Mount Apo


Mount Apo: Philippines’ Highest Peak

Mountain Stats
Natural Form and History
Climbing Experience & Itinerary
Support Facilities
Safety & Accessibility
Special Tips
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Quick Answers

Q:Whats it like to climb Mount Apo?
A:Mount Apo is the highest peak in the Philippines, making it the latest fitness challenge for uber fit Filipinos and travellers. Trekkers have a choice of 4 trails to climb Mount Apo. In addition to regular hiking, there are also trail-running races that take place at Mount Apo.
Q:How long does it take to climb Mount Apo?
A:Depending on which of the 4 trails you choose, climbing Mount Apo can take 2-5 days. The most fit amongst us can run up and down Apo within a day.

Climbing Mount Apo Philippines - Mountain Stats

2,954m (9,692ft)
Climbing Height
1,734m (5,689 ft)
  • #1 Highest in Philippines

Climbing Mount Apo Philippines - Natural Form and History

Natural Mount Apo Philippines - Natural history

Mount Apo meaning ‘grandfather’ or ‘master’ in local dialect is the highest mountain and volcano in the Philippines. Although Mount Apo has had no recorded eruptions, it is still considered an active volcano. Mount Apo is a basaltic stratovolcano which is part of a chain of volcanoes called the Central Mindanao Arc. Although it appears almost perfectly conical from most angles, Apo has 3 separate mini-peaks and a flat summit.

Natural Mount Apo Philippines - Climbing history

Since the first recorded successful expedition of Mount Apo on October 10, 1880 by Don Joaquin Rajal, thousands of eager hikers from Philippines and around the globe climb the mountain every year to reach its 3 peaks.

Natural Mount Apo Philippines - Current status

Mount Apo is definitely a crowd-pleaser, especially thanks to its almost perfect conical shape. It’s also a great physical challenge for the fit.

Climbing Mount Apo Philippines - Climbing Experience & Itinerary

Climbing Mount Apo Philippines - Climbing Experience

Mount Apo’s vertical climb is the latest fitness challenge for uber fit Filipinos and travellers. The terrain along the mountain is thriving with lush forests and more wildlife than volcanic rock. Mount Apo can be split into 3 distinct types of forest. From the beginning of the ascent, climbers can experience the beauty and challenges of low-land tropical rainforests. Although striking and lush, the beginning of the ascent is seen as somewhat of a natural obstacle course. Hikers have to watch their step for tree roots and slippery stones, perhaps even the occasional snake. When reaching the mid-mountain forests of Mount Apo, the lush terrain will narrow down ever so slightly with less trees and animals around and more boulders and slopes to tackle.

The physical fitness and determination of the hiker is tested much more as they reach higher altitudes. As the hiker gets closer to the peaks, vegetation can still be seen but is much less lush and thick compared to the lower altitudes and very few animals are found due to the lack of oxygen. Climbing becomes somewhat easier due to less obstacles but physical strength is mandatory to tackle the very steep stretches to reach the peaks of Mount Apo.

Climbing Mount Apo Philippines - Trail options

Number of options

There are 4 known trails to pick from. The trails take from 2 to 5 days to reach the summit, with some trails being more demanding than others. Climbers will pass through lush rainforests and rocky terrain on all of the trails, and they all get more steep and challenging towards the top.

Time to complete

This trail is said to be the most picturesque of all, especially for nature lovers. This trail takes 3 days to complete with camping and rest-stops along the way.

Number of days
Day 1

Wake up and have a healthy and filling breakfast. Prepare for the climb.


Take a taxi from your hotel to Cabarisan.


Arrive in Cabarisan. Prepare for the trek.


Start the trek towards Sibulan River.


Arrive at Sibulan River.


Arrive at the entry point of the trail.


Take rest and have lunch.


Continue the climb.


Arrive at Sitio Tompis base camp and take rest. Then continue the walk to the overnight camp.


Arrive at Tinikaran camp 1.


Have dinner and relax. Prepare for the next day of hiking.



Day 2

Wake up and have breakfast.


Leave camp and continue the hike to Tinikaran camp 2.


Arrive at Tinikaran camp 2. Take a quick break and continue.


Arrive above the treeline.


This is the beginning of the steeper segment of the climb.


