OverviewThe Copete de las Aguilas (roughly translated to Eagle’s Peak)is located within the Chipinque Ecological Park. At 7336 feet above sea level, the Copete is the highest peak in the Monterrey metropolitan area. The peak is also the the most demanding of the five peaks in the Chipinque Park. In total you will hike roughly 6.5 kms to the top from la Explanada.
In descending order (from most to least difficult) I would classify the 5 peaks as follows:
1. El Copete de las Aguilas
2. La Eme
3. La Ventana
4. Las Antenas
5. El Pinar
Getting ThereTo get to the Park, drive from the city of Monterrey through Gomez Morin Avenue going south towards the Sierra Madre mountain range. Gomez Morin practically takes you directly to the park. Follow the signs guiding you to “Chipinque”.
Once you reach the park, you can start your venture by walking up the three trails that lead you up the mountain (Vereda 1, 2 & 3). Vereda 1 starts just a few meters from the park's main entrance. If you begin at the bottom (Vereda 1), be prepared to walk up an additional 1.87 km to reach the starting point of the trail. You can also drive up the main road to the Explanada parking area. The main trail in Chipinque that will take you to El Copete de las Aguilas starts off there @ 25°36.398'N, 100°21.219'W at an initial altitude of 4230’ ASL. There is a ample parking area here.
Once you reach the Explanada, walk east on the Empalme trail towards the base of the Pinal. In total you will walk 3.1 km among a relatively flat trail. In this first stretch, the altitude varies only 60 mts (200 ft). At the 3.1 km mark (N25 35.814 W100 20.187) there is a water fountain in case you need to refill or take a quick sip of water. At this point, take the trail to La Meseta del Epazote (see camping section below). Walk up the trail until you reach the sign that signals the trail head at N25 35.677 W100 20.122.
The main trail that takes you to the peak starts off with a 1.1 km zigzag that will take you to the base of the main peaks. You will zigzag your way up a nice trail along the pine forest roughly to an altitude of 5660’ ASL. After clearing the zigzag you will need to walk another 1.1 kms along the base of the peaks. This part of the trail offers some magnificent views of the city and surrounding mountains. Walk this trail until you reach the next marker along the trail at N25 35.576 W100 20.713, known locally at the Arbol Amigo. If you continue west along this trail you will eventually reach the peaks of “La Ventana”, “Las Antenas” and even further west, “La Eme”.
At the Arbol Amigo marker, take the trail that leads you directly towards the peak (south). At this point you are roughly 530 meters to the summit. This is where the trail gets a little bit more challenging. The first 375 meters of this last section is a slightly steeper trail. You will encounter certain sections where you will need to use your hands to continue, although the inclination in this part of the trail does not surpass 45º. You will then reach the wall. This is the most technical and thus most challenging section of the climb. You will need to free-climb what I calculate to be roughly 30 meters in smaller sections. The park has placed ropes along the way to ease the climb. The degree of inclination in this section varies from 75 to 80º. Some sections require you to rock climb probably 15 feet or more before reaching the next “section” on the trail. On one of the sections, you will need to make a small jump from one rock to another. While this jump is not really difficult, it does impress due to the height.
Once you have cleared the rock climbing section you are only a few meters from the summit. You will continue to climb along a steep trail similar to the one before the rock climbing section. The summit will be at sight. Once you reach the end of the trail and are able to see southern slope of the mountain you will need to walk roughly 25 meters along the crest of the maintain to reach the summit. The summit is marked by a sign, a cross and a log book.
When To ClimbWhile the climb can be made throughout the year, Monterrey’s weather can get really hot in the summer months, often surpassing 100ºF. August and September tend to bring showers. If you start early (say at sunrise) you can make the climb up and back in time for a late lunch and avoid the hottest time of the day.
Red TapeYou will need to pay a fee to enter the park (varies if you walk or drive up) as well as to climb to the peaks.
The park administration requires you to send an advance notice in order to climb to the peaks. You can download the form directly from their website and e-mail it to the offices (http://www.chipinque.org.mx). Request forms are received only Monday through Thursday from 9:0 AM to 6:00 PM. The park also offers guided tours to the peak at a reasonable cost (roughly USD$90 for a group of max 5). Park also requires that all ascends to the peaks commence no latter than 10:00 AM. You will need to leave an ID at the booth when you register.
CampingCamping is allowed at the Meseta del Epazote (25° 35.718'N, 100° 20.363'W). To reach the Meseta, walk on the Empalme trail that heads east on the Meseta. On the 3.1 km mark, you will reach a water fountain. Take the trail that runs south (take your right towards the Sierra Madre). You will need to fill out a camping request form and e-mail it / fax it to the Park's offices Monday through Thursday between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Check the External Link section below for more info.
External LinksChipinque's Webpage
For Camping and Permits:
GPS routes in Chipinque:
Do some geocaching while you are there!