If you want to go on a day hike sans the hot weather, Mt. Ulap is your best bet. Located in Itogon, Benguet, Mt. Ulap, at 1846masl, has the perfect combination for a day hike: grassy trails, rock and dirt trails, pine ridges, and stunning views of the Cordillera region, some villages, burial caves, and hanging bridges, with just the right level of difficulty that's great for beginners.
Earlier in August, I went to Baguio for a quick getaway from the city. Part of my itinerary was a day hike on a Mt. Ulap, which was just about an hour and a half away from the Baguio town proper. I went on this hike with Don, wherein we left in the wee hours of the morning just so we can catch the sunrise at the summit. Our guide is fourteen year old Gideon, who's already an experienced trail guide in the area at his age. We started the hike around 4:30am, and it was still very dark then. The trail starts off on a ridge surrounded by pines, and eventually becomes scenic with views of the city. Unfortunately, because of the mist, I was only able to catch a quick glimpse of this view.
We shortly reached the first summit, Ambanao Paoay. Since there was nothing to see because of the mist, I did not bother taking photos there. We took a quick rest before continuing our hike.
The trail was mostly of grass and dirt, with rolling hills. The grassland here was rich, which explained the presence of several cows grazing on it. It soon drizzled so we had to be extra careful as it got a little slippery.
We soon reached the next summit and my favorite part of the hike: the Gungal Rock. Even though there was no view in the background, I still got a great photo of myself on the rock, with a sea of clouds below. It was just perfection.
on top of Gungal Rock
After a quick rest, we carried on, passing through more trails of grass, dirt, and pines. A few slopes later, we finally reached the highest point of Mt. Ulap, which has a height of 1846masl. It was too bad that there was no clearing so I was not able to take photos of the supposedly breathtaking view from the top.
The descent from Mt. Ulap is on a steep terrain, going through a forest of pine trees. Upon reaching Sta. Fe, we went through some hanging bridges (I slipped on a couple of them), and cemented footpath, which concluded our hike.
It took us roughly four and a half hours to complete the day hike. It was a truly enjoyable experience. I was just a teensy bit disappointed that it rained that day and the mist was so thick that I was not able to get an eyeful of the view around the area. Perhaps this means that I should come back real soon. :)