Mexico’s Best Mountain Hikes

mexico mountain hikerThere’s good reason why so many outdoor enthusiasts flock to Mexico: the country’s diverse landscapes offer epic hiking opportunities through pine woods, mountain passes and sultry jungles. Even more exciting is the fact that pristine wilderness, snow capped peaks and lush rainforests are all within a three-hour drive from the sprawling metropolis of Mexico City.

While temperatures are moderate year-round, the best time to book a hiking vacation to Mexico is during the dry season months of November-April, when thunderstorms are less likely to dampen your adventure. If you’re itching to stretch your legs and hit some exciting mountain trails, here are some destinations worth checking out!

Paso de Cortes

Situated roughly three hours from Mexico City, between the volcanoes Iztaccihuatl and Popocatépetl, Paso de Cortes offers spectacular vistas from its high-altitude perch. Named after the Spanish conquistador Hernan Córtes, this snowy mountain pass is recommended for the more experienced hiker who wants to get off the tourist trail.


Meaning “white woman” in the native Nahuatl, Iztaccíhuatl sits some 17,000 feet above sea level, which is roughly two miles above Mexico City. While this snowy mountain pass isn’t considered technical, it is a challenging two-day hike best reserved for the serious outdoor explorer. Due to weather concerns, this mountain should only be climbed from late October through May, as summer time rains can melt glacier snow, making trails unsafe.  

Friar’s Peak, Nevado de Toluca

Friar’s Peak floats more than a mile (15,354 feet) above sea level and is Mexico’s 4th tallest mountain. This awe-inspiring summit is the centerpiece of Nevado de Toluca — a massive extinct stratovolcano noted for its beautiful but chilling alpine climate and scenery. This is also a popular spot for amateurs, who can tailor a day hike to Nevado de Toluca, which is about a 50 mile drive from Mexico City. You can park your vehicle along any number of spots and climb to the aquamarine waters of the twin lagoons (the Lake of the Sun and Moon).


Discover amazing views as you climb to the Aztec pyramid of Tepozteco, situated atop a small peak in Morelos, Mexico. The steep walking path is a combination of natural rocks and man-made stairs, and depending on your fitness level, the uphill journey can take between 1 and 2 hours. By all accounts, the trek is well worth the effort for chances to explore sculpted glyphs in this archeological site and take in the panoramas below. Bring plenty of water, and plan to arrive at 9AM when the park opens, to avoid heavy crowds.

Additional “Mexico Mountain Hikes” Resources:

  1. Outdoor Active, Mountain Hikes in Mexico
  2. Culture Trip, Most Epic Hikes to Take in Mexico
  3. NBC News, 5 Great Day Hikes from Mexico City
Thursday, June 29th, 2017
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