Located in Kabayan, Benguet in the Cordilleras, this not-so-popular mountain is a common destination among hikers seeking long-thru hikes in Luzon. It can be done by day hike, overnight or a connection to Mt. Pulag. A bit more difficult than Mt. Tabayoc which is characterized by thick mossy forest, rich flora and fauna, existing hunting traps along the trails, and panoramic views at the summit viewing deck. Most climbers would climb Timbak, then Tabayoc, followed by Al-al and continue to Pulag.

Been there twice and I will be going back if time permits.  It is advisable to start early morning like 0400H for summit assault from Lake Tabeyo campsite to witness the sunrise. We were a bit tired from the previous day when we trekked in Mt. Timbak and hangover. However, we still pushed through with the plan of scaling Al-al.

At 0300H, we started to prepare our daypacks. I really hated walking in the dark. We decided not to rush and just enjoyed the walk in a moss-covered trail. At 0800H, we reached the summit. We were so lucky to have fine weather. From the summit viewing deck, you’ll see the Cordilleras.

Mt. Tabayoc as seen in Mt. Al-al
Mt. Pulag as seen in Mt. Al-al viewing deck
On the background is Mt. Timbac
Leontopodium alpinum. Commonly seen in Mt. Al-al summit

Mossy forest trails. Be aware of some thorny vines. This is where I got stuck and destroyed my windbreaker.
Finally back to the main road after the refreshing hike.

Vegetable plantations of cabbage, carrots, potatoes, and other kinds of vegetables.
We were so lucky to be invited by the house owner of this house to partake the famous “pinikpikan” soup.
Pinikpikan is a native chicken delicacy in Cordilleras prepared by hitting the chicken with a stick, roasted in an open fire, and cooked into a soup with a mixture of sayote, salt and some vegetables depending on the availability and taste of the cook. It is a must-try when heading to the Cordilleras.

Freeride on top of a truck loaded with vegetables.

After hiking, reward yourself with a relaxing dip at the Buguias hot spring which can be accessed through a motorbike from Ballay. This will help your tired muscles and improves blood circulation.

One of the few hot springs resorts in Buguias. Perfect after the hike. They have a small sari-sari store inside where you can buy a cold bottle of beer.

How to get there: From  Baguio, take a bus bound for Ballay at Slaughter Terminal. In Ballay, ask around for mountain guides. They are assigned so you’re assured of getting one.


Guide Fee           1000.00

Baguio-Ballay     155.00

Camping fee       100.00

Entrance fee       175.00

Cultural fee         30.00

Green fee           120.00

 Guide: Contact Jezer Ballagan or Josiah Ballagan and they will be happy to assist you.

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I live my life everyday celebrating. An easy go lucky guy. Always hungry for adventure and learning different cultures. If I'm not at the summit, I'm at the sea. Traveling is my way of life. Deeply in love with mountaineering, swimming, skinny dipping, island hopping, fishing, and cycling. Loves good food, beer, music, and good human conversation. At home, I used to cook, do yoga, and meditate. A coffee lover. Stay most of my time at the outdoors, breathing the cold air, tasting the saltiness of sea breeze, watch the waves swiftly caressing the sand, listen to the flowing water of the river, pitch my tent or hang my hammock and sleep under 5 billion stars. I hate manicured places (resorts). Adores sunrise and sunset which gives me extraordinary energy.