Hiking Mount Lamlam in Guam, the Tallest Mountain in the World

Updated on June 24, 2016
Hiking Mount Lamlam, Guam, USA
Hiking Mount Lamlam, Guam, USA | Source

Mt Lamlam - The World's Tallest Mountain

I hiked the world's tallest mountain one morning. I had some snacks at the summit and met a cute wild dog on the descent.

No, I am not making this up, nor have I got crazy. Technically speaking, Mt. Lamlam in Guam is the world's highest mountain and, in my opinion, no visit to Guam is complete without taking a trip up! With an easy to find trail and beautiful views, the Mt. Lamlam hike is easy enough to accomplish in a couple of hours.

Lamlam, also written Lam Lam or LamLam, is 1,332 ft above sea level at its highest point, but, since it rises from the Mariana Trench, it is technically the highest mountain on Earth. It isn't the highest mountain above water, but if you dropped Everest in the Mariana Trench, there would be about 6,000 feet of sea water above its peak! Lamlam's rise from the ocean floor marks the world's greatest change in elevation over such a short distance.

What to Bring to Hike Lamlam

The Mt. Lamlam hike is not particularly treacherous or strenuous, but there are a few things you should bring along.

  • Water. Lots of water. Lamlam is windy, which means you can get dehydrated even more quickly than on a regular hike.
  • Sunscreen. Guam is located at 13 degrees North latitude. This means the sunlight is very direct and you can burn easily, so make sure to wear plenty of high SPF sun block. You can get burned on a cloudy day, so make sure not to skimp on the sunscreen if it's overcast!
  • A camera. You won't want to miss the views!
  • Pants. If you want to take the more overgrown trail all the way to the summit, wear pants to avoid cutting yourself on the native Guamanian grass.
  • Snacks. This isn't really a must, but you may want a quick bite at the summit.

The Guam tourist map is invaluable and has everything on it. Cell phones from the continental US tend not to work on Guam, so having a physical map is important!

Directions to Mount Lamlam

Finding Lamlam is pretty easy, especially by Guam standards. Local Catholics do a Stations of the Cross up the mountain each Easter weekend and bring large crosses to the secondary peak, so most of the trail is well-worn and easy to spot. This annual event is highly anticipated and very popular because 98% of Guam's population is Catholic! Lamlam is located near the village of Agat in the southwestern portion of the island.

A
Mount Lamlam:
Mt. Lam Lam, Agat, Guam

get directions

To reach Lamlam from the Tumon area, take Route 1 South until you have to veer left onto 2A to avoid entering the Navy base. Continue on 2 towards Agat. Drive through Agat and continue approximately 3 more miles. If you get to Ulmatec, you've gone too far and should turn around. The trailhead is on the land side of the road, but you want to park on the 'right,' if you're arriving from Agat. There are a lot of overlooks on the island, but this particular overlook has a large, distinctive wall. It is the Cetti Bay overlook and also has a trailhead that leads down to the bay, so you may notice signs for it before you see the small, green sign on the left marking Lamlam. Just check out the picture below to see what I mean!

The approach to the Cetti Bay overlook, as seen coming from Agat.
The approach to the Cetti Bay overlook, as seen coming from Agat. | Source
Cetti Bay overlook in Guam
Cetti Bay overlook in Guam | Source

Hiking Mount Lamlam

Across from the parking lot, you will see a small sign for Lamlam. The trail is fairly worn since it is well traveled by local Catholics each spring -you can see the large wooden crosses on the mountain's secondary peak during your entire hike.

Lamlam sign
Lamlam sign | Source

Even though the trail is easy to follow, the rainy season downpours create some fierce erosion!

The trail is pretty steep in places!
The trail is pretty steep in places! | Source

As you hike, you will notice crosses. When I showed her photos, my sister's first response was "Man, how many people have died here!" Don't worry - they're not that kind of cross. They are from the Stations of the Cross conducted by local Catholics.

Source

Part way up the mountain, you will see a shrine to the Virgin Mary. It's pretty cool looking, and obviously used frequently.

Source

A short distance away from this shrine, you can choose to either continue walking to your right, up the worn trail towards the crosses, or bushwhack your way to the mountain's peak. This divergence happens behind cross XI, shown below.

Cross XI, where the paths split.
Cross XI, where the paths split. | Source

To the Summit

The left hand trail is a bit more like a Guam trail than the 'main' trail. By that I mean it's sort of marked and mostly overgrown. Actually, there are pretty consistent plastic tape markings all the way to the summit.

Source

The trail is very narrow, so I highly recommend wearing pants if you don't want the grass to cut you!

The narrow trail to the summit.
The narrow trail to the summit. | Source

Just keep following the pink tape all the way to the summit. Once you reach the peak, you'll be rewarded with beautiful, 360 degree views of the entire island. My pictures really don't to it justice - it was overcast and trying to rain when I was at the summit and my photos are, consequently, less than poster-worthy.

Cetti Bay
Cetti Bay | Source
Source

To the Crosses

If you follow the main path to the right, instead of bushwhacking past cross XI, you will have a much easier time of things and equally pretty views. I walked the left trail and then the right trail for the full experience! The crosses have a commanding view of Cetti Bay.

Lamlam crosses
Lamlam crosses | Source

Mount Lamlam Hike

And there you have it! A complete guide to hiking Mount Lamlam in Guam, USA. If you visit Guam and want to say you've hiked the world's highest mountain, but aren't sure about your hiking skills, you can always take a guided trip with the Boonie Stompers. They offer experienced, professional hikes every Saturday!

Whether you choose to hike alone or with a group, a trip to Mount Lamlam is a must while you're on Guam. If you have any questions about how to locate the trailhead or what to expect, please feel free to leave your question in the comments and I'll do my best to help out!

