Cordilleras Bike Route Guide - Halsema Highway from Baguio City
Every cyclist has their dream ride. And many Filipino cyclists have Halsema Highway on that bucket list. Halsema Highway is a 150 kilometer long road connecting regional center Baguio City to Bontoc straddling Luzon’s Cordillera mountain range. Its highest point is located at Atok, Benguet at 2,255 meters above sea level.
Ciclo Cyclist Mawi Dagdag after finishing the 2018 Fondo Manila Halsema Highway Ride. Like what he’s wearing? Shop our cycling jerseys and bib shorts.
And up until 2019, Halsema Highway’s highest point was the highest of the Philippine road network. It is now the second highest after the Kiangan-Tinoc-Bugias road segment at Barangay Eheb, Tinoc, Ifugao Province. But this doesn’t take away decades of prestige offered by riding along Halsema Highway to cyclists from all around the world. And it still remains an epic ride.
Most cyclists ride Halsema Highway starting from Baguio City, the Cordillera Administrative Region’s (CAR) economic center. This is where we’ll start our route guide. We have two routes: up to Atok, Benguet and up until the end of Halsema Highway in Bontoc, Mountain Province. We will discuss the distances, elevations and tips on how to navigate this route. We will also provide a map of points of interests such as food stops, medical facilities, accommodations and tourists spots along this route.
Baguio City to Atok, Benguet
The shorter route takes you from Baguio City to Atok, Benguet, where the highest point marker is located. This route starts at Burnham Park, Baguio City which is already at ang elevation of almost 1,500 meters above sea level. It’ll take you out of the city and into neighboring La Trinidad. Here, you’ll reach the Acop National Toll Gate, the official entry of Halsema Highway.
Finishers of the 2018 Fondo Manila Gran Fondo Baguio Ride
The Halsema Highway Highest Point Marker is 51 kilometers away from Burnham park. You’ll climb a total of 1,535 meters of elevation gain to get there. A roundtrip is 101 kilometers with a total elevation gain of 3,070 meters.
Baguio City to Bontoc, Mountain Province
Municipality of Bontoc, capital of Mountain Province
This route takes the full length of Halsema Highway, and back. The distance between Burnham Park and Provincial Plaza in Bontoc is 143 kilometers. Your ride would be an overall descent because Bontoc is located in a tight valley at 865 meters above sea level. Although you’ll have to ride through 3,890 meters of climbing to get there. And should you want to make a round trip, your totals would be 286 kilometers of riding and 7,781 meters of climbing on your bike.
Ciclo Cyclists Patrick Joson and Mawi Dagdag wearing the Arrowhead and Kapua Jerseys from the Ciclo Second Collection.
Should this route seem too much for you to finish in a day’s ride, and because we do not recommend riding along Halsema in the dark for safety, you may spend the night at Buguias, Benguet which is about 85 kilometers from Baguio City. The town is located on a plateau where you’ll see its vast vegetable farms. There are a couple of accommodation options located near the town center such as RK’s Garden Breeze Hotel & Restaurant and Vi’s House.
Points of Interest along Halsema Highway
This is a map of facilities along the route that will help you on your epic ride. These include restaurants, hotels, inns, hospitals, health centers and famous tourist attractions along Halsema Highway.
- Most of Halsema Highway is paved, but it is prone to landslides especially during the wet season. If a landslide occurs, traffic will stop and you may get stranded for at least several hours up to a couple of days until the road is cleared. We recommend only riding this route during the dry or summer season.
- Although it is called a “highway”, there are only two lanes on Halsema. And you will have to share the road with trucks, buses and other vehicles who rely on it as the only connection they have to Baguio City and the rest of Luzon. Please take every necessary precaution to ensure a safe ride.
- Be sure to have your brakes checked before you ride. Because there are a lot of climbs, there will also be a lot of long descents. We recommend using disc brakes and avoid riding in wet weather.
- The tight roads and high traffic volume will require similar comfort and control of riding in the city. For more tips on how to ride these roads, check out our urban cycling guide.
Curious to find more routes? Check out Ciclo's Bike Route Guides:
- Bike Routes Near Metro Manila - Nuvali
- Bike Routes Near Metro Manila - Sierra Madre
- Laguna Loop Cycling Route Guide
- Cycling Trip: Quezon City to San Juan La Union
- Five Coffee Ride Destinations Outside Metro Manila – Ciclo
- Cycling Trip: Quezon City to Baler, Aurora
- Cycling Trip to Lake Caliraya, Laguna
- Cycling Aurora's Pacific Coast
- Five Romantic Bike Routes in the Philippine