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Best Hiking Trails in Mexico

Overview

There are many reasons to visit this large North American country, and given how mountainous much of Mexico is, hiking is one of them.  Some of the main areas for hiking in Mexico include: around Mexico City; Copper Canyon; Baja California; around Puerto Vallarta; around Oaxaca; around Monterrey; and so much more. The best months to hike in Mexico depend on the region but it’s a year round destination. Read on for more information on where and when to hike in Mexico. 

Capital: Mexico City

When To Hike in Mexico?

Year Round: For many areas of Mexico, the late fall to spring are the ideal months (ie. November – April), but other areas are fine year round.  Filter by month in the map to see the best months for the different regions.
Varies 
Varies: Summer months can be too hot or too rainy
Climate: Due to the size of the country, and varying altitudes, climates can range from arid (hot and dry) to subtropical (hot, humid summers, mild winters), and mountain climate in the higher altitudes.
For Mexico Monthly Weather: Mexico Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Medium: While there are popular areas for hiking with established trails, and some maps available, there aren’t good guidebooks and limited resources for hiking trip planning.  Always best to go with a guide.

Transportation required: Car for most places

Where to stay in Mexico for hiking:

  • Mexico City
  • Creel
  • Cabo San Lucas
  • Puerto Vallarta
  • Oaxaca

Most popular hikes in Mexico

Mexico is a mountainous country with the Sierra Madres and its subranges running through the eastern, western and southern parts of the country. There are plenty of areas to hike, including many volcanoes and isolated mountain ranges, but there is also so much untapped potential. Some of the popular areas include: around Mexico City (ie. Nevado de Toluca), Copper Canyon, in Oaxaca, around Monterrey, the Baja California peninsula (very long one running south from the US state of California). Highest Mountain: Pico de Orizaba (5636 m).

Filter out hiking places of Mexico by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Sierra de Juárez

  • November – March

Sierra de la Giganta

Sierra de la Laguna

  • November – March

Parque Nacional Sierra de San Pedro Mártir

Oaxaca state

Parque Nacional Cañón del Sumidero

Parque Nacional Cofre de Perote

Around Córdoba

  • November – March
  • Parque Nacional Cañón del Río Blanco – mountainous area but not sure if there are hiking trails here

Parque Nacional Pico de Orizaba

Nevado de Toluca

Around Mexico City

Parque Nacional Volcán Nevado de Colima

Ajijic

Parque Nacional Gogorrón (Gogorrón National Park)

  • October – April (rest of the months have some rain but not too much and could be fine for hiking)

Real de Catorce

  • October – April (rest of the months have some rain but not too much so could be fine for hiking)
  • Small village where there is hiking in the surrounding mountains

Reserva de la Biosfera Barranca de Metztitlán

  • November – May (April & May are hot)

Reserva de la Biósfera Sierra Gorda

Parque Nacional Los Mármoles

  • November – May (April & May are hot)
  • Not clear if there are hiking trails here

Sierra El Fraile y San Miguel

  • November – April

Monumento Natural Cerro de la Silla

  • Looks beautiful, not sure if there are hiking trails here

Parque Nacional Cumbres de Monterrey

  • Cumbres de Monterrey National Park – November – April

Parque Ecológico La Huasteca

  • November to April

Parque Nacional Cascada de Basaseachi (Basaseachic Falls National Park)

La Barranca del Cobre (Copper Canyon)

  • Series of canyons in the Sierra Madre Occidental – November – March best months
  • Mexico’s Breathtaking Barranca del Cobre 
  • Ferrocarril Chihuahua Pacífico – train, very famous
  • Tararecua Canyon (best for hiking)
  • Creel, Divisadero, Arepo, Cerocahui are good bases

Long Distance Trails of Mexico

Mexico's Walking & Hiking Resources

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Mexico Hiking Books: 

  • Mexico Trails: Your Adventure Guide to 43 Short Hikes and Walking Trails in Mexico, by Garry Reckseidler, 2010, Trafford Publishing – a bit dated – https://amzn.to/4d7L90q
  • Hiking Loreto: Hikes, Walks and Explorations in Loreto, the Sierra Giganta and the surrounding area, by DeeDee Kelly, Dave Kelly, Trudi Angell, Ed Nugent, 2021, Hiking Loreto – https://www.hikingloreto.com/ 
  • Trail Guide for Chapala, Ajijic, Jocotepec, and Ixlahuácan de los Membrillos, by Senderos de Mexico, 2022, published by Senderos de Mexico
  • Lonely Planet Mexico, by Lonely Planet, 2022, Lonely Planet Publications – https://amzn.to/3U9F7U6
  • The Rough Guide to Mexico (Travel Guide eBook), by Rough Guides, 2019, APA

 

Mexico Hiking Associations: There are quite a few

 

Best Hiking Trails in Mexico:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from hiking guidebooks, official park websites, trail maps/apps, other websites, and tourist offices:

  • Nevado de Toluca
  • Cerro Ajusco – Cumbres del Ajusco
  • Zapotepetl – Nevado de Colima
  • Paso de Cortés – Iztaccíhuatl-Popocatépetl National Park
  • Volcan Paricutin
  • Cusarare to Divisadero – Copper Canyon
  • Pueblos Mancomunados
  • Cerro del Fortín – Oaxaca
  • Cerro San Miguel – Desierto de Los Leones
  • Palo Maria Trail – near Puerto Vallarta
  • La Malinche

Easy Hiking Trails in Mexico:

  • Cusarare Falls Trail – Copper Canyon
  • Pico del Águila – Cumbres del Ajusco
  • Basaseachi Waterfall – Basaseachi Waterfall National Park

 

Mexico Hiking Websites:

 

Mexico Weather Website: 

 

Mexico Official Tourism Site:  

 

Mexico Hiking Apps: 

 

Mexico Hiking Maps: 

What Else To Do

  • Beaches
  • Food
  • Indigenous culture (Aztec & Mayan ruins)
  • Cenotes
  • Watersports
  • Caves

Other Important Points

  • Give yourself time to acclimatize before embarking on the higher altitude hikes
  • If you’re hiking near Mexico City, start hikes early to avoid fog
  • Be aware of drug cartel related violence; apparently tourists are rarely targeted but can happen, particularly in the north