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        hoteagle 

        4 weeks ago

        Mount Everest is the tallest mountain in the world to be TECHNICALLY correct. I have never came across an island distance chart from the Marians trench or the deepest part of the ocean "challenger deep" to make them the tallest mountain in the world. Mount Everest's deepest part is still...you guessed it...the Marians Trench. Also, if you want to play your technically game, look up Fais Island.

      • profile image

        DBA Mountaineer 

        21 months ago

        Hi, just like to ask since I plan to visit Guam and interested to do this hike, is there cheapest transportation to Mount Lam Lam?

      • Natashalh profile imageAUTHOR

        Natasha 

        3 years ago from Hawaii

        Fair enough. I've gone left and right! I do mention the fork, but I guess I don't specify which is technically which once you make the branch.

      • profile image

        Jeff 

        3 years ago

        That is actually Mount Jumullong Manglo. The trail splits to the right and left. On the right, the trail takes you to Mount Jumullong Manglo and the crosses, to the left takes you to Mount LamLam which is a longer hike.

      • Natashalh profile imageAUTHOR

        Natasha 

        5 years ago from Hawaii

        Oh, wow! That's cool. I love it when things I enjoyed in the past are still available.

      • profile image

        Poohjo 

        5 years ago

        I climbed Mt.Lamlam too! I lived on Guam from 1974-1978 and graduated from high school there. I loved it!

      • Natashalh profile imageAUTHOR

        Natasha 

        5 years ago from Hawaii

        I hadn't heard of it, either! Guam is...interesting. Very pretty, but very different from what I expected, is probably the best way to put it. If you like diving or snorkeling, it has the best coral I've ever seen.

      • profile image

        ElleBee 

        5 years ago

        Very cool! I had never heard of Lamlam before, the pictures certainly make it look like a lovely place. If I ever get to Guam....

      • Natashalh profile imageAUTHOR

        Natasha 

        5 years ago from Hawaii

        Awesome! I hope you have fun and I'm glad you enjoyed the photos! I went alone and didn't have any problems.

      • profile image

        Daren 

        5 years ago

        Thanks for the detailed information on the hike. Your photos are awesome as well. I will solo climb the mountain tomorrow rain or shine and will let you know how it went. :)

      • Natashalh profile imageAUTHOR

        Natasha 

        5 years ago from Hawaii

        Thanks! It's not so super far away for you - maybe you'll be able to visit some day!

      • agusfanani profile image

        agusfanani 

        5 years ago from Indonesia

        It's a very interesting story about your exciting journey to Lamlam mountain. The beautiful pictures make it even more special!

      • Natashalh profile imageAUTHOR

        Natasha 

        5 years ago from Hawaii

        I made the hike alone so I wanted to share the experience with someone. What better place than here? Thanks for stopping by to take a look!

      • randomcreative profile image

        Rose Clearfield 

        5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

        What a gorgeous location! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

      • Natashalh profile imageAUTHOR

        Natasha 

        5 years ago from Hawaii

        Mwahaha - my plan worked! =)

        I was pretty surprised the first time I saw the claim, too. If you ever make it to Japan, Guam isn't much further. Thanks for stopping by and for the votes!

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        5 years ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Natasha,

        Your title did catch my eye and I thought to myself...Guam...no way! After reading this and comparing mountain sizes if they were all lined up in the Mariana Trench, it is interesting that Mount Lamlam would be the tallest. So...your title worked! Ha! Thanks for detailing your hike in photos and descriptions. Would be fun to do sometime. Up and interesting votes.

      • Natashalh profile imageAUTHOR

        Natasha 

        5 years ago from Hawaii

        It is kind of cool feeling to say! Thanks for stopping in =)

      • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

        Claudia Mitchell 

        5 years ago

        Very cool and love that you can say that you've hiked the highest mountain in the world. Great travel hub.

      • Natashalh profile imageAUTHOR

        Natasha 

        5 years ago from Hawaii

        Thank you! I think you may be closer than my actual home, but it's still pretty far!

      • rajan jolly profile image

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

        What a beautiful trail. I'd love to have a go but I'm so far away. Arresting pictures and excellent recounting of your hike, Natasha!

        Voted up.

      • Natashalh profile imageAUTHOR

        Natasha 

        5 years ago from Hawaii

        Bdehiulio - I didnt' know, either, until I was reading up on Guam!

        Hawaiianodysseus - Sadly, there are both mosquitoes and ticks on Guam. Lamlam is the only place I actually got bitten by mosquitoes on the island, but they only come out when the wind dies down, or when you're in a sheltered area. I never got any ticks in all my adventures and, apparently, the ticks there plague dogs and tend to leave humans alone. I guess their pretty species-specific!

        I was hoping the title would catch some attention =)

        Thanks for stopping by!

      • hawaiianodysseus profile image

        Hawaiian Odysseus 

        5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

        This Hub's title caught my eye, and I was getting ready to challenge that claim, my friend. But when I read your explanation, I thought, "You know, that makes absolutely perfect sense!"

        A practical question, Natasha--were there mosquitoes up there on the mountain? Also, can one pick up ticks while walking through the tall grass?

        Thanks for sharing! Aloha and blessings, my friend!

        Joe

      • bdegiulio profile image

        Bill De Giulio 

        5 years ago from Massachusetts

        Yes indeed, how interesting. I had no idea. What a great find. Really enjoyed this Natasha.

      • Natashalh profile imageAUTHOR

        Natasha 

        5 years ago from Hawaii

        Yes, it's an amusing technicality!

        Thanks for being the first to stop by, as always =)

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        5 years ago from Olympia, WA

        Well that was interesting. I had no idea it was the tallest mountain in the world. Great hub for tourists everywhere....very nice job of detailing the trip.

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