El Picacho Peak Hike – 01/23/2019

During our visit to Oaxaca, we stayed for 4 nights in Teotitlán del Valle, a village at the foot of the Sierra Madre del Norte mountains.  Teotitlán is notable in that most everyone in the village is a weaver, producing primarily beautiful rugs but also other woven products.  Our stay in Las Granadas B&B was most pleasant, giving us the opportunity to become friends with the Zapotec hosts and to spend time at leisure in the village and among the people.

The Hike

Picacho Hike.Taurino.2019-01-23

As you can see from the GoogleEarth screenshot above, El Picacho Peak is a peak towering over the town and is a special place for the people of the village.  With Taurino as a guide (he is a member of our host family), I hiked to the top; the trail is quite well used and presents a steady climb from the edge of the village to the summit.

At the top we enjoyed beautiful views of Teotitlán and across the Tlacolula Valley to the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains, with numerous villages spread across valley.  And to the north, a small lake and beyond it, rising quickly from the northern edge of the village, the Sierra Madre del Norte.  (On the GoogleEarth screenshot above, one can see the wicked switchbacks for the road climbing to the village of Benito Juárez, from 5600′ to 9600′ elevation in 9 road miles, just 4.5 ‘crow’ miles.) 

El Picacho Peak is special to the residents of Teotitlán.  At the summit, a large cross has been erected (visible from the village below), a shrine has been installed, and a ramada constructed to provide shade from the (nearly) ever-present sun. On May 3rd, people climb to the summit to celebrate La Fiesta de las Cruzes, a pilgrimage held throughout  Mexico to seek protection for miners, masons, and construction workers, but the mountain was important long before, dating back to the pre-Hispanic era (see references below).


This was just one activity that made our stay in Teotitlán and in Oaxaca as a whole very special.  Oh, and again this year we commissioned a rug to be woven and sent to us in Albuquerque.  And I commissioned a shoulder bag in which I can carry my devices that won’t fit in pockets.


Total Distance:  4.23 miles
Elevation: start  5,505 ft, maximum  6,691 ft,  minimum  5,492 ft
Gross gain:  1,199 ft.  Aggregate ascending  1,417 ft, descending  1,405 ft
Maximum slope: 38% ascending, 39% descending, 11% average
Duration: 3:45

GPS Track Files for Download
I urge you to explore our hiking tracks with Google Earth. With the virtual 3-dimensional presentation, achieved by panning and tilting the view, you can get a much better idea of the hikes and terrain than you can get from the 2-dimensional screenshot above. For assistance: Using Google Earth Track Files.


Teotitlán del Valle
     Wikipedia: Teotitlán del Valle
     Planeta: Teotitlán del Valle
     Oaxaca Mio: Teotitlán del Valle
     Swarupa’s World: The Famous Rugs of Teotitlán  del Valle

Hiking El Picacho
     Hoofing it in Oaxaca: El Picacho – More Information
     Fundación En Vía Blog: Cruz de Mayo: The Hike to the Summit of Picacho
     Travel Gumbo: Back to Oaxaca: Hoofing It, El Picacho & Teotitlan

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