La Viga is the highest mountain in the state of Coahuila and it`s located in the Sierra Madre Oriental to the southeast of the capital city of Saltillo near the border with the state of Nuevo León.
It is a beautiful pine forest covered mountain and it`s upper part is often snow covered in the winter months. Lots of mountaineering enthusiasts climb it year round, and it is specially popular among the ones that are heading for the high volcanoes. The views from the metal tower that stands above the forest on the summit are breathtaking, on a clear day you can see all the high peaks of the northern Sierra Madre and the high desert plains as well as the mountains around the city of Monterrey to the north.
There are three basic routes, the most popular and shortest one is on the northern side starting at the village of La Escondida and is a fairly easy walk up on a steep well worn trail, it takes from two and a half to three and a half hours from there to the summit. The second one is the "lomo" route wich follows the western ridge starting at the town of Los Lirios three miles to the west of La Escondida, this trail is marked with orange ribbons and is not as steep but a lot longer, taking from three to four hours to the summit. The third route follows a road that starts at Pinalosa village, about four miles east of La Escondida; the road starts wide winding across an apple orchard and then it becomes narrow (four wheeler width) as it steepens and climbs on to the eastern ridge reaching a little valley from wich the road widens again and keeps climbing steadily to the summit; this is the longest one and it could take one up to five hours to reach the summit, on the positive side, this route traverses pristine pine and fir forests from start to finish and has great views of the valleys to the east and south of the mountain .
From the city of Saltillo travel south on highway 57 for about 15 miles then take the farm road to the town of El Tunal to the east, drive 10 miles
to the town of Los Lirios (past El Tunal), here you can take the street to the right at the plaza and drive to the base of the mountain where the western ridge route starts. To take the shorter trail make a left turn at the plaza and follow the dirt road to La Escondida three miles ahead and then take the road to the right where the small church sits and head a few more yards to the end of the road, the trail starts here to the right hand side. The Pinalosa route starts at this village and it is located about four miles to the east of La Escondida.
No permits or fees are required since it is not a park.
When To Climb
You can climb year round bot the best time is from March to June or in October and November. Be aware of rapid changing conditions in any season specially from May trough October when sleet and hail storms pop out of nowhere.
The only place good for camping is on the summit of the mountain, there are no flat spots on the slopes. Please do not disturb the wildlife and the vegetation. NO CAMPFIRES PLEASE!
No permits or fees are required.
Inquire locally, but expect much cooler temperatures and be prepared for hail/sleet storms during the warmer months.