Mt. Timbak, Benguet: Hike Guide, Difficulty, Location, Weather

Mt. Timbak
I've been hearing from friends that Mt. Timbak and Mt. Tabayoc are just two of the must hiked mountains in the Cordilleras. In terms of altitude, this mountain stands 2,717 MASL and garnered an easy trail class - which I think is true. Among the provinces in CAR, Benguet is really a bomb and prominent to tourist, especially hikers, because of its rich forested mountain slopes, hike on relaxing ambiance and a beauty that can only be found in nature, plus a glimpse of the local livelihood.

This event was a DIY, with invitations from friends of friends. My calendar has plenty of activities for April and I made sure that I allotted time for this spectacular hike. As usual, our journey started when I met my friends and the other participants in Araneta Center, Cubao. Introduction and arranged ourselves in the van. Slept while on the road and had a stop over in Baguio to buy supplies and slept again - saya ng buhay no?? Puro tulog pero masakit ang mga binti ko huh, dahil medyo long legged ako. Ang proceeded to the long winding road of Atok, Benguet.

Most of the bloggers online said that hikers can proceed directly to hiking, however, when we were at the jump-off and about to hike, we found out that all tourists are required to register at Paoay Baranggay Hall before proceeding to any tourist sites in the area (as per advisory written on a tarp posted by the highway). No choice but to go back to the tourism information center, set up by the highway, beside Atok Municipal Hall, registered and met our two guides.

We had Toyota Hi-Ace, with 12 people, but had an issue with our transportation to Timbak Elementary School. As described by those people in tourism information center: "baka hindi kayanin ng sasakyan nyo, kasi napaka steep at single lane road lang pataas. Kung sanay kayo sa ganoong byahe, okay lang." Of course, security is a must, so we left our van by the highway, with the driver, and just walked on the concrete road.

Things to Remember: Height (2,717 MASL), Trails, Campsite, and Difficulty
According to our guides, hiking to the summit can take up to two hours, so we chose the short cut, passing on the pilapils by the vegetable farms. I highly recommend to bring your guide and take this short cut. Akala ko nga short cut talaga, pero parang mas napatagal pa ata yung pag hike namin dahil sa sobrang ganda ng mga landscape na dinadaanan namin, kaya ayun di namin mapigilang mag picture picture. Also, we had time to talk to the locals who are really friendly. Photos below will describe what I was saying:

The Gorgeous View on the Summit.
When I reached the summit, it was really a YES! Mt. Timbak has a wide picture of a breathtaking beauty and a perfect view of Atok, Benguet - which is spectacular. The shape of the vegetable terraces that are covered with greens was just astounding; there are cabbage and carrots plantation that look like a work of art - just perfect from above and afar. In addition to that, the wind blowing is really fresh and cool; I didn't feel any muscle spasm, numbness of my legs or tiredness because it's a chillax hike. ANG GANDA LANG TALAGA! Wait, I forgot to mention the crosses and the statue of the Holy Family at the summit.

What's good about having a guide with you is, they can talk to the local farmers and ask permission to pass by their farms and/or even help them harvest their crops. They are also generous enough to give a few freshly harvested carrots - like Te Bing did; may pag-ka rabbit din kasi tong si Te Bing eh.

We met other groups on the summit and while on the trail; they were able to see the beauty from afar, however, they were unable to see the colorful flowers, experience its greatness and take photos found in a small flower garden at the other side of the farm - we made this because of our guides.

By the way, aside from vegetable farming as local livelihood, they also cultivate flowers, like daisy, roses, and many more, so if you are fond of flowers, cactus and other succulents, this mountain is the perfect place to visit and buy those in a cheaper price. Mahilig din talaga ako sa cactus at succulents, alam ng mga friends ko yan, pero it was a NO for that moment, hirap mag transport baka maapakan sa sasakyan.

We stayed at a local's residence for few minutes, while the others were checking those succulents and we found out that the parked L300 can be chartered, of course with the local driver for our descend to the highway. The descent was only within 20 to 30 minutes. This hike is the most chillax hike I ever experienced so far! Highly recommended and it's a YES.

After the remarkable hike, we proceeded to our next destination - Mt. Tabayoc. Traveling from Atok, to Kabayan took us two to three hours, plus a challenging travel because we can't find the correct road to Ballay Ranger Station in Tabayo, Ballay, Kabayan, Benguet.

Location, How to Get Here, Our Travel to Benguet
This event was a DIY and I only spent 2,500 pesos. Number of participants: 11. We chartered a van, with driver who's experienced in the North. GPS is helpful - promise! For questions, feel free to send me a PM, @SirangLente on Facebook.