El Yunque National Forest, formerly known as the Luquillo National Forest and the Caribbean National Forest, is a forest located in northeastern Puerto Rico. It is the only tropical rain forest in the United States National Forest System.
Una experiencia inolvidable. Lo completé en octubre 16, 2016. Cuando llegué al tope no pude observar bien la vista porque había neblina. Sin duda alguna, volveré en verano para poder apreciar la vista. Tardé dos horas y veinte minutos en subir. Para bajar fue mas sencillo.
There was a ranger who prohibited my passage to the trail head. I don't know what that was about, but I was not going to let myself be deterred so I hiked up the trail to El Yunque and crossed over on the Mt. Britton spur to get to the tower and summit. As I gained elevation I noticed that I came out of the forest and was more into the jungle near the summit. It was a very nice hike, both for viewing of surroundings and also for the scenic views from the summit.
I came down the Big Tree trail to the falls, and came up this trail. This is a very different hike, as the previous trail was on a hillside and among trees, while this trail stayed close to water, and the ever present flow of the stream over rocks and into pools. It was a great counterpoint to the other trail, and I recommend combining the two to get the full experience.
I made a loop of this trail and La Mina to get the full experience. It was a pleasant stroll through the well maintained trail, and I stopped several times to look over interesting trees and plants. Because it's in a forest, there are not many scenic views of the area, but that isn't noticed because there are so many trees and types of terrain that capture the interest. This is a hike that causes one to take special interest in the immediate surroundings. With the richness of plants being a special treat, I didn't see much wildlife. The trail culminates in the very popular falls. From there I went up the La Mina trail.
Hector L. P. on El Toro and Tradewinds Trail
Hiked it yesterday, Saturday, October 15, 2016. The hike is both beautiful and hard. I recommend long pants and long sleeves. That will ease the painful weed scrapes. may take an average hiker anywhere from 6 to 7.5 hours to hike both trails as weather and trail conditions will determine your speed and progress. Large portions of the trail are very muddy, calf to knee deep mud in some sections of the trail. Hiking sticks are a must. Plenty of nature to observe, photograph and document. Incredible landscape views of both northeast and southeast PR all the way to the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea seen from 3,524 feet. Various species of birds, butterflies and lizards are abundant. Portions of the trail are not easily recognized, use tape if you look for the trail in those areas. Great hike!
We hiked from the Mt. Britton parking area all the way to the peak of El Yunque (via the Mt. Britton Spur trail that connects them). It's an amazing hike with lush greenery and mostly clear pathways. The best advice I can give you is to get there EARLY. The park fills up so fast, and your only chance to enjoy it quietly is to get there right when the park opens at 7:30.
As you approach the peak, there is a small trail that cuts off to the right. TAKE IT. There's a rock there that overlooks the entire island that should not be missed. It is typically very cloudy and windy up there, so be careful and just wait for the clouds to clear so you can see how far you've come. It's truly spectacular.
From the peak, you can take service road 10 back down to the Mt. Britton trail to save time. Have fun! :)
Plenty of parking but would get there fairly early since it can fill up in high tourist season. The trail up to the tower is all uphill but well maintained. If you want, you can continue on the Mt. Britton Spur which will connect you to the El Yunque trail (turn left) which will take you to the top of the mountain. Fantastic views on a clear day. Beware, you are under the trees for most of the hike but you can still get a lot of sun so apply sunscreen.
Charles L. on Vereda El Yunque
We hiked with guide John Druitt. He explained every aspect of the rainforest-fascinating.
The trailhead begins right in front of the Palo Colorado information center at km marker 11.7, but we accessed it off 191 from Caimitillo trailhead just a little before km 11.7, which ends up meeting up with El Yunque trail just about 15 minutes into the hike. We hike frequently and this trail wasn't too challenging for us, but definitely a good 1,500ft up in elevation to the top (at 3 miles) and took us about 1.5 hours instead of the 2 hours estimated by the information center. If you're an experienced hiker and don't make too many stops along the way, 1.5 hours is plenty of time to get to the top. Overall we got up and back in 3.5 hours with a few stops for photos at the vantage points near the top and some water and snacks at the top. But we didn't stay at the top of the peak for too long because it was very windy and got cold pretty quickly. Once the clouds clear out however, you have a great view! This was a good hike, but it wasn't as interesting along the way up as I was expecting for a rainforest--and being a rainforest, there was thick brush all the way up to the top so no views along the way. We did see some snails, flowers, and a ton of tropical trees.
It was a quick 25-minute walk down in elevation following a river on a thin cement & rock paved trail. The falls at the end of the trail were cool, but a little anti-climatic. The walk back up is a lot of stairs for about 30 minutes, so you should be in fairly good shape to handle it. That said, I was in hiking boots but a lot of kids and older folks were in flip flops and bathing suits or having picnics in their everyday clothes. It was a good short 1-hour hike to get some exercise in for the day but nothing too impressive.