In slippers and wearing minimal sun protection, we had a quick trek to Lake Danum traversing to a hike to Mt. Ampacao (1,889 MASL) during our Sagada trip. Easily accessible by foot from the town center, we started by registering at the Sagada Municipal Hall and getting a local guide (Php600.00).
The trek to Lake Danum was a breeze. You pass through concrete pavements leading to Besao which eventually becomes a dirt path. Lake Danum is a gem in the middle of the mountain town where picnics and camping overnight are allowed.
The traverse to Mt. Ampacao starts from a partially obscure offshoot from the main trail. The weather is cool and pine trees dot the single path. It winds through the hills and offers a view of the town center along certain portions of the trail. After about half an hour, you reach a grassland called the “ranch”. At the “ranch”, cows graze and you get a panoramic view of Sagada and its neighboring towns. Twenty minutes from the grassland, a cellphone tower marks the summit of Mt. Ampacao. This is the highest point of Sagada, Mt. Province.
A sample itinerary looks like this:
13:30 Register at the municipal hall and get a guide
13:45 Start trek
14:30 ETA Lake Danum
15:00 ETA “ranch”
16:00 ETA summit
16:10 Resume trek
16:30 Back at town proper