7 Notorious Climbs Around Metro Manila

Alright, you’ve been biking for quite some time now. You’ve gone to different places around the city, tried out a few trails. Now, it’s time to take things up a notch : conquer extreme uphills.

Today I have listed the seven toughest climbs around Metro Manila. Whether you’re a fitness junkie, a new biker exploring new challenges, or just a plain masochist, this is your paradise.

The basis for this list are, steepness and total distance of the ascends. I only included those which I’ve actually climbed, so aside from these, there are a lot more to conquer.

Let me know if you agree.

7. Jamboree Road 

Location : Los Banos, Laguna
Distance : 2 kms

You have two options here when climbing the Jamboree road, one is starting from PCARRD, just right after the highway, and the other one is from UP Los Banos campus. Both directions start with a gradual ascend, slowly draining your energy, then for the final kilometer, the road gets insanely steeper.

Fortunately, the shades from the tall forest trees and the overall cold temperature of the forest keeps your energy from draining faster.

Feel the force of Mariang Makiling, the mythical nymph guarding the forest of Los Banos, pulling you back as you climb the Jamboree road to Mt. Makiling.

jamboree1

 

6. Eastridge Road

Location : Angono, Rizal
Distance : 2.5 kms

The Eastridge road is actually a shortcut if you wanted to go to Thunderbird Resort from Manila-East Road. Okay, that was probably an understatement.

Taking this road means climbing extremely steep ascend and sharp turns. It’s a two-kilometer road of relentless uphill, the only recovery you’ll get are those little portions where the slope becomes gradual.

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Eastridge is all paved, but it’s not that smooth of a road. There are big cracks along the way which you could avoid or run over, but either way you exerting additional effort.

5. Bitbit Road

Location : Norzagaray, Bulacan
Distance : 3 kms

Take a splash all you want at Bitbit River Resort because afterwards, when you head back home in Manila, you need all the energy you have to climb back up to Norzagaray town proper. I’m not really sure on what’s the name of this road, bikers just call the place Bitbit because of the nearby resort.

With almost three kilometers of pure ascend, you’ll be begging for a lighter gear than your granny. Good thing that there’s not much vehicles going this way, so you can stitch all you want.

btbt1

 

4. Teresa
Location : Teresa, Antipolo
Distance : 3 kilometers

Ah, Teresa, this evil place, one of the popular uphills not just among bikers  but also for motorists. It’s almost three kilometer of continuous ascend. If you think you’re already finished on the next turn, the road only keeps getting steeper.

Known for its extremely sharp turns or “elbows”, Teresa is an accident prone area. Not really an ideal place for biking alone because there are lot of vehicles passing by. So take extra care.

teresa

3. The Wall

Location : San Mateo, Rizal
Distance : 2kms to the entrance of Timberland heights, another 2km until to the trails.

If you’re new to biking, this is probably one of the first places where you’ve break-in your bike. This road leads to the popular bike trails of Timberland Heights.

The Wall has become a hangout and meeting place among bikers. On weekends you’ll see a lot of bikers going up and down this road, mostly in groups.

The road isn’t called the Wall just for nothing. The moment you see the steep first turn, you’ll start thinking of turning back. It’s a barrier, telling you to stop and go home.

wall

2. Shotgun
Location : San Mateo, Rizal
Distance : 5 kilometers

Shotgun is just on the same area as The Wall. There is actually a fork which splits the two. The right one, where most bikers go, leads to the Wall. The left one, the path less taken, takes you to Shotgun. And there’s a reason for that.

The name itself, “Shotgun”, isn’t really inviting. If you find The Wall challenging enough, try doubling that, you get Shotgun. It’s five kilometer of extremely steep climbs and turns. Even vehicles cry as they try to pass through this road.

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shot to the heart

There’s not much shades in Shotgun, so you are biking directly under the sun, making it extra difficult for you. The only consolation you get, I think, is Shotgun has one downhill portion, giving your legs a break.

