Mt. Pinatubo was a long dormant volcano that exploded
violently in 1990 and briefly affected global weather when
it released tons of ash into the atmosphere. The explosion
took away 500 feet off the top of the mountain. Mt. Pinatubo
is approximately 30 miles north of former US Air Force Base
- Clark Field.
Mt. Pinatubo Visitor Center Starting Point
We took the route from the province of Tarlac, in the town
of Capas, approximately 120 miles north of Manila. The Capas,
Tarlac route is the nearest approach if one is coming from
Manila. The drive to the trail starts from the bustling
town center along the MacArthur Highway (named after Gen.
Douglas MacArthur) and turns to a scenic 2 lane paved road
running through the different barrios. The pavement ends
at the Mt. Pinatubo Visitor Center where 4 wheelers, mountain
bikers and hikers register before they make the trek.
Start of Trail
The trail begins shortly after the Visitor Center, this
trail is actually the Potrero River. During the last eruption
of 1990, tons of lahar ash was expelled by the volcano that
eventually found its way through this river. The volcanic
eruption also occurred during the rainy season. Fast flowing
flash floods and ash mixed together completely covered many
barrios down the path of Potrero River. Through several
years of rain, wind and erosion, a canyon has formed and
the river bed became the trail that is open during the dry
season for visitors. The trail has numerous water crossings,
from ankle deep to bumper high; is also very sandy and rocky,
and has several soft river bank crossings as well. The 4x4
trail ends 20 miles or so into a tight canyon where the
1 hour steep hike up the crater begins.
Description of Photos
We met other members of Land Rover Club of the Philippines
(LRCP) at a gas station next to a McDonalds's. There are a couple of Series
2's; a couple of white Defender 110's; a brand new Ford Ranger 4x4 pick-up
driven by my brother; and an FJ40 Land Cruiser came along as well. Also
we had Steve Toyer (Pic 1241, black shirt) who owns a Land Rover Shop
in the UK, on holiday in the Philippines came along with us.