Laguna is home to 23 mountains, with Mount Banahaw as the highest peak at 2,170 meters and Mount Makiling as the most prominent. Both are some of the staples of mountaineers’ bucket lists. While there are easy mountain trails, most of the mountain trails in Laguna have moderate and hard difficulty levels. These trails are definitely not for the faint of heart.
Mountain trails in Laguna to try
1) Sta. Cruz – Lake Caliraya trail
Sta. Cruz – Caliraya a 22.5-kilometer long point-to-point trail. If you frequent the Pagsanjan area, you surely have heard of this trail that starts in Pila, Laguna. You can walk, jog, run, and ride a bike on this trail. The average completion time is 4 hours and 59 minutes.
Lake Caliraya is home to various water activities, such as boating and fishing. There are several accommodations near the lake if you wish to stay for a few days.
2) Ayala Westgrove Heights trail
Ayala Westgrove Heights trail is the newest trail in Laguna, but not necessarily the easiest. It is a 34-kilometer loop that hikers can complete in 7 hours and 52 minutes. If you try this trail, do not be surprised to see other hikers, runners, and bikers because it is increasingly becoming a popular mountain trail.
This is especially true since the residential community Westgrove Heights is near Nuvali, an eco-city in Laguna. It offers activities from koi fishing to riding a water taxi. You can cap your hike here by dining in the place. Ayala Malls Solenad provides various dining options.
3) Mt. Mabilog trail
A mountain trail in San Pablo City, Mt. Mabilog is an out-and-back trail that can be completed in 5 hours and 33 minutes. You will see few people on this trail, though, it is best for backpacking and camping and hiking. This trail is 22 kilometers long, starting from 7-11 or Poblacion.
At elevated parts of the mountain, you will see Pandin and Yambo lakes, known as the Twin Lakes. In addition, you can make a side trip going to Bunga Falls, which is also a popular waterfall destination. A short hike is needed to get to the falls.
4) Canlubang – Marcos Mansion cycle loop
As the name suggests, Canlubang – Marcos Mansion trail is a cycle loop. It has a length of 31.9 kilometers, which can be completed in 7 hours and 19 minutes on average. Since this is a cycle loop, you will surely see bikers or cyclists along the way. Locals typically go to Marcos Twin Mansion in Brgy. Casile in Cabuyao, Laguna, if they want to do road biking. If not here, you will see more bikers on Tagaytay-Calamba Road.
Further, this mountain trail is near Nuvali, where you can do different recreational activities.
5) Mt. Makiling
Mt. Makiling is the most famous mountain trail in Laguna. Stretching 17.5 kilometers, this out-and-back trail is found near Los Baños. A typical starting point is the Philippine Tropical Forest Science Center at the University of the Philippines. A hiker will need 6 hours and 32 minutes to complete this trail. Apart from hiking, the place is a known mountain biking spot.
What you will appreciate more once you reach the summit are the varied canopies. People go here for the challenging trail yet rewarding climax.
6) Mt. Sembrano
Mt. Sembrano may be a short trail at only 8.7 kilometers. However, this mountain trail in Pililla takes about 4 hours to finish due to the steep slopes that get steeper as you ascend. With this said, you may see many pro hikers along the way on certain days, especially during long weekends.
Despite the difficulty of tackling this mountain trail, you will not feel pressured to complete it soon. Lovely overlooking views of the town below will make you appreciate the hike more. An essential stop is the waterfalls; here, you can lounge for a few minutes before continuing your hike.
7) Sierra Madre cycle loop
A list of challenging mountain trails is not complete without mentioning the Sierra Madre. This loop trail is 125 kilometers long and takes about 33 hours to complete. Sierra Madre cycle loop is for hiking, road and mountain biking, and scenic driving. The trail starts from Famy, Laguna, and ends in Infanta, Quezon.
While traversing it, you will see the magnificence of Real, Quezon. You will see the beaches below, which you may consider your stopover. There are famous surfing spots in the area.
Alright! These are seven must-complete mountain trails in the south (although there are more). Again, these trails are for the bravest and fittest of hearts. Some trails are short but steep, while others are long and narrow. Either way, these routes should be on your bucket list to be crossed one by one in the future.