Notes on climbing Mt. Pulag from a climb November 21-22, 2006

Author: Richard L. Carey

Transportation: This mountain is in the Cordillera about 150 miles north of Manila. It is best approached from the town of Baguio, which is about a five-hour drive in a car from Angeles, where I started. There is public bus service from Angeles or Manila to Baguio and it is best to consult the guidebooks on this.

I like the Philippines Travel Guide by Jens Peters, but there are also guidebooks by Lonely Planet and Rough Guide.

From Baguio drive east past the Ambuklao Reservior to the town of Bokod and then up to the Park Headquarters at Ambangeg. I think there is Jeepney service along this route if you don't have a car. The guidebook says there is an Avis rental company in Baguio.

Mountain Permits: Register and get a permit at the Park office. A permit for non-residents is 750 Pesos ($15.00). You can stay the night upstairs in simple rooms for 150 Pesos ($3.00). There are no restaurants in Ambangeg, but we found some food across the street at a small shop. Definitely avoid weekends for the trip since there are often big groups of Filipinos that come and the accommodations in the building might be crowded and noisy. The office has a phone at (074) 444-2720.

Ranger Station: This is 10 KM further up a narrow mountain road, which is paved for the first 1.7 KM then turns progressively worse. A four-wheel drive vehicle with good clearance will be needed to make it all the way to the Ranger Station. It is possible to get a ride in a Jeepney. Make arrangements the night before with Park staff. We found that a Jeepney would cost about 3000 Pesos ($60.00), and this would be worth it if you don't have a good vehicle. We tried to drive to the Ranger Station in a Ford Escape which was not quite up to the task and got a flat tire.

Mountain Guide: If the office is open hiring a guide is a good idea. We found one nearby we paid 500 Pesos. There is a good trail all the way, but there are a couple of places where one might take the wrong turn. Allow about four hours for the ascent from the Ranger Station and three hours to return.

Maps: There really aren't any topo maps available for this mountain or for any mountains in the Philippines. The guidebook by Jens Peters has a map showing Ambangeg and the Ranger Station on page 332. There is a good country map made by Periplus, which has a more detailed inset map of the Baguio Region. The Canadian company International Travel Maps and Books in Vancouver also has a country map. This companies map doesn't have much detail near the mountain and actually has the mountain positioned wrong... too far north!

GPS Waypoint File: There is a GPS waypoint file available. MtPulag.gpx