You needn’t be a hardcore mountaineer to enjoy the feel-good factor or breathtaking scenery that comes with conquering a peak. 

And lucky for beginners in the world of hiking, Luzon offers a handful of easier mountain trails to conquer. So we’ve compiled a quick listicle of popular hiking trails in Luzon to give those legs a workout or get you trained up for some of the hardcore hikes in the country.

Keep in mind, most trails typically take two hours or more to ascend!

 

Mt. Samat

mt samat
Mt. Samat and the “Dambana ng Kagitingan”. Image by Tropical Paradise of Asia.

Location: Pilar, Bataan

Difficulty: 1 out of 10

Elevation: 555+ MASL

Perhaps, the most beginner-friendly hike is that of Mt. Samat. Aside from the relatively flat trail, you can even opt to ride a car or hire a trike going straight to the summit. You can still go on foot and it takes approximately an hour and a half to get to the gate of the National Shrine found at the top of the mountain. It was built in honor of the Filipino and American soldiers who had died during World War II. Towering at the very summit of Mt. Samat is the Memorial Cross that stands 92 feet tall. It’s actually a tower which can be accessed through an elevator. From inside, you’ll be rewarded with an amazing view of Pilar, Bataan.

mt samat cross
The Memorial Cross at Mt. Samat. Image taken from Ivan Lakwatsero.
mt samat road
Road going to Mt. Samat. Image by Batang Lakwatsero.

How to Get There?

Ride a bus going to Bataan and get off at Balanga. From Balanga central terminal, take a jeepney going to Cabog-Cabog and ask to be dropped off at Mt. Samat. Once there, hire a tricycle going to the shrine or opt to walk all the way to the shrine.

Mt. Gulugod Baboy

Gulugod Baboy
Peak of Gulugod Baboy. Image taken from Trail Adventours.

Location: Anilao, Mabini, Batangas

Difficulty: 2 out of 10

Elevation: 525+ Meters above sea level (MASL) 

Anilao in Batangas isn’t just known for its dive spots. For beginner hikers, Mt. Gulugod Baboy, which directly translates to “pig spine.” is the popular destination for hikers in the area. 

If you decide to hike this trail, you won’t come across many ‘assaults,’ which is a term hikers refer to for continuous upward slopes leading to the peak. Rather than hike under the scorching heat of the sun, the trail passes through dense and mossy forests, so you’ll mostly be walking under the shade of trees.

Spoiler Alert: You won’t find any pigs found on the trail, but you’ll probably come across cows and goats as you ascend to the peak.

gulugod baboy trail

The trail going to the peak. Image taken from Seeties.me.

How to Get There?

Take a bus going to Batangas and get off at the Bauan diversion. At the diversion, ride a jeepney going to Mabini and ask the driver to drop you off at the corner headed to Philpan Dive Resort in Anilao. From there, take a tricycle headed to Philpan. You’ll spot a cemented road going up which is the starting point of the hike.

Mt. Pinatubo

pinatubo crater lake
An amazing view of Mount Pinatubo crater lake. Image by Dhemnosaur.

Location: Botolan, Zambales

Difficulty: 2 out of 10

Elevation: 960+ MASL

The trip takes around three hours from Manila but the road trip doesn’t end there. Once at the registration hall at the jump off point, you ride a 4×4 that takes approximately two hours to the parking point. From there, it’s another two-hour trek going to the crater lake of Mount Pinatubo.

It’s considered to be one of the best destinations near the metro that has not only attracted mountaineers but also tourists from around the world thanks to its epic views of the infamous volcano that erupted in 1993. Straight out of a postcard, the view boasts of green mountain peaks, a perfectly blue sky, and a turquoise-colored lake.

Crater lake pinatubo
The magnificent view at the crater lake of Mount Pinatubo.
pinatubo trail
The 4×4 ride headed to Mt. Pinatubo crater and peak. Image by Mustachioventures.

How to Get There?

Ride a bus headed to Capas, Tarlac and ask to be dropped off at the Capas Public Market. From there, take a tricycle and ask to be dropped off at Sta. Juliana Tourism Office. At the Tourism office, you can hire a 4×4 jeep to take you to the jump-off point.

Mt. Manabu

Mt manabu
The peak of Mt. Manabu. Image by Broke Travelers.

Location: Lipa, Batangas

Difficulty: 2 out of 10

Elevation: 760+ MASL

Manabu, a rough translation for “mataas na bundok” is located in Baranggay Sulok in Sta. Cruz, Batangas. The mountain is relatively easy climb, typically taking only two hours to get to the peak. Though ranked at 2 out of 10, the trail is both a relaxed yet a challenging climb. Relaxed as there are only a few “assault” areas, but challenging due to the river cross and steep assaults near the peak. Usually crowded during the Holy Week, Mt. Manabu features a big cross at the top. 

manabu cross
The cross at the peak of Mt. Manabu. Image taken from Travelogue.
manabu trail
The trail headed to the peak. Image by Jovial Wanderer.

How to Get There?

Ride a bus going to Lipa, Batangas and ask to be dropped off at SM Lipa. From there, take a tricycle going to Sulok in Brgy. Sta Cruz. You may also opt to tell the tricycle driver to drop you off at Mt. Manabu’s jump-off point.

 

Mt. Batulao

Mount Batulao
The majestic Mount Batulao. Image from Trail Adventours.

Location: Nasugbu, Batangas

Difficulty: 4 out of 10

Elevation: 810+ MASL

At the mention of Batangas, a lot of mountaineers would highly recommend Mt. Batulao for beginners. Though the first few minutes of the trail are easy, there are multiple assaults (continuous upward trails) that could make it a fairly challenging hike especially for beginners. While some parts of the trail are wide, the trail headed up to the peak becomes steeper at each step. There’s also a rock climbing portion part of the trail where hikers have to rappel downwards. However, the view at the peak is enough to make you forget about the exhaustion from the two-hour hike. 

All challenges aside, the view at the peak is enough to make you forget about the exhaustion from the two-hour hike.

batulao trail
It’s an easy climb downwards. Image from Trail Adventours.

How to Get There?

Take a bus headed for Nasugbu and inform the conduct that you’ll be going to Mt. Batulao. Get off at the Evercrest Golf Course in Lemery. Once there, walk or take a tricycle going to the jump-off point.

 

 

 

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