Hiking has been increasingly popular as an outdoor adventure among Dabawenyos. People here and there are planning to go for a hike on the upcoming weekend. Start your hiking experience by conquering the top five mountains in Davao Region. If you want to join the adventurous tribe of mountaineers, this is the sign that you’ve been looking for.
Hiking is not a mere walking activity under extreme weather conditions; it is about battling yourself while enjoying the beauty of nature with different people.
Check out the top five mountains in Davao Region that you can consider starting your hiking journey:
Begin your hiking journey at Battlefield peak in Tagurano, Toril. Enjoy the trail and sceneries before reaching the peak with 1,350 MASL after a two to three hours hike. You’ll pass by Angel’s View and the Capitol, where you can also camp.
What mountaineers love here is the delicious Putu Maya and organic sikwate that await at the peak. Spend your breakfast at the top while enjoying the cold breeze after conquering the peak. Plus, staffs are very accommodating, and they warmly welcome and converse with the mountaineers.
There are various stations along the trail where you can rest and eat. You can also buy newly harvested vegetables at Seven-Eleben. If you plan to experience camping, feel free to message their Facebook page for booking. Just pay Php 50 for your guide to enjoy a day hike in Battlefield.
2. Viper’s Peak
Another mountain you can consider is Viper’s peak (318 MASL), located at Brgy. Bayabas, Toril. It is among the amazing top five mountains in Davao Region for hiking beginners, where you can also experience river trekking. For as low as Php 250, you get a chance to explore both the mountain and river.
I suggest you start your climb as early as 5-5:30 am to witness the breathtaking sunrise at Grass Land and have enough time to enjoy the adventure that awaits you on river trekking.
Most people in Davao City choose this peak as their first hiking destination because of the river adventure. Depending on your stamina and preference, you can tell your guide to bring you to Layag Peak (392 MASL), Viper’s Peak, Kawa Falls, and Panday Falls to have a different level of hiking experience.
Enjoy a quick break from the city’s hustle and bustle and conquer Viper’s Peak. It is a perfect training ground for beginners. It may not be as steep as other peaks, yet it is still challenging. When you reach the summit, enjoy Viper’s peak local store, Starbox ni Nanay, where you can buy some refreshments, bread, and many more.
It will take almost 6-7 hours for you to finish the entire outdoor adventure if you are planning to discover the wonders of Layag Peak, Viper’s Peak, Kawa Falls, and Panday Falls in a day. Do not be so conscious of the time being spent during the hike, what matters most is you are enjoying every moment while you leap a step to explore the beauty of nature.
But if you do not want to spend much time, you have all the freedom to make a back trail— going on a similar path that you took to ascend.
3. Mt. Loay among Top Five Mountains in Davao Region
If you want to find a peak outside Davao City, Mt. Loay of Sta Cruz, Davao del Sur, is one of the best mountains to try on. Hikers planning to conquer Mt. Apo considers Mt. Loay as their training grounds. Mt. Loay (1040 MASL) offers unlimited assault going to its peak. Its assault is ideal for training your stamina and endurance. That’s why when you are planning to start your hiking journey, it is recommended to do cardio workouts to condition your body.
What I like about hiking at Mt. Loay is the different stations along the way to the summit. Don’t forget to try tatay’s buko before going to the peak. Plus, get a photo at the most iconic Seven Eleven and try their pastil too. Mountaineers take the most common path of Mt. Loay, traversing to Langan Falls. Traverse is a term used by hikers where you will take a different path during descent. My traverse experience in Langan falls was one of my favorite hiking moments because our guide taught us how to descend to avoid injuries properly. Thanks to Kuya Jasper!
Traversing to Langan falls is challenging since the trail is slippery, yet the view is really magnificent. Seeing the mountain ridges and the beautiful sky is therapeutic. Once you experience the hike from the summit to Langan falls, I guarantee that you will develop a different level of mountaineering skills. Don’t be afraid to try this trail, there are a lot of first-time hikers who conquered this trail safely and were able to enjoy it.
4. Mt. Dinagsaan
Another peak that mountaineers recommend for first-time hikers is Dinagsaan, located at Banay-banay, Davao Oriental. Mt. Dinagsaan (610 MASL) is among the top five mountains in Davao Region for hiking beginners since you can reach the peak after 2-3 hours of trekking.
See for yourself the unique panoramic view of Davao Oriental’s sea while going to the summit. At the peak, you will witness the fascinating horizon. It is ideal to start your trek as early as 5-7 am since Mt. Dinagsaan has open trails and a warm environment compared to the mountains we mentioned earlier.
Don’t forget to bring enough water and trail food since there are no stores along the trail. There are various restaurants around the jump-off area where you can feast after your day hike at Mt. Dinagsaan.
5. Bamboo Peak
As the name suggests, people climb Bamboo peak (1106 MASL) because of the thriving bamboo from the trail going to the summit. The mountain is situated within the Ancestral Domain of the Bagobo-Tagabawa in Brgy. Jose Rizal, Sta. Cruz. Aside from being a dwelling place of bamboo, locals also called the peak Buntod Ta Laya.
It takes 3-4 hours of hiking before you reach the summit. You can witness the abundance of the rainforest of Sta. Cruz. Don’t miss the chance to take photos of beautiful bamboo plants. There are many picturesque views along the way, including the portion of Mt. Apo.
In terms of food and water, there are also stores where you can rest. You can take your breakfast or lunch at the last station before you reach the peak. Fuel your body with their pastil and fried lumpia.
If you want to have your first camping experience, Bamboo peak is a place to consider. Just inform your guide ahead of time if you plan to stay overnight to enjoy nature’s solitude.
Starting Your Hiking Journey
The peaks that were mentioned above are just among the mountains of the Davao Region. You can conquer more peaks in Davao Region as you start your hiking journey.
But before you begin hiking, remember the essential things and reminders to ensure safety and adherence to mountaineering protocols. Here are the important hiking reminders:
1. As much as possible, attend a Basic Mountaineering Course. If not, feel free to read articles about Basic Mountaineering etiquette and principles.
2. Be responsible for your own trash. As the saying goes, “leave no trace; take nothing but pictures.” Be familiar with the Leave No Trace principles.
3. Never disturb or destroy wildlife. Remember that the forest and mountain is animals’ home, and we’re only visitors.
4. Bring enough water. Ask your guide about the water source along the trail.
5. Get accredited guides for your upcoming hikes. It is your right to ensure that they register you with their local government, such as barangay. Feel free to ask them if they bring first aid kits.
6. Secure proper hiking shoes. Remember, when choosing a pair of hiking shoes, it is not necessary to be new, branded, and expensive.
7. Choose proper clothing for hiking. For first hikers, it is recommended to wear a dri-fit shirt and trekking pants.
8. Don’t focus on how long you can reach the peak. Live in the moment and enjoy nature and the people you are with.
If you want to learn more about mountaineering, the next hiking destinations, and more, feel free to join the growing community of the Philippine Group of Mountaineers.
Hiking is a beautiful hobby to destress with nature while making your body healthy. It is a good activity for your mind, heart, body, and soul. Believe it or not, you will know more about yourself when you are hiking.
We can’t wait to see your first hiking photo. Share with us your experience on your social media accounts.