Pico el toro puerto rico: El Yunque National Forest — El Toro Wilderness Trail

El Toro Trail | Map, Guide — East Region, Puerto Rico

Enjoy this 7.9-km out-and-back trail near Villa Sin Miedo, East Region. Generally considered a challenging route, it takes an average of 2 h 47 min to complete. This is a very popular area for hiking, so you’ll likely encounter other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Dogs are welcome, but must be on a leash.

Length7.9 kmElevation gain404 mRoute typeOut & back

Dogs on leashHikingForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeMuddyOver grownRockyFee

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Colleen Denny

November 20, 2022•Hiking

The view at the top is spectacular, but getting there is really a slog. As you rise in the trail, the trail gets more and more muddy; you will for sure be up to your ankles or higher in mud. There are a few very narrow steep uphill areas where the mud makes the going very slow and tricky. There’s also no views at all until you reach the very top of the trail — the first half mile has some pretty jungle forest, but after that point you have to watch your footing very carefully all the time anyway, and there are no vistas. The higher parts of the trail are slightly overgrown with a few scratchy plants.
Again, the top view really is beautiful, but even given that, I wouldn’t do it again. If you do decide to go, be ready for 2 hours of slow, mud-caked traveling without a view, be sure to take a walking stick at the entrance to the trail, and consider carefully if you want to go on a rainy day — cannot emphasize how muddy this trail is.

Conditions: Muddy, Over grown

Craig O

November 13, 2022•Hiking

Very very muddy. Bring extra clothes for the drive home.

James Waldecker

November 10, 2022•Hiking

Two great things about this trail: zero people were on it today, and the view at the turnaround will make you feel like the King of Puerto Rico. You can see both the north and east coasts of Puerto Rico, and the sprawling landscape directly underneath the viewpoint is dramatically awe-inspiring. And this was on a day when El Yunque Peak was fogged up.
Now let’s discuss the mud. Yes, it’s real, especially from the 1.2 to 2.4 mile points. You need to just go through the mud to do the trail efficiently. Anything else takes all day. What you need to not allow is overplanting your poles or stick while the mud turns your boot, which could lead to a fall. I used Keen boots, Mirmaru socks, and long hiking pants. If you hike this in sneakers, tank top and shorts, you’re asking for it.

Rudy Taveras

September 2, 2022•Hiking

Awesome trail, can’t lose your way just follow the mud! No way to avoid the mud, you’re definitely getting dirty and wet on this one, but so worth it. It rained on and off during our hike and it was even cloudy when we got to the summit. But we let the clouds pass, which took about 10 mins and then came the view. I would bring trekking poles or grab stick at the trailhead. Not to tough of a hike but it’s wet and slippery.

Conditions: Muddy

Jacob Uhlenkott

August 30, 2022•Hiking

To take this trail is to fight for your survival.
There is no walking, you’re just slogging, slipping, and sloshing the entire way save the final rock stair at the top.
Totally worth it, but you may have an out of body experience as you try and motivate yourself to just keep taking another step.

Conditions: Muddy

Billy Goff

August 28, 2022•Hiking

Difficult, muddy, y muy hermosa

Darren Loughran

August 27, 2022•Hiking

Believe the reviews. Fucking muddy as hell. Don’t go into this thinking you are going to look all cute and cool by they end. You’ll look like someone who just found their way out of the jungle after getting lost for a fortnight or two looking to the uninitiated like you survived a short stint in hell and lived to tell about it. Expect to get wet. Expect to get muddy, like tough mudder muddy…you’ll be picking out bits of mud from everything you had on or near you for at least a month. Wear disposable gear as you’ll likely throw away 75-100% of what you wore. If not, you must be one of those weird people who try to salvage shit that should have been forgotten about when Carter was embarrassing the country.
Basically up hill one way and down hill the other with not much to see until you are near the top. The foliage is so thick that there could be a road 20 yards away and you’d never know. It takes resolve and commitment to get past the endless mud pits. The only way not to get muddy on this hike is to do it after a two year drought. Even then, you’d likely still get muddy. After awhile you get tired of trying to Cirque Du Soleil your way around the muddy bits and just slop your way through because it gets tiresome trying to do avoid the mess and to clean 1/3 of Puerto Rico out of your shoes every 0.5 miles. Embrace the suck they say and embrace it you will. A few times I was unsure of whether I lost my shoe in a mud hole or I just needed to clean the copious debris out of my shoes yet again. Either way, wear gators or boots or hip waders…you’ll be thanking me later. With that being said, you literally feel like you are trekking through a jungle following a path forged by some unfortunate chap who is probably still in intensive care with various orthopedic injuries and lacerations from the razor grass that latches onto you like an angry pittbull pissed because you stole his bone.
The payoff is worth it because the views at the end are second to none. Be careful on the summit as the rocks are wet and mossy meaning you slip and slide the whole way up and down trying to not fall and break multiple bones or getting a life changing head injury.
Would definitely recommend as it is a hike like no other with views of the whole North Eastern side of the island once you reach to summit.

