Monterrey is a city famous for the many mountains surrounding it. Among them, Cerro de la Silla (Saddle Mountain) is the most notorious because of its fancy shape. Chipinque is favored by hikers, bikers and families due to its extended system of trails and picnic spots. Mitras is always overlooked as it seems a dry and boring mountain. Quite the opposite. Its northern side is lush and green.
Mt. Mitras (or Cerro de las Mitras in Spanish) receives its name for its peaks resembling the shape of a mitre (mitra in Spanish). A mitre is the hat worn by Catholic bishops and the Pope. Those peaks (mitras) make it a very diverse and fun mountain to hike and climb.
It is a place of endless fun and physical activity.
Due to its accessibility from the city, many locals go hiking in Cerro de las Mitras even during weekdays. The main trailhead is within a residential area and close to a major primary school. You can do a short hike to “Cama de Piedra” (30 mins) or try reach one of its 5 main peaks.
Pico Perico is the easiest to climb and towers close 2000 meters above sea level (masl). “Easiest” is a nice way to describet it as it requieres some scramble. There are other 6 peaks that offer a full weekend of happy hiking. Trails are well signed and easy to follow.
After a 90min of a steep hike from the trailhead, you will reach a massive rock wall with two big holes. They are called “Punto y Guión” (Dot & Dash, due to its resemblance to the Morse coding). It is possible to abseil from that spot for about 120m. Views are amazing, not to mention that in order to get inside the “Punto y Guión” you will need to do some caving in old mines.
A new route has been recently opened to abseil from Crystals Cave (up to 1600masl) into the city. This is a highly technical route and demands a local guide. However, this is one of the most adrenaline adventures in this mountain (especially as the route ends in a favela).
Close to other climbing meccas such as Huasteca and Potrero Chico, Mitras has not been explored as it deserves. However, there are number of rock walls of no less than 100m waiting you to climb them. They are however not easy to reach. You will require to do some strenuous hiking in order to get to the base (about 90min). Rock is hard and with good gripping.
Most hiking routes follow the tracks of miners working 110 years ago. They also built a network of tunnels and vias ferratas to climb to higher mines. A via ferrata is a protected climbing route with a steel cable fixed to the rock. Some steel ladders attached to the wall might also help the climber in difficult points. In many countries, vias ferratas have turned into an attraction as they allow tourist to reach other-way impossible places with outstanding views. In Mitras, via ferrata was built by miners and adds a sense of old times. Not for the faint-hearted.
Besides the mining tunnels built during the 19th century, this mountain is like a Gruyère cheese. There is an almost endless number of small and bigs caves. Many of them are truly unique. Cueva de los Cristales (Crystals Cave) could be the main attraction anywhere in the world. In Monterrey few people know it due to its remoteness up in the mountain. It takes at least 60 min of a steep hike to get there. No photos can describe the beauty of it. Crystal stalactites grow from the roof of the cave in weird patterns. Sometimes they resemble small corals attached to the roof trying to grow while being pulled by gravity.
Cueva del Ahorcado (Hangman Cave) is another oddity. It crosses the entire mountain in its north-south axis. Moreover, inside the cave you are able to continue climbing and hiking. It seems you are climbing almost to the top from the inside! Though galleries are not as wide as other caves around the world, it is still a very good adventure to go climbing “indoors”.
Mt. Mitras in Trilogía Race
In a city of mountains, a trail running race including Monterrey’s 3 highest mountains is not a surprise. La Trilogía, as it is widely known, is a race with almost 50 years of history. Runners climb La Silla, Mitras and Chipinque for a total of 4,800m of vertical ascent.
There are many categories to sign in. The most demanding include running between these three mountains in the streets of Monterrey adding 50km just for the fun of it. You can choose to only climb the mountains and have motorized transport between them (con transportación, as it is known) or just do it as part of a team (each doing a segment of the race). Trilogía is held normally in March.
In Mitras, the full category climbs up to Pico Perico (1,980 masl) while the “con transportación” category reaches Puerto V (1700 masl).
Mitras also hosts a vertical race in September. Its name is Vertical UVE as it climbs 900m of vertical ascent in less than 3km up to Puerto V. Winner last year took only 45min to climb that distance.
With so many activities, it might be hard to decide where to start first. Use this list to choose what is best for your plans.
Only for people with no fear for heights. You will need to reach first to Puerto V. It is a medium impact hike to this place (90 minutes). Then, turn your head up and to your right. You will see a massive rock wall. Yes indeed, via ferrata starts right there. Bring sun block even in winter time. Download Wikiloc route here.
