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Hikes on Guam: The Mt. Jumullong Manglo Trail

Basic Information

  • Name: The Mt. Jumullong Manglo Trail
  • Where: Agat, Guam
  • Distance: 2 miles round-trip
  • Max Elevation: 1,283 feet
  • Elevation Gain: 704 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • More Information: Stripes.com

Topographic Map of the Trail

Mt. Jumullong Manglo Trail

Narrative

I had previously hiked up to the highest point on Guam the 1,332 foot Mt. Lamlam.  Right next to Mt. Lamlam is the second highest peak on Guam the 1,283 foot Mt. Jumullong Manglo.  Mt. Lamlam may be the highest point on Guam, Mt. Jumullong Manglo may be the most hiked.  This is because on the top of the mountain there is a giant cross surrounded by smaller, wooden crosses.

The holiness of the mountain is noted every Good Friday when hundreds of citizens hike to the summit of the mountain to install a new cross.  The day I decided to hike the mountain was a Saturday where I wanted to get a quick afternoon work out in.  Having previously hiked Mt. Lamlam I knew the trail to Mt. Jumullong Manglo was short and easy to follow.  Plus it would give me an opportunity to check out the Southern Mountains Trail that runs from Mt. Jumullong Manglo all the way to the southern tip of Guam.  This is a trail I have been thinking about hiking, but wanted to check its condition before attempting it.  Getting to the trailhead for this hike is very easy since it is located at the Cetti Bay Overlook off of Highway 2:

From the overlook the trail begins across the street at the Mt. Lamlam sign:

From the sign the well defined trail begins its steep ascent between Mt. Lamlam and Mt. Jumullong Manglo:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

A large section of the trail near the start of the hike is composed of highly eroded red dirt that can be a slippery and a muddy mess when wet:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

The day I hiked this trail some sections of the red dirt was slippery, but with care I was able to avoid slipping.  As I hiked up the trail I did enjoy seeing my favorite flower on Guam these beautiful orchids:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

Something else I saw as I hiked up the hill was my destination which was the large cross on top of Mt. Jumullong Manglo in the distance:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

The start of the hike passes through grassland before entering into sections of dense jungle:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

The trail inside the jungle was wet and very slippery.  I saw a hiker coming down the trail wipe out pretty hard, but fortunately he was okay.  This caused me to take it slow and easy through the slippery jungle sections.  Something to see inn one of the jungle sections is a shrine to the Virgin Mary:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

The Virgin Mary is the patron saint of Guam which makes sense considering how Catholicism is a major part of Guam’s culture due to the many centuries of Spanish rule on the island.  To further add to the religious nature of this hike, along the trail there are 14 smaller crosses that represent what is known as the Stations of the Cross or the 14 events that preceded Jesus’ crucifixion.  During the Good Friday hike parishioners pray at each station and then light the candles at the Virgin Mary shrine before heading to the summit.  The little crosses are nothing impressive.  If the Guam Catholic community really wants to make this an impressive hike they should do what the community of San Luis did back in my home state of Colorado with their Stations of the Crosses Trail.

From the Virgin Mary Shrine the trail reenters a large section of grassland.  From here the summit and its big cross is easily visible:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

As I powered up the trail I reached the saddle between Mt. Lamlam and Mt. Jumullong Manglo.  A left would take me over to Mt. Lamlam while a right takes me to Mt. Jumullong Manglo:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

I took a right and powered my way up towards the summit:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

As I hiked to the summit I did stop to take in this view from the saddle looking to the west where I could see both Cetti Bay to the left and Sella Bay to the right:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

The trail to check out these two bays is one of my favorite hikes on Guam.  You can read about my hike at the below link:

Soon I could see the large cross ahead of me designating the summit:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

On the summit there is the one large iron cross and many smaller wooden crosses:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

The large cross is known as the Tricentennial Cross which was built in 1980 in celebration of the 300th anniversary of the founding of Guam’s oldest villages by the Spanish:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

The smaller wooden crosses are the ones that parishioners have brought with them over the years every Good Friday:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

There was a lot of wooden crosses so obviously the Good Friday tradition has been going on for quite some time.  Besides checking out crosses the views on top of the mountain are fantastic.  Looking to the West I could see Highway 2 and the scenic Cetti Bay below me:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

Here is a panorama picture of the view to the west:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

To the south I could see the rest of the Southern Mountains as well as the faint trail that runs through the swordgrass descending down Mt. Jumullong Manglo’s southern side:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

It appeared that if I was going to hike this trail it was going to take a lot of effort to break brush through all the swordgrass.  The nasty swordgrass is one of the things I actually dislike about hiking on Guam because it forces me to where pants, long sleeve clothes and gloves to avoid getting cut up.  Wearing this additional clothing is not a whole lot of fun when most days already feel like I am hiking in a sauna.  Here is a winder angle picture of the Southern Mountains:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

After making a mental note about the Southern Mountains I proceeded to continue to take in the views from the summit.  The next view I took in was towards the east where I could see the Fena Valley Reservoir in the distance:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

The reservoir is actually part of the US Naval Magazine and thus not open to the public though there has been talks of handing the reservoir over to the government of Guam in the future.  Regardless the public does benefit from this reservoir since it provides the drinking water for southern Guam.  Also to the east I could see this very isolated valley below me which is where I believe the Sadog Gago River which flows to the reservoir begins at:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

I could not find any hiking trails at all that lead to this valley.  It may be an interesting place to check out for those willing to break brush to get there.  Here is a final panorama view to the east which shows the rain storm that was quickly rolling in towards me:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

With the storm rolling in I knew it was time to get off of this mountain especially considering how slick the trail can be when wet.  So I turned around took one last look at the crosses on the summit of Mt. Jumullong Manglo and proceeded to descend:

Picture from Mt. Jumullong Manglo

Conclusion

I had made it to the top of the mountain in just under a half an hour and it took me about the same time to descend because of how careful I had to walk due to how slick the trail was in some sections.  Fortunately I made it back to my car at the trailhead before the rainstorm hit.  In total I completed this hike round-trip to include time taking pictures on the summit in 1 hour and 2 minutes.  I measured the hike at 1.93 miles with 704 feet of elevation gain.  So this is a nice little workout though the slippery sections on the trail are not a whole lot of fun.  The views from the summit are great and well worth the extra effort to check out.

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

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