La Mina Trail
El Yunque Hikes
|This is a steeper route to La Mina Falls than Big Tree Trail.|
The La Mina Waterfall Trail crosses over the La Mina River and pass a number of picnic shelters built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps CCC). It's amazing how far from the main road workers lugged in materials to complete this project.
The shelters with fireplaces were once used as honeymoon cottages. The CCC was also responsible for the trails' concrete steps that parallel the La Mina River and its series of cascades and pools.
After the picnic shelters, La Mina Trail turns into a stroll through a garden of dense vegetation and Sierra Palms. You emerge above the La Mina waterfall, then walk down down to stand in front of it.
On hot days, especially weekends, there will be plenty swimming in the pool at the base of the falls. You may want to, also, before heading back.
If you thought it was a warm walk getting here, wait until you climb back up the concrete steps. That's why the Big Tree Trail, though slightly longer, is a more popular route to the falls. No steep return.
La Mina Trail Length: 0.7 miles. Time: 25 minutes each way. Difficulty Level: 2. It's a steep walk back. Trailhead: Palo Colorado Recreation Center, km. 11.9. Always check with the El Yunque website to see if it's closed due to maintenance or weather.