Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to climb?

On average, it takes about 3 to 4 hours. You must manage your speed and effort to avoid too much acceleration of the cardiovascular rhythm. The descent also takes about 3 to 4 hours and it is very common to occur incidents that you cannot control, related to the muscles or articulations on the knees or feet. This kind of problems are unpredictable and they may hinder and delay the descent, therefore you must always start your descent at least 4 hours before sunset.

What is the length of the trail?

Pico Mountain is a volcano with 2351 metres of altitude; its walking trail begins at the Mountain’s House at about 1200 metres of altitude and ends on the mountain’s top. The climb is about 3.8 kilometres long and has a difference in altitude of 1150 metres, being, therefore, very steep. The type of ground differs along the climb between dirt, rock, gravel and mud. Although there are creeping plants on the mountain, they never are on the trail, so if you are stepping on them, it is because you are no longer on the trail; you must try to do the inverse path until you find the trail again.

Is the trail properly marked?

Yes. Along the trail are 47 wooden posts. The last one is located inside the crater and indicates the trail to Piquinho (mountain’s top). In case of fog, you can quickly fail to see the posts; therefore you must redouble your attention to avoid getting lost. If 30 minutes after passing a post you cannot find another one, you must return to the previous post to avoid getting too far from the trail.

What is the recommended equipment for the climb?

For basic and general equipment, it is indispensable comfortable clothes, waterproof jacket, boots or walking/climbing trainers and a backpack to transport at least 1.5 litres of water and energetic food. You can also take other useful equipment such as a hat, sunglasses, hiking sticks, a beanie, gloves and sunscreen. In case of an overnight stay in the crater, you should take more and warmer clothes, a tent, a sleeping bag and a flashlight. In case of a night climb, you should take more and warmer clothes and a flashlight.

Can I climb the Mountain if there is snow?

In case of snow or ice along the walking trail, the climb can only be authorized when the mountaineers have crampons.

Can I climb the Mountain if the Mountain’s House is closed?

Outside the Mountain’s House opening times, the climb is only allowed to properly qualified entities, with the guidance of a recognized mountain guide, and to residents on the Autonomous Region of the Azores.

What is the minimum age to climb the Mountain?

The access to the Mountain is interdicted to infants in arms (under 2 years old). The access to visitors under the age of 16 is subject to the presence of the holder of parental responsibility or a person of legal age, duly authorized by a written declaration of the first.

Is Pico Mountain a protected area?

Yes. Pico Mountain is a Nature Reserve that belongs to Pico Nature Park. Due to its importance, it is classified as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) within the Nature 2000 network and as a geosite of the Azores UNESCO Global Geopark.