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Mt. Pico de Loro: Review of the New Trail

Mt. Pico de Loro recently closed its old trail and opened up a newer, shorter route to the peak. Here’s a guide.

Many mountaineers would agree: Mt. Palay-Palay, best known as Mt. Pico de Loro, makes for a great first time climb. Perched on the summit and overlooking the toreng bato back in August 2013, it was the first mountain that got me saying, “I wanna climb more!”

Aside from its proximity to Metro Manila and the guaranteed breathtaking beauty of both the Parrot’s Beak-shaped summit (thus the name) and the monolith (a.k.a. the chest piece that fell from the heavens), Mt. Pico de Loro has now a new, shorter trail to the campsite.

mt. pico de loro new trail
We got to try the new trail firsthand, just a week after it was opened to the public. Even though Mt. Pico de Loro is the only mountain I’ve climbed five times (!), the new trail leaves me to be one of the beginners. Nevertheless, even as I was leading the way without a guide, the trail was freshly-marked and intuitive.

Cutting Trail Time at Mt. Pico de Loro

The new trail shortened the hike time from the usual 3-hours to an easy 2-hours. The incline is not difficult, although being a new trail, there are overgrown roots and newly-cut vines that might cause one to trip. What we missed from the old trail of Mt. Pico de Loro is the majestic fallen tree, the thick terraces of roots of the forest and the waterfalls! But the new trail leads to the same bamboo-laden path before opening to the campsite.

Lots of mountaineers have gotten lost in the old trail of Mt. Pico de Loro, even the more experienced ones, especially after the onslaught of Typhoon Glenda that practically erased the path and left trees blocking the way.

There were also a lot of confusing crossroads and the path has widened uncontrollably. At least, closing the old trail gives time for the well-trodden mountain to recover.

mt. pico de loro new trail

More Traffic at the Peak

But the campsite of Mt. Pico de Loro was unlike anything I’ve seen before. Tents sprung from all corners, and even the summit was as crowded as a mall on sale. They have also allowed a paid restroom on the campsite.

What saddens me though is that soil erosion and drying (probably also because of the season) has made the assault to Mt. Pico de Loro’s peak more difficult and slippery. Before, there were at least grass and big boulders to hold on to during the 45 degree angle ascent. Now, there is only loose soil and dried leaves. Thankfully, the locals are still there to assist distressed climbers.

mt. pico de loro new trail

For what it’s worth, the DENR Protected Area Management Board opening a new trail is a great step. Not because it gets mountaineers to the top quicker and easier, but because we trust it is a step to protect the well-loved mountain. It also ensures that climbers register first before climbing Mt. Pico de Loro.


Still, I hope DENR protects the ascent to the peak from soil erosion, or worse, landslide once the rainy season kicks in. See, there are not much greenery to hold the now-sandy soil of the peak. Protecting Mt. Pico de Loro from vandalizers will also be helpful, as the monolith is laden with ugly marks from epals.

mt. pico de loro new trail

I don’t blame the increasing traffic of climbers trooping to Mt. Pico de Loro — they have all the reasons to see the mountain. Even I have come back five times!

May we, however, remember to proactively look after the welfare of the mountains so that more people can appreciate the beauty and fresh perspective they offer.

mt. pico de loro new trail

Climb with us at Travel Compass PH.

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33 Comments

  • Reply
    Nicole Paler
    May 30, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    Hi! I’m loving your posts on pico de loro! I really really want to climb it now! But I’m wondering if Pico De Loro, and this new trail is okay if you’re gonna be climbing with a couple of kids- 3 and 5 year olds who are very active.. Thanks! 🙂 I wish to share this experience with my kids kasi 🙂

    • Reply
      Sam Coronado
      May 31, 2016 at 11:59 PM

      I’d still recommend it! Your kids will love it 🙂

  • Reply
    Do It Anyway! — 5 of my Best “First Try” | FOLLOWYOUROAD
    June 9, 2015 at 8:18 PM

    […] beautiful mountain, I went head over heels and climbed some more! In fact, I climbed that same mountain five times […]

  • Reply
    Anne
    March 24, 2015 at 4:40 PM

    Hi there. thanks for the info. I would like to ask for a small help. Can you help me make an IT for overnight with the new trail? and the cost estimate to this climb? Thank you so much.

