What are the must-see attractions on Mt Yangbew, also called Mt Jumbo? How to get to Mount Yangbew from Baguio City and what are the budget-friendly directions? Read on to find out more including the best things to do.
La Trinidad, the capital town of Benguet, is more than just a home to the famous strawberry farms. It is also a mountaineering hub. One of its rising destinations is Mount Yangbew. It is the tallest mountain in the municipality and is also most frequented by local hiking enthusiasts.
An adventure-filled weekend afforded me and two buddies the opportunity to assault this mountain once more. Yep, I have climbed Mt Yangbew at least twice while I was in college. But I just love doing it again and again especially when my wanderlust strikes (as it always does).
- Major Jump-Off: Sitio Binat, Barangay Tawang, La Trinidad
- Mt Yangbew Elevation: 1648 meters above sea level (MASL)
- Trekking Time: 30 minutes to the summit
- Difficulty: Minor Climb, Trail Class 2, 2/9
- Special Features: Grassy Summit, Limestone formations, Views of La Trinidad and Baguio City, Horseback Riding, Mt Yangbew Sunrise
Mt Yangbew Directions from Baguio
If you are coming from Baguio City, ride a taxi all the way to sitio Binat at Barangay Tawang. This is the trailhead to Mt Yangbew. Taxi fare from Baguio city ranges from 170 pesos to 200 pesos.
Another option is to ride a jeep stationed at Pines Park in Balili, La Trinidad near Tiong San. To get there, ride any jeeps bound to Camp Dangwa, Tomay, or Buyagan and drop by Tiong San in KM 4.
There, you’ll find an alighting road to the left. Follow this until you reach the jeepney station which is about 500 meters away. You can ask any of the locals for directions.
There are regular jeepney schedules and each leaves once filled to capacity. Tell the driver to drop you by the trailhead.
To go back to Baguio City after relishing Mt Yangbew, proceed back to the trail head and wait for a taxi or a public jeep.
If not, you can follow a trail passing through Brgy Balili until you reach the town center. From here, you can either ride a jeep back to Baguio or explore other tourist spots in La Trinidad such as Strawberry Farm and Mt Kalugong.
On the Trail to Mt Yangbew
Because I and my two buddies wanted to catch the sunrise atop Mt Yangbew, we rendezvoused early in front of the Municipal Building. From here, we followed a pathway passing through Brgy Balili until we reached the trailhead at sitio Binat. There, you’ll find signage pointing to the direction of Mt Yangbew.
The path to the zenith of Mt Yangbew is well-established and there is actually, no need for a guide especially if you’re an experienced hiker.
From the trail head, we followed a cemented road for about 5 minutes. What follows this is an unpaved trail all the way to the summit. Because it did not rain for the past weeks, the earth was loose and slippery. What more if it’s rainy and wet? Fortunately, there are detour trails alongside.
The trek is pretty much easy. Well, that’s for me since I have been used to even more extreme hiking. Frankly, anybody can actually assault the mountain without so much sweat and effort. Even beginners can do so. In fact, there are people who simply jog all the way to the top.
All in all, it took us 20 minutes to reach the top from the trail head.
And we were just in time for the sunrise.
What to See Atop Mt Yangbew
As the sun slowly rose from a distance, its glaring rays slowly unraveled magnificent views of the surrounding mountains.
From Mt Yangbew’s summit, we caught a bird’s eye view of La Trinidad valley and neighboring Baguio City. The distant peaks of Mt. Pulag in Kabayan and Mt. Santo Tomas in Tuba are also visible from here.
Grasses and a few shrubs cover the summit of Mt Yangbew. That is why locals call it junior Mt. Pulag.
According to a local guide, big pine trees used to cover the area. However, these were logged during the American period. Burning of the mountain was also rampant in the past, thus, only grasses and a few shrubs managed to grow.
Another feature that makes the summit interesting is the presence of limestone rock formations. We all know that these are supposed to be found underneath the ocean or at least, just along the seashore.
But why on top of Mt Yangbew? Certainly, this conjures anybody’s interest and imagination. Some acclaim that these formed during “The Great Flood.”
By the way, the mountain is named Mt Yangbew because it used to be a jamboree site of the Americans in the past. Yangbew is a localized term for jamboree. In fact, the mountain was previously called Mt. Jambo/Jumbo.
What Else to Do
Horseback riding can be done atop Mt Yangbew. The Yangbew Riders Association takes care of this. For an hour of ride, the fee is 300 pesos. This can be halved if one ought for 30 minutes only. For picture taking with the horses, the fee is 25 pesos.
I am not really fond of animals being used for commercial purposes. I just hope though that they are well taken care of. We all hear/read of the elephant abuses in Thailand and elsewhere for tourists’ sake. I hope that is not the case with the horses at Mt Yangbew.
Anyways, you can also have an overnight camping atop Mt Yangbew. What a wonderful feeling it is gazing at the stars and relishing the cold and rustic breeze.
Extra Sights to See
The local guide also mentioned that there is a cave near the summit. However, it is still closed during our visit since it’s undergoing assessment. They say the cave is deep and one needs to rappel to get inside. I can’t wait to see what wonderful spectacles it offers.
From Mt Yangbew, one can also visit Tawang Stone Church. We did that. From the summit, we hiked back to the road and followed it for some 30 minutes before finally reaching the church.
Fees to Pay
All tourists or visitors bound to Mt Yangbew are required to pay the environmental fee with the following rates:
- Local Tourists: Php 30
- Local Students: Php 25
- International Tourists (both adults & students): Php 50
- Mt Yangbew Camping (Overnight): Php 100 per person
Note: The rates apply whether you’re a hiker or a biker.
Tips and Reminders
- The best time to visit Mt Yangbew is during early morning and late afternoon to catch sight of spectacular sunrises and sunsets and an occasional sea of clouds.
- Always pay the corresponding fees. That is one way for you to help the local economy and the lives of the locals there.
- Since the trail is well-established, there is no need for a guide. However, if preferred, you can ask for one at the barangay hall or at the trailhead reception area.
- Please don’t ever litter. Help protect Mt Yangbew by adhering to basic protocols. If you want, you can also pick up litters along the way.
- Mt Yangbew and Mt Kalugong stand next to each other. So you can climb both on the same day.
- You can bring your bikes or pets to Mt Kalugong.
- When you hike too early and no person is present at the reception, just pay your fees when you hike back down. In some instances, personnel will collect fees at the summit.
- For Mt Yangbew Map, check out Google Earth.
Mt Yangbew to La Trinidad Strawberry Farm
From Mt Yangbew, you can ride a taxi all the way to La Trinidad Strawberry Farm. The fare should be around Php 100 to Php 120.
If not, you can walk to reach the farm. Simply follow a path leading to Brgy Balili. Then, follow the road that leads to sitio Tabangaoen, then to Benguet State University’s last gate. From here, cross the main highway and follow the road to the farm. All in all, the trek could take 20-30 minutes.
If you’re not sure with where you’re going, you can always ask the locals for directions.
Mt Yangbew to Mt Kalugong
Mt Yangbew stands next to Mt Kalugong and you can climb both mountains on the same day. There is actually a trail from Brgy Tawang to Mt Kalugong although I’m not sure if this is still open. If you’re not sure, just wait for a taxi and tell the driver to take you to Mt Kalugong. The fare should range from Php 120-Php150.
For your Information:
If you need further information that may help in setting up your itinerary to Mount Yangbew in La Trinidad, post it in the comment section below. You can also message us on our Facebook Page, Daniel’s Eco-Travels. I will be more than glad and willing to answer them whenever I can:)