Over the past year, Las Catalinas has devoted a tremendous amount of time, money, and resources to develop some world-class trails around their property. The topography and views at Las Catalinas are second to none and the natural beauty of the coastline is stunning. To take advantage of this awe inspiring coastline, the trail building crews at Las Catalinas have built about 10km of combined hiking and mountain biking trails over the past year. The crews were largely self taught how to build trails and sections of the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) trail building guide was translated into Spanish to help them understand techniques, grades, and sustainable construction practices. The crews learned well and have taken tremendous personal pride in their work, and it shows.
Yesterday on our way home from Pura Vida Ride, my son Dylan (9) noticed a new trailhead and suggested we go and explore it. I had also heard from Jim Berry at Las Catalinas that a hiking specific trail was now open and connected Pura Vida Ride to the top of McHenry peak with breathtaking views all the way north to Santa Rosa National Park on a clear day, and south to Cabo Velas with Potrero, Flamingo, and Brasalito in between.
Last night we convinced my daughter Grace (6- with a broken arm!) to join us on our adventure exploration, and a plan was hatched. We arrived at Pura Vida Ride around 7:00am. The winds were calm, there was light cloud cover overhead, and it was a cool 24 degrees; perfect hiking weather. Below is an interactive map showing the trail, our speed, elevation gain and loss, and even average grade. I’ve also included a bunch of photos so you can see our progress.
The trail is spectacular, which should have been expected. Expertly built, it is still fresh and will wear in over time with increased use. The grades are kept as reasonable as possible with lots of switchbacks and stairs, which are necessary to climb up to 200m (600ft) in elevation to reach McHenry Peak. As we climbed, we reached a number of ridges with breathtaking views. Every time we came to a stopping point we’d snap photos and remark at the vistas, only to find they got better and better.
All in all we hiked 4.7km in a nice big loop that connected with a section of the existing trail leading back to the beach. Dylan and Grace were super troopers and ran circles around me the entire time. The hike took about 1 hour and 40 minutes at a comfortable pace with lots of water breaks and photo stops. We discovered flowers, walking sticks, and a nest that had fallen from a nearby tree.
This trail is a spectacular addition to the portfolio of trails at Las Catalinas and Pura Vida Ride! I can’t think of anywhere on this coast where you can find such raw beauty on trails that are devoted to hiking and biking. It’s suitable for families of all ages, at least as young as six. This segment of new hiking trail adds about 2km of additional trail available to explore from Pura Vida Ride… and the trail crews are building more every day! See you soon.
What to bring:
- Sunscreen and hats
- GPS if you want to track your walk
When to go:
- Early in the day is best to avoid the hot sun and higher temperatures