Mt Ampacao, Sagada’s Mountain Trail to Lake Danum

I was analyzing the map of Sagada weeks before our trip, and I was convinced that every must see tourist spots are very near each other, I came to that conclusion because distance between famous spots are shorter than the distance between my stretched thumb and pinky fingers laid on the map.

Very scientific methodology hehe, obviously the dotted lines escaped my power of deduction. When Titus and I arrived in Sagada and tasted our first ‘simple’ trek to Echo Valley and going near the hanging coffins i found out dotted lines in a Sagada map means climbing  mountains, going downhill in rice terraces, trekking, going down makeshift stairways and uphill dragging of your feet  so thank heavens i let myself be talked by titus to avail of the vehicle that jake, our guide offers.

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I just have to say all that because i am about to brag  of our mountain trek in Mt. Ampacao with the endgoal of reaching Lake Danum which is on the other side at sunset hehehe

My next point is normally all the walking i do is from our house to the street corner or well, malling so I am really please with myself for taking the road less travelled – going for the mountain trail.

True we did rode a van to Barangay Ambasing where we passed by a sign that says ‘great bitin’, a play of words on ‘Great Britain’. I did not get it right away hahahah.  Anyway, brgy ambasing is the gateway to  the famous mt ampacao trek that ends in the picturesque Lake Danum.

From the town center of Sagada, its a 2kms or so uphill climb to Brgy Ambasing, again we have a van until that portion where the rough road becomes too much for any vehicle. We got there around 1.30pm. When Jake got off the van he unsheathed his bolo, got tree branches and fashion wooden sticks for Titus and me. I felt like a true trekker and got very excited. I thought it was just for ‘fashion’ purposes little did I know that the sticks are necessary hehehe.

 We have just walked a few meters and bam! Titus and I have to catch our breath. At that point it hit me – its a 3 hour mountain trek from Mt Ampacao to Lake Danum hehe

Jake was very patient with us as we stop for breaks every few meters in the guise of picture taking hahaha

Sagada trekker relies heavily on stick haha


When we rounded the corner, we got a great view one of the rice terraces in Sagada.

Kap-ya-aw Rice Terraces


February was a season for oranges but not blueberries and mushroom. But we were lucky because we found a sample of both. Jake was true to his profession, he really search for local fruits/plants along the way and explain it to us including trivias *wink*

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We finally reach Mt Ampacao’s peak! Hurray! Amazing I survived!

We only stayed for about 15 minutes at the top of Mt Ampacao, relishing the view and thanking the heavens above that we were blessed to be able to make this trip to Sagada. It was both our first time in this highland town.

It’s cold at the top and very windy. The 360 degrees view of Sagada was pure bliss.

We can’t stay indefinitely at the peak so after taking in our fill of the amazing scenery surrounding us and enjoying the mountain air, we decided to proceed to our ultimate goal – Lake Danum.

As we climbed down, we were passing pine trees after pine trees, seeing works of woodpeckers, a section that suffered from forest fire, unusual plants to my eyes, nature at her best!

Just before we started the downhill trek it became steeper that our Sagada guide has to make a wooden stick for himself. Upon reaching the bottom Jake told us that the mountain we see before us we have to climb it too. I honestly honestly thought that jake was joking and i was really anticipating him saying ‘im kidding!’ but he did not, he did say ‘don’t worry its an easy climb’. I look at Titus dishevelled appearance and it made me realize im better at trekking hahahaha

At the last downhill trek we have to run because it was threatening to rain! We were mindfull of the narrow path we were trodding on because of the deep ravine on the left. Finally we reach Lake Danum! It was already 4:30pm

Sagada’s Lake Danum

We rested a bit because my feet feels like it couldn’t take any more steps haha. So we were just there waiting for the sunset in Lake Danum. Other Sagada tourists choose to camp here for the night and have a bonfire, but camping is out of the question for us. If you want to camp, coordinate with your guide.

Trivia: Lake Danum and Sagada were shooting locations for the movie ‘Don’t Give Up On Us’ starring Juday & Piolo. Hehehe.

Mga turista sa Lake Danum 🙂

Our SAGGAS guide, Jake!

Did I say there is a well paved road a few walks from the lake? Yes there is and our rented van was there waiting for us hehe.

From Lake Danum to the Sagada town center its 4km and the RIDE to town was pure pleasure. We reached the town I could hardly walk, all my limbs were aching and muscles were strained. Good thing a fulfilling snack awaited us in Lemon House, mountain tea + lemon pie. Yum!

 After Lemon House, we did not forget to buy an ibuprofen in anticipation of tomorrow’s journey to Aguid Rice Terraces and the famous Bomod-ok ‘Big Falls’ Falls.

If you asked me if the looong uphill downhill trek worth it to reach the lake ? A resounding Yesss! Will i do it again? Hmmm let me think about it but dont bother asking Titus hehehe.

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About Cille Anne

This blog is maintained, written and edited by she - who likes to travel a lot, more like wishes to travel a lot, doesn't want to miss a photo-op, loves the rain, certified chocoholic, coffee keeps her sane - it runs through her veins, she doesn't know how to swim, but wants to dive in Tubbataha all the same haha

~Come share with me, my travels, my stories, my life.

My name is Cille. AND THIS IS PENFIRES. :)


  1. hi ces!

    wow! sagada… you actually did what i wish to do in sagada…walk.walk…hehe… unfortunately, we weren’t able to do so when we went there. haha, ala sa plano ang sagada namo na trip. we were supposed to go to banaue, but missed the bus [haha]… as in, simhut ra gyud mi sa sagada…hope i could go there again, even just to have the chance to eat at the famed “yoghurt house” (yum)..

    really great to see you traveling.. asa na ka based ron?


    we finally ate at LUCKY’S SHANGHAI HAUZ, we were shocked kc true pala sabi nila masarap n mura p!


  1. […] like Sumaguing Cave, Cave connection Lumiang-Sumaguing, Aguid Rice Terraces to Bomod-ok falls and Mt Ampacao Trek to Lake Danum. You can check out the Saggas group(Sagada Genuine Guides Association). Other sites you may just […]

  2. […] please click here – Mt Ampacao, Sagada’s Mountain Trail […]

  3. […] My typical day will see me facing a computer for close to 10 to 14 hours daily working, and when not working writing blog post. And I don’t exercise, Titus says the only regular exercise I get is when we go window shopping lol.  So at the first 5 minutes of climb my breathing has become labored and I was sweating profusely and my lips have gone white. I had to sit down, gulp some water, catch my breath, beg for menthol candies hehhehe. We stopped 3 more times I think before I felt it was okay to proceed hehhehe. I am not built for mountain climbing I realized the second time around – the first one was when we traversed Sagada to Lake Danum via Mt Ampacao.  […]

  4. […] raised eyebrows and twinkling eyes we said Carry on! Our ibuprofens are ready hehe. We conquered Mt Ampacao to Lake Danum yesterday, didn’t we? Hehehe […]

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