At 5,897 m (19,347 ft), Cotopaxi is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world and is the second highest peak in Ecuador. Cotopaxi’s first recorded summit was in 1872 by Wilhelm Rajss and A.M. Escobar. Most parties climb the peak via the Northern Route after staying in the José Ribas Hut. Cotopaxi’s glaciated cone shape is a wonder to see rising out of the plain below. The views are spectacular when climbing on a clear day.
Cotopaxi is located 45 kilometers (28 miles) to the south of Ecuador’s capital city of Quito and is easily seen on the Quito skyline. To get there follow the Pan-American Highway to the main entrance of Cotopaxi National Park, followed by graded dirt roads to the car park at 4,603 m (15,100 ft). It is a 45 minute walk up dirt/rock switchbacks to the José Ribas Hut. Be prepared to pay park entrance fees and hut fees.
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Cotopaxi:
Regular Route Mod. Snow Trad, Snow, Alpine
Featured Route For Cotopaxi
Regular Route Mod. Snow International : South America : ... : Cotopaxi
This standard climb to the summit of a beautiful volcano deals with moderate snow, some mild glacier problems, a few crevasses, and the expected variability expected of such ascents. The last 500 feet is occasionally steep, but snow/ice conditions will have more effect on technical difficulties than anything else. It takes an average party roughly 8 hours for the round trip from the hut. ...[more] Browse More Classics in International