Thanks to Jerry L for his previous work on this page.
Pasochoa is a old and very weathered volcano. It has been inactive since the last ice age. It is a perfect choice for a first climb to acclimatize and to prepare for larger mountains on your 'to do' list (i.e. Cayambe, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo). The drive to the begining of the hike is beautiful as it goes through a nature preserve. The mountain is an extinct volcano. From the summit on a clear day, you have beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.
From Quito (the capital of Ecuador) and the main starting point for most climbs, drive south out of the city for approximately 25 to 30 miles, passing through Sangolqui (the last town for supplies if needed). Make a left hand turn off the main road, immediately after a modern service station (the road is unmarked). Follow this stone/gravel road to it's end where there is an abandoned building. Beyond the building is a path which leads to the summit of Pasochoa. The last portion of this road is only accessable with a 4x4.
If using public transportation then from Quito you need to get to Amaguaña. By bus this is done from the La Marín "terminal". The ride is 45 cents and takes an hour or so. Once in Amaguaña walk a couple blocks to the square and hire a pickup to take you to the trailhead around $7 for the park entrance and around $10 for the standard route.
See the route pages for more details. After turning right at the old building you will soon come to two modern wire fences with gates. It is ok to open the gates to let your group through but leave the them as you find them. There may be livestock, cattle, in the area so pay attention in case they are bulls. Once through the second gate head towards the obvious canal/ditch that runs just below the ridge to the summit group. Cross just above the second gate since the trail on the upper side of the canal is in better shape than the lower side trail. Crossing the canal other than on the ends is possible but not easy considering the depth and vegetation. Once at the top of the ridge the trail heads to the left side of the false summit.
Pasochoa is accessable year-round. In the summer months, December and January are the driest months. In the winter months, June and July are the best.
In July 2007 there was a large group of tents camping in the field to the right of the old building. The trail went through their camp. Water is nearby. I don't know if or where permission to camp can be arranged.
Pasochoa can be climbed without technical mountain climbing equipment. The trail is straight forward and well marked by high traffic volume. The trail originates in high grasses and as you ascend it turns into loose rock. The trail is easily visible to the false summit and the true summit.
The mountain is close to Quito so you can get an idea of the weather at Quito Weather
Distance: 12km roundtrip
Time: 4-5 hours
Vertical Gain: 2,700 ft. approx.
Maps: IGM 1:50,000 Pintang, Amaguana
Permits: Not needed.
Parking: Limited space along the road.