1. Mabitac-Bugarin

Location : Bugarin, Laguna
Distance : 9 kms from Pililla to Bugarin + 5.5 kms from Mabitac to Bugarin,

The top of my list, the baddest of them all, the road to Mabitac and Bugarin. There are actually two portions of the climb. The first one is from Pililia to Bugarin, the other one is the reverse.

The first part is a long gradual ascend to Bugarin, slowly chipping away your energy. At first, you might think that it’s actually not that difficult. Well that’s the evil of this place, messing up with you. Later, you’ll realize that you’ve been climbing for quite some time already, and the ascend never seems to end. You’ll reach Bugarin, already exhausted. And that’s only the first part.

You can relax for a few minutes because it’s all downhill to Mabitac, already in Laguna. You’ll be amazed how long you’re freewheeling. Make the most out it, because once you’re in Mabitac, you have to climb back up the same road. The second part is like climbing The Wall, almost same steepnes.

at mabitac : They don't look too happy

at Mabitac : They don’t look too happy

What you basically do on the route is cross the mountain that separates the provinces of Rizal and Laguna. The total uphill climb in Mabitac-Bugarin is almost fifteen kilometers. Not even one of the previously listed is half of that, making this road on top of my list.

 


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51 thoughts on “7 Notorious Climbs Around Metro Manila

  1. Great post sir. You could include the average and peak %grade on the climbs to give a quantifiable number for the steepness of the climbs. :)

    • Thanks for the suggestion sir Archie! I agree that the list is somehow subjective. The reason is that I only started adding elevation data into my posts last January. I’m planning to update all my prior posts including this, but I’m still in the process of collecting all the data. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to update this list. :)

  2. Why Nuvali to Palace in the Sky(Tagaytay) is not on the list?

    BTW your list is awesome and now is in my target list! Finished the others tho! And not coming back 😀

    • Thanks Sir! Just went there last weekend and I agree that it could easily be among the toughest around the city. 😀 Seven is not enough to list them all, but I think this list is a good starting point for those new into biking. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to finish my addendum to this list.

  3. nice lists sir and nice pics.. 😀
    hope you update your list and include casile, sungay and the road from tanay crossing to sampaloc(camp capinpin).

    • Thanks Sir Ronald! This list definitely needs an update. I haven’t tried Casile, so that’s one thing I’m looking forward to conquering soon. Again, thanks Sir! :)

  4. Good assessment Neps. Your putting the google map will surely help a lot of bikers. I’ve been to most places you’ve mentioned. Twice kong tinawid ung Bugarin when we ventured on circling Laguna Loop or Laguna de Bay-a l80 km ride from point to point. Based on my experience on these roads/tracks, Casile and Sungay should be included in your list: Casile as No. 2 and Sungay as No. 1. Regards.

    • Thanks Sir Danilo, I haven’t tried Casile, sana mapadyakan ko siya soon. Sungay, I agree sir, so far one of the hardest I climbed. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to update this list, because I admit, since I wrote this post I have at least three more that I wanted to include. Salamat sir sa inputs!

  5. nice one sir.. recommend ko dn po s inyu ung route from Tanay proper to Sampalok (Sierra Madre) almost the same dn po ung distance ng bugarin 2 mabitac road.. pero mas grbe po ung ahon nya.. especially according to some bikers meron pang extra magnetic attraction kuno n nagpapahirap pag akyat ^_^ … try nyu dn po soon.. at mkikita nyu dn dyan ang resident tambay n “mountain king” ng rizal.. hehehe

    • Thanks Sir Mark! nadaanan ko na itong ruta dati nung infanta ride namin, kaso pababa kami noon from Sierra Madre. Pero mahaba nga talaga siya at matinding akyat. Sana mabalikan ko ito soon at sana nga ay ma-meet ko rin ang “mountain king ng rizal” :)

    • Yes, Sir Shawn B. I ride solo and climb the Bugarin-Mabitac ascent/ descent at least twice a month. So far, so good. Bonus pa ang Windmills of Rizal (Pillilia). I find the Tanay Sampaloc Road more difficult though. Just my two cents. Good article :)

  6. I don’t know if this is just me, but I find climbing Sumulong Highway harder than Teresa to Antipolo. Teresa has tons of recovery areas, i.e. flats and downhills, and the hairpins are wide enough for a cyclist to pick a line with the least gradient.

