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Mount Pinatubo - Philippines
1 Photoset

2020-01-25  
mini location map2020-01-25
31 by photographer avataradilling
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Mount Pinatubo - PhilippinesAsia, WW
Asia, WW
Hiking avatar Jan 25 2020
adilling
Hiking6.17 Miles 1,330 AEG
Hiking6.17 Miles
1,330 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
My wife and I have not visited her home country of the Philippines in 14 years. We finally made the trip and it's been awesome. I told her the only thing I want to do was hike Mount Pinatubo. And, I was able to get it done!

You need to hire a tour company to get to the trailhead and a guide to bring you up to the top. You start early and finish early because of the heat. A tour van picked me up in Mabalacat at 4am and we drove to the embarkation area. They gave us a little orientation, then you have to register with the Tourism Center. And, since I was over 50 years old, a nurse had to take my blood pressure and give me a once over.....I passed, luckily! ha ha

Once that is complete, you load up into your tour 4x4 to make the 1.5 hour drive to the trailhead. The drive starts out dusty and bumpy, then turns to wet and bumpy as you are driving in and around the river.

At the trailhead, you start up the canyon along the river. The scenery was stunning. This river basin was the runoff of the lahar from the eruption in 1991. It was very wide and you can see this river can get very big with the right conditions. The tours are only allowed to come up when it's safe. The weather was warm, 80's, but cloudy, so the sun did not cook me too much. The 60-70% humidity was very different that the usual arid conditions I hike in Arizona.

After about 2 miles of hiking the river and canyon, you reach the summit trail. The scenery turned from river to jungle. Very green and lush. It was so beautiful in this area. After about a mile of that, you reach a set up stone steps that take you to the rim and your first view of the crate lake at the top.

The rim was full of people and little stands the local Aeta people were selling drinks and snacks. The Aetas are the indigenous people of the Philippines, closely related to the aboriginal people of Australia and New Guinea.

There is another set of stone steps to get down to the lake. Lots of selfie-taking and posing by the people hanging out at the bottom. The lake is clear and clean, but they do not allow swimming. There is no life in the lake as it's sitting on an active caldera. You could get a whiff of sulfur every once in a while in the canyon on the way up.

After an hour of hanging out at the lake, you start back down. The ride back was just as rough and bumpy, but I had a big smile on my face the entire day. Such a privilege to hike this cool spot.
_____________________
"Hiking is just walking where it’s okay to pee." –Demetri Martin

instagram: @andydilling
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adilling's
249 Photosets

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