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How often have you mistakenly stumbled upon a hidden escape while taking a lovely hike with the family? Living in Mexico, I wouldn’t say it’s an everyday thing but there are a lot of surprises to be had. As adventure-loving dads, we are constantly looking for new things to do with our family, we do live for moments of discovery.

Mexico is brimming with the most unsuspecting hiking trails that are picture-worthy in every aspect of the word.

The feel of the great outdoors is just one that cannot be replicated and the feeling of being one with nature, being born in the Caribbean is an all too well great feeling of reminiscence.

For a taste of what’s in store, check out this family-friendly vlog, which explores some wonderful trails in San Roque, Baja California Sur. It gives a glimpse and insight into the adventures awaiting you.

Family Hiking Tips: What to Keep in Mind

When hiking as a family, safety and preparation are key. Make sure everyone stays hydrated and wears appropriate footwear. Stick to well-marked trails and always carry a basic first aid kit. Enjoy the adventure and create lasting memories!

The Unknowns of Oaxaca

Oaxaca is well known for its variety of hiking trails but the two trails that stand out are Hierve el Agua and Pueblos Mancomunados. These two trails are the best-hidden secrets.

When your intention when hiking is to view the most incredible sights overlooking the most incredible landscapes as far as the eye can see, you would be indulging in the right place.

Hierve el Agua

Hierve el Agua is a spectacular site known for its petrified waterfalls and natural spring pools. The trail is relatively short, about 1.7 miles, and is considered moderately challenging. The elevation gain is around 623 feet, so you’ll get a good workout source.

Hierve el Agua is a spectacular site known for its petrified waterfalls and natural spring pools. Compared to most in the area the trail is relatively short at 1.7 miles and moderately challenging. The elevation gain is around 623 feet, so be prepared for a good workout.

Why is it so special well?

  • Unique geological Structures: The petrified waterfalls are a natural wonder.
  • Stunning views: The trail allows for panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
  • Natural pools: You have the option to take a refreshing dip in the natural spring pools at the end of your hike.

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Pueblos Mancomunados

When choosing a hike that has a blend of beauty and Mexican culture, Pueblos Mancomunados is the one. This hike is called a community trail for the fact it runs through multiple Indigenous villages.

While on the hike, you can experience firsthand what the Mexican culture is all about. Thanks to the locals the trails are well-maintained and range from easy to challenging, making them accessible to families.

Firsthand Cultural opportunities:

  • Local guides: Most hikes are led by community members who share stories and traditions.
  • Overnight stays: Experience village life by staying in cozy mountain cabins.
  • Eco-tourism: The trails are part of an eco-tourism initiative, supporting the local community source.

Access to family-friendly nature:

  • Various difficulty levels: Choose from a range of trails to suit your family’s fitness level.
  • Family-friendly facilities: Some villages have services like restrooms and picnic areas.
  • Educational experience: Kids can learn about local flora, fauna, and customs.

For more information, check out this guide.

Hiking Trails in Copper Canyon

Copper Canyon, or Barranca del Cobreas as known by the locals, has a network of six canyons in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. This network dwarfs the Grand Canyon in both depth and width making it a favorite for hikers all over.

With all of these trails, there is endless beauty to enjoy with the family which is good for adventurous dads looking to try different hiking destinations.

Within that network, the most popular trail is the Urique-Batopilas Trail.

Urique-Batopilas Trail: Detail the trail’s difficulty and the stunning views.

A rocky, sunlit trail winding through a barren, rugged hillside under a clear blue sky. Perfect for adventurous hikes in remote Mexican landscapes.

Provide practical advice for hiking with children on this trail.

The Urique-Batopilas Trail is considered pretty difficult with 32 miles (52 kilometers) walk. The 3-day hike might not be ideal for families simply because of its difficulty and length. source.

Why Urique-Batopilas Trail?

