Tangadan Falls is a hidden gem. It takes around one hour to go over the beautiful trail that passes through the Baroro River, the fields, the Forrest shaded reserves, the limestone formations and several cliffs coming from Barangay Duplas, Bagulin, San Gabriel, La Union. The falls is even more impressive with the mix of nature, limestone formation, the cold water dropping from above and the river basin that’s excellent for a good swim. #TaleOfTheTrail
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A few weeks ago, my sister told me that there’s a falls near the farm of my Uncle called Tangadan Falls. I immediately checked on the net and I was hooked on the place since it involves passing on trails. When I got a free weekend, I took the chance to visit Tangadan Falls in La Union with my sister. I’ve spent so many summer months in La Union when I was a kid and it was a great chance to explore the place once again. It’s also be great to explore a trail in a different locale from my usual trail runs. Luckily, our Uncle had one of his friend to serve as our guide. He was also kind enough to drop us at the drop off point in Barangay Duplas, Bagulin, San Gabriel, La Union. San Gabriel town is just a few kilometers away from San Fernando and San Juan town so you can make your way their via bus that passes through the town and get a tricycle heading to Duplas (Tangadan Dropoff Point).
The Route and Elevation
The Route starts at Barangay Duplas and heads to a short ascent heading to the trail starting point. The trails goes on a steady ascent heading to Tangadan Falls passing through the Biroro River over the first kilometer. After the river, it shifts to fields and Forrest trails heading to Disuor Cliff at around 2.5 kilometers. It then goes through a mix of dirt roads and limestone formation heading to Tangadan Falls at around 4 kilometers. The route goes back to Duplas on a net descent on the way back.
Trekking Trangadan Falls
After arriving at La Union in the morning, we headed to Barangay Duplas around 1 pm after having lunch. The weather was a bit overcast but it still felt hot and humid. We started on a short uphill road from the drop off point to the trail entrance. It’s just a short piece of concrete roads before you see the trail head. The trail heads on a short drop to enter the river area. Since we weren’t able to bring any water, we bought water at the store near the trail entrance.
Upon entering the river area, the trail shifts to single track trails on mixed limestone formations and partly paved road. The view of the Baroro River is really impressive. The river looks so clean and the limestone formations were impressive.
The trail is a bit structured since it’s a local trail used by a lot heading to the falls. Of course, there were still some tough spots like climbing on big rocks and going through wooden rafts and river crossings. It’s not a technical trail but there are some points that you just have to be cautious.
The first kilometer is navigating within the Baroro River. It’s an open trail so we definitely felt the early afternoon sun at this point. The river crossings had some stones where you can step from to avoid getting wet or not going too deep. Just take your time as wet stones are slippery.
The trails slowly shift to the fields where you get to navigate through dirt tracks while slowly ascending to the upper part of the trails. With the climb and the heat combining forces, we took several water breaks. The field part is still open but you had to love the view of the mountains on the side and the river below.
The fields slowly shifted to raw Forrest trails. It’s a bit covered on this stretch. It was way cooler because of the natural shade and the different trees, plant and bamboo shafts that you get to see on the dirt roads were a fresh sight. It was also fun going up and down on uneven surfaces and the varying terrain.
It was about a kilometer and a half of Forrest trails before heading to the next major stop which is Disuor. It’s a cliff with some minor falls and is popular among cliff jumpers. We took a break here and bought some drinks while watching brave souls jump over the cliff and land on the deep waters.
It was an excellent stop. The limestone formation, the water and the brave souls just spells adventure in my books. It also had a serene view save for a few screams from the jumper. It can also be an excellent place to just hangout. Find a stone corner, sit and just pass the time.
After a few minutes here, we continued heading to Tangadan Falls. It’s just about 15 – 20 minutes away from here. We shifted back to the dirt tracks and this time it had a long stretch of bamboo shoots and rafts enveloping the trails. One of the things I love about this trail is that it gives you different views and surfaces of the trail.
After a stretch of dirt tracks, we then descended the rivers once again. From a Forrest view, we’re back to being awed by the beauty of the river and the rock formations.
It was back to Baroro River. We had to go through another river crossings which had wooden rafts in between. We were nearing the falls and it was nice to see the limestone formation. It was also a challenge going over several stones and rocks as you had to employ different strides and techniques to move forward.
The route had us headed to several cottages and we were there. The place was impressive as you had a huge limestone surrounding the lower part of the falls. There was a lot of awesome viewpoints of Tangadan falls.
We then headed towards the lower part of the falls for a swim. It was nice that we brought along our own life jacket as Tangadan Falls was really deep. The waters at the basin of the falls were also really cold so it was a perfect way to cool down on this warm weather.
At first I got intimidated by the deep waters so I was just basically moving near the side of the limestone. They were renting out rafts that can bring you under the waterfalls for an hour. We were able to find a group to merge with us to split the cost and we were brought to the bottom of the falls.
It was really cool to be at the bottom of the falls as the strong waters was hitting you from above with its cold drops. I slowly got more comfortable moving within the raft and eventually in the falls. I got pushed of the raft and into the waters and that’s when I started enjoying the waters.
After getting more comfortable with the waters, I was finally able to jump into the falls and swim back to the shore part and back. Surprisingly, it felt easy to swim especially with the current going to the same direction. It was an effort going back to the raft as I was going against the current. When I got back on the raft I then went to enjoy the massage like drops coming from above.
I then swam back to the shore area and just await the raft to get back. I really enjoyed the falls. Tangadan Falls was definitely one of the better ways to cool down. It attracted a mix of locals and tourist who also came to find the hidden gem in Tangadan.
I then saw some people jumping from the top of Tangadan Falls. I got curious on the view from the top so I followed the road up. It was another majestic view from the top as from one end you see the higher part of the Baroro River and then you get to see the basin below surrounded by the limestone formations around it. I went back on the road going up and saw some people heading down. I had to ask what I can see from the top. They told me it’s an entry point near the jeepney area, which takes just 10 minutes to reach the falls. There you go, there’s a shorter way to the falls from Bagulin. Either way, I’d still go over the long scenic road to and from the falls anytime.
We then headed back to the start area and we were able to go back faster as it was net downhill and it was also much cooler in the late afternoon. I also just used my flipflops going back since I was lazy to put back my shoes on. That’s how friendly the trails are, you can navigate it even just wearing regular slippers or flipflops. It was a beautiful trail that gave you different views to appreciate and explore.
Outfit of The Trail
- Top: adidas Climachill with #TaleOfTheTrails design by Breakout Design
- Shorts, Arms Sleeves and Socks: Under Armour
- Shoes: Salomon Speed Cross
- GPS Watch: Suunto Ambit 3 Sports
- Trucker Cap: Trangko
- Eyewear: Oakley Radarlock Path