Arrive at summit 1 and enjoy the landscapes.


Head towards the Mount Apo campsite.


Arrive at the campsite and rest. Have lunch.


Have dinner and relax. Prepare for the last day of climbing.



Day 3

Wake up and prepare for the day.


Climb towards summit 2.


Arrive at summit 2 and enjoy the sunrise over picturesque landscapes.


Begin the descent back towards the Mount Apo campsite and have breakfast.


Begin the descent via the campsites visited on previous days. Take it easy and make sure to have lunch along the way.

The beginning of this trail is parallel to the beginning of the Sibulan trail and they do cross at various points during the trek. However, the path is much wider than the Sibulan trail and it will take a few hours more to reach the peaks of Mount Apo. This trail takes an average of 3 days to complete with camping and rest-stops along the way.

This trail is considered less demanding and is the easiest way of reaching the peaks of Mount Apo. Climbers will pass by hot springs, rivers and luscious rainforests, as well as Lake Venado. This trail takes an average of 2 days to complete, which is including the ascent, the descent and overnight camping.

This trail is known as being the most physically demanding and longest of them all. Although challenging, this route takes hikers through a range of less wandered areas of the mountain. This trail will take climbers 5 full days to reach the peaks of Mount Apo.

Climbing Mount Apo Philippines - Support facilities

Guides and porters

Guides are recommended
Porters are recommended

Trail facilities

Trail head - Registration kiosk
Trail - Rest stop shelters, such as huts, pavilions, etc.
Summit base camp - Shelters for overnight rest

Food & water

Trail head - Food
Trail head - Potable water
Trail - Portable water
Summit base camp - Food
Summit base camp - Portable water

Network connectivity

Trail head - Network signal
Trail - Network signal
Summit base camp - Network signal

Climbing Mount Apo Philippines - Safety & Accessibility


The climate of Mount Apo is generally tropical and rainy. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year. Heavy rains, floods and landslides are relatively common during the winter so it is recommended to not climb Mount Apo during these times.

The temperature at Mount Apo depends on the time of year with lows of about 9°C and highs of around 20°C. Strong winds are common at higher altitudes and at the peaks. The preferred months to climb Mount Apo are the summer months from March to May, when the weather is generally pleasant.

Climbing safety

Altitude: Ascending slowly can help prevent altitude sickness.

Falling hazards: Wear comfortable and reliable hiking boots. Hiking poles can reduce the risk of falling.

Personal safety

It is recommended to tackle the climb with a partner or in a group to ensure help is there if necessary.

Keep an eye out for snakes!

Permits, Fees, and Regulations

Climbing permits can be arranged through the Tourism Office directly. Tour operators and guides can also assist in getting a climbing permit. 

Emergency contacts

National Emergency Hotline: 911.

Police Hotline: 117 or (02) 722-0650.

Red Cross: 143 or (02) 527-8385 to 95.

Getting there and away

Davao Airport can be reached directly from Manila, Cebu and other main cities around the Philippines. The preferred way to travel to the starting point is via taxi or rental car. Taking a minibus or local bus is also an option. The distance covered from Davao to the starting point is around 57km. Depending on the traffic, the journey usually takes around 3 hours.

Money Matters

The climbing permit should cost approximately $40-50 USD.

Climbing Mount Apo Philippines - Special Tips

Tips for amateur climbers

Taking the most picturesque trail of them all, the Sibulan Trail is highly recommended to regular climbers who are looking to experience everything that Mount Apo has to offer. For an authentic and unforgettable experience of Mount Apo, hiring a guide is recommended.

Tips for advanced climbers

The longest and most demanding route, the Mt. Tolamo Trail is only to be tried by the most experienced and determined climbers. It is ideal for climbers who want to test their stamina and strength.

Tips for women

There aren’t specific dangers to women however it is generally recommended that this trek is done in groups, rather than individually.

Tips for trail runners

The Mount Apo Sky & Vertical Race took place in April 2019. The registration fees cost between $60-90 USD, depending on the distance participants chose.

Tips for nature lovers

69 recorded species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals can be found thriving in the forests of the mountain. One of the world’s largest eagles, the Philippine Eagle is also found here along with 272 other species of birds and 118 species of butterflies.

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