  • Views: The trail gives access to sweeping views of the canyon and the Sierra Madre mountainside.
  • Culture Experience: It passes through remote Rarámuri villages, with quick insight into the life of indigenous people.
  • Diverse landscapes: From verdant forests to arid canyons, the trail is a visual sight to behold.

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The Unsung Spots in Chiapas

Chiapas is located in the southern region of Mexico. It’s another naturally thrilling trail that has a lot to offer with a view at these two spots, the Lagunas de Montebello and El Chiflón Waterfalls.

Lagunas de Montebello

What makes Lagunas de Montebello perfect for families?

  • Scenic Beauty: Imagine hiking around a lake so clear it mirrors the sky.
  • Easy Trails: The trails are generally friendly which in turn is family friendly. All Trails
  • Picnic Spots: When it’s time to sit and relax, there are loads of space for picnics.
  • Activities: Besides hiking, you can go canoeing, horseback riding, or even camping by the lakes. source

Packing the essentials for an enjoyable time for both dads and kids:

  • Pack Essentials:
    • Water and Snacks: Keep hydrated and energized.
    • Sunscreen and Hats: Protect against the sun.
  • Engage the Kids:
    • Nature Scavenger Hunt: Hide fruits or snacks along with clues and let the kids figure it out.
    • Photography: Give older kids a camera to take photos of their favorite sights.
  • Frequent Breaks: Enjoy the present moments. Make it a relaxed experience rather than a race.
A man in hiking gear stands on a lush, narrow trail, looking up at a steep, moss-covered cliff face. This hidden spot offers a challenging and scenic hike for adventure-loving dads in Mexico.

For more information, be sure to check out this guide to visiting the colorful lakes.

El Chiflón Waterfalls

El Chiflón Waterfalls are a series of waterfalls with the main waterfall, known as “Velo de Novia” or “Bride’s Veil,” an impressive sight with water gliding down from a 400-foot-high waterfall. It is a trek known for its difficulty so taking younger children isn’t advised.

What makes the El Chiflón hike appealing?

  • The Waterfalls: The sight of the waterfalls is worth every step.
  • Lush Vegetation: The trail winds through thick, lush greenery allowing for a refreshing walk.
  • Moderate Difficulty: The hike is moderately difficult, suitable for older kids who can handle steeper paths and steps source.

Interested in a full-day tour of the El Chiflón Waterfalls, Check out this ultimate guide for visiting El Chiflón without a tour for more details.

Must See Hikes Near Mexico City

Mexico City the capital of Mexico is filled with so many to-do activities, but the most relaxing of them all are Nevado de Toluca and Desiert de los Leones.

Desierto de los Leones

Photo by Victor Roque

Desierto de los Leones, a historical park about 20 kilometers outside of downtown Mexico City, makes it easy access for city dwellers.

Once upon a time, the park was a retreat for Carmelite monks. Now it offers a serene escape filled with lovely forests, historical ruins, and fun family-friendly trails.

Trails and Features:

  • Camino al Convento: This is an easy light trafficked loop of about 6 miles taking you through some scenic rivers and some commonly viewed ancient sites. This trail is a walk in the park with nothing too strenuous.
  • Varied Trails: The park is equipped with different levels of difficulty, so there’s a trail for everyone. Check out AllTrails for detailed trail information.
Desierto de los Leones is a historical park located just 20 kilometers from downtown Mexico City, making it a convenient getaway for city dwellers. This park was once a retreat for Carmelite monks, and now it offers a serene escape filled with lush forests, historical ruins, and family-friendly trails.

Family-Friendly Facilities:

  • Picnic Areas: Scattered throughout the park are numerous picnic spots for eating amid nature.
  • Restrooms and Amenities: The park has restrooms and other essential amenities, great for spending the whole day.
  • Cultural Experience: The historical aspect of the park adds an educational twist to the adventure.

Nevado de Toluca

Photo by Taelynn Christopher

The volcanic excursion of Nevado de Toluca, 80 kilometers from Mexico City. The sight of this extinct volcano holds a stunning crater with two mesmerizing lakes: Lago del Sol and Lago de la Luna.

