Los Elefantes - Pico Norte

Page Type
Nuevo León, Mexico, North America
Route Type:
Hike / Scramble
Time Required:
Half a day

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Created On: Nov 26, 2003
Last Edited On: Jan 9, 2004


From Paseo de Las Amèricas avenue in Guadalupe, N.L. (just east of downtown Monterrey) drive east and up on El Greco street for about 1 1/2 miles, in the Contry Sol subdivision; the street ends at a triangular shaped plaza, drive around it on the upper street (Renacimiento) and park your car there.
Walk up to the northern end (uppermost) of the plaza and cross the street to 2449 Renacimiento, tthis house was built on top of the dry bed of the creek coming down from the mountain. There is a wide concrete opening (for water drainage) on the right, go trough it and down to the grassy creek. Hike up and around behind a few more houses on the uppermost area.
The trail starts here on a gentle slope, hike about a half a mile to a "Y" split.

Route Description

From the split the elefantes route goes to the left and follows the dry rocky creek along either side or trough the middle of it at times and is easy to follow with white and red arrows painted on the rocks.
The trail gradually steepens and encounters a few easy scrambles on the way, but always staying on or by the creek to about half the way up, where the El Caracol route converges to form a single trail again at the place known as La Carbonera, where you can pitch a tent.
Just above this place there is a trail that climbs steeply to the north marked by orange ribbons, this trail connects with the Antena route; it`s a nice 20-25 minute hike.
From there keep going up the creek now mainly on it`s left side for another 15 minutes or so, then the trail leaves the creek and heads south (to the right) switchbacking along sometimes slippery rocky terrain very steep at times through the oak forest, always marked with arrows and/or orange and withe ribbons; then at the uppermost section reaching the scrubby and grassy area you have to do some class 3 scrambling over some boulders before reaching the summit marked by a 15 meter metal tower.

Essential Gear

No technical gear is needed, only some good traction boots.

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rhenish - May 31, 2016 12:13 am - Hasn't voted

Trail markers are seriously degraded

I just did Los Elefantes to La Carbonera (then up to Pico Norte) yesterday (29 May, 2016). This post is particularly out-of-date regarding the trail markers. They are quite often either *very* difficult to spot due to fading or overgrowth, or they are too far apart. I lost about 1/4 of my time due to losing the trail. So you really need to pay attention! Also realize you probably won't get totally lost, as long as you a) don't go too far without seeing a faded red arrow and b) stay near the creek (the trail is always between the valley walls).

Also, the directions to the trail are generally correct. You do need to go through a tunnel to get started! To clarify, though, once through the tunnel, head up the bank to your right, and hug the houses for about 5 minutes before the trail veers to the left.

A final note: the mosquitoes are vicious, especially in the first 1/2 hour!

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