Photos of Ovejería Trails


10 reviews

Awesome and challenging hike! I think the elevation is for summiting Cotopaxi, which is no longer allowed. We hiked about 600 meters in elevation from the carpark to the bottom of the glacier. That said, not all cars can make it to the carpark and you'll see lines of cars on the side of the road leading up to the main carpark, so hiking distance and elevations will vary. Lots to cover here but I'll summarize:

One of the most unique and toughest hikes I've ever done, and I'm an avid hiker. You don't necessarily need to be in top shape to do this as you biggest challenge is not the hike itself but the elevation, it will have you sucking wind in minutes as you start your hike, from the carpark, at ~15,000 feet. Still, I would highly recommend doing this once in a lifetime hike regardless of your skill level, because even simply hiking to the refuge (~800 feet from the carpark) has some epic views. If you have the strength, definitely take the extra 260 meter climb from the refuge to the bottom of the glacier for the best views. Plus, entrance to the park is also free.

If you can't go in the morning don't bother. We arrived at 8am sharp when the park opened, reached the refuge (driving to carpark + hiking) at 930am and the place was already getting busy. By the time we left at noon the place was an absolute zoo, and it wasn't even high season or good weather, though it was a weekend.

If you're driving, it is absolutely worth investing in a car with some more power as the last thousand meters or so take some horsepower. I had a small SUV, and even then we came 300 meters short of the main parking lot (albeit during a wet and icy day). Cars of all types made it within about 1km of the carpark though, so even if you have a smaller car you can get close if you can handle a manual transmission. All that said, the road to the Cotopaxi carpark is brutal, unpaved garbage. Expect 45-60 mins of road that is fairly unpleasant. I do not say this to deter, it is absolutely worth it still and you can make this in a smaller vehicle, I witnessed plenty, but want to set some expectations. Patience and calm will be critical.