We dare you to climb Mt. Apo and experience an adventure of a lifetime.
Considered to be the Grandfather of Philippine Mountains, Mt. Apo gives us a new world within a world. The beauty of Mt. Apo and the fulfillment that awaits every soul who will climb its peak is worth the 2 to 3 days trek. For someone who has an adventurous soul, trekking atop its peak should be on your bucket list.
Having been declared as a national park by President Manuel Quezon, Mt. Apo covers 54,974 hectares and buffer zones comprising 2,571 hectares and 6,506 hectares on the Davao and Cotabato sides, respectively, making it a must-visit for every mountaineer.
For those who wish to trek Mt. Apo, there are four (4) well-established trails to the summit and we would like to encourage you to try all of them. Though it will really take you so much time, the trek to the summit is definitely worth coming back.
We’ve curated the treks and we suggest you try them.
1. KO-ONG KIDAPAWAN MT. APO TRAVERSE TRAIL
Entry Point:Kidapawan, North Cotabato
Exit Point:Ilomavis, Kidapawan City
There are different options you could choose from should you wish to climb Mt. Apo and one of the major trails is Ko-ongKidapawan Traverse Trail in North Cotabato.
According to our research, the aforementioned trail is the widely used among all the trails making it the widest trail among others. You get to traverse along a river trail, a jungle trail, and grasslands assault before reaching the summit. Just a heads up, this trail, though used by many, is a bit challenging, but again, still worth it.
- Your first destination will be Lake Agko.
- You will then need to cross Marbel River by walking through different coconut logs.
- After hours of river crossing, you will be directed to the first campsite, the Mainit Hot Springs.
- You have to pass through a thick forest to reach the next Lake, Lake Venado, which is a 5-6 hours trek.
- Thereafter, you will see the next landscape, a swamp that heralds the proximity of Lake Venado. This is a very cold and serene place surrounded by pines on the north, and the peak of Mt. Apo on the south.
- From Lake Venao, you would have to trek for 3 hours to reach the summit.
2. SIBULAN MT. APO PEAK TRAIL
Entry Point: Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur
Exit Point:Kapatagan, Digos, Davao del Sur
Sibulan Trail of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur is one of the entry points to Mount Apo as officially declared by the protected Area Management Board.
Starting from the small village of Baruring, Sibulan, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, you’ll pass by a farm trail, jungle trail, and boulders trail before reaching the peak.
- You will be warned with river crossing as you start your trek.
- You have to cross a river fifteen times and once you see a dam, you will have to climb over the walls using sturdy vines on the sides as ropes.
- Along the river is also a Tarzan-like swing you can use to cross the river, but should you opt to walk, then you may.
- Your first holding camp would have to be Tudaya Elementary School. You could also explore Tudaya Falls while you’re in the sitio.
- Thereafter, you would go to Takamuri Campsite in Sitio Colan where you can pitch your tent. This is also where you will find Mundo Apo Hot Spring to take a dip.
- You will then have an option to rest at Tinikaran Holding Camps 1 and 2.
- After resting, you will then ascend the boulders of Mt. Apo.
3. KAPATAGAN MT. APO TRAIL
Entry Point:Digos, Davao del Sur
Exit Point:Ilovamis, Kidapawan City
The Kapatagan Mt. Apo Trail is adjacent to Sibula, but is a little longer when it comes to distance and wider when it comes to the width of the trail.
Unlike Sibulan, this trail has more obstacles, but also offers shades for backpackers who wish to rest after grueling hours under the scorching heat of the sun.
- You will be trekking along a more “volcanic” feel of surrounding.
- The start of the trail will lead you to a mossy forest.
- You will then take the challenge and trek your way up the crater of Mt. Apo.
4. MAGPET MT. APO TRAIL
Entry Point:Ilovamis, Kidapawan City
Exit Point:Kisandal, Magpet
If the aforementioned is adjacent to Sibulan, Magpet Trail is adjacent to Kidapawan Trail. Magpet Mt. Apo Trail has waterfalls upon starting and a rainforest while you are on the course. There are also some mossy areas where you could appreciate the beauty of nature even more and while traversing, this trail will lead you to Lake Venado where you could camp with your company.
- You will be departing from Bongolanon Campsite Magpet.
- You will then reach Tausuvan Water Falls where you could enjoy the falls.
- After having fun, you will ascend to Lake Venado via the Bobong Campsite.
- You will have the chance to rest along the way on camps.
- After resting, you will have to trek your way up the summit and enjoy the magnificent view.
Boulders of Mt. Apo
The Boulders of Mt. Apo is also considered to be one of the famous features during your trek. You get to take photos that will serve as your memories, nibble on some sweet wild berries, or even just rest for a bit and talk about your trek.
If you’re done spending a night or two here, fret not also because hot springs are also available for free so you could sooth and relax your exhausted body to minimize muscle pains before heading home.
More than anything, let us all be reminded of our moral obligation of being a #ResponsibleLaaganto protect our home, our planet, for our future.
According to our research, the most convenient way to climb Mt. Apo is by contacting adventure providers;