El Toro (Tradewinds)& Peak Trails
|The Tradewinds Trail is probably the longest and hardest walk in El Yunque.|
Length: Approx. 6 miles one-way. Only 3.9 if you wish only to reach El Toro peak, El Yunque's highest point. Time: 4 hours one-way just to the peak. Difficulty 3-4. It's likely to be overgrown in areas, so wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Expect to get muddy.
Trailhead: On Rt. 191 about a quarter-mile below the locked gate. Park off the road near the gate.
If you want a remote part of the rain forest to yourself, this is the trail for you. Part of the National Scenic Recreational Trail system, the Tradewinds trail is El Yunque's longest and probably most difficult walk.
On it, you will pass through all four different forest systems to reach Pico El Toro at 3,523 feet, the highest point in the forest.
This is the only maintained trail without gravel or hard surface. The soil is too unstable. In the rainy season, this route can be quite muddy.
It's almost four miles to El Toro peak, another 2.2 miles to where the trail ends at km. 10.8 on Route 186. Unless you arrange for a someone to meet you, you'll need to retrace your steps.
Which you don't want to do since that means a trek of at least 12 hours and, unless you left very early, a dangerous walk in the dark.
Not a good idea.
El Toro Peak Trail
Length: 2.2 miles. Time: 3 hours each way. Difficulty: 3-4. Trailhead: At km. 10.6 on Rt. 186.
This is actually the tail end of the El Toro (Tradewinds) Trail described above.
By coming in from this direction you reduce the distance considerably. However, this is not well maintained and it can be very muddy.
Still, the views of the forest, the south coast and the dwarf forest make it a memorable trek.