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black San Miguel Mountain

  5.0 ( 1 ) Favorite


15.5 mile 24.9 kilometer out and back


Ascent: 2,646' 806 m
Descent: -2,645' -806 m
High: 12,229' 3,727 m
Low: 10,196' 3,108 m


Avg Grade: 6% (4°)
Max Grade: 21% (12°)


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Trail shared by Esteban Gimbernat


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This is a really challenging hike right inside the city.

Esteban Gimbernat

Features Birding · Hot Spring · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers


Located right inside the city, there is an sometimes forgotten forest; this forest takes importance with the "Carmelitas Descalzos" and their construction, and for many years has been the field for many type of sports. On this hike, you'll see the birth of the Magdalena River and many other exceptional formations along the way.

This road crosses much of the Sierra de las Cruces, and joins the section of the Dinamos with the Desert of the Lions, gaining more than 1000 meters along the way, and the terrain becomes quite steep and sustained. You definitely need to have experience hiking uphill, and a lot of stamina to withstand the hills along the way.

Need to Know

You need to pay for the parking (At the time I wrote this, the fee is $30). DON'T try to take water from the water source, as it's usually contaminated.


Be sure to start early; it's practically certain that when you get down, the parking lot will be very crowded. There is no reliable water along the way, so carry at least 2 liters of water and in addition to food.

Park your car on 4 Dinamo and start hiking along the popular path. At all junctions, take to the right or the trail that keeps going up. When you arrive at a river that crosses the trail, this is the start of the backcountry and wilderness section. Keep going up for about 8 km to the big bifurcation; take the second trail (a little to the right). If you don't pass an electricity tower in less than 500m, you are on wrong trail.

This section of the hike is the tricky part since there are a lot of way to climb the San Miguel Mountain. If you prefer to hike instead of going up a very loose and strenuous path; you can find it on the left side of the mountain, a wide trail that slowly climbs the mountain. When you get in the middle of two hills ,it's time to go up to the right. Here, you'll find a path; follow this path until you reach the "Ermita" and a white tower. Finally, you're at the top of San Miguel. When you are ready to return, simply retrace your steps to follow the trails all the way down.

Be prepared to hike sections of about 5 km that are always going up and, in some parts, they are very steep. Evaluate yourself especially on the backcountry section, as very few people are there and there is no cellphone coverage. There are many stories of people getting lost in that section.

History & Background

Read more about "Desierto de los Leones" and Carmelitas Descalzos, they were very important in the Mexico's history.


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