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Best Hikes On Guam: The Libugon Station Trail

Basic Information

  • What: Libugon Radio Station
  • Where: Fonte Plateau, Guam
  • Distance: 1.8 miles round-trip
  • Elevation Gain: 397 feet
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • More Information: Guam Visitors Bureau

Libugon Trail Map

Narrative

I continue to make progress completing hikes listed in the guidebook “The Best Tracks on Guam: A Guide to the Hiking Trails“. The latest one I completed was to the Libugon Radio Station. The trailhead for this hike is really easy to access by parking in the Joint Region Marianas Headquarters’ parking lot off of Route 6 near the Governor’s Complex in Hagatna:

At the parking lot there is a historical marker in honor of Bravo Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Regiment of the 3rd Marine Division who fought on Guam and had one Medal of Honor recipient from the battle, Private First Class Frank B. Witek:

Picture from Libugon Hike

Next to the Marine Memorial is another marker that discusses the history of the Libugon Radio Station:

Picture from Libugon Hike

The radio stationed was built in 1917 as a transmitter site. By 1934 the growing Japanese naval power in the region saw the station transformed into an intelligence collection station manned by ten US Navy sailors who were tasked with intercepting Japanese radio signals. There mission would come to an end on December 10, 1941 when all the sailors were captured when the Japanese invaded Guam. Prior to World War II this historical archive picture from 1934 shows how robust of a facility Libugon once was:

Due to the war the entire radio station would be completely destroyed and reclaimed by the jungle. It was these remains that I set out to find on this hike. The trailhead is easy to spot across the street from the parking lot by this blue historical trail sign:

Picture from Libugon Hike

From the sign I walked passed the small building:

Picture from Libugon Hike

Passed the small building it was just a matter of following the power line trail down the large hill:

Picture from Libugon Hike

Near the bottom of this hill is the turn off to the Fonte Dam Trail. More details about that hike can be read about at the below link:

The weather at the start of the hike was quite nice though very hot and humid as usual on Guam:

Picture from Libugon Hike

The views as I walked across the Fonte Plateau were quite scenic as I could see the radio towers on Mt. Alutom out in the distance:

Picture from Libugon Hike

More information about hiking up Mt. Alutom can be read about at the below link:

At the bottom of the hill there is a small bridge that crosses over the small creek that fills the Fonte Dam:

Picture from Libugon Hike

After the bridge the powerline trail does a steady ascent up the hill on the other side of the valley. Here is the view looking back down this hill towards the trailhead visible in the distance:

Picture from Libugon Hike

Following the directions in my guidebook I began to approach the grove of jungle vegetation where the Libugon Radio Station ruins were located:

Picture from Libugon Hike

I had to break my way through some nasty swordgrass as I made my way down a faint trail towards the jungle grove. Swordgrass is the thing I probably dislike more than anything else on Guam due to how it can cut exposed skin. That is why I wear pants and put on my windbreaker jacket and gloves to hike through it. Something I did enjoy as I walked through the swordgrass were the numerous orchids:

Picture from Libugon Hike

As I got closer to the jungle grove the swordgrass actually thinned out a bit:

Picture from Libugon Hike

As I walked into the jungle I spotted this orange tape which is used on Guam to designate a trail:

Picture from Libugon Hike

Walking through the jungle was pretty easy since the underbrush was not very thick and I had the orange tape markers to follow:

Picture from Libugon Hike

The orange tape markers ended up leading me right to the ruins of one of the buildings that made up the Libugon Radio Station:

Picture from Libugon Hike

Picture from Libugon Hike

There really wasn’t much to see considering how destroyed the ruins were:

Picture from Libugon Hike

I ended wandering around the jungle looking for more ruins and eventually found a few more:

Picture from Libugon Hike

What I found probably the most interesting about wandering around the jungle looking for ruins was that the old 1934 archive image of the site had no jungle around it at all. That means that this jungle since World War II sprouted up and consumed this location:

Picture from Libugon Hike

Picture from Libugon Hike

Besides ruins I could see the remains of other artifacts such as this pole in the ground which appeared to be part of a stairwell at some point:

Picture from Libugon Hike

I also saw other artifacts such as this large metal jug on the ground:

Picture from Libugon Hike

After spending about 30 minutes wandering around the jungle grove looking for ruins, I decided to head back up to the powerline trail. I decided to follow the orange tape instead of retracing my steps through the swordgrass. The orange tape led me out of the jungle and right to the powerline trail without having to pass through too much swordgrass. Below is a picture of the short trail through the swordgrass to the jungle grove:

Picture from Libugon Hike

Powerline pole KA-66 is the marker to look for to spot the trail:

Picture from Libugon Hike

Since the weather was still holding up I decided to hike from Libugon over to the nearby Lonfit Valley which was another hike featured in my guidebook. I continued to follow the main powerline trail before making a left on a trail with smaller powerlines:

Picture from Libugon Hike

This trail led me to the pipeline trail:

Picture from Libugon Hike

The pipeline trail is actually a service road that leads to the KAL Flight 801 Memorial. Information about this hike can be read at the below link:

From the pipeline trail I then made a right on to the first paved road I came across:

Picture from Libugon Hike

As I walked down the paved road I could see that a large storm was moving right towards me. I decided I did not want to get caught in a storm down in the valley due to the fear of a flash flood. So I stopped at an overlook and took a few pictures of the Lonfit Valley:

Picture from Libugon Hike

The Lonfit Valley sits below the slopes of Mt. Alutom which hovers above it to the south. Here is a wide angle view of the valley from the lookout with the radio tower capped Mt. Alutom in the center:

Picture from Libugon Hike

With the storm heading towards me I turned around from the lookout and began to speed walk back to the trailhead. I was making good time getting back and could actually see the trailhead up ahead of me when it started to drizzle:

Picture from Libugon Hike

I was at a near jog as I made my way up the final hill and back to the trailhead. My timing was perfect because as I got to my car it began to downpour. I had fortunately avoided the worst of the storm as I sat in my car calculated how many miles I had hiked.

Conclusion

My total mileage for the day would be 3.35 miles round-trip which I covered in one hour and forty minutes. The distance to just the Libugon Radio Station was 1.8 miles round-trip. That means the hike could easily be completed in 1-2 hours for most people. Considering how little there is to see of the Libugon Radio Station, a hike just to this location may seem a bit underwhelming to some people. Considering how short the hike is I recommend combining it like I attempted to do with another hike in the area. The Fonte Dam or the KAL Flight 801 Memorial are all good extensions to this hike that add a little more challenge and sights to see than just the Libugon Radio Station.  As always be cautious of the weather and enjoy the time outdoors in the jungles of Guam.

Click here to find more hikes at the Guam Regional Trail Finder

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