Punto y Guión
Experts only. 3 abseils adding 160m. Amazing views. Will need to carry equipment for about 80min uphill. At least 4 ropes of 60m each, 2 belay devices, 2 eight-shaped descenders, daisy, helmet and headlamp. In order to get to the bolt, hike up to Paso de las Bicicletas and get inside Mine #1. Follow arrows inside the mine and turn right just after the big hole on the floor. Climb down about 20m an you will see the tunnel become the “Dot” of Punto y Guión. 1st pitch: 40m (overhang), 2nd pitch: 60m, 3rd pitch: 60m
Download Wikiloc route here.
Experts only. Do not attempt without a guide. Very long and techical descent. However, you will see one of the most verdant and exhuberant spots on the mountain: a forest no one is expecting to find. Will need to carry equipment for 3hrs uphill as if hiking up to Pico Cuauhtémoc. Your equipment should incude at least three 100m-ropes. 1st pitch: 75m, 2nd pitch: 60m (45º slope), 3rd pithc: 110m. They opened it 3 years ago.
Pico Apache (also known as Alfa)
3,5hrs of tiring climbing. Many thorns and dry branches make it uncomfortable. Best views of the city in the morning. Seeing sunrise from this spot is the closest to a hiking orgasm. Do not try it in summer time. Heat is very dangerous and there are few shadows to hide. Bring water (at least 3l). If you still want to see sunrise in summer time you do not need to reach to the top. After 1hr hiking you will reach to a cross with amazing view. It is the only peak not reachable from the main trailhead.
Download route (Wikiloc).
Mina del Ahorcado
Hike with some effort for about 90min. After getting to Paso de las Bicletas you will get into the entrance of a mine. Do not enter it. Instead, look to your right and you will see the way up to the Mina del Ahorcado. It will take you 5 more minutes. Crossing the full mine from its north entrance to its south exit will take anything from 40min to 1hr. Bring lamps and a guide. Suitable for kids (12+). Download Wikiloc route.
Mina de Cristales
Hike with some effort for about 90min of steep tracks towards Puerto V. Bring lamps. Mine is not as large as Ahorcado but much more beautiful due to its white crystals covering walls and stalactites. If your kids can take about 90min of steep hike, they will love this place.
Need to climb with ropes and harnesses the last 40m. Need to carry climbing equipment for 3,5hrs. Follow the same track as to Pico Cuauhtemoc. When arriving to the mountain pass, take left to Pico Piñón and right to Pico Cuauhtemoc. Download Wikiloc route.
Cama de Piedra
Easy hike of 30 – 35 min. If you reach this place and still eager to continue, try getting to Paso de las Bicicletas (another 60min).
Download Wikiloc route.
Paso de las Bicicletas and Mine #1
Hike with some effort for about 90min. Great views. Track becomes steeper after Cama de Piedra and will make you and your kids sweat a little bit. Crossing Paso de las Bicicletas is very exciting as so it is to explore Mine #1. You will cross some mine shafts using nothing more than wood beams, very much in Indiana Jones fashion.
Download Wikiloc route.
Most popular. If you are very fit it will take 3hrs of tiring hike. If not, better consider 4+hrs. Not suitable for under 16. Needs some scramble. Great views towards San Pedro Garza Garcia. Download route.
Highest peak. Very demanding. Again, if you are very fit consider 4hrs of tiring climb. Not suitable for under 16. Needs some scramble. Great views towards San Pedro Garza Garcia. Download route.
Add 45min to Pico Perico. Amazing cliffs to walk in. Path less beaten. Download Wikiloc route.
Second most popular. It also needs 2,5hrs if you are fit. Consider two spot where climbing is needed. There is a steel cable and steel ladder to help you sort them. Great views. Download route.
3,5hrs of tiring climbing. The least popular. Tracks are not easy and lack proper signaling. Download route.
How to get there
Mitras is entirely surrounded by Monterrey metro area. Its eastern slope, where most of the activities described are located, is the most visited. The main trailhead is at the end of Venecia Street (Cumbres 6th District). You need to check-in on arrival and check-out once finished.
The closest bus stop is about 1km downhill (Ave. Leones and Paseo de las Estrellas). Bus 23 (orange buses) is the only one reaching this area. However, it is best to hire a taxi as many hotels will not be close to bus 23.
Monterrey is a major city with airlinks to at least 20 cities in Mexico and 8 more in the USA. Hotel choices are plenty, mostly based around San Pedro Garza García (around 10km from trailhead). The closest hotel to Mitras is Four Points by Sheraton Galerías Monterrey.
More photos of Mitras