Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Puerto Rico hikes

Regional discussion and conditions reports for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Mexico Climbing Partners section.
 

Puerto Rico hikes

Postby Fettster » Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:03 pm

Any recommendations for day hikes in Puerto Rico, perhaps in El Yunque?
User Avatar
Fettster

 
Posts: 285
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:52 am
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby sneakyracer » Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:02 am

Hi, I live in Puerto Rico. El Yunque is the best area to go hiking on the Island. There are very nice trails (most connect so one can make some nice loops when connecting them with the road) with solid elevation gain. Be prepared for rain at any time. Water is readily available everywhere (most trails are alongside and/or cross streams at several points) but you must filter it. For the foreign traveler the heat and humidity is unrelenting at lower elevations and never really eases up until the very top when you are out of the cloud forest for a moment and exposed to the wind. Expect 70-100% humidity and temperatures in the 70-90F degree range and most times zero wind due to the thick vegetation except in clearings and at the top. (synthetic clothing only, my choice is MH Canyon pants and light synth shirt plus a breathable stormproof shell with pit zips and vents, smartwool socks and 5.10 camp fours or Vasque goretex-boots)

Going off trail is not recommended, ground conditions are slick and full of organic debris and composed mainly of exposed roots and eroded soil. It is REALLY slow going at best. You cant see the terrain (cliffs, drops, ravines) until you are right on them due to the vegetation. The only time I have gone off trail is while trying to go up Juan Diego Falls (and stream). It was fun but slow going due to slick terrain but fun.

Here is a map of the upper trail system (http://www.elyunque.com/maptrailsbig.htm)

The trails are mostly compacted gravel with rocks imbedded in the soil (most are slick, covered with moss) with some old rough concrete mixed in at times for stability (specially on the lower most popular trails), there are some old concrete and rock steps in the mix. There are some parts that might have a little mud due to erosion but overall its mostly hard surfaces. Beware, its SLICK coming down if its raining. Water doesnt really puddle much on the trails but sometimes flows down them so waterproof shoes are nice to have. Having shoes with sticky rubber is a plus not only for safety (more fun also!) but because it will allow you to explore some of the stream/creek beds which are bare rock and really cool! if you have time.

DO NOT miss LA ROCA, most people go the highest point and never explore this rock which is just 10min away and IMHO has the best view by far (there is quite a drop so be careful). The last 1200 ft of mountain is almost always in the clouds but sometimes you get a clearing for a few minutes, enough to see the amazing views (you are only 7-10 miles from the ocean (3400 ft below). Its best to go to the top early (before 10am) if you want a decent chance of a view but sometimes after it rains in the afternoon you get a clearing (4-5pm). Beware that if you go on a saturday or sunday the la mina falls pool and trail will be packed. The best chance for some solitude is the El Yunque Trail (my top choice, specially the top part) and La Coca Trail (lower down the mountain slightly up the road from la coca falls and is pretty much deserted all the time, its a dead end so its in and out the same way)
sneakyracer

 
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:52 am
Location: San Juan, United States
Thanked: 13 times in 11 posts

Postby Fettster » Wed Jul 14, 2010 8:38 pm

Hey thanks for the reply, sounds like you could string a few hikes together in El Yunque. I need to take a closer look at the map. Are there any good trails right along the coastline?
User Avatar
Fettster

 
Posts: 285
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:52 am
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Postby sneakyracer » Thu Jul 15, 2010 7:45 am

Fettster wrote:Hey thanks for the reply, sounds like you could string a few hikes together in El Yunque. I need to take a closer look at the map. Are there any good trails right along the coastline?


Nope, the mountain slopes down close to sea level a few miles before the coastline. There are some good unoficial mountain bike trails further east 5 miles away from the forest right on the coast.
sneakyracer

 
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:52 am
Location: San Juan, United States
Thanked: 13 times in 11 posts

Postby sneakyracer » Thu Aug 05, 2010 3:32 pm

Here are some pics of a recent hike I did in El Yunque (top trails)



Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
sneakyracer

 
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:52 am
Location: San Juan, United States
Thanked: 13 times in 11 posts

The following user would like to thank sneakyracer for this post
John Duffield

Postby Dmitry Pruss » Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:46 pm

I really liked Mona Island trails, and a short but tough hike to Salto Curet in the Southwest of the main island (especially the little-used extention to the upper cascades). There is also a good system of trails in the Winds Cave forest area South of Arecibo.
User Avatar
Dmitry Pruss

 
Posts: 837
Joined: Mon Apr 18, 2005 1:17 am
Location: Utah, United States
Thanked: 2 times in 2 posts

Re: Puerto Rico hikes

Postby Fettster » Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:29 pm

sneakyracer, your boots look pretty dry after the hike! Apparently they close the access gate at 6 PM huh?
User Avatar
Fettster

 
Posts: 285
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 2004 1:52 am
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Puerto Rico hikes

Postby sneakyracer » Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:39 pm

Fettster wrote:sneakyracer, your boots look pretty dry after the hike! Apparently they close the access gate at 6 PM huh?


Hi, yeah, those boots dry quickly and water never got inside.

The gate closes at 6pm and the rangers start checking all the parking lots for cars without a visible camping permit. The will give you a ticket if you dont have one and posibly even start a search.
sneakyracer

 
Posts: 238
Joined: Fri Aug 28, 2009 12:52 am
Location: San Juan, United States
Thanked: 13 times in 11 posts


Return to Mexico, Central America and Caribbean

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

cron

© 2006-2013 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.