Mt. Yangbew Guide: How To Get There and What to Expect

April 11, 2019



Looking for an easy, budget-friendly, and scenic hike near Baguio that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg? Mt. Yangbew in Tawang fits to a T!


Also called Mt. Jumbo and Little Pulag, this mountain rose to fame in recent years due to its vast grasslands which many say, resemble Mt. Pulag's. As well, its proximity to Baguio - accessible in just 15 to 30 minutes - makes it one of the best day hikes for those who want to experience something beyond the usual city tour.

View on the eastern side the summit shows Tuba mountains. At the center is Strawberry Farm (not in photo).

The first three to five minutes is cemented road, followed by an unpaved terrain (turns muddy during rainy season). The trail features a gentle incline, making it easy even for kids and pets. You can even take your bike up to the summit. You don't need a guide since the trail is very straightforward and clearly established.

The summit is a vast, rolling grassland with a smattering of rock formations where you can take selfies while appreciating the spectacular views of La Trinidad and nearby mountains in Benguet.


Summit
When you see this marker, it means you are only 10 minutes away from the summit!


DIFFICULTY


1.5 to 2/10


WHY HIKE MT. YANGBEW


Very chill and easy. Ideal for beginners, kids,seniors, and pets
Accessible by both public and private transportation
Budget-friendly. No guides needed. Minimal hiking fees (P30 for dayhikes).
Offers stunning 360-degree views of La Trinidad center, Benguet mountains (Tublay, Tuba, and Kapangan), and the famous Strawberry Farm from the summit
Faces both east and west, so sunrise and sunset viewing are both excellent
Possible sea of clouds when you hike before sunrise
Biking and horseback riding can be done at the summit


HOURS TO COMPLETE


From the jumpoff, it takes only one hour to reach the summit in a gentle, relaxed pace (30 minutes if you only take one short five-minute break, which is doable).

ACTIVITIES AND FACILITIES ON THE SUMMIT


Bike rack; biking
Huts for resting
Horseback riding (P150 per 30 minutes per horse; P100 minimum for one round)
✓ No restroom



WATER SOURCE


None. Bring one liter of water per person.

HOW TO GET THERE


  •  Via private transportation: Take Ambiong Road to Tawang. Parking space is limited but available a few meters after the jumpoff.

  • Via public transport: Take an Upper Tomay-bound jeepney in front of Center Mall. This will take 30 minutes or more depending on the traffic. Fare is

If you are trying to catch sunrise, taking a cab is advisable, especially if you are in a group (cheaper to split). Tell the cab driver to take Ambiong Road. This is the shortcut and takes only 15 minutes from Baguio city center. Fare is P120 to P250 (depending on the traffic).




GOING BACK TO BAGUIO


Going back to the city is a bit harder since public transpo is hard to come by. If you are not in a hurry, take the jeepney with the signboard "Pines Park/ La Trinidad" from the side of the street across the jumpoff. This will take you down to La Trinidad proper. Cross to the other side of the highway and take a jeep bound for Baguio. Travel time may take anywhere from one to one-and-a-half-hours.

Alternatively, UV Express vans going to Baguio via Ambiong Road pass by on rare occasions. We've not tried this though.

View on the westerly side. That bald, rocky mountain is Mt. Kalugong.

Some taxis carrying passengers to Pines Park or Tomay may also pass by but quite infrequent (though it’s recommended if you want to escape the traffic in the city, since they can take Ambiong Road). Normally you’d have to wait for them to come back after dropping off passengers elsewhere in the area. 

If taking a cab, I suggest from the jumpoff you take the jeepney bound to Pines Park, then go down at intersection at the Tawang Police Station. This is where most UV’s, cabs, and jeepneys pass by. We didn’t know this and had to walk about two kilometers (20 to 30 minutes) to reach the police station.


FEES PER PERSON (ENVIRONMENTAL FEES)

Guides are not required. The only fee you will pay is for the environmental fee, which goes to the upkeeping of the place. You are to pay this at the Tawang barangay hall a kilometer away from the jumpoff. However, please note that if you come on a weekend or early in the morning (i.e. before 7 to 8 am), the hall is most likely closed anyway (happened twice to us). 

Tawang barangay hall


LOCAL VISITORS

  • Day hike - P30 (P25 for students)
  • Overnight camping - P100 for both regular campers and students 
  • Biker - P30 (P25 for students)

FOREIGN VISITORS*
  • Day hike - P50
  • Overnight camping - P100
  • Biker - P50
*Same for both regular hikers and students.


NEARBY SIDE TRIPS


 Strawberrry Farm. Tourist-popular attraction famous for strawberry picking. This is a seasonal activity best done during November to May. We went there in September and was told the strawberries are not yet ready for picking. You can take a jeepney from the jumpoff of Mt. Yangbew going to the farm.



 Mt. Kalugong. If you want to maximize your time in Tawang, I highly recommend doing a twin hike as well to Mt. Kalugong, about one kilometer northeast of Mt. Yangbew. You can walk or take a jeepney going there from the Mt. Yangbew jumpoff. Tell the driver you are going to the barangay hall.



Like Mt. Yangbew, the trail to Mt. Kalugong is roughly 1.2 kilometers long and is very straightforward. It’s also relatively easy, except maybe for the super steep, breath-taking (literally) cemented road that runs from the barangay hall going to the first 100 or so meters. You will pass by a small burial ground for locals. Please observe silence and respect.

After that, you’ll find rolling red soil, with rock formations on either side, similar to those found at the summit of Mt. Yangbew. The last leg of the trail consists of a beautiful array of pine trees leading to the summit, where you can find more rock formations, a wooden swing, picnic tables, and Ifugao huts. The summit offers a good view of Mt. Yangbew and Benguet mountains.

Note: Sadly though, mining activities were being done when we visited recently. Blasts can be heard from the summit of Mt. Yangbew. The rocks comprising the belly of the mountain are now fully exposed, with rare pine trees on the side, whereas in 2017, it was still very lush.

  Kape-an. This is a quaint and popular coffee shop serving local brews and cheesecakes at the summit of Mt. Kalugong. Cafe opens from 9 am onwards.


OTHER PHOTOS OF MT. YANGBEW



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