  • Reply
    Mommy Pehpot
    March 12, 2015 at 6:22 PM

    I never really thought of hiking as one of my must try adventure (takot ako sa gagamba eh)..

    anyways, just a curious questions.. sino ang kumuha ng picture?

  • Reply
    Irish
    March 10, 2015 at 6:40 PM

    It’s one of my plan to experience mountain climbing too and this is the first on my list. Do you have to bring your own tent or is it included in the package?

  • Reply
    tweenselmom
    March 10, 2015 at 11:12 AM

    That’s a nice trip, seeing all those tents made me felt envious.

    • Reply
      Samantha C.
      March 13, 2015 at 9:13 AM

      Yes I haven’t camped in Pico yet, too 🙂

  • Reply
    maria rona beltran
    March 10, 2015 at 9:54 AM

    you know what a handful of my friends have been here. i am so tempted by their beautiful photos. these ones of yours really really want me to start planning my adventure there this summer 🙂

    • Reply
      Samantha C.
      March 13, 2015 at 9:13 AM

      I hope you do. Promise you won’t regret it 🙂

  • Reply
    rayrose samson
    March 10, 2015 at 9:31 AM

    The place look beautiful from the top I bet.

  • Reply
    Alyssa
    March 10, 2015 at 1:17 AM

    OMG! I’m jealous! >.< The view looks so nice and relaxing! I have to try this soon 🙂

  • Reply
    Jojo Vito
    March 10, 2015 at 12:45 AM

    wow! another facet of Pico de Loro..beautiful…

  • Reply
    Aisha Kristine Chong
    March 9, 2015 at 11:58 PM

    It has been so so long since I went here – it is so refreshing to see the place in photos this time around.

  • Reply
    carl | Sagada Trip
    March 9, 2015 at 10:29 PM

    I’ve been dreaming of climbing this 10 years ago.
    I was here last Feb. 19 and I must say that it was really an amazing place. Hope to see you someday 🙂

    • Reply
      Samantha C.
      March 13, 2015 at 9:15 AM

      Yes! See you in one of your climbs too I hope 🙂

  • Reply
    Patty | MrsC
    March 9, 2015 at 4:24 PM

    I’ve only ever seen Mt. Pico de Loro from down below. The view is a lot more spectacular from where you were standing. 🙂

    • Reply
      Samantha C.
      March 13, 2015 at 9:16 AM

      I wish I could go to Pico de Loro (the beach) too!

  • Reply
    May De Jesus-Palacpac
    March 9, 2015 at 2:46 PM

    I was just looking at a package on one of the local deal sites on Pico de Loro. Really beautiful!

  • Reply
    Peachy @ The Peach Kitchen
    March 9, 2015 at 6:19 AM

    Great shots and nice post about Mt. Pico De Loro.

  • Reply
    franckxethee
    March 9, 2015 at 12:10 AM

    This is much better since it’s shorter. I’ve tried the trails in Pico and there are really a lot of roots you can trip on.

  • Reply
    April and the City
    March 8, 2015 at 1:59 PM

    Wow, I’ll definitely put this in my “must visit” list for this Summer!

  • Reply
    len
    March 7, 2015 at 11:05 PM

    what a nice post, perfect for mountaineers out there or for people who loves nature like me!

  • Reply
    Otakore Literantadodist
    March 6, 2015 at 3:47 PM

    Yes. Don’t blame the increasing traffic of climbers. Your blog may be a factor why they will increase more as I’m wanting to climb that Mountain too. 🙂

    • Reply
      Samantha C.
      March 9, 2015 at 1:29 PM

      Thank you! Then that means my mission was accomplished. Join us someday!

  • Reply
    Cheryle
    March 4, 2015 at 9:46 PM

    I was able to experience hiking during my highschool. It was fun, indeed! I wish I could bring back those times. BTW, great shots! 🙂

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