Hiking Mount Tabayoc – An Alternative to Mount Pulag
Mount Pulag is, for us, the most beautiful mountain in the Philippines. There’s nothing compared to it. The sea of clouds, the sunrise, the coldness of the place, and the accommodating indigenous people make it a really attractive mountain not just to locals but also to foreign hikers.
If you are looking for an alternative to Mount Pulag, we highly recommend hiking Mount Tabayoc instead. It is the second highest mountain in the Northern Philippines after Mount Pulag. It is towering at 2842 MASL (Meters Above Sea Level). Mount Tabayoc is found in Kabayan, Benguet in the northern part of Mount Pulag National Park.
Tabayoc literally means “basin”. Our local guide said that there was an old man who climbed the mountain and found a basin of water where the wild animals drink. They tried really hard searching for it but to no avail. The basin can also refer to the four lakes found in the area which are Lake Tabeo, Lake Ambulalakao, Lake Iculus, and Lake Detapnaco.
What it’s like hiking Mount Tabayoc?
The trail starts at Tabeo Lake where the Ranger Station is found. From there, it is a continuous assault up to Peak 1. There is a short descent after it and the assault starts again up to the summit. The assault is comparable to that of Mount Daraitan’s except that you’re climbing through thick mossy forest.
There are many portions of the trail where you have to go under or over branches of trees. Some portions require you to crawl or cling on the branches to get to the next step. The trail is highly technical and is not recommended for beginners.
It will take you approximately 3.5 hours to reach the summit. But of course, this depends on how strong the group is, how often you take rests, and how much selfies you take.
Going down will take you about the same time and you’ll be descending on the same trail.
There is no view at the summit of Mount Tabayoc. It is covered with trees. So what the Park Management of Mout Pulag did was they build a platform made from branches of trees.
Because of its altitude, it is very cold at the summit. Probably as cold as Mount Pulag. It is about 84 meters shorter than Pulag’s height.
You’ll also experience the same sea of clouds and the same sunrise (well, we only have one sun). That’s why we recommend hiking Mount Tabayoc as an alternative to Mount Pulag.
Hiking Mount Tabayoc is the best alternative to hiking Mount Pulag in our opinion. Unfortunately, it is more technical than the trail of Pulag via Ambangeg. We do not recommend this to beginners. If you want to hike there, it is best that you plan and prepare physically and mentally.
We hope that this gives you ideas about hiking Mount Tabayoc. Let us know your experiences at the comment section below.