    Anyway, Pico De Loro is hellish as well, done back-to-back with Nasugbu to Tagaytay via Nasugbu-Tagaytay Road then you’re in for some masochistic fun.

  7. I’ve been through this 7 places in motorbikes, but I also tried 4 on the list on bicycle. There is a saying in the Bike World “Pwede ang Bumaba sa Bike, at Libre Po ang Magtulak” . There were two reported deaths of cyclists on “The Wall” due to heart attack, so the word “Push mo pa, kaya mo yan” in this places is not applicable.

  8. Haha tinry namen yung eastridge to thunderbird dahil sa blog na to. para sken mas mahirap sya kesa sa wall at teresa.

  9. Try also Laiban -Sampalok via Mayagay in Tanay, Rizal V.V

    Daraitan-Sampalok Tanay, Rizal V.V
    Paenaan -Sampalok-Jariels Peak

    Amazing views, awesome downhills and cursing uphills..

  10. I would add the following that would be categorized as much extreme ascents – Sierra Madre Ascent / Revpal / Sungay climb / Kaybiang Climb / Mt Samat / Jarriel’s Peak

  11. Regarding the jamboree road uphill…… Actually there is a more steeper hill on that site. And it is part of makiling and the access is also from jamboree road. If you’re up to the challenge, from the wood badge area, there is a road there leading to the National Art Center, if not mistaken the road is leading to “Gravity hill” the end of it is the National Art Center. Try it sometime :)

    • Hi. Is the road leading to the National Arts Center open to cyclists? Do we have to pay to ride up there? I can see in Google Maps/Street View that it’s a very interesting road to climb. :)

  12. Tried all of the steepest climbs mentioned above,but for sure Lumang Lipa in mataas n kahoy will topped them all

  13. Already tried your number one but with added twist, biked all the way pa to Real Quezon, but before you can reach Real Quezon, you have to pass Famy-Real Road Mountain, another 10 km of continuous uphill w/ lots of elbows before reaching the peak. I think I almost passed out several times, considered riding the bus and discontinuing my ride if not for my “bike pride” hehe. I was just lucky that my biyenan have a house at real quezon that I don’t have to do reverse biking. The following day, I pedaled naman portion of Infanta-Marikina Road (some roads were partially blocked due to landslide), the route was just as challenging as the Famy-Real mountain. But since this was more of a leisure ride due to shorter distance, I was able to enjoy & appreciate more the sight, and oh men, what a sight to behold, Real – Infanta Marikina Road could easily be a candidate for bike heaven if ever there was one. The ride consists of passing thru farms, beaches, little waterfalls, beautiful bridges, and you can even be above clouds, literally. But beware before threading this route, this is my baddest route so far (already conquered Nuvali Tagaytay, Tanay Sampaloc, Eastridge and Kaybiang) but it was worth it.

  14. Thanks for a very informative blog. From the list, I was able to tick one off already, and that’s the Teresa, Rizal route. It was part of the Sierra Madre ride that my officemates organized. Since I hail from the City of Dasmarinas, Cavite, I really made it a point to conquer it despite the extreme heat because I wanted to make my visit worthwhile. Reading the comments, I agree that when you update the list, the Casile, Sungay, and Kaybiang Tunnel routes deserve to be included. I have tried the Casile route (twice, due to persistent insanity), and it is quite challenging due to several uphill sections before the actual ascent. To my fellow bikers, bike to your heart’s delight, but when conquering these “killer” routes, always be safe and ready physically and mentally. Bike! Bike! Bike! :-)

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