Spending time outdoors may be better than you think. If you love nature, do not doubt that hiking is the perfect activity for you. I feel good in my body and good in the world while hiking. Still need convincing?
Mt. Sipit-Ulang is located in Rodriguez, Rizal. It has gained rapid popularity for its great rock formations and limestone trails. It stands 252 MASL with a difficulty level of 3/9, making it a minor hike. It shares the jump-off point for Mt. Ayaas which is Brgy. Mascap.
The mountain used to have two trails: the Banayad trail and the Paniki trail (some parts are now closed as per this writing). The former is the easier one while the latter is more challenging given its cave-like passages which are incredibly narrow. After we registered and secured a guide, we commenced with the climb.
Since we took the Banayad trail, the hike was pretty easy despite the muddy (If it’s raining) and slippery ground. It takes about 2-4 hours to finish the climb for a slow-average pace. The initial part of the trail traces up a forest while the final part reveals its glorious limestone trail and rock formations. This is a pleasant hike that begins in a small meadow after crossing a stream then gently climbing up. The trail was mostly covered by trees and bushes and also passing under intimidating boulders and narrow rock formations. A bit of challenge was passing thru narrow passageways between boulders and crawling up sharp rock formations – it was actually awesome and fun slipping on these passageways. I never get tired of seeing all these different types of rock formations on the trails.
Mt. Sipit-Ulang’s summit did not disappoint. The view atop the peak offers a beautiful sight of Montalban, including its neighboring mountains: Mt. Ayaas, Mt. Pamitinan, Mt. Hapunang Banoi, and Mt. Binacayan. To those who are wondering why it is named as such, it is because it was named after its peak which resembles that of a crab’s claw. It was so nice to be in harmony with nature again and I felt so thankful to have eyes that could appreciate this beauty.
The Payaran Waterfalls is an easy 1-hour trek from Brgy. Mascap or hire a habal-habal. I suggest you just wear trekking sandals because of the series of river crossings. Some part of the trail is exposed to sun so you should also consider bringing a cap or a scarf to protect you from the sun. After crossing at least 3 spillways, 4 streams and a river we reached the first waterfall of Payaran’s series of 7 waterfalls.
A hike to Mt. Sipit-Ulang is ideal for those starting out their hiking and mountain climbing careers as the trail is manageable and offers a diversity of features that a beginner will enjoy. This dayhike had a little bit of everything which makes it interesting and challenging – nice cardio climb, narrow rock formations, some rock climbing with spectacular scenery and of course the refreshing series of waterfalls.
0300 Assembly time
0330 ETD Ayala
0530 ETA Mascap
0545 Registration / Secure Guide
0600 Start trek to Sipit-Ulang via Paniki Trail
0800 ETA Summit / Photo Ops
0900 Start descend via Banayad Trail
1030 ETA Brgy. Hall / Rest / Buy lunch
1100 Start trek to Payaran Falls
1200 ETA Falls / Lunch / Swimming
1400 Back to Jump off
1500 ETA Brgy. Hall / Wash up
1630 ETD Mascap
1800 ETA Ayala
THINGS TO BRING
Head lamp or Flashlight
Sun Block Lotion & Insect Repellent
Food (Lunch, Snacks, and Trail Food such as Jelly Ace, Chocolates, etc.)
Water (1-2 liters)
Trekking Clothes, Shoes or Sandals
Photo Gear and Power Banks or Extra Batteries
Plastic bags (Waterproof your things)
Garbage bag (LNT Principles)
Sun Protection (hats, headgear, sunglasses)
Umbrella, Poncho and Raincoat (In case of rain)
Personal Medicine and First Aid Kit
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