Popocatepetl

Elevation (feet): 17,887
Elevation (meters): 5,452
Continent: North America
Country: Mexico
Range/Region: Cordillera Neovolcanica
Latitude: 19.0333
Longitude: -98.6333
Best months for climbing: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, Dec
Volcanic status: Active
Most recent eruption: 2006, ongoing
Year first climbed: 1289
First successful climber(s): Tecuanipas tribe
Nearest major airport: Mexico City, Mexico
Convenient Center: Amecameca, Mexico

Popocatepetl is a volcano with forested slopes and a snow-capped cone and large crater. It is the second highest peak in Mexico, behind Pico de Orizaba (18,405). The name Popocatepetl is Aztec for Smoking Mountain, and is often conveniently shortened to Popo. Popo and its neighboring volcano Iztaccihuatl (17,342 ft.) dominate the sky southeast of Mexico City. They are located less than fifty miles from the city, and are separated from each other by a ten-mile ridge. Popo's last major eruption was in 1947, although on December 21, 1994, it awakened from dormancy and continues to be active today. The first recorded ascent of Popocatepetl was by the Tecuanipas tribe in 1289. The first Spanish ascent of the mountain was an expedition led by Diego de Ordaz in 1519.  Emperor Moctezuma sent ten warriors to climb the mountain sometime between 1502 and 1519. Only two of these warriors survived the climb.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 42 trip reports for Popocatepetl.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #21136 - by Heinrich Geisler on Dec 26, 2007
    summitted to the crater around January 7 1988 Hiking up to the crater of Popocatepetl Signed By: Heinrich Geisler ( Bairawies/Dietramszell, Bayern/Bavaria Germany) New version 12.2.06 submitted...
  • Log #20395 - by Justin Gans on Sep 27, 2006
    With only a 6 hour acclimatization period the altitude was brutal. Not much nausea or head-aches, but I was fatigued beyond belief. I actually lied down to sleep for an hour about half way up. The...
  • Log #19161 - by Heinrich Geisler on Feb 15, 2006
    I came to the lodge from Mexico City by bus, then by taxi in the afternoon Jan. 6th 1988. At the lodge I lent shoes, an anorac, woolen gloves and a woolen cap. At first I tried to join an American...
  • Log #6168 - by PS. Bubcha on Oct 17, 2004
    I fear Popocateptle is going blow I fear for my life, I fear for my kids, my grand kids, my kids kids, my family, little old Betsey the cow next store, and my gold fish named Bernared Tuge I dont...
  • Log #6170 - by Ricardo Rodriguez on Aug 24, 2004
    WE USED TO RAPPEL DOWN THE CRATER OF POPO AFTER WE CLAIM UP FROM "TLAMACAS".I, Myself participated on an Ascencion Called "La fiesta de las Banderas" on which every group took any...
  • Log #6172 - by Steven on Nov 27, 2003
    Beautiful country and an exhilarating climb.
  • Log #6173 - by bob on Nov 24, 2003
    wow!!! a great view and an amazing natural site. i recommend it!!!
  • Log #6174 - by Joseph Kennedy on Nov 13, 2003
    Climb Ixta first, then Popo, then Orizaba, especially if you have never been above 12-14000'. We stayed in a seven story walk-up cheap hotel, and after flying to Mexico City from sea level...
  • Log #6175 - by Beth Ivins on Oct 26, 2003
    Climbed with 7 others for the wedding of a close friend. Ceremony on the rim. Threw snow instead of rice. Great day!
  • Log #6176 - by Jeff on Sep 29, 2003
    My first high peak and volcano. Good conditions on a perfect day.
  • Log #6177 - by Nyle K Walton on Sep 25, 2003
    I aspired to climb Popocatepetl as early as 1948. I first made it to Mexico at age 17 in 1951 and, with a Swiss fellow I met at the YMCA, I spent a teeth-chattering night in a frozen rain at 14,000...
  • Log #6178 - by Thomas Sullivan on July 31, 2003
    We climbed the west face and saw the sunrise refracted in the ice of the glacier. At the summit, the wind was fearsome I was afraid I would be blown into the crater so I lay on the glacier to peek...
  • Log #6179 - by Holly Riley on June 30, 2003
    What a great climb. I travelled all the way from England to do the colmb, and it was so rewarding, and I am so proud of myself for the achievment. I would like to thank Isabelle Charrett-Dykes for...
  • Log #6180 - by Scott Patterson on Mar 05, 2003
    I climbed this peak on a solo trip to Mexico at age 18. I went up too fast and got minor altitude sickness. There was great weather and lots of people on the mountain. Great climb!
  • Log #6181 - by Jonele N on Dec 21, 2002
    Also looking for a poem about Popocateptyl written around the 1950s. If you have a copy or know where I can find it, please email me!!!!
