Located in the Pacific Ocean 13 degrees above the equator, the island of Guam is an interesting vacation destination for people who enjoy seeing nature at its best. There are tons of well preserved beaches and natural sites that engage nature enthusiasts, photographers, environmentalists, scientists and vacationers to come check them out. One of these sites is Mount Santa Rosa located in Yigo at the northern part of the island.
Guam is a very strategic territory of the United States. The US government maintains a naval facility in this tiny-island nation as an outpost in the Pacific. Guam played an important role when the US and its allies reclaimed Asia-Pacific from Japan during World War II. Today, Guam is also regarded as a leading tourist destination. Its tourism industry is the country’s second most reliable source of income, next to the US military base.
The presence of US armed forces and personnel has been very helpful in maintaining not only the peace and order in the island, but also the cleanliness and consciousness of preserving the environment. A clear example is Ritidian Point. It used to be a restricted military area. Today, it is open to the public but its beaches and forests are very well maintained, and in fact, it has become a refuge for several endangered species. Another well kept historic site where important mementos of World War II can be seen is the War in the Pacific National Park. This vast area covers historic forests, caves, and beaches. Likewise, the trail on Mount Santa Rosa is well preserved, wild and unmanicured.
With a height of 830 ft (253 meters), Mount Santa Rosa is the highest point in northern Guam, although it is only the 15th tallest mountain in the country. It is an extinct volcano with a very distinct dome on its peak. Trekkers and mountain climbers from around the world come here to catch a glimpse of Guam’s northern regions. The climb is difficult but quite enjoyable as trekkers get to see military communications installations and residential houses. The locals are very friendly and it is likely that they will offer a drink or two. At the peak is an amazing aerial view of the Andersen Air Force Base, Ritidian Point, dense limestone forests, glimmering beaches and the nearby Rota Island on a clear day. For those who decide to drive all the way to the summit, there is a narrow two-lane road but do not expect to see a parking lot anywhere. Simply park on the side of the road, if you must.
The dome is not the mountain’s only attraction. It is surrounded by a reef and flanked with the popular Awesome Cave, which is named that way for a reason. Also nearby are Mataguac Hill, Palii Hill, Mount Barrigada, and Pajon Point.
To get to Mount Santa Rosa, rent a car and drive north to Yigo on Marine Corps Drive. Turn right on Gayenero Road and shortly you will be able to see Mount Santa Rosa’s dome. Turn left on Route 15 as you reach an intersection and take a hard right as you reach a fork on the road. Mount Santa Rosa is definitely worth the drive.