Tom’s Experience hiking the La Mina Trail:
La Mina Trail in El Yunque National Forest is one of the best hikes in El Yunque that leads to La Mina Falls. You can swim in the waterfall and it is often packed with people.
There are two ways to get to La Mina Falls, the Big Tree Trail and La Mina Trail. La Mina Trail is the shorter of the two trails but is much steeper with lots of stairs. The trail is only .7 miles from the trailhead to the waterfall and most of the trail is paved.
The paved trail becomes very slick when wet and we saw a few people fall. This trail follows La Mina River and the river was very picturesque and fun to hike along. There are bathrooms at the trailhead and there were a number of covered spots and benches along the trail.
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 lead 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 .8 miles on the Big Tree Trail to the lower parking lot if you have a shuttle. It is a rain forest so come prepared with rain gear.
Trail Info: The trailhead is located at a parking lot at KM 12.2 on Road 191 in the El Yunque National Forest, directly behind the Palo Colorado Visitors Center. There are two parking lots here and a lot of parking on the roads. 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 open from 7:30am until 6:00pm.
Trailhead: 18.301039, -65.784802
La Mina Falls: 18.303087, -65.776649
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