The hiking landscape in the Cordilleras has greatly expanded in the past few years, and among them are a growing number of dayhike possibilities from Baguio City. Among these, by far the most popular has been Mt. Ulap. For those wishing for a more serious dayhike, however – or even a new, relatively-relaxing overnight hike – there’s Mt. Pigingan in Itogon, Benguet, just under the shadow of Mt. Ugo. Though a low-altitude mountain – 1328m – by Cordillera standards, this mountain, which means “slanted” in the local language, nonetheless possesses the elements of a classic hike in the region.
The trip to Pigingan takes the hiker the same way to Brgy. Tinongdan, one of the major trailheads of Ugo, but the trip continues for 8 more kilometres to Sitiop Balocloc in Brgy. Dalupirip, making for a total of a 1.5-2-hour jeep or van ride from Baguio City. The hike, which initially courses along the banks of Agno River, heads to a couple other hamlets before proceeding with the hike proper. Because the location of Mt. Pigingan places it close to Pangasinan and the lowlands, expect a warmer-than-usual Cordillera hike especially at the initial sections. There have also been reports of niknik (i.e. gnat or sandfly) bites especially along the riverbanks (although this could be truer during the wet season as the author didn’t encounter any during his hike in January 2018).
A junction which doubles as a rest area marks the halfway point; the real ascent to Pigingan proper begins at this stage; there is also the possibility to traverse to Mt. Ugo. If proceeding to Pigingan, the hike is typical Cordillera: village paths – i.e. future roads – that lead to pine forests, refreshing winds, scenic views of the mountains, and occasional cattle encounters. The summit (1328 MASL) is a prominent rocky peak, from which one can view the surrounding semi-barren, semi-pine hills dominated by Ugo, Binga Dam, and, to the south, the lowlands of Pangasinan.
Mt. Pigingan does not reach the grandeur of Pulag or Napulauan nor their lofty elevation, but given its proximity to Baguio City and the fact that it is a more serious hike than Ulap, it is nonetheless a very welcome addition to the Cordillera hiking scene. At the same time, possibilities for a traverse to Mt. Ugo makes it a possible gateway to longer adventures.
STARTMon April 30, 201810:00 PM
ENDTue May 01, 201810:00 PM
MEETING PLACEMcDonald's - EDSA IT Center, Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines
REQUIRED DOWNPAYMENT₱800.00/ Person
1 slots left!
WHAT TO BRING
Private Transportation RT
Change of Clothes
Pack Meals and Snacks
2-3L Drinking Water
Small Back Pack
Personal Pocket Money
Toiletries ad Hygienes
Trash Bag for Personal Trash
04:00 AM - ETA Dalupirip, Benguet (Register, Secure Guide & Briefing)
04:30 AM - Start trek
06:00 AM - Breakfast along the trail
12:00 PM - ETA Summit (Photo Ops, Lunch)
01:00 PM - Start descent
04:00 PM - ETA Jump-off, Wash-up
06:00 PM - ETA Baguio (Take Dinner)
07:30 PM - ETD to Manila
11:30 PM - ETA Manila