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Hill 394

Average Rating:    (3.17 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 6

The climb up from the hospital road feels like hell on wheels. But the view from the top is amazing. Descend the second fire road to the old naval magazine, an area that's off limits to civilians but not to monkeys. Be careful. They've been known to chase strangers. Make your way back up to 394 (the climb isn't as difficult) for the whiplash inducing descent down the first dirt road. Downhillers will rejoice. Experienced riders will play it smart and stay on the brakes. Beginners will start to pray.
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Latitude
14.78972732204285
Longitude
120.28265476226807
Trail Directions
From Subic Bay Main Gate, take Argonaut Highway to Airport. Turn left to Upper MAU then proceed towards hospital. Proceed for a few hundred meters or so until you reach a small dirt road on the left side. Bingo!
Trail Length
15 km
Trail Level
Intermediate
Trail Type
Fire Roads
City/County
Subic Bay Freeport, Philippines
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
April 17, 2017

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 1 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a year

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Reviewed by: Stuart ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Rode this trail many times as far back as 15 years ago on my dirtbike with friends. Went up today and it is in great shape to the top of the hill. Unfortunately for me, the trail down the other side toward Morong is not passable on a dirtbike. To many tess fallen across the trail.



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Review Date
April 13, 2017

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Once a month

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Reviewed by: Todd Stranczek ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Hill 394 is so named because it is the highest point on the fist line of hills off the coast inside SBFZ. It was originally cut and opened by the US military they used the hill for training and helicopter operations. The trail to Hill 394 has essentially been open since November of 2015. I am one of a handful of ex-pats that together with a few locals -cleared the trail and have continued to work and keep it clear since then. A lot of work with local bolos (machete), brush cutters as well as chain saws to clear the fallen trees after storms. Views of Grande Island, Alava Pier and Olongapo can be had from the top. If your planning a hiking, or cycling trip: December through May is usually good - the trail get's impassable during rainy season with the mud; when we can't bet back to work the trail with my old Mitsubishi Military Jeep.
The trail that once continued off the other side of the hill to the bunker has not been cleared - it would be passable only on foot.
I am not a Cyclist so my ratings may be off. I just enjoy working the trail (for therapy). I have seen 100+ Mountain Bikers, 20+ motorcycles, numerous hikers and bird watchers, and a few guys on horses on the trail over the past year and a half while up there working. It takes me about 20 minutes in the old jeep from the road to the top.
Be Safe, Enjoy yourself and please pick up your trash.


Recommended Route:
Paved road to George Dewey Medical Center - as you round the last curve to the right you will see the old fire road entrance on your left.
about a hundred meters down the road you will notice a Narrow Hiking trail on your left that will take you to Boton Falls. It is very steep and narrow - DO NOT ATTEMPT ON A BIKE!
The old fire road continues to your left and winds along outside the hospital perimeter before turning and heading back into the Jungle. It is approx. 5.5k from the road to the top with the last 1K VERY STEEP! Not really any way to get off (lost) on the trail but be careful near some of the edges - pretty steep drop offs.



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Review Date
January 24, 2015

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 2 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Mike ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Three of us tried heading to Hill 394 in November 2014 from the hospital end. The guard in the hospital said the trail was overgrown but we decided to try it anyways. The first 500m or so were ok. We passed the trail to Boton Falls on the left. (A great side-trip but leave your bike at the top!). Once we got past that point the trail deteriorated considerably will grass, vines, bamboo, and trees blocking the way. We eventually turned back when the path became impassable and our legs became quite torn up. Someone needs to return with a heavy-duty weed whacker in order for this trail to be useable again.

In early January 2015 I tried to find the trailhead in the Naval Magazine area but before I could get there I was blocked buy a gate manned by guards. The guards said that someone needs permission from the company before being allowed to enter. Sorry but I forgot the name of the company that has been using the place for the past year. The guard did know about the trail to Hill 394 and assumed I wanted to go bird watching. When I said I was interested in mountain biking he said that the trail was too overgrown to bike on. I can only assume it is similar to what we experienced on the hospital route.

I was a little disappointed that there seem to be few, if any, suitable mountain biking trials within SBMA.



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Review Date
November 10, 2002

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: Andre Palma , from Manila

Summary:
The ascent from the ammo bunker is most recommended for novice cyclists. Though there are tough sections of slick rock and 30 degree climbs, these are short and can be overcome on foot. Be wary of the bamboo trees that have fallen on the trail, as they can be covered by leaves and overgrowth. These can be a nasty surprise on the ascent and possibly dangerous on the descent. proceed along the main trail until you see the forest canopy thinning out. the top of the hill affords a 360 degree view of SBMA and the neighboring country side. great reward for a significant effort going up. i would recommend a descent via the same trail for novice riders.. but there is a second descent that can be taken from the hilltop... this seemd like a freeride/downhiller's dream but, upon visual inspection, looked a little risky. monkeys will converge to the trail-side, probably curious of the commontion made by humans and bikes... but we did not encounter any directly on the trail... they just watch you from cover. :)

Recommended Route:
Enter the naval magazine area and keep going straight until the first major four-way intersection with a sign for Morong Gate. take the left turn, follow the road for about 2kms until you reach the first asphalt left turn, follow this single lane road until you see a bamboo and sawali sign saying "Trail to Hill 394". this is next to an abandoned ammo dump being used to store poultry/hog feed (the smell will confirm this). Enter trail through sign.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
the trail to el kabayo falls in the forest hills area looks interesting. attempted to climb this trail but the darkness caught us and the aeta guides warned us about snakes and such. approximately a 20 minute walk to the waterfall. initial 300 meters looked steep.



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Review Date
April 5, 2000

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

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Reviewed by: Atty. Mike Yngson , from Pasig City, Metro Manila, Philippines

Summary:
This trail can be done even by someone quite new to mountain biking, but who is sufficiently well versed in knowing when not to ride over his head.
The best way to enter the trail is from the Hospital side, where one is instantly engulfed by the indescribable beauty of jungle life. The sounds coming from insects, birds, monkeys and other animals would surely detract one from thinking about the ride. Initially, the terrain is merely rolling, but the last 200 or so meters leading to the top of Hill 394 would surely test one's climbing prowess. This not mentioning the loose soil to be encountered upon doing this last climb to the top. However, the view from the top is exhilirating and definitely worth all the trouble. From the top, one could have a birds eye view of Grande Island, Subic Bay Yacht Club and the bay itself. The isolation is also quite extraordinary. Doing the downhill from the top, passing through the same steep climb, is like being in a giant slide. Even experienced downhillers are forewarned not to be too complacent when doing the downhill, for this particular downhill has already claimed several persons, who ended up with broken arms and ribs. This may be due to unseen ruts covered with thick leaves lying on the ground, as well as the soil being too loose to afford enough traction, even to the most aggressive tire tread. All in all a very exciting ride, if only due to the jungle, and not really technical except for the steep downhill.

Recommended Route:
Enter the trail after passing through the Bat Kingdom, and near the Hospital. Avoid being seen by police, as there still exists a sign prohibiting entry to the trail, but the 100 Peso fine is small considering the great ride.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Biniktikan double track is also great, but the native Aetas guarding the entrance to the forest will need some kind of official document authorizing the rider to enter the forest, otherwise it would take some amount of persuading before they would let someone pass. It is also wise not to ignore their warning for people not to tresspass.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5