Hiking to the Volcanic Crater:

  • Crater Rim: Getting accustomed to the altitude is the hardest part of the 3-4 mile hike to the crater hike to the crater. The 360 views at the top are worth it source.
  • Child-Friendly Tip: Keeping the altitude in mind, pace yourself with the children. Taking regular breaks helps to acclimate to the thinner air.

Practical Tips:

  • Suitable Footwear: Preferably hiking boots for slippery and uneven trails.
  • Warm Clothing: The temperatures can drop significantly at higher altitudes, so pack warm layers.
  • Stay Hydrated: Staying hydrated, as the altitude can make you feel more dehydrated than usual.
  • Engage the Kids: Make learning fun as you teach about the volcanic formations and the unique flora and fauna you encounter.

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Best Hiking Routes in Sierra Madre

The Sierra Madre mountain ranges are a fantastic favorite of the family-friendly trails when involving unique flora and fauna. These routes promise a thorough mental recharge to true nature lovers for dads and kids. What makes the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Sierra Madre Occidental remarkable you ask, Let’s break it down.

Sierra Madre Oriental

Trail Networks and Difficulties:

  • Easy Trails: There are several easy trails if you’re hiking with young kids or are a beginner.
  • Moderate Trails: For hikers who are a little more experienced and seeking a bit more of a challenge, moderate trails have a mix of inclines fitting for kids who can handle longer periods of hiking.
  • Hard Trails: Advanced hikers who are looking for a workout can explore the more demanding routes.

Family-Friendly Hikes:

  • Sturtevant Falls Trail: This trail is a breeze for the whole family to enjoy, with a waterfall as the finale. source.
  • Hermit Falls: A moderate trail that leads to waterfalls and natural pools for a cooling dip afterward.
  • Teleferico Loop: This path comes in the form of a loop and is short enough for the kiddos to enjoy without getting too tired.

Sierra Madre Occidental

Unique Flora and Fauna:

  • Flora: This region is the visually captivating home to various plant species, including orchids and majestic trees.
  • Fauna: Keep an eye out for the wildlife that inhabits this area and get mesmerized by colorful birds to elusive mammals.

Unknown Trails in Mexico

Here, we won’t get into the more known spots like Tulum or Mexico City, instead, we will explore the lesser-known areas. The places where only the locals know exist.

Let’s talk about two lesser-known trails that showcase everything we love about the natural outdoors.

Two hikers walk along a rocky, mountainous trail at sunrise, with the expansive Mexican landscape and rolling hills stretching into the distance. Ideal for adventure-seeking dads looking for breathtaking views and challenging hikes.

Reserva de la Biósfera El Cielo

The Reserva de la Biósfera El Cielo is a biosphere reserve in the state of Tamaulipas that houses an incredible biodiversity, including species from tropical, temperate, and even subtropical areas, all coexisting in this unique ecosystem.

Is El Cielo special?

  • Biodiversity: This can truly be a learning experience from hundreds of bird species, several mammals like jaguars and pumas, and an array of plants including orchids and bromeliads.
  • Hidden Nature: The trails here aren’t crowded so there will be enough of just you and the the outdoors.

For more information visit AllTrails – Reserva de la Biósfera El Cielo and this Handy Guide for Ecotourists.

Pico de Orizaba

This peak is not for children and certainly not for the faint of heart. It is the highest peak in Mexico and the third highest in North America and a staggering 18,491 feet. If you make it to the top, you can see the view stretch endlessly before your eyes.

Since moving to Ensenada nearly four years ago, hiking has given me a fresh perspective on nature and disconnecting from daily life. It doesn’t have to be a multi-day trek, which I don’t do. A simple, pleasant hike up a mountain with the family might be enough. It does more than just get everyone out of the house and away from screens. It brings us together to learn, share thoughts, and make memories. Let’s keep creating these moments; the memories themselves are worth it.

Feel free to leave your experiences in the comments below!

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