Caribbean National Forest
This trail ascends to an elevation of almost 3,500 feet. It provides spectacular views of the Forest and the Atlantic Ocean Coastline. It begins with a series of steps leading to the Bano Grande Pool bath complex. These two structures are of interest because they were done by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the 1930's. At the junction of the Mt. Britton Spur Trail, Los Picachos and El Yunque Trail you will find a rain shelter with an old chimney, which was built by the CCC. At the top of the peak there is an observation deck and the El Yunque Electronic Site.
Enjoy the many stream crossings, the palm forest, lush vegetation, the beautiful view of the bromeliads, as well as the open feeling as you reach the top. As you ascend, pay attention to the vegetation changes. Observe the transition from the Palo Colorado Forest with its big trees and tall canopy to the Palm Forest and then to the stunted, moss covered vegetation of the Cloud Forest.
This is not a loop trail, therefore you will have to double back to the parking lot, unless you complete the loop by utilizing the Mt. Britton Spur Trail (# 19), the Mt. Britton Trail (#16) and portions of Road 10 and 9938. This trail also provides access to Los Picachos (#17) and Mt. Britton Trail (#16).
Length: 2.6 miles Trail begins at 630 meters above sea level (2,047 feet) on the west side of PR 191, Km. 11.9, near Bano Grande and ends at 1,050 meters above sea level (3,412 feet) at EL Yunque Peak.
Directions: Trailhead is located at PR 191, Km. 11.9 on the west side of the road across the street from Palo Colorado Visitor Information Center. You can also access this trail via Bano de Oro Trail or Caimitillo Trail, both approximately a 1/2 mile hike.
Trail Information: Trail surface is rough terrain with either gravel or asphalt areas
Difficulty Level: Moderate-Difficult
Use: Moderately Used
Hiking Time: 1 to 2 hours one way
Preparations: Rough trail surfaces, side drop-offs and steep gradients occur in portions of this trail. Rainshowers occur frequently, therefore trails are often wet and slippery. Hiking boots with sturdy soles are recommended as well as light raingear. Bring plenty of water.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication