Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bukidnon: Saturday Hike in Musuan Peak

Musuan Peak is located in Musuan, Dologon, Maramag, Bukidnon. It is also known as Mount Musuan and Mount Calayo and is one of the active volcanoes in the Philippines. It has an elevation of 646 meters ASL and a base diameter of 3 kilometers. It's accessibility and proximity from the national highway made Musuan Peak a favorite hiking destination in Bukidnon.

With nothing much to do on a sizzling hot Saturday morning, me and my friends Leonilo, Vanessa and James went for  a road trip on the southern part of our home province.  Aboard Leonilo's Ford Trekker, we left Malaybalay City at around 9 AM. The plan was to climb the peak of Mount Musuan in the morning then chill out in Lake Apo in Valencia at lunch time. 

We arrived at the entrance gate of Musuan Peak one hour after we left Malaybalay. The property is part of Central Mindanao Univerity complex and is officially called Mt. Musuan Zoological and Biological Garden. There are several species of plants within Mount Musuan. These include various kinds of trees, shrubs, grasses. sedges, vines, herbs and ferns. Its northern slope is still covered with a thick forest while other portions are covered with cogon grass. 

Musuan Peak's entrance is right along the highway

After paying the entrance fee of Php10.00 per person at the lady guarding the entrance, we started our hike. There is actually an established trail in going to the top and this makes any climb a relatively easy hike.

As we started our ascent, we noticed a shortcut trail on the left side of the road. With the desire to put more challenge to an otherwise easy hike, we decided to take on that route. It was a tree-shaded trail which offered respite to the harsh sunlight. But then it was also very steep that we were already sweating and catching our breath in no time. 

After that short detour, we're back again in the open trail. The sun's heat forced us to rest on the sides a few times but as we got higher, the sights down below also became more interesting. 

More than halfway through our hike, we could already see the panoramic view of the vast rice lands as well as the grand Pulangui River and mountain ranges from afar.

We continued on with our hike and a passing the portion with replanted pine trees, an overlooking view of Valencia City can be seen.

About a hundred meters after is a view deck which offers an unobstructed view of the Pulangui River snaking through another vast paddy fields.

After about 50 minutes of hiking from its base, we finally reached the peak of Mount Musuan. It was actually my second time to visit this place and I was delighted to see that there are already tall trees on some portions which used to be bare.

Communication towers at the peak of Mount Musuan

We walked through a pathway then descended on the concrete steps leading to a hut. There, we rested and ate our snacks while enjoying the view and fresh air.

Unfortunately, the place is not spared by vandalism. While I took photos on some of the scribbles, I opted not to publish it here so as not to glorify the irresponsible deeds.

While resting on the viewing area, we came up with the idea of driving further down south to visit the Overview Park in Palacapao, Quezon, Bukidnon. Since my three friends have never been to that place yet, we ditched the plan to visit Lake Apo and decided to make Overview our second destination for the day. After more picture taking, we then made our way back down to the base of Musuan Peak.

Here are more photos I took during our descent:

How to get there:

1. From Cagayan de Oro City, take a bus bound for any of these places: Davao, Tacurong, Kabacan Kibawe, Damulog, Kadingilan, Wao and Banisilan.

2. From Davao City take a bus bound for Cagayan de Oro City.

3. Tell the conductor you're going to disembark at the entrance of Musuan Peak.

4. Distance from Cagayan de oro to Musuan Peak's entrance is about 125 kilometers. Distance from Davao City is about 133 kilometes.

5. Entrance fee is only 10 pesos per person.

6. The hike to the top of Mount Musuan usually takes one hour or more, depending on your pace. Make sure to bring your own food and drinks and always stay hydrated.

7. Always bear in mind the Hiker's Creed: "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time".

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  1. haven't been to bukidnoon.. hope to visit it this year :)

  2. I am sure you will love the mountains here. :)

  3. Walay trace sa pagkabulkan niya Earl?

  4. hhmmm bulkan na siya nga natabunan iya bangang sa kanang terace nga lingin sa ibabaw mao na iya bangang gitabunan kay ingun nla dili na na active

  5. Was working in that area 1975. There was a survey bench mark we can see from down below thru the transit telescope. I wonder if it is there?
    Your article brings back memories to this old man.


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