Guadalajara is known for many things, including its diverse cuisine, historic landmarks, mariachi music, and as the home of tequila. When visitors are not eating, drinking, listening to music, and sightseeing, there are also many amazing outdoor spaces for them to explore. One of the best ways for travelers to enjoy the beauty of this destination is to go hiking. There are many trails in and around Guadalajara, and each has different sights to enjoy and challenges to test you. Here is a traveler’s guide to hiking in Guadalajara.
Parque Nacional Barranca de Huentitan
According to The Culture Trip, the best place for hiking in Guadalajara is at the Parque Nacional Barranca de Huentitan, which is also known as the Barranca de Oblatos. It is a natural canyon that is not only a magnificent sight, but it also has historical significance, as it was the site of several battles between the Mexicans and the Spaniards, including both the Mexican Revolution and the Mexican Independence. The park, which has been a Protected Natural Area since 1997, has three main entrances. Once inside the park, there are several hiking trails to explore, and each of these offers different views.
Bosque de la Primavera
The Bosque de la Primavera is a large forest to the west of Guadalajara. It has been a protected area since 1934, as there are natural water sources and a vast array of wild fauna. There are various hiking trails throughout the forest, and it is a wonderful place to enjoy the beauty of Guadalajara’s surroundings. It is also possible to camp in the forest, although it is best to seek the rangers’ advice for the best camping spots.
Cerro de Santa Maria
Cerra de Santa Maria is unusual, as it is a small mountain that sits within the city’s boundaries. Although it is surrounded by houses, it is a beautiful green space, and it is home to several species of native animals. Hiking to the peak of Cerro de Santa Maria is one of the best ways to enjoy views of Guadalajara and also the rural areas surrounding the city.
Rio Grande de Santiago via La Barranca
All Trails lists the Rio Grande de Santiago trail as one of the best hiking trails in Guadalajara. It is a 6.5-mile out-and-back trail that runs alongside a river and via La Barranca. The trail is rated as moderate due to its length and the varied terrain, although most people can complete the trail in approximately four hours.
Ruta Circular de Colomos
Those who want to enjoy a short and easy walk should consider the Ruta Circular de Colomos. This trail is just outside Guadalajara and takes you through a forest. It is a 2.8-mile loop trail that is suitable for all skill levels, and it is also used by runners. It is a peaceful place to spend a few hours, and there are some spots dedicated to yoga and meditation. The only downside to this trail is that dogs are not allowed, so you cannot take your pooch along with you.
Lago de Chapala
Lake Chapala is the largest freshwater lake in Mexico, and it is just outside Guadalajara. It is one of the closest places to the city where people can spend the day at the beach, and it is also a fantastic place for hiking. There are hiking trails surrounding the lake, and you can also choose to walk around the various towns that sit on the lake’s edge if you want to explore a little further or go for a bite to eat. One of the trails is called the Sendero La Cristina, and this is a popular trail for birdwatching.
The Sierra del Tigre Trail at Mazamitla
Mazamitla is a town close to Guadalajara that the Mexican federal government of tourism labeled as a Magic Town. Within this town is the Sierra del Tigre trail, which takes you through forested land, alongside a trail, and past small waterfalls where the stream cascades from rocks to a lower level. It is also popular for biking and horseback riding. Mazamitla is a couple of hours from Guadalajara by car, so it is best to set off relatively early in the morning to enjoy hiking this trail.
Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra de Manantlan
The Reserva de la Biosfera Sierra de Manantlan is a UNESCO-recognized Biosphere Reserve. Although it is approximately four hours from Guadalajara by car, it is a place worth making an effort to visit during your stay in this part of the world, especially if you are an enthusiastic hiker. Many people consider it one of the best places to hike in Jalisco, as there are thousands of species of plants, and it is home to hundreds of animals.
Sierra de Quila
At Sierra de Quila, there are many hikes to attempt, ranging from short and easy hikes to hikes that are longer or more challenging. Some of the sights to explore during your hikes in this location include 11 magnificent waterfalls, giant rocks, and some mountain peaks. The terrain at Sierra de Quila is varied, so appropriate hiking gear and footwear are recommended. Although there are several entrances to Sierra de Quila, one of the most popular amongst hikers is by Ameca.
San Cristobel de la Barranca
Those who are experienced hikers and want to tackle a more challenging hike might like to try the San Cristobel de la Barranca trail as it has some fantastic views. According to The Hiking Project, it is a loop trail that is more than 16-miles in length, and the terrain is varied with some challenging areas, including steep elevations. Despite the challenges, the surroundings are rewarding enough to make it worth your while. If you want to complete this hike, then you should set aside a full day.