Luzon 321 DIY Climb Guide
Luzon 321 is no ordinary quest. It is a climb for those who want to test how far they can go, how much they can take, and how long their patience is.
It was four years ago when I organized a climb to the three highest peaks of Luzon – Timbak (3), Tabayoc (2), and Pulag (1) via Tawangan-Ambangeg trail. I limited the number of participants to 15 as I do not think I can manage a group more than that. A week before our climb, our number was trimmed down to 10 climbers, and 3 days before our scheduled trek, another 5 people backed out, leaving me 4 mountaineer friends. The group asked me if we will push through with our climb and the stubborn me answered “Yes! Tiwala lang”, fully aware that the climb will not only be time-consuming but also expensive.
In order to save money, we decided not to rent a jeepney service which is the common practice for Luzon 321. We took advantage of public transportations to get to all the jump-off points of the three mountains! How we did it? Read on!
Mt. Timbak is our first stop. It is the 3rd highest mountain in Luzon and the 9th highest peak in the Philippines. Climbing this mountain does not require guides and permits; however, if you will do the Luzon 321, it is best to do Mt. Timbak Traverse. In this case, I personally suggest that you get your own guide.
Our second stop was Mt. Tabayoc, the 2nd highest mountain in Luzon and the 6th highest peak in the Philippines. This mountain was my personal favorite because it offered the thickest and lushest rainforest which reminded me of the Avatar movie, very stunning. Walking through it was like a dream that has became a reality.
Our Luzon 321 quest ended after we traversed Mt. Pulag via Tawangan – Ambangeg trail. Pulag is the highest mountain in Luzon, 3rd highest peak in the Philippines. It is very famous not only because of its elevation but also because of the sea of clouds that can be seen from its summit. Fortunately, we were blessed with a good weather when we had our Luzon 321 climb. Way better than when we first climbed this mighty mountain via Akiki-Ambangeg when we almost died of hypothermia. Indeed, to taste the sweetest victory, you sometimes have to go through an agonizing pain.
SAMPLE ITINERARY for LUZON 321
Day 0 Travel to Baguio
2200 ETD Victory Liner Pasay Terminal.
Day 1 Mt. Timbak Traverse (Km55 Atok to Kabayan Barrio, Kabayan, Benguet)
0400 ETA Baguio. Take early breakfast. Packed lunch. Buy supplies. Proceed to Dangwa Bus terminal
0500 ETD via van to KM55, Atok, Benguet via Halsema Highway
0700 Halsema highway, Highest Point, Atok, Benguet.
0830 KM55, start trek to Timbak elementary school
0930 Timbak Elementary School, ascend to summit.
1000 Mt. Timbak Summit, 2717masl.
1030 Start descend to Kabayan Barrio, Kabayan, Benguet.
1100 ETA Timbak Cave side trip
1300 ETA Tenongchol Cave side trip
1400 Kabayan Barrio
1415 Proceed to Ballay (Mt Tabayoc jump-off point) via a public bus
1600 ETA Ballay. Call Sir Arlan (Tabayoc Ranger)… Register @ Ballay Checkpoint
1630 Start trek to Lake Tabeo
1800 ETA Lake Tabeo. Set-up camp.
Day 2 – Mt. Tabayoc Assault
0400 Wake-up call / Breakfast
0500 Start trek to Mt. Tabayoc
0900 ETA Mt. Tabayoc summit
0930 Start descend to the camp site
1230 ETA campsite. Prepare/eat lunch
1300 Break Camp
1400 Start trek (6-8 hours) or ride a habal-habal (3hours) to Tawangan / side trip Lake Ambulalakao
2000 ETA Brgy. Tawangan (jump-off point for Pulag)
1830 Prepare for dinner / fix things for the next day
There was a lodge in Tawangan where mountaineers can stay for a night for Php150 per person. I suggest you take this as it can provide a very comforting sleep which is essential for the next day trek to Mt. Pulag.
Day 3 – Pulag Ascent via Tawangan Trail
0400 Wake-up call, take breakfast, break camp (bring packed lunch)
0600 Start trek (you will pass by several springs/refill your water container when necessary)
1130 Lunch. Choose a place where there’s a nearby spring
1200 Resume trekking
1230 Entrance to the mossy forest
1330 ETA Summit of Mt. Pupulag
1500 Enter the grasslands of Pulag
1830 ETA saddle camp
1900 Set-up camp / prepare dinner
2000 Dinner / Socials
Day 4 – Descend to Ambangeg-DENR (Go back to Manila)
0400 Wake-up call / breakfast
0430 Start summit assault
0530 ETA Mt. Pulag Summit
0700 Start descent back to campsite
0800 ETA Campsite / Break Camp
0900 Start descent via Ambangeg trail
1130 ETA Babadak Ranger Station / Lunch
1200 Proceed to DENR (Rent habal-habal if you do not have your own service)
1300 ETA Ambangeg, DENR / Log-out / Wash up
1330 Board the bus bound to Baguio (1PM – 130PM is the last trip. Be sure to be there early)
1530 ETA Baguio City
EXPENSES for LUZON 321
|Manila-Baguio v.v.||Php445 (one way)|
|Baguio to KM. 55||Php110 (one way)|
|Guide fee for Mt. Timbak||Php500 per day (7 people)|
|Kabayan Barrio to Ballay||Php10 (per way)|
|Guide Fee to Mt. Tabayoc||Php1000 per day (7 people)|
|Truck Rental from Tabayoc to Tawangan||Php2000 (habal-habal is only Php300)|
|Guide Fee for Mt. Pulag via Tawangan||Php3000 per day (7 people)|
|Habal-habal from Babadak Station to Ambangeg||Php300 per person|
|Environmental Fee, Cultural Fee, Camping Fee, Entrance||Php280 per person|
|Bus from Ambangeg to Baguio||Php100|
LUZON 321 TRAVEL TIPS
- Bring warmer, gloves, sweater, thermal jacket; anything that can keep you warm.
- Get a guide who’s knowledgeable of the trails and can assist you throughout the climb. Coordinate with DENR.
- Start early! Early enough to make sure you will make it to the camp site before dark.
- Tawangan trail of Mt Pulag is infested with leeches, a lot of them! Prepare accordingly. Check this link for tips on how to deal with a limatik-infested mountain.
- If you want to take advantage of climb services of a travel agency, you can contact Sole Adventours.
- For more virtual and interactive live updates, you can check our INSTAGRAM PAGE or follow us in TWITTER.
- Be part of Love. Eat. Wander. Facebook Community Page for more updates, travel tips, and for more photos of our Luzon 321 climb. You can also visit our YouTube Channel for videos.
Permit should be secured from the Park Superintendent if you plan to climb Pulag. Making personal and unofficial arrangements with the locals is being discouraged.
For your future climb you may contact these people for assistance:
|Ermita Albas||PASU / DENR||0919-631-5402 / 0929-166-8864|
|Mayo Ligligan||Tawangan Park Ranger||0920-505-0692 / 0926-407-9393|
*Guide will be provided by the people mentioned above.
Now that you have all the information needed in climbing the 3 highest peaks of Luzon, the only thing you have to acquire now is courage. It doesn’t matter if you are going solo or if you are with a group. As long as you have the passion to pursue your dream, dream on and live with it.
Thank you for dropping by!
Should you want to add/dispute something in this article, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!
Note: This entry is part of our Luzon 3-2-1 climb which happened four years ago. This is a repost from our old site, with new updates included.