Cotopaxi Trek

HARD 2 reviews

Cotopaxi Trek is a 7.7 kilometer out and back trail located near Ovejería, Pichincha, Ecuador that offers scenic views. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

DISTANCE
7.7 km
ELEVATION GAIN
1264 m
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

mountain biking

rock climbing

views

rocky

snow

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
3 months ago

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.