Mt. Apo: The Philippine’s Highest Peak
It has long been considered every Filipino mountaineer’s and hiker’s dream: to reach the summit of the Grandfather of Philippine Mountains: Mt. Apo.
GRANDFATHER OF PHILIPPINE MOUNTAINS. Mt. Apo, the highest peak in the country, is also one of the top destinations for hikers and mountaineers. (Photo via Bro. Jeffrey Pioquinto, SJ via Wikimedia Commons)
Mt. Apo is an active stratovolcano found between Davao City, Davao Del Sur, and North Cotabato. Rising 2,954 meters above sea level, it is the highest peak in the country. Most hikers and mountaineers consider it one of the country’s toughest yet most satisfying peaks.
To get to the summit, you can take one of three official trails: Sibulan-Mt. Apo Peak Trail, Ko-Ong Kidapawan Trail, and the Kapatagan Trail.
• Sibulan-Mt. Apo Peak Trail is considered the most technical of all three official trails. It’s a narrow trail consisting of varying types of terrain. You’ll go through lush vegetation and a pristine jungle on your way to the summit. The 13.7-km trail starts at Baruring, a small village in Sta. Cruz, Davao Del Sur and rises approximately 2,000 meters from the trail head.
• Ko-Ong Kidapawan Trail is seen by many as the easiest trail to the summit. This also means it’s the most used trail to get to the peak. It starts in Kidapawan, North Cotabato and consists of river crossings, a jungle trail, and a grassland assault. It’s the longest of the three trails at approximately 19 km.
• Kapatagan Trail is another challenging trail to the top of Mt. Apo. Located adjacent to Sibulan trail, it’s wider than Sibulan and longer by at least 2 km.
There is another trail that’s considered the most difficult of all: the Tamayong Trail. This trail starts in Sitio Sicao, Tamayong, Davao City and has some of the most difficult terrain before reaching the summit, including a climb to nearby Mt. Talomo, the second peak in the Apo-Talomo mountain range.
Though you have an “easy” option, the trek itself is usually reserved for the most experienced of hikers and mountaineers. Trekking the Grandfather of Philippine Mountains is no easy task, and is not recommended for beginners.
You can schedule a climb to Mt. Apo anytime of the year, but summer months and October are generally the best times
APO BOULDERS. One of the highlights of the climb/trek, apart from reaching the summit, are boulders you will encounter on your way to the summit. (Photo via Kleomarlo via Wikimedia Commons)
Tour companies like Trail Adventours and Mt. Apo Adventures offer packages for anyone looking to summit the grandfather of Philippine mountains. You can also go in solo and contact the Kidapawan City Tourism Office, where you can access the Ko-Ong Kidapawan trail, the easiest of the three. You can book your trekking packages via their website, http://www.trailadventours.com/ and http://www.mtapoadventures.com/.
For tour packages, contact: http://www.trailadventours.com/, http://www.mtapoadventures.com/, and https://www.facebook.com/kidapawancitytourismandinvestmentpromotionscenter
Note: As of March 27, the trek to Mt. Apo is closed due to a recent forest fire. Officials say it will take 3-5 years before they re-open the trek. This is to allow the mountain to recover its forest cover.