Ultimate Guide to Hiking: Best Hiking Spots in the Philippines and their Difficulty Levels

best hiking spots in the philippines

With our busy schedules and hectic work hours, we sometimes long for a quick break out of the city. Some fresh air, warm sunlight, and new scenery may help refresh our minds and overall well-being. For the times we can’t sacrifice the entire weekend for a full-blown trip out of town, why not opt for a day trip? Day trips are perfect for people on the go! If you have excess energy from sitting around in the office all week or at home and are looking for a challenge this weekend, why not embark on an adventure in the best hiking spots in the Philippines? 

You can try out the different day hike destinations in the Philippines and go on a short hike with your barkada! To give you a hand, we’ve put together a list of the best hiking spots in the Philippines along with their difficulty levels so you can narrow down the best places to hike for you! But first, get yourself acquainted with things that you need to consider before embarking on your next hiking spot in the Philippines! 

Things to Consider Before Going to the Best Hiking Spots in the Philippines

1. Difficulty Level

Is it your first time hiking? It’s always a good idea to start off with trails that are beginner-friendly. The last thing that you want is to have a horrible experience on your first hike because of how hard and challenging it is! Start easy and start slow because hiking is meant to be fun. Once you get the hang of it, challenge yourself to try out other famous hiking trails in the Philippines that are more difficult! The good thing is that there are tons of hiking places in the Philippines that vary in difficulty levels. So you’ll surely find one that suits your idea of the best hiking experience! 

2. Trail Class

Aside from the difficulty level, you also have to consider the trail class of the best hiking spots you plan to climb! Trail class is a scale on which you can also determine how challenging the hike will be and if you’ll need hiking gear!

  • Class 1 – easy hike; low risk; the trail is well-marked
  • Class 2 – moderate hike; parts of the trail are not marked
  • Class 3 – usually includes rugged terrain; scrambling with hands is expected
  • Class 4 – climbing ropes are needed; easy-to-climb cliffs 
  • Class 5 – technical free climbing; requires rock climbing gear 

3. Meters Above Sea Level (MASL)

Knowing the hiking spot’s Meters Above Sea Level (MASL) is crucial before embarking on your adventure. The MASL refers to the elevation so you’ll know what to expect and prepare for. It’s important to note that the higher the elevation, the lesser the oxygen. 

Best Hiking Spots in the Philippines for Your Next Adventure

Mt. Alapaap

 

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If you are looking for a moderately easy mother mountain, why not visit Mt. Alapaap? Only a few hours away from Metro Manila and 3-4 hours long to climb, you don’t have to travel far to witness a sea of clouds. Perfect for beginner hikers, you can trek this with ease! Finish this day hike destination in the Philippines with a visit to Mt. Alapaap’s famous Pugad Lawin. This hiking spot near Manila is not one to miss! 

Location: Tanay, Rizal
Jump-off point: Brgy. San Andres (East)
Travel Time from Manila: 1.5-2.5 hrs, depending on the ETD
MASL: 591 meters above sea level
Difficulty Level: 2/9
Trail Class: 1-3
What to Visit: Pugad Lawin, waterfalls in Mt. Alapaap, and Mag-Asawang Bato Rock Formation

Mt. Manalmon

 

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Advertised as scalable even for toddlers, Mt. Manalmon showcases beautiful sights for a short hike. Only 196 meters above sea level, Mt. Manalmon is a beautiful mountain destination with cool rock and cave formations. Brave the Monkey Bridge and swim in the Madlum River to cool off after the hike! Mt. Manalmon is among the best hiking spots in the Philippines that is jampacked with other activities you can do besides hiking! 

Location: San Miguel, Bulacan
Jump-off point: Brgy. Madlum
Travel Time from Manila: 2-3 hrs, depending on the ETD
MASL: 196 meters above sea level
Difficulty Level: 2/9
Trail Class: 1-2
What to Visit: Bayukbok Cave, Madlum River, Monkey Bridge

Mt. Gola

 

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A bit more difficult than Mt. Manalmon because of the “spider walk” or 40-degree incline trail, Mt. Gola may be less of a walk in the park. Usually paired with Mt. Manalmon for a twin hike, we recommend going to Mt. Gola first while the sun isn’t as high up in the sky as there are fewer trees to shield you from the glare of the sun. The view on top is definitely worth it. Since the trees are sparse, you get a clearer view of nearby mountains and water forms.

Location: San Miguel, Bulacan
Jump-off point: Brgy. Madlum
Travel Time from Manila: 2-3 hrs, depending on the ETD
MASL: 192 meters above sea level
Difficulty Level: 2/9
Trail Class: 1-3
What to Visit:  Bayukbok Cave, Madlum River, Monkey Bridge

Mt. Mapalad

 

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Another mountain hiking spot near Manila (and just beside Mt. Alapaap) that is perfect for beginners is Mt. Mapalad. After hiking for a few hours you can already see the man-made wooden hands (which the locals finished building in a month last 2018), Palad 1 and Palad 2, as well as a heart arch perfect for couples! 

Location: Tanay, Rizal
Jump-off point: Brgy. San Andres
Travel Time from Manila: 1.5-2.5 hrs, depending on the ETD
MASL: 750 meters above sea level
Difficulty Level: 3/9
Trail Class: 1-3
What to Visit: Palad 1, Palad 2, and a nearby river

Mt. Batolusong

Mt. Batolusong is part of the Sierra Madre mountain range! Have a heart-stopping moment and take photos in the beautiful grasslands. Challenge yourself with three breathtaking peaks, plus a short rock climbing trail for the brave of heart. Mt. Batolusong’s sea of clouds will surely take your breath away.

Location: Tanay, Rizal
Jump-off point: Brgy. San Andres
Travel Time from Manila: 1.5-2.5 hrs, depending on the ETD
MASL: 645 (Mapatag plateau) / 780 (Susong Dalaga peak) meters above sea level
Difficulty Level: 3/9
Trail Class: 1-3
What to Visit: Kay Ibon Falls

Best Hiking Spots in the Philippines: Plan Your Next Adventure Now! 

What’s stopping you? Take the leap and experience an adventure of a lifetime by going to hiking places in the Philippines! There are a wide array of famous hiking trails in the Philippines but we’ve narrowed it down for you. With the list of best places to hike above, take your pick and make sure you have all the hiking gear that you need! Shop for outdoor optics, compass and outdoor GPS, and more on Shopee Philippines! You can rest easy knowing that Shopee has all the Sports & Travel gear that you could ever possibly need. 

If the waves are calling your name, check out these best beaches near Manila too! Make sure you have all the beach essentials that you need for your trip. Turn it into a road trip and shop for must-have car accessories to make your trip safe and fun! If international travel piques your interest, take a look at these visa-free countries for Filipinos and the luggage brands that make the best travel companions!  

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