Explore the most popular trails in Pichincha with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Pichincha, Ecuador Map
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hiking
13 days ago

Hello everyone did this hike about 2 weeks ago, I was born in ecuador but grew up in the USA so it was a treat to hike a motherland mountain! I also didn’t make it to the summit as per Ecuadorean law you must have a guide for the summit but I made it to the refuge. I am a pretty avid hiker I live in Utah USA so altitude is not an issue, but the treeking from the parking lot was hard with some much thin air , I had to stop several times as mainly got a bad headache . Also depending on weather it gets chilly on the trail but weather changes so rapidly!! When I went up it was very foggy, the refuge was very nice and cozy! Got some great pics of the glacier, the descent was easier to me and I was able to take the switchbacks faster, as it is not slippery at all! Of course use precaution when coming down. After we left the car lot the sun came out and it made it for a great picture taking of the volcano so beautiful! Def recommend this trail as a day hike! The refuge has Website and Facebook page if you want to book a guide or just stay in their bunks.

on Quilotoa Loop

hiking
4 months ago

Sadly could not complete this trail as it was unbelievably windy and turned back, but stunning scenery and Lake, will be back, be prepared for wind chill factor of note.

I love Cotopaxi. I’ve always wanted to climb it even last year (where I came so unprepared). I didn’t even make it to the Refugio. This time we signed up with two guides to try to reach to the top. Weather in June is not great. Terrible winds (maybe 40-50 miles per hour). Super intense. I still didn’t make it to the top. The Refugio is nice and clean. They definitely have TP. Although toilets don’t flush but at least they have buckets of (glacier) water so u can use them to flush the toilets yourself. For those that climb the mountain at night they have nice rooms with bunk beds to sleep. They provided dinner ( nice corn soup). Although, I didn’t summit again this time, it was a great experience and I will try it again hopefully next year.

I love Cotopaxi. I’ve always wanted to climb it even last year (where I came so unprepared). I didn’t even make it to the Refugio. This time we signed up with two guides to try to reach to the top. Weather in June is not great. Terrible winds (maybe 40-50 miles per hour). Super intense. I still didn’t make it to the top. The Refugio is nice and clean. They definitely have TP. Although toilets don’t flush but at least they have buckets of (glacier) water so u can use them to flush the toilets yourself. For those that climb the mountain at night they have nice rooms with bunk beds to sleep. They provided dinner ( nice corn soup) although I didn’t summit again this time, I will try it again hopefully next year.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Visited at the end of April 2018. Did not trek to the summit. You need a guide to do so. Did a day hike. Took the Zig Zag trail up to Jose Rivas Refuge and continued on to the Lower Glacier. Quite strenuous due to the high altitude! Not steep, no rock scrambling or anything, just thin air. The slightest movements take effort. Elevation is around 15,000 ft when you start the trail at the parking lot. Never really saw the sun on our hike, clouds rolled in and out (which was neat), got snowed on for about 25 minutes on the way up, but yes, we did see the summit on several brief occasions- magnificent! Loose pebbles on the way down. I slipped and fell a few times. Our hike was 2.6 miles roundtrip, took us almost 4 hours- 1 hour of which was spent chilling out at the refuge and over by the glacier. At the refuge, we used the bathroom (no TP, toilet did not flush) and got our passports stamped inside. Crowded inside, drinks/snacks available, lots of flags hanging on walls- people sign them. We drove up and entered the park via the north entrance- it was sunny along the way, bumpy road, incredibly scenic. Saw llamas and wild horses too! Overall, great experience! Prior to this hike, we did one acclimating hike at Pasochoa (did not reach the summit) and spent one other day in Banos. We were definately effected by the altitude on this Cotopaxi hike. We both felt swimmy-headed and fatigued from the get go. Stuffy nose, massive headache on the way down. I suppose it doesn't help that we are from the flat lands of Florida!

8 months ago

Very beautiful. It often rains in the mid-afternoon during rainy-season, so try to plan starting your hike in the morning. Locals say hike takes 4-5hrs.

10 months ago

Extremely difficult. Plan 2-3 hours for ascent.

10 months ago

Excellent trail with some steep slopes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

ModerAte to hard. It gets to 3900 meters high about 12700. Steep ups and difficult ascents but doable. Beautiful views of the crater. It’s hard to believe but they are farming to this altitude.

hiking
Thursday, August 17, 2017

It is important to stress that my hike include ONLY going to the Jose F. Ribas Refuge at an elevation of 4800m and NOT to the summit of Cotopaxi.
The weather can be unpredictable as it was sunny and warm at the carpark and cold, wet, and rainy on the trail. Some type of head protection, and gloves are helpful. The trail is not technically difficult, but the effects of the altitude on the body become evident rather quickly. Trekking poles are a help. You can take the trail straight up (which is what the locals do) or you can be like us gringos and take the trail with the switchbacks. The smell of sulfur on the air is a gentle reminder that this is an active volcano.
The Refuge offers hot chocolate and a place to rest, but not much else. It is the "base camp" for the summit treks, from what I understand. Photo op with the flag and sign. The route is very heavily trafficked as most of the locals come here - especially on the weekends.

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
11 months ago

hiking
Tuesday, October 10, 2017

trail running
Sunday, July 10, 2016

hiking
Sunday, May 15, 2016