Sometimes it’s easy to forget that our city of 4 million + people is surrounded by mountains. There’s beautiful views if you can get a bit beyond the skyscrapers, apartments, building and homes that cover the sprawling landscape of Guadalajara.
One of the prettiest views is not too far out of town, it’s La Barranca. It’s a large canyon with beautiful views, hiking paths and biodiversity protected in this ecological area of a metropolitan city. La Barranca has two other common names as well, Oblatos-Huentitán based on the parts of the city that are near this. When you’re wanting to go hike there, you can choose in Google Maps which entrance you want to go to, I've linked the maps below.
La Barranca de Huentitán
Previously we’d always gone to La Barranca Huentitán which has a great switchback sort of hike down the canyon towards the river that lies at the bottom.
There are two options to climb back up. You could go the way you came as many people do, or you could climb up a slightly dangerously inclined old railroad track that serves as almost a hiking ladder to climb back up the mountain.
I’ve included some photos (blast from the past - 2011) so you can see how dangerously inclined this railroad track is that people are allowed to climb back up to the top. The good thing is that it meets up with the trail at several parts so you can always hop back on the hiking path when the going gets tough.
La Barranca Oblatos
Last weekend, we discovered another side of La Barranca, this one seemed friendlier for younger children and we enjoyed a couple hours of hiking down wide paths with beautiful views. There were several people out running on these mountain paths, many families walking and even a few people walking their dogs up and down the trail.
Since we went with our little kids, we went as far as we could (1.5 miles/3km round trip) to the bottom where you find some benches and playground equipment, though many others went beyond that point into more trails towards the river that runs through the canyon at the bottom.
We hope to explore more another day with another hike. There's some good smoothies or juice once you get back to the top of the canyon, but I'd recommend bringing water and trail mix....at least if you're doing this hike with kids like we were.
If you’re looking to get out of the city and find a new place to hike, we definitely recommend La Barranca, it’s really only a 30 minute drive out of the city depending on where you live but it felt so good to breathe some fresh air, get some exercise and try something new over the weekend!