While going up, you'll enjoy cool air and breeze of fresh mountain air. Sto Tomas has a height of 2,256 meters above sea level, Baguio city is 1,500 meters above sea level so you have to trek an uphill of approximately 750 + or - meters of pure off-road uphill endurance. A cool view of the City of Pines above awaits. There are two places to "FINISH" at the summit, one would be the "RADAR" and the other is called "RELAY STATION" which is the topmost part of the mountain, the summit ("RADAR" or "Relay Stn.") is ussually covered by clouds so theres a cold and relaxing climate up ahead, a refreshing reward after a countinous long uphill ride. After a few rest and viewing from the top, Fast downhill follows going back to Burnham park, it gives the challenge of proper mountain biking discipline going down from the summit, wrong execution of speed and braking while going down on this off-road might end up cruising the dirt road without the bike and lots of gnarly wounds and bruises as a souvenir or yet down the cliffs alonside. But with proper riding dscilpline, you'll enjoy the long off-road downhill.
From burnham park, do some on-road riding proceeding south to marcos highway then the crossing leading to greenvalley village, past the village starts a kilometer of off-road then starts the + or - 4 hours uphill trek to the summit of Mount Sto. Tomas, time it takes to reach the summit depends on the endurance and pacing of a rider.
Reviewed by: Paul Perez
, from Baguio City, Philippines
Summary: Any fit enthusiast can take this terrain but with extra pre-caution. Started on an afternoon. we started off from a nearby area called Balacbac, so We still went down around 1462 meters (as per GPS reading) the junction at Greenvalley and Marcos Highway indicated a GPS reading of 1502 meters. A portion of Greenvalley is a piece of cake, since the road is still cemented and rolling. a Kilometer away up and you will reach the junction between going to the two radar station and Barangay Sto. Thomas (going down). Way up going to Sitio Digdigwayan, the road is really soft, dry and slippery (that is if you are riding on a non-rainy day). After the waiting Shed, everything going up is against you, fire roads, loose rocks, even a newly cleared landslide area. Three more bends and you will pass by a clearing, on your left (this is going up) you will see the whole of Baguio City from PMA to Naguilian Road, you can even view a portion of the shorelines La Union beaches if you are lucky enough to have a cloud clearing. We've reached the last curve of the mountain to the Radar and this is also the start of an asphalted road. You have basically reached the topmost of the winding area. You will notice some very cool breeze (especially if it is around 5:30pm). continue up and you can set for a good rest infront of Cabuyao Lodging and Sari Sari Store. In-front of you is the 2 Radar stations. The GPS reading at the store is 2020 meters. We don't have much time since it was getting Dark. Ferdie was also feeling the chill and my portable bike front lamp seemed to be defective, we headed back down. Be very careful going back down at the bend where the asphalt ends because we where literally chased by two dogs (the more agreesive is the white dog, the other is a black one). I was doing a downhill with my eyes looking back at the dogs. I was ready to get down and pick up a stone and whip the dog but the velocity and acceleration was forcing me down and an abrupt stop will only give the dog a chance for a bite. I just cannot belive that the dog chased us about a Kilometer down and my hands where already numb. My friend's dic brake was a good factor here. Although it was noisy, it was sure to give him good grips. I just had some "feather" touch on the brakes to balance off the downhill. We have to touch base on the brakes because the corners are rampant. Reaching down Sitio Digdigwayan and the next trail will now be a smooth as sailing small boats at burnham lake. You will notice that you have descended far since the temperature is much warmer. We passed by Greenvalley and it was already dark. The downhill on the cemented road was a no brainer but we still have to use instincts because the street light are 500 meters apart for the next bright spot. If you are planning for a climbe here, it is best to start early in the morning, although it is hot, the clouds will tend to break the warmness at the top. Bring as much water. I was able to finish a liter, so will it be more on a hot day. Some snack will help the least during the climb, but there are store at the top.
Recommended Route: Same as Anthony's route, taking the "easiest" of them all, since this is also utilized by vehicles
Other recommended trails in the same area: Sayangan(Halsema Highest Point)-Sagada Road/trail. This will be a whole day ride. Everything is downhill of fire roads except for the ascend to Mt. Data, but afterwards, everything is going down. The junction at Sagada-Bontoc however requires you to do the climb. Check out the trail in this site:
Review Date January 6, 2003
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Reviewed by: Rastasutra
, from Las Pinas, Philippines
Summary: This was probably one of the best rides I ever had. The view at the top is a justly reward for all that lung bustin' effort. The uphill ride starting from the trail head is very peaceful (especially because I was alone). Hardly any vehicles pass that trail. I encountered only 1 in every 15 or 20 minutes. Once in awhile, you are given a spectacular view of Baguio City as you ride up the trail. It was granny gear all the way up for me. Going down was a pretty intense ride. Take extra caution when speeding down the trail because there are loose rocks bigger than tennis balls strewn all over the place. Definitely a must when visiting Baguio with your mountain bike.
Recommended Route: Same way as described by Mr. Abenes.
Review Date September 24, 2002
Overall Rating 4 of 5
Ridden Trail: Ridden Once
Reviewed by: Marlboro_Man
, from Texas, U.S.A.
Summary: i tagged along with some of the local riders here and they were friendly enough to accompany me when i was looking for someone to accompany me for a ride going up santo thomas. i do recomend riding it early in the morning which is the best time, 6am? youll have a great time climbing the mountain since its cold and refreshing, no hot climate to make you sweat too much, and hard time doing up hills.
Recommended Route: not much to say about what's the best route but the popular road going the that way. i was given a tour by the local riders along the way. proceeding marcos highway then to green valley. upon reaching the top, there is a secong level which is called the relay station, we did not bothered ourselves because we were too exhausted to climb the second level.
Other recommended trails in the same area: off road to asin hot springs and helsema road north of bagio city.
Review Date September 20, 2002
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Every few months
Reviewed by: Kha-Mhi-Kha-Zhe
, from Kapangan, Benguet
Summary: Climbing this route is at a hotclimate is not a joke. A beginner must bring enough water to re-hydrate itself. If any rider rides at a wet climate, the rider must be using a knoby tire with not lots of beads on it coz the rock and pebbles ar really slippery. Caution and presence of mind is needed.
Recommended Route: Riding every rainy season is more fun than hot season, i prefer riding mount santo tomas while raining because i feel like climbing a mountain rainforest. Doing the downhill is quite treacherous when wet but the adventure's increased.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Going to my hometown Kapangan is a great off road ride, i do rate the route to my hometown 5 of 5. Uphill of Downhill. Any tourist visiting Benguet, try Kapangan. I dare you. The best mountain biking ride you'll ever have.
Review Date September 19, 2002
Overall Rating 5 of 5
Ridden Trail: Once a month
Reviewed by: Macky
, from Cruz, La Trinidad, Benguet, Philippines
Summary: Ride going up the mountain's not much of a risky adventure but going down is quite risky since there are some cliffs alongside the dirt road so a rider going downhill should be disciplined enough to know where to speed up and/or to hit the brakes when necessary. The ride going down is full of fun and thrill when proper riding are observed.
Recommended Route: As posted by Mr. Abenes, the route is easy to follow, even when riding alone or first timer since people around and along the way know the way leading to mount santo thomas. But better to advise new comers to this route take local riders to have company and guide to the place leading to the mountain. Marcos highway is quite a busy road since this highway's one of the main route leading to Baguio City so extra care, defensiveness and alertness in riding should be kept in mind by the rider.
Other recommended trails in the same area: Shilan to Tiptop to Burnham park.