Kennon Road is, without doubt, the most scenic highway to Baguio. There are plans declare the highway a national heritage park, to preserve it for posterity in recognition of its being part in the nation's historical and cultural heritage.
Kennon Road was ordered built by American governor general William Cameron Forbes in 1901. Although originally called Benguet Road, it was named after U.S. Army Colonel Lyman N. Kennon who was its final builder. With the labor of Igorots and some foreign workers, the road was completed in 1903 and has since become a major route to Baguio City.
Millions of local and foreign tourists have since marveled at Kennon's alternating steep rises, dips, and sharp turns, splendid waterfalls and lush vegetation. After almost 100 years of constant use, natural wear and tear aggravated by earthquakes and strong typhoons, some sections of Kennon Road became hazardous.
Kennon Road is one of the three major access roads that lead up to Baguio City from Manila and the provinces in the central and western parts of Luzon. It connects the city with the town of Rosario, La Union. The other two are Marcos Highway from Agoo, La Union and Naguilian Road from Bauang, La Union. A fourth less-traveled route is Halsema Highway which links Baguio City with Ifugao, Mountain Province, and Kalinga-Apayao. It is taken in going to Bontoc and the famed rice terraces of Banaue. Another infrequently-traveled road from the province of Nueva Vizcaya connects with the city and passes on top of Ambuklao dam.
During the Baguio earthquake in 1990, Kennon Road was severely damaged and is continuously undergoing repairs. It usually takes an experienced commuter an average of 45 minutes by car to negotiate the steep and winding climb up to Baguio.
There is a need to be extra cautious when driving through Kennon Road since you will encounter sharp hairpin turns and blind curves. The road is very slippery when it rains and usually there are landslides which could block the roadway. Also, guardrails are either missing along some portions of the road or are not strong enough to stop a wayward vehicle from falling into a deep ravine just beside it. In addition to all these, on certain months of the year the late afternoon fog causes poor and limited visibility along the roadway.
Inspite of the numerous accidents along Kennon Road, many tourist still pass through it to see the breathtaking scenery that unfolds at each bend of the road. There are beautiful and scenic sites along Kennon Road such as the Bridal Veil Falls, Bued River gorge, Twin Peaks, Colorado Falls, some pedestrian suspension bridges, the sculptured limestone lion, and the spectacular view from the deck at the upper end of Kennon Road. There are also some small stores along the road where you can buy an assortment of native handicraft, vegetables, brooms, and locally prepared delicacies. However, if you are interested to see the giant Marcos Bust on your way up to Baguio, you have to go through the Marcos Highway which links the town of Agoo, La Union with Baguio City.
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The first toll gate. Vicinity of Barangay Twin Peaks. The Bridal Veil Falls. Bued River at Twin Peaks. Kennon Road & Bued River. An old steel bridge along Kennon. Concrete dike along Kennon. The mountains along Kennon Rd. A 10-ton capacity steel bridge. The 2nd toll gate of Kennon Rd. A group of houses on a hilltop. Abandoned mine along Kennon Rd. A mining community along Kennon. Another view of Kennon & Bued. Vehicles travelling along Kennon. The Lion's Head. Students going home for lunch. A portion of the Zig-zag road. Kennon Road from the view deck. The view deck at Kennon Road.