Tom’s Experience hiking the Big Tree Trail:
The Big Tree Trail is probably the most popular hiking trail in the El Yunque National Forest of Puerto Rico. This trail leads to the popular La Mina Falls, which is a waterfall you can also swim in.
Be warned that this is a popular trail and many people are hiking and swimming in the waterfall.
There are two different trails to get to La Mina Falls but the Big Tree Trail is a lot less steep and it has a number of signs along the trail pointing out different cool facts about the interesting rain forest. The signs were in English as well as Spanish. The other trail is the La Mina Trail and you can read about it with the link.
From the parking lot to La Mina Falls is about .8 miles one way. There are a few rain shelters and benches along the trail in case you need a break. The trail is paved most of the way and there are a few steps along the trail. There is no changing areas or outhouses at the waterfall or trailhead.
The trail leads down to the waterfall and then you must climb back up to get back to the trailhead. There are also a lot of guided tour groups on this trail. Water shoes are recommended since the rocks are sharp and slippery. There are also signs that warn of flash floods. Be careful when you are near the waterfall or river if it has been raining hard.
Once you reach La Mina Falls you can either head back to the trailhead the way you came or continue .7 miles on the La Mina Trail up to the upper parking lot if you have a shuttle. Also it is a rain forest so come prepared with rain gear.
Trail Info: The trailhead is located at a parking lot at KM 10.4 on Road 191 in the El Yunque National Forest. El Yunque is a rain forest and the only rain forest that is managed by the United States National Forest Service. There is no entrance fee for the national forest but it is only opened from 7:30am until 6:00pm.
Trailhead: 18.308582, -65.775177
La Mina Falls: 18.303087, -65.776649
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