Sadly, authorities forbid hiking in Mount Mayon due to its recent volcanic activities. So visitors and hikers only admire it from afar. Stay tuned with Phivolcs to know when it will be accessible to hikers again.

However, before it was closed to the public, some have been to the summit crater and successfully conquered it. These hikers said the trail they’ve been to is composed of forest, grasslands, lava flow rock formations. They climbed rocks and traversed a knife-edge-like part of the trail.

There are a lot of things to see and things to do around Mount Mayon! They are not only sightseeing but also adventure and time with family. Learn more about the tourist attractions around Mount Mayon.

How to go to Mount Mayon?

From Metro Manila, hop on a bus that goes straight to Legazpi City, Albay. The bus ride would give you 11 hours of endless sight of the Philippine countryside. Alternatively, if you’re short of time, you can book a plane that flies 30 to 45 minutes straight to Albay.

What is the hiking difficulty of Mount Mayon?

Mount Mayon is a major climb that takes 3 days to finish. The trail difficulty is rated 7 out of 9 and shall involve walking on a rugged path, scrambling, and climbing freehand with ropes and guides.

Mount Pulag

Mount Pulag, Philippines

Being at the summit of Mount Pulag is like existing in a whole new world where awe is the only thing that you’ll ever feel wherever you look. That is especially when a sea of clouds appears during your hike. The peak of Mount Pulag is where the three provinces’ borders meet (Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, and Ifugao). Mount Pulag, the best mountain in the Philippines, stands 2926 meters above sea level.

Isn’t it mind-blowing that you are visiting Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, and Ifugao all at the same time when you are standing at its peak? Mount Pulag is also known for the freezing temperature at its summit, mainly from December to February.

On my first hike in Mount Pulag, I went through it. And for me, it was an incredible experience. I say it’s better to hike from March onwards before the rainy season comes.

Mount Pulag is great for beginners, but more adventurous hikers can assault the summit using more challenging trails. Mount Pulag features three different vegetations: relaxing pine forests, enchanting mossy forests, and vast grasslands. Each gives a different kind of mood to the hikers exploring the mountain.

Check out my guide in hiking mount Pulag and how I conquered mount Pulag twice.

How to go to Mount Pulag?

From Metro Manila, take a bus heading to Baguio City. Rent a taxi to transport you to Kabayan Terminal. Take a van or bus to Kabayan and tell the driver or the bus conductor to drop you off at the DENR office. After reaching the DENR office and taking your orientation, rent a Habal-Habal driver to help you arrive at the ranger station to start your hike.

What is the hiking difficulty of Mount Pulag?

Hiking mount Pulag is a major climb that takes 1 to 2 days to finish. The trail difficulty (Ambangeg) is rated 3 out of 9, and it involves walking on rugged terrain and scrambling. Traversing the trail from jump-off to summit lasts for 4 to 5 hours.

Conclusion

It is tough to decide which of the mountains in the Philippines is the best. Each has beauty, and each offers adventures uncomparable to another. I believe everyone has their choice depending on the type of beauty they seek.

Ultimately, these 10 mountains on the list should give you an idea of how each differs from one another. I hope that I helped you choose what mountain you will visit for your next adventure in the Philippines with this list.

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philippine mountains
philippine mountains

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