Mount Apo is a large solfataric, potentially-active stratovolcano in the island of Mindanao, Philippines. With an altitude of 2,954 metres (9,692 ft), it is the highest mountain in the country and is located between Davao City and Davao del Sur province inRegion XI and Cotabato province in Region XII. The peak overlooks Davao City 40 kilometres (25 mi) to the northeast, Digos City 25 kilometres (16 mi) to the southeast, and Kidapawan City 20 kilometres (12 mi) to the west.
volcanic crater containing a small crater lake. The date of its most recent eruption is unknown, and none are verified in historical times.
The volcano is one of the most popular climbing destinations in the Philippines with the summit, on the average, takes two days to reach. The first recorded climb was on October 10, 1880, by a party led by Joaquin Rajal, then Spanish governor of Davao.
On May 9, 1936, Mount Apo was declared a national park with Proclamation no. 59 by President Manuel L. Quezon, followed by Proclamation no. 35 of May 8, 1966 then Proclamation no. 882 of September 24, 1996.On February 3, 2004, the approval of Republic Act no. 9237 established Mount Apo as a protected area under the category of natural park with an area of 54,974.87 hectares (135,845.9 acres); with two peripheral areas of 2,571.73 hectares (6,354.9 acres) and 6,506.40 hectares (16,077.7 acres) as buffer zones, provided for its management and for other purposes.
Although a declared a Natural Park, the current climbing trails are littered with rubbish by irresponsible climbers, opening paths for soil erosion across the already denuded mountain sides. Some mountain and social climbing groups conduct climbs after the Holy Week/Easter, the peak climbing season, to clean the affected areas.
At 2,954 meters (9,692 ft), Mount Apo is the highest mountain in the Philippines. This majestic peak is one of the country's most popular climbing destinations.
Several trails lead to the summit, coming from North Cotabato and Davao provinces. Arguably the easiest route to the National Park is through Kidapawan City with an average hike taking 3–4 days roundtrip. In the classification system used by local popular mountaineering website PinoyMountaineer.com, the difficulty of the hike is 7 out of 9. Various sights along the trail include Lake Venado, one of the highest lakes in the Philippines, the solfataras and the old crater near its summit. The mountain may be climbed year-round or one can register and join the city's Summer Climb or the Annual October Trek / Climb.