Mt. Cristobal Itinerary: day hike

Mt. Cristobal viewed from Mt. Banahaw (Photo by Riza)
Hiking, Mountain Climbing | Mt. Cristobal via traditional trail
Mt. San Cristobal, Dolores (Sta Lucia), Quezon-San Pablo, Laguna-Nagcarlan, Laguna
Specs: Major climb, mossy forest, crater lake, view of San Pablo’s 7 lakes at the summit
1500 MASL
Trek to summit: 3-3.5 hours (without backpacks)


Things to consider:
. Popular buses that travel to San Pablo are JAM/JAC/TRITRAN. Any buses headed for Bicol also pass by San Pablo, Laguna.
. From the bus, you may get off anywhere in San Pablo proper, but I recommend Chowking because it’s the easiest to spot, especially if your group is coming from different areas and taking different buses
· Fill your water reservoirs at Montelibano’s because there is no water source up the mountain
. Mt. Cristobal is popular for being a spooky mountain. Locals and visitors attest to the fact with their own spooky story. The mountain is supposedly the domain of Tumao (a half-horse-half-human entity)
. Make sure to remind the hired jeep to wait for your party or to return on a specific time to pick you up (better yet, get a cellphone number)
. Steep but established trail from the foot of the mountain to crater and campsite
. The trail to the summit is covered with Cogon grass and one may easily get lost especially if the trail was not used for at least two weeks (the grass up there grows rapidly). Be on the lookout for trail signs.
. Mt Cristobal's summit offers a view of San Pablo’s 7 lakes, Mt. Makiling and even Mt. Maculot afar.
. Bato resort is located near the foot of Mt. Banahaw

. Taking a private car to go to Mt. Cristobal reduces travel time by around 30 minutes
. Other assembly options: Cubao bus station, Alabang Metropolis
. This schedule is the quickest way up and down the mountain, so if you choose to stay overnight, just bring necessary equipment and adjust the itinerary. Trekking time with full packs is about 5 hours up and 3.5 hours down.
. You may camp at the crater but the soil tends to be marshy during rainy season when the crater fills up with water
. If you want to traverse the mountain, you may start at Nagcarlan, Laguna via the Sinukuan trail. It is much steeper and harder and might take you around 9 hours to climb the mountain to summit. You will see this trail at the summit.
. Back at the jump off, you may choose to spend the night and camp out at Montelibano’s or Bato resort
. If you stay overnight and plan to leave early the next day (Morning or after lunch), you can just commute to San Pablo proper, and not hire your jeep for a two-way trip.
. When Mt. Bahahaw opens, you may plan your trip with an overnight Banahaw climb, followed by a Mt. Cristobal day hike.
. After your climb, you may choose to go on a side trip to the famous Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort or in Tierra de Oro Resort both located along Maharlika highway in San Pablo City.

Information to be posted soon.

At the summit, way foggy to see the Seven lakes (Photo from Patrick)

The spooky crater lake behind (Photo from Patrick)

At the ridge campsite (Photo from Patrick)

Itinerary and expenses recorded on March 10, 2008

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