Rudy Taveras

August 19, 2022•Hiking

Awesome trail, can’t lose your way just follow the mud! No way to avoid the mud, you’re definitely getting dirty and wet on this one, but so worth it. It rained on and off during our hike and it was even cloudy when we got to the summit. But we let the clouds pass, which took about 10 mins and then came the view. I would bring trekking poles or grab stick at the trailhead. Not to tough of a hike but it’s wet and slippery.

Carmen Portela

August 15, 2022•Hiking

Be prepared for mud. Plan accordingly. Hiking boots are necessary and walking poles will be very handy. Bring yours if you have some but walking sticks are left by past hikers at the beginning of the trail — grab one it will be handy. Please don’t hang on from the trees. This trail has native plants that are only found here and the oil in your hands can damage them permanently (obviously grabbing a tree with moss that hosts a tiny orchid that you can’t see will kill it). Key lesson don’t try to juggle around the mud just embrace it — your foot will not disappear through a black hole. When you get to the rocky stairway (believe me you will know and feel it when you arrive) you’re almost at the summit. Breath in and get ready for your reward. A challenging hike but sooo worth it. The views are incredible!

Conditions: Muddy, Rocky

Peter Van Eeuwen

August 7, 2022•Hiking

Read the review by Darren Loughran. It’s the most accurate description of this hike; I feel like we shared the experience together. I experienced that review on a spiritual level.
Wear long sleeves, pants or long shorts with long socks to prevent scratches from the razor grass. Would give it 5 stars because the views are just that incredible.

Conditions: Muddy

July 30, 2022•Hiking

Great!

Patrick Dyjak

June 27, 2022•Hiking

Amazing hike! Really cool to see the transitions in the types of forests. Plus the view at the top was really nice! It is a bit muddy but most of it is avoidable if you walk on the edges and hold onto trees and such. Got a little mud on myself but mainly on my shoes. Had no issues with bugs either! It had not really rained the last few days so maybe I got lucky with the mud and bugs though.

Conditions: Muddy, Rocky, Great!

Chris Ottenstroer

June 25, 2022•Hiking

Did on 6/24 because I couldn’t get a ticket into El Yunque. Only 3 people on trail for a nice weather Friday. 4.6 total distance and 1,500’ of gain. Mud started about 1.5 miles in. Most mud was avoidable but you can tell this trail is a mud fest during rainy season. Out and back under 1.5 hours. No bug issues.

Allison Fleming

June 13, 2022•Hiking

Not for the faint of heart. If you’re prepared for this hike, maybe it would be 4/5 stars. But the mud!!! I can’t stress it enough. There is no way to be fully prepared for how much mud you’ll encounter. We tried to avoid it in the beginning and eventually it broke our spirit. You must embrace the mud to enjoy this hike. We went in late March and 75% of the trail was varying degrees of ankle, shin, or thigh high mud. I had to throw away my Keens. You need poles or a great walking stick to survive. Be on the lookout for a very annoying plant that will stick to your clothes/skin. It’ll only take one time of having it latch onto you/cut you and then you’ll never let it happen again. The summit can be cloudy- try to wait out the clouds for the view. It’s great!

Conditions: Muddy

Nick Soverns

June 10, 2022•Scenic driving

It was definitely a good workout with an amazing view at the end. It took me 1 hr 15 minutes to get up and 1 hour to get back. I think the sunset up there would be magical.

Conditions: Muddy, Great!

Roman Sarmiento

June 9, 2022•Hiking

amazing totally worth it!

Julian Chams

June 4, 2022•Hiking

It hasn’t rained for a couple of weeks so it wasn’t as muddy today. So fun and beautiful. Worth the effort.

Avery White

June 3, 2022•Hiking

Lovely trail that starts off subtly beautiful and gets cooler and cooler the higher you go. The grand finale is breath taking! Moderately challenging, lots of uphill, muddy so wear waterproof shoes and bring snacks. Only saw one couple the entire hike!

Conditions: Muddy

Owen Murray

May 28, 2022•Hiking

awesome! nice easy stroll through the jungle, no bugs no snakes, couple lizards bouncing around and a little muddy, if you catch a dry patch it’s really not that bad!

Kendall Stemper

May 25, 2022•Hiking

Other reviewers are correct — this trail is SUPER muddy! Prepare to trek through knee deep mud — it’s pretty slippery (especially where the mud is orange). Definitely grab one of the walking sticks at the entrance. All that said, there are beautiful views at the top!

William Langston

May 16, 2022•Hiking

Check the weather. Rain storm didn’t stop us, just made it a little more challenging. Great hike!!

Conditions: Flooded

Karen Piggott

May 5, 2022•Hiking

Here’s the best advice I can give. The payoff from this trail is amazing views especially on a mostly clear day which we were fortunate to have. It’s also strenuous and we had good hiking boots that were covered in mud by the end of this. Just embrace the mud. It is inevitable so instead of avoiding it like we did 1/2 of the way up, just know you are going to get muddy but it’s really worth it. We encountered only 6 people, no litter and enjoyed a nice snack (making sure to leave no trace) at the summit with view of coastline on 2 sides. Just gorgeous.

