Information and Recommendations
about the trail of Pico Mountain

General characteristics

Pico Mountain is a volcano with an altitude of 2351 metres (7713 ft.). Its trail consists on the ascent to the “Piquinho” (“Pico Pequeno” (small peak) or “Topo da Montanha” (mountain top)), beginning and ending in the Mountain’s House, at about 1200 m (3937 ft.). It has about 3,8 km and a vertical drop of about 1150 m (3772 ft.).

The ascent and descent has, each, an average duration of three to four hours.

You can also choose to make the trail only to “Furna Abrigo”, with an average duration of 45 minutes and a 1000 m (3280 ft.) extension.

At the end of the descent, it is obligatory to inform, in the Mountain’s House, that you have ended your trail.

Coordinate your energy to your physic condition and the walking time to the light of day.

Along the way, the ground varies (earth, rock, gravel and mud). Although there are low vegetation on the Mountain, it does not appear along the route, so whenever you step on vegetation, it means you are no longer on the trail. You should try to make the inverse route until you find the trail again.

There are 47 wooden trail markers along the route. The last marker is located inside the crater and indicates the trail to “Piquinho”.

In case of fog, you may stop seeing the markers; therefore, you should redouble your attention to avoid getting lost. If after passing a marker, you cannot find another within 30 minutes, you must return to the previous one, so you do not get too far from the path.

Always start your descent at least four hours before sunset, as it is dangerous to descend after dark.

The weather conditions on the Mountain are extreme and change very quickly. The temperature is generally 10 degrees lower at the top than at sea level. In case it is a very hot day, you will not find any shade all day.

The Mountain is a Nature Reserve which geological structures, fauna and flora must be preserved, therefore it is not allowed to collect natural goods, to trample the vegetation and to deposit waste.

Overnight Stay

The overnight stay at the Pico Mountain crater, considering as such the climbs that occur between 16h00 and 24h00 of each day, in the period from 1 June to 31 October, and between 14h00 and 24h00 of each day, in the period from 1 November to 31 May, and whose descent ends after 8h00 of the following day, is conditioned to reservation and a maximum of 32 visitors per day.

Equipment and Fees

The general and basic equipment shall include sweaters and jacket, raincoat, walking/mountain shoes or boots, at least 1,5 L of water and energy food.

In case you make a climb to stay overnight in the crater, you should bring extra warm clothes, tent, sleeping bag and a flashlight.

You can also bring equipment that can be useful such as hat, sunglasses, walking sticks, bonnet, gloves and sunscreen.

If there is snow along the trail, the climb can only be allowed when the mountaineers are wearing “crampons”.

You will receive a tracking device (GPS), which must be returned at the end of the activity at the Mountain´s House or, if it´s closed, at the Madalena Fire Department, located at Rua do Colégio (ER1 -2), 9950-362 Madalena ( (+351) 292 628 300 | bvmadalenapico@sapo.pt).

Damaging or not returning the GPS constitutes an obligation to compensate for the damage caused by the users to the value of the equipment. When you receive this equipment, you may choose to pay an exclusion of liability fee in case of damage.

The climbs to “Furna Abrigo”, Crater and “Piquinho”, as well as the overnight stay in the Crater, are subject to the obligatory payment of a fee.

“Piquinho” has a load capacity of 30 visitors simultaneously, and the duration of each visitor cannot exceed a maximum period of 20 minutes.

The trail’s load capacity is 160 visitors simultaneously. The trail's maximum load capacity is 320 visitors per day.

Rescue

A rescue is the search and rescue operation in the Pico Mountain Nature Reserve, carried out by the civil protection services and necessary for the help or recovery of one or several visitors.

The GPS can assist you in this situation because it indicates your location.

The costs of the rescue are charged to climbers when resulting from disrespect, although negligent, of the regulation, including disregard for safety standards applicable to mountaineering and rules of conduct in Pico Mountain; if it has been requested without justification; and in the event of a not recommended climb.

Remember that the Mountain is an inhospitable zone, difficult to reach even for a rescue team, especially at night.

Neither the Nature Park nor the Mountain’s House are responsible for any kind of accidents that may occur during your stay in the Pico Mountain Nature Reserve.

Regulamento de acesso à Reserva Natural da Montanha do Pico

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to climb?
What is the length of the trail?
Is the trail properly marked?
What is the recommended equipment for the climb?
Can I climb the Mountain if there is snow?
Can I climb the Mountain if the Mountain’s House is closed?
What is the minimum age to climb the Mountain?
Is Pico Mountain a protected area?

Contacts

Mountain’s House
Caminho Florestal nº 9
Candelária
9950 Madalena
Telf. (+ 351) 967 303 519
pnpico.casadamontanha@azores.gov.pt

Opening times
Temporary opening times:
Everyday, from 08:00am til 07:00pm.

Madalena Fire Department
Rua do Colégio (ER 1-2)
9950-362 Madalena
Tel: (+351) 292 628 300
bvmadalenapico@sapo.pt