Cerro Mirador Grande shares Manantiales with Telapon and Tlaloc and Yeloxochtl. It is a smaller peak that lies in the shadow of Tlaloc, due north of Telapon, but caught my eye on this past trip as I was seeking to know the area more intimately and not just return to only climb the big peaks. This peak rises only about 400m above the valley floor, but it is a steeper and considerably more rugged peak than Yeloxochtl. On Mirador Grande's easten slopes about halfway up lies a 30m bluff that provides ample opportunities for bouldering. This peak has two distinctive summits. The closer one for me has some of the most impressive views I have beheld in Mexico. It is a 20m high rocky outcropping which when scaled from the back (to the north) is a straightforward scramble.
The summit is a flattened opening maybe 10m x 8m and it provides solitude at its finest... like virtually anywhere you can go in and around Manantiales. This is my favourite part of this mountain as the view is unobstructed and really allows one to see the entirety of the valley and the numerous peaks which call this area home.
Like its brother peaks Mirador Grande is found in The Parque Nacional de Zoquiapan y Anexas, a 19400 Ha park that is operated in conjunction with Izta-Popo Park. The Cerro lies due north of the saddle between Telapon and Yeloxochtl across the plain of Manantiales.
'A mirador' is an observatory or lookout, so the peaks name essentially means big lookout which is a very accurate name. The views are truly wonderous across the length and breadth of the valley.
This is a much steeper and more sustained climb than any of the other peaks around... it requires one to simply climb straight up. Some of the rock bands I chose to scale were class III and were a whole lot of fun, and coupled with the steepness made for an exciting climb. The summit proper which lies up and to the right of the bluffs that dominate the eastern side of Mirador Grande is marked by a geological survey stake from the Mexican governement.
All in all it should take no more than an 45 minutes to an hour to reach the top and if you want to grab the second summit add an additional 5-10 minutes. It lies to the east and isn't a long or difficult scramble. The footing can be a bit treacherous if the grass is wet so be cautious as the slopes really are quite steep.
Getting there is actually pretty straightforward. From Mexico City find your way to TAPO (the major bus terminal to all destinations in the south of Mexico).From TAPO find your way to Texcoco (a 45 minute bus ride) that will run about 14 pesos.
Once you arrive in Texcoco ask for the bus to San Pablo. This is another 45 minute ride and your stop is the very last one. Once you get off the bus there is a road that snakes off up into the hills which you will follow until you encounter the aqueduct. After you encounter the aqueduct follow it all the way until it goes underground. This will take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours depending on your degree of physical fitness as Manantiales in this section is at about 3450m or 11400 feet.
From The first clearing, look to the east and quite simply the highest peak you can see is Yeloxochtl. I cross this first section of Manantiales, careful to skirt around the edges as it is boggy in places and one can sink up above their knees if you aren't careful. There is a noticeable valley that the spring flows through, I hike up through here (following the stream) to the next open section of Manantiales. From there I cross due north to the far edge of manantiales and then head east (to the right). Follow the treeline until Telapon comes into view. You will see Mirador Grande.s impressive bluffs and rocky summit soon after.
The climb should take no more than an hour to an hour and a half as always dependent upon one's level of fitness. Be sure to bring water and plenty of sunscreen as it can get hot up there.
No permits are required and there are no incidental fees, other then what it costs to get to San Pablo or Rio Frio (wherever you should chose to start from
Camping is allowed virtually anywhere with the best place being Manantiales. The valley that it shares with Tlaloc and Telapon. ..though there are numerous spots, especially anywhere near the aqueduct as you have ready access to remarkably clean drinking water.
Much like the other mountains around you could camp on or near the summit. Though is it not as expansive as Tlaloc or Yeloxochtl there is still plenty of room to put up a tent and immerese yourself in the serenity of the Mexican night.
It is best to practice the pack in what you pack out philo. as the mountain is pretty much pristine and it is a culturally significant area. Its especially important to have places like this when so much of the valley is ravaged by pollution and garbage
When To Climb
The best time to climb is the dry season which is November through to March. It is still a fairly easy climb in the off season but one would have to pay close attention to the weather as storms are common and often come quickly and violently. I have witnessed them blow in in less than five minutes and strike with some serious ferocity so please take the peak seriously and check ahead and come prepared.
There is no real way to find out the current weather as the mountain sees next to no traffic it is much less popular than its neighbour to the north Tlaloc and Telapon. The best way is to check the weather for Texcoco or Rio Frio. Failing that the weather for Mexico City will also be accurate as long as you are prepared for any typical mountainous weather as the clouds often roll in in the afternoon.
You can check www.maps-of-mexico.com/mexico-weather for the latest forecats around the Mexico City area.