TWHS: Mt. Pulag National Park, Philippines

So last visit, we were over at the closed until further notice Kabayan Mummy Burial Caves, which as it happens are directly across the valley from today’s Tentative World Heritage Site report:

Mt. Pulag National Park

Mt. Pulag National Park, Philippines

 

Mt. Pulag National Park lies on the north and south spine of the Grand Cordillera Central that stretches from Pasaleng, Ilocos Norte to the Cordillera Provinces. It falls within the administrative jurisdiction of two (2) Regions: Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Cagayan Valley (R2).

The whole park is located within the Philippine Cordillera Mountain Range and is very rugged, characterized by steep to very steep slopes at the mountainsides and generally rolling areas at the mountain peak. Mt. Pulag National Park is the highest peak in Luzon and is the second highest mountain in the Philippines with an elevation of 2,922 m. above sea level.

The summit of Mt. Pulag is covered with grass and dwarf bamboo plants. At lower elevations, the mountainside has a mossy forest veiled with fog, and full of ferns, lichens and moss. Below this is the pine forest growing on barren, rocky slopes. Falls, rivers and small lakes mark the area.

The Park has a large diversity of flora and fauna, many of which are endemic to the mountain. Its wildlife includes threatened mammals such as the Philippine Brown Deer, Northern Luzon Giant Cloud Rat and the Luzon Pygmy Fruit Bat.  One can also find several orchid species some of which are possibly endemic to Mt. Pulag, and other rare flora such as the pitcher plant.

Mt. Pulag is an important watershed providing the water necessities of many stakeholders for domestic and industrial use, irrigation, hydroelectric power production and aquaculture.

And in a remarkable display of symmetry, same as that site was closed, at the time, so was this one. Fear not though, Dear Reader, it’s been reopened since:

Mount Pulag reopens to hikers, trekkers

Seven hikers from Cebu City tried to go up the summit last January, but the butane canister of their stove exploded, causing a fire that said to have cost P2.3 million.

But because Mount Pulag is a national park, the 7 are made to pay 8 times that, or a total amount of P18.4 million. They could also serve up to six years in prison each…

As you can see, the Philippines takes their natural park protection very seriously. So, seeing as how the terrain on that side of the valley was not overly different than the terrain on this side of the valley we’d been driving through the last three hours, and all the entrances to that side were closed …

Mt. Pulag National Park, Philippines

… we decided to call this one a tag on the “yep, saw it with the unaided eye” okay-we-made-an-effort definition of “visit” that we call it a day with when we’ve got places to go; we’d planned to make it to Sagada that night for some caving at Sumaguing Cave first thing the next morning, and since tracking down the mummies had taken a deal longer than expected, we were pushing that for a long day.

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p dir=”ltr”>So that’s it for our report — but if you’re the hiking sort and want to make a proper trip of it now that it’s open again, here’s a trip report for you to read!

9 Things I Wish I Knew Before Trekking Mt. Pulag

A hike to Mt. Pulag is a definitely must-try to all outdoor and adventure-lovers out there. Mt. Pulag is one of the most sought out trail in the country with it being the 3rd highest peak in the Philippines. People who love hiking, trekking and mountaineering are gushing over the amazing trail and views one can experience at the summit…

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Alex Curylo

Alex

I go places.

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