Following the Yellow Trail at Camp John Hay | Baguio

If there's a more beginner-friendly trail than the hiking path to Mount Maculot’s saddle area in Batangas, then Camp John Hay’s Yellow Trail must be it. The 4.7 kilometer trail descends through a tunnel of pine trees before reaching a ridge where the breathtaking Benguet mountain ranges are framed by a sea of clouds. On a brisk pace, one can complete the trail in under an hour and a half.—thanks to an almost even terrain without the extreme upward slopes.

Zen in the Woods

Hiking without pressure makes for a fun trek. Imagine gawking at almost every piece of shrubbery along the way. Wondering what flower or fruit or tree you see. It's just you and the great outdoors. There's no lead pack bellowing orders to hurry up. Following the yellow trail of Camp John Hay is a Zen experience. What's there not to delight at? The humming sounds of the chirping birds? The soft grasses rubbing the sides of your soles in tender swooshes making you want to walk barefoot instead.

We did take our hike in a relaxed pace. Despite knowing we can wrap up the trail in an hour and a half, we made sure to spend as much time immersing with the bounteous nature surrounding the Yellow Trail.

The breeze of the wind seem to whisper in my ears as I take my small strides—if only the wind can talk—it surely would tell me to slow down and smell the flowers. As if listening to nature's call, I halt my steps and hug a tree trying to measure its width with my arms. Managing to touch the tip of my other hand's fingers, I momentarily made a mental computation of its measurement until I dropped the idea. Because I hate math and this is supposed to be a chill hike. 

The trail was illuminated with the yellow rays of the sun bathing the mountains with luminous glow. Despite feeling a bit hangover from the previous night where my friend Lauren and I joined Ayan and his friend over a sampler of local beers at Baguio Craft Brewery, the short hike provided the perfect hangover cure.

The Yellow Trail also hides an array of installation art like bamboo wind chimes, wood carvings and balanced rocks. Before the last part of the trail, we passed by a road barrier gate with a sign saying "US Embassy". Turns out, the US Embassy owns a property passing through the Yellow Trail.

Over-all, it was a great walk in the wood. It is something I want to do again next time I visit Baguio City.