Pico de Orizaba is the highest point in the country of Mexico and the 3rd highest summit in North America. Sitting at 18,491ft, this amazing summit offers views of all of Veracruz, up to the Gulf of Mexico. This altitude proves a significant challenge for any aspiring mountaineers and adventurers.

From the Piedra Grande base camp at 14,025ft an alpine start is recommended. Beginning at 2am will offer the best weather near the summit. Begin by hiking along the concrete aqueduct above the hut. The first 1,500ft of elevation gain is a steep, rocky slope. Be careful for rockfall and slipping in the soft areas. Following the right side of the gulley, you'll zig-zag and gain elevation quickly.

At 15,580ft the "Labyrinth" begins. This section, while not as steep, offers significant challenges in the way of route-finding. Depending on snow condition this section can be dry rock, frozen snow or pure ice. Be careful as you ascend to the top of the gully at 16,400ft.

The final challenge is the Jamapa Glacier. This 2,000ft elevation gain section is long and steep. Donning crampons and ice axe, you follow a direct path up the western slope of the glacier. Then turning towards the summit you head up approximately 50 degree slopes to the crater rim.

Once on the summit, enjoy the uninterrupted views of a huge part of the country - from central Mexico all the way to the gulf. You're standing on the roof of Mexico.

Pack List

  • A guide!
  • Transportation to base camp
  • Water, food, fuel
  • Tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag
  • Mountaineering gear: Boots, crampons, ice axe
  • Trekking poles
  • Backpack
  • Extra layers
  • Your camera
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RT Distance 3.8 Miles
Elevation Gain 4625 Feet
Activities Camping, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms

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The north face of Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba is the highest mountain in México, on the north face it has glaciers. Nowadays the Jampa glacier is very dangerous because of the global warming and the climate change, the glacier is melting and there are a lot of cracks, you must be careful.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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