Travel 2016: Climb: Bakun Trio, Benguet

Three mountains in three days. Are you up for the challenge?

Bakun is an emerging destination in the Cordilleras for hiking enthusiasts. There are three commonly climbed mountains in the town: Mt Tenglawan, Mt Kabunian and Mt Lobo, thus the term "Bakun Trio". These mountains are usually hiked in one trip for three days. Hikers have the option to decide on their itinerary. For our group, our itinerary was Kabunian - Tenglawan - Lobo.

The Bakun Barangay Hall served as our base camp during the three-day hike. We were the only group that visited during that time so we had the place to ourselves. Outside the barangay hall are few sari-sari stores selling some basic grocery items like bottled water, cup noodles, etc.

Here is a quick rundown of my Bakun Trio experience.

Mt Kabunian
1700 MASL
Trek time: 7-8 hours

Coming from a 12-hour butt-aching ride with no sleep and little rest, our group was welcomed by the thriller trail of Mt Kabunian.

The trail is forested with steep climbs and continuous assaults. You have to pass through hanging bridges and concrete stairs with iron railings. There are also sections with loose rocks, challenging boulders and open ridges (like that of Mt Batulao).

Mt Kabunian's Thriller Trail
There are two water sources in the mountain. The first one is about half-way to the summit near a waiting shed which serves as a resting station for the mountaineers. The second one is about 15 minutes away from the summit.

Before reaching the summit, you will pass through a rocky trail which used to be a burial ground for the local's ancestors. There is no distinct landmark in the summit aside from the long burnt log in the middle of the tall pine trees.

Travel posing in the summit
Overall, I would rate the climb as moderate to difficult. Make sure your legs are ready for the long walk and steep assault. I recommend to start your climb early to avoid too much sun exposure since most of the trail is open.

Mt Tenglawan
1940 MASL
Trek Time: 12-13 hours

Our Bakun Trio adventure continues with our journey to Mt Tenglawan. This is the longest climb among the Trio and the most challenging too.

The first part of the climb is the trail going to Brgy Beyeng which is mostly cogon/trees. It starts with a 1-hour downhill trek until the long hanging bridge. The assault going to the community starts after crossing this bridge.

The Bakun Trio team while resting
The next part of the hike is a long walk up the ridge connecting to Mt Tenglawan. The trail showcases the breathtaking view of Bakun, Benguet. There are several farmers trail and rice terraces along the way.

The last part of the hike starts with a downhill trek to the foot of Mt Tenglawan going up again to reach the summit.

The Carrot Rock, which is similar to Pico de Loro's monolith, is accessible from the summit. Just be careful if you want to go there because it is steep, one wrong step and you will fall off the cliff.

The Carrot Rock of Mt Tenglawan
Overall, I would rate this climb as difficult. The long trail with its different types of terrain will definitely test your strength.

Mt Lobo
2000 MASL
Trek Time: 3-4 hours

Last but definitely not the least is Mt Lobo which is the easiest among the three. The trail is mostly a wide rough road.

The final assault to the summit is very steep but there are railings that made it easier to climb. The summit of Mt Lobo is very captivating; offering a 360 degree view of the Cordilleras.

Wohooo! Bucketlist unlocked! Thank you for the strength and guidance, Papa God. :)


Benita (Tourism) - 09183523722
Eugene (Jeep from Baguio to Bakun) - 09128070974 

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