Rancho Pint - The Mexico Page
An Introduction to

Text ©2013 by KireMex

Photos ©2013 by John Pint

Photo Gallery

Trail to Ahuisculco Woods on Wikiloc

 Wikiloc for Trails: Want to visit the Selva Negra Forest near Ahuisculco, Mexico?  The trail is on Wikiloc and it might lead you to the  friendly little San Miguelito bug which you see below.

San Miguelito

Mexican children are taught to say, “San Miguelito, ven, párate en mi dedito!” (Come sit on my finger). And it works! Wikiloc can lead you to the Ahuisculco Woods where you can test this claim for yourself.

KireMex among the Magic Rocks of Tala
KireMex assists his son along a "natural wall" at the Magic Rocks of Tala (easy to find with Wikiloc).

Natural formation on La Campana Mountain

The bizarre rock formations at La Campana, near Mascota, Mexico could have been designed by Salvador Dalí or Antonio Gaudí.

View of Lake Chapala, Mexico

Gorgeous view of Lake Chapala, Mexico which you can see while hiking to El Tepalo and Danza del Sol.  Wikiloc shows  648 trails in the Lake Chapala area.

El Diente
You can visit hundreds of monoliths at El Diente, located only ten minutes north of Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city. Read more about El Diente here.

John Pint testing a Wikiloc trail in Mexico

John Pint tests a trail through the Primavera Forest, downloaded to his GPS from Wikiloc. “It was extremely accurate,” he says, “and guided me through areas where the physical trail was completely invisible.”


Caves beneath the dunes? Check out our Saudicaves page:







How to find hiking and biking trails near you

By Kiremex

Franky Alvarez enjoys an amazing view of Lake Chapala[Before submitting this excellent article, the author suggested I investigate Wikiloc myself and try uploading, downloading and following trails from their website. I discovered that Wikiloc has over 800,000 members all over the world who have uploaded a staggering 1,571,000 trails with nearly two and a half million photos to boot. The wonderful thing is that the trails include everything from easy walks around town for the whole family to technical climbs up snowy mountain peaks. This means Wikiloc literally has something for everyone: kids, hikers, cyclists, dune-buggy drivers, whatever. My thanks to “the hiker known as KireMex.”
John Pint]

Franky Alvarez jumps for joy on a hike from Ajijic to Ixtlahuacan, easy to follow thanks to Wikiloc.

A big challenge for those of us who love outdoors in Mexico is the utter lack of proper trails, maps or signage. Jalisco has some incredible places, and a few select books exist, such as Outdoors in Western Mexico, that get one really excited about the possibilities. But while the good ones can lead you to the trailhead, it can be a challenge to actually follow the full route.

John Pint is an incredible writer and his writings are a great inspiration for where to search. However, even though he provides the exact starting point, I've found out it is often too easy to get lost on the way and not get to the desired destination. Also, because he is a single person, it is not possible for him to document every nice trail that exists in Mexico.

If only there were a way where each person who knew of a good hike could share this with others including full details of the exact path, letting one know which way to go at intersections! Fortunately now there is. It’s called Wikiloc and it is extremely simple, requiring very little effort to create trails and even less effort to follow them.

“Crowdsourcing” is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from an online community. Wikipedia, the best known example of crowdsourcing, does not rely upon any single expert, but relies upon the many knowledgeable users of the resource who are willing to share and thus create a resulting work that can be very strong.

Wikiloc has applied the technique of crowdsourcing to the creation of trail sites and the accompanying smartphone applications on GPS-enabled phones have now made it easy to find and follow trails, and almost as easy to create new ones.

This article will be split into two parts:   Finding trails and sharing new ones.

1. Finding and following existing trails
While many trail sites exist, we will focus on Wikiloc, a free service which has the great uptake in our local community, including over 140 hiking and around 500 mountain biking trails in Jalisco, Mexico..
You can search their trails from their website (Wikiloc.com), their smartphone app, or Google Earth (under Layers -> Gallery -> Wikiloc).  The latter actually lets you display multiple trails on the map allowing you to plan your own route.

Each trail will list the actual route over a map, a chart showing elevation changes, as well as total distance, time, pace, elevation gain/loss, whether the trip is one-way or round trip, and difficulty level as rated by the contributor (who may have a different perspective than your own).   Waypoints may also be displayed, each with a name and optional photos, and categorized to be an intersection, cave, viewpoint, etc. When viewed on your smartphone, it will state how how far you are from the starting point and in what direction to go, making it easy to find.

Once you start following a trail it will display a map with the original track marked in yellow and your actual route in green.   It will provide an audible reminder (a double chime) should you get too far off trail. This combined with the map and waypoints makes following the path very easy. Wikiloc trails can also be downloaded to many kinds of GPS units.

2. Creating Trails
Creating a trail using the Wikiloc app is as easy as following one. When you arrive to the trailhead, you click Record Trail and it starts recording. To save your battery life, we recommend turning off non-essential things such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc. When you get to something interesting, hit the little flag button and you have created a waypoint. You can now categorize this, name it (Great Picnic Spot, Peak), and optionally take some photos.

When the trail is done you stop recording, name the trip and optionally upload the trail to the Wikiloc website (free account needed). You then get an email confirmation of the upload which you can use to edit the names of the waypoints, replace pictures, etc. And you get an extra bonus for uploading. You now get notified when others upload trails nearby, expanding your knowledge of where to go.


Wikiloc was created in 2006 as a hobby by Catalonian Information Engineer and mountain climber Jordi Ramot. An enthusiastic outdoorsman, Ramot got the inspiration for this project shortly after the birth of Google Maps. “I tried drawing routes from my GPS on a Google Map and the results were spectacular. Later I realized I could not only show my routes but I could allow others to share theirs.” 

Ramot’s crowning achievement came in 2008 when Google Earth agreed to show Wikiloc trails as a default layer on Google Earth (under Gallery). Wikiloc uses 100 percent free software. It now gets over one million different users every month.

La Atarjea Tapada, Sheltered Spring

 Sheltered Spring (La Atarjea Tapada) is hidden deep inside the Primavera Forest, but you can find your way there easily thanks to Wikiloc. For a description of this beautiful site, see Chapter 18 of the book Outdoors in Western Mexico.

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