Giuliano Enrique

April 25, 2022•Hiking

Mi gente!! Vayan. Este lugar es hermoso. Es retante pero vale el esfuerzo.

Rachel Ahn

April 22, 2022•Hiking

Muddy!

Alexander Kerlek

April 16, 2022•Hiking

Super muddy

John Soulakis

April 5, 2022•Hiking

This is not a hike so much as a slog through sometimes knee deep mud. And that is not an exaggeration. I heard the view at the top was great but unfortunately clouds rolled in just before we reached the top. I would not recommend this trail if you’re not willing to get VERY muddy. There were literally dozens of times when it was impossible to get around the deep mud. If there are any signs of clouds rolling in to obscure the view, don’t bother!! If you decide to do it, be sure to grab one of the walking sticks that folks have been nice enough to leave at the trailhead which is essential to not falling on your butt multiple times!!

Arianne Ruiz

April 4, 2022•Hiking

Very fun trail. My advice is:
— Get there very early, 7:30-8am
— DO NOT be afraid of getting muddy or dirty
— Hiking boots are a must
— You will fall at least once
— Bring lots of water
— It will rain
— Have fun during the trail, don’t try walking quick or getting there so fast

Daniel Bernatowicz

April 4, 2022•Hiking

Yep, still muddy. Funny thing human mind is. On the way up I was worried about my shoes, on the way down I really enjoyed the mud. I became one..

Conditions: Muddy

Olivia Calder

March 25, 2022•Hiking

Not for the faint of heart! The weather conditions were passing rain showers so it was not too bad at the start. We were able to avoid completely losing our shoes in mud on the way up El Toro. Views were absolutely spectacular and worth the hike up. The hike down however was a different story. It began to rain as we were making our way down the peak. The mud patches we were once able to semi avoid were now as deep as our knees and we just had to embrace it in order to descent. Since we took our time avoiding mud on the way up, it took us about 2 hours to reach the peak. The way down took a lot less since we were really trying to get out of the thick of it (literally) before sun down. Overall really fantastic experience but be mentally and physically prepared, bring bug spray, and start early!

Conditions: Flooded, Muddy, Rocky

Michael Linenberg

March 23, 2022•Hiking

If you don’t get a reservation into El Yunque and are looking for a challenging hike, this trail is painfully perfect. The first third of the hike is smooth with gravel and few mud spots, but the second third is where the trail starts to become a muddy mess. After slipping twice I decided to just embrace the mud as there really is no way to avoid it so just wear something you are fine with retiring. After reaching an open area with tons of mud, the worst part of the hike begins. The water from the mud pools cuts through the orange clay and creates an extremely slippery area with tons of rocks and a small crevasse in the middle of the trail that is easy to fall into. After clearing the hardest part there is a small outlook which proceeds to a staircase to the summit. The view can be nice if it is clear but most of the time it is cloudy at the summit, and coming down the orange clay was extremely slippery and turned the beginning (the end coming down) of the trail into one of the hardest parts of the entire hike. Overall it’s fun and challenging hike that is a nice trek through the jungle that has few people hiking it and is very peaceful, but is extremely tedious as it takes a while trying to trudge through the mud and the view from the summit is not always going to be good.

Conditions: Muddy

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Climbing, Hiking & Mountaineering : SummitPost

Page Type:

Mountain/Rock

Lat/Lon:

18.27410°N / 65.8296°W

Activities:

Hiking

Elevation:

3524 ft / 1074 m

Sign the Climber’s Log!

Overview

La Mina


El Toro is the highest peak in the Sierra de Luquillo of eastern Puerto Rico. This range is famously known as El Yunque or Caribbean National Forest.

TopoZone Link

Located on the south end of the range and a bit of a longer hike, this peak is visited less often than Pico El Yunque which is visited by many tourists. This peak is one of the few prominent peaks on the island that is not developed and does not have any radio towers on the summit. It is also surrounded by tropical forest wilderness and is a great hike.

Sierra de Luquillo

Getting There

The trail


The summit is accessible from the west via El Toro National Recreational and from the north from PR-191 near the Monte Britton trailhead via the Trade Winds Trail.

USGS El Yunque

The trailhead of El Toro National Recreation Trail is off of PR-186. A small parking area off the side of the road is right next to a National Forest sign and is easy to find. An interpretive sign and map mark the beginning of the trail. The trail is 2 miles one way with 1500 feet of elevation gain.

Google Maps location of trailhead.

Recommended maps include:

  • MetroData Highway maps are the best maps of the island and are available at the airport and Walgreens
  • National Geographic Caribbean National Forest trail map

Red Tape

The trails and area are managed by El Yunque National Forest:

HC-01, Box 13490

Rio Grande, PR 00745-9625

(787) 888-1880

Video from the summit on a clear day (not mine):

Conditions

El Yunque has a tropical climate. Hot and humid days can be expected at all elevations any time of year. Mornings can be cool at the summits and a very light jacket is recommended for any early morning hikes.

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