Pasochoa Volcano

Pasochoa Volcano, Ecuador
Elevation Table
Highest Summit4205m
Summit 24178m
Summit 14152m
Hydroelectric Route:
Hiking Start3350m
Base of rocks Summit 13887m
Refugio de Vida Route:
Refugio de Vida Access Control2810m
Forest End3377m
Paramo ridge3545m
Rock foot Summit 13941m


The Pasochoa is a volcano near Quito that seems to have had its last eruption some 100,000 years ago, as a consequence the caldera was opened to the west giving its current horseshoe shape. Human activity had a great impact on the animal and plant life in this area, disappearing over the years most of the native forests that were converted into livestock paddocks and agricultural areas. An exception is the practically virgin forest that remained protected within the Pasochoa caldera, its geographical difficulty prevented any attempt at conquest. Many species of flora and fauna took refuge into this forest, which have now practically disappeared from the inter-Andean valley. It was precisely in order to conserve it that the "Bosque Protector Pasochoa" was created in 1979, initially administered by the Fundación Natura, now administered by the Ministerio del Ambiente, it has changed its name to "Refugio de Vida Silvestre Pasochoa", represents a very attractive protected area with great beauty and biodiversity.

National Park: Refugio de Vida Silvestre Pasochoa


Refugio de Vida Silvestre Pasochoa
Refugio de Vida Silvestre Pasochoa
Summits 1 and 2
Summits 1 and 2
Highest Summit
Highest Summit

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Nudo de Tiopullo; 22 kilometers in a straight line southeast of Quito; 9 km from the Panamerican Hw from the town of Amaguaña. There are two main entry routes to Pasochoa.

1) Normal Route "Hydroelectric": From San Rafael, take General Rumiñahui Av. towards Amaguaña and Tambillo towns. Approximately at kilometer 12, Primax gas station, deviate to the left in Calle de Los Capulies and continue through a stone paved road in good condition until the Pasochoa Hydroelectric water reservoir.

2) "Pasochoa Wildlife Refuge" Route: Arriving at Amaguaña from Los Chillos Valley, take to the left where it indicates the sign of the "Refugio de Vida Silvestre Pasochoa", follow a well marked cobblestone road until the park access control. This road could be used by almost any vehicles.

"Hydroelectric" Route:
Primax Gas Station– Hydroelectric9.1km45min
Hydroelectric - Summit 2hiking3h
"Refugio de Vida Silvestre Pasochoa" Route:
Amaguaña - Refugio de Vida Silvestre Pasochoa5.4km15min
Refugio de Vida Silvestre Pasochoa - Summit 1hiking / climbing4-5h


  • It is usually used a day to climb to the summit of this mountain.
  • If you don't have private transportation, it's convenient to rent a pickup truck taxi in Tambillo or Amaguaña; You can also find them near the Primax gas station, already mentioned earlier on this page.
  • Following the Hydroelectric normal route, you can go up by cobblestone road on almost any vehicle until the metal gate where the walk begins. This door is about a hundred meters beyond the water reservoir. There is a very limited parking space; therefore, vehicles should be parked in a nearby place so as not to obstruct the road. One suggestion would be next to the water reservoir entrance door.
  • It's about 3 hours of hiking from the metal gate to the Summit 2; the trail is not signposted and may require orientation skills; beyond the Summit 2 is the Highest Summit, approximately an additional 45min. Both Summit 2 and Highest Summits have small sections of easy rock climbing.
  • The entrance time to the Pasochoa Wildlife Refuge is from 8am to 3pm, every day of the year. The output is maximum at 5pm.
  • The "Refugio de Vida Silvestre Pasochoa" route is longer but more picturesque; It can take between 4 and 5 hours to reach Summit 1, from there about one hour until the Summit 2, and 45 minutes more to the Highest Summit. This route requires some 3 and 4 degree climbing passes to reach Summit 1; therefore this last section is advised to those who are prepared and with the required equipment.
  • There are many hiking trails that run through the reserve, well marked and a good alternative for those who want a more relaxed adventure. There are also camping facilities, restrooms, and BBQ grills.
  • The campsite is free; There is a lot of space available so it is not necessary to reserve a place.
  • There are no guide services at the Refugio de Vida Silvestre Pasochoa; although they could give you any information you need.
  • There is no potable water to drink; nor is there the possibility of buying any food; therefore it is necessary that you bring everything you need for a pleasant stay.

Climbing and Hiking

There are some attractive hiking trails:


Brugmansia sanguinea
Brugmansia sanguinea
Berberis pichinchensis
Berberis pichinchensis
Bomarea glaucescens
Bomarea glaucescens

Clic to open the Flora Gallery

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