  • Log #6182 - by Scott Harden on Dec 03, 2002
    Well, I've never *quite* been to the summit, but almost! twice. -- A couple of utterly failed attempts in the early - mid 70s; -- Mid 70s (?76): Got to crater rim and above, via Las Cruces...
  • Log #6183 - by Kirk Smith on Nov 11, 2002
    In 1983, the view of the crater itself was most spectacular, to say nothing of the view of the rest of the world below. A question to those of you who have been to the summit since 1994: is the...
  • Log #6185 - by keith penny on Oct 10, 2002
    Whilst traveling in south america 95 I met a dutch guy in argentina (glacier gray i think)who had been camping near the summit of popo when it burst into life for the first time in 100yrs(?) a...
  • Log #6186 - by Diane J. Voth on July 22, 2002
    A group of us from the University of Minnesota spent a month touring Mexico. Some of us, when we got to Mexico City, saw this beautiful mountain and said, "Why don't we climb it?" There...
  • Log #6188 - by Ross L. Flynn on Apr 06, 2002
    Our senior class in college took a senior trip together to Mexico City in 1975. I organized a trip of seven guys who wanted to climb Popo. We rented crampons and ice axes, and started climbing from...
  • Log #6191 - by Paul and Sarah Stone on Apr 05, 2002
    We left base camp around 4:30am. We walked by moonlight for several hours. A dog from the camp came with us until we reached the point where the crampons became necessary. This was about 6:30am.
  • Log #6192 - by Nelly Bautista on Jan 25, 2002
    well i recently visited mexico city and i saw the Popocatepetl volcanoe, and i was amused, because of my times going to Mexico city since i was born there i have never seen the vol- canoe with snow...
  • Log #6193 - by Jared on Jan 14, 2002
    In response to previous post, troops before paso de cortes check your permit and there are lots of folks at the lodge at the pass. Any assent would have to be covert, as the peak is definatly closed....
  • Log #6194 - by bob weber on Dec 30, 2001
    will be climbing in mexico feb 2002...trekking from coscomatepec to summit orizaba...intrested in climbing popo....is it really closed? ie, does govt physically keep climbers off or is it just...
  • Log #6195 - by heyjexactlyso on Dec 29, 2001
    Am looking for a POEM about this Popocatepetl volcano, learnt at school in the 1950's - included also a line "chimborazo cotapaxi took me by the hand.." or something similar sounding -...
  • Log #6196 - by David Dean on Sep 09, 2001
    Quite a rewarding clmb. Mexican guide spoke little English and we spoke little Spanish. Crampons and ice axes got a work out. Sulpur smell at the summit was very distinctive.
  • Log #6198 - by Rodney Nicholson on July 21, 2001
    Two steps up the mountain, gasping for air, ten huge deep breaths, ready to go again, two more steps up the mountain, gasping for air again, ten huge deep breaths, ready to go again ............ ....
  • Log #6201 - by Chaloner Hale on Dec 19, 2000
    Climbed up with a French group with the intentions of launching from the top in paragliders. We climbed at night with the help of the moon. Carrying my glider slowed me down considerably, yet at...
  • Log #6202 - by kurt holtsclaw on Dec 19, 2000
    me and 3others tried to reach summit but ran into a major whiteout. it's been almost 20years since. it still is the most memorable time of my life.
  • Log #6203 - by Bernhard Fritz on Dec 19, 2000
    I went back in december 1997 and found it was not accesible so we summited the Iztaccihuatl, I tried again in december 1998 but wound up going to the Citlaltepetl (Pico de Orizaba). Also in 1972 went...
  • Log #6204 - by Edgar Mosti on Dec 14, 2000
    The mountain will give to everyone his place.
  • Log #6205 - by Heinrich Geisler on Sep 19, 2000
    I came to the hut from Mexico City by bus, then by taxi in the afternoon Jan. 6th 1988. At the hut I lent shoes, an anorac, woolen gloves and a woolen cap. We started to hike up at 3 in the morning...
  • Log #6206 - by Patrice Grenier on July 20, 2000
    It's was by the time the volcano was close to any climbers, but me and 3 other friends attempted it anyway. The first time we tried, we did'nt make it because of the biggest snow storm in 20 years in...
  • Log #6207 - by Sharon on June 06, 2000
    we like to have some information about the vulcano popocatepetl. we have to answer some questions about this vulcano for school. The first question is: a discripsion how the popocatepetl erupt. The...
  • Log #6208 - by Rick on June 05, 2000
    The area is closed and active...watch out for those feds The north side was a snap.
  • Log #6209 - by Jim Clash on Jan 08, 2000
    When you start to smell sulphur, you know you're getting close.
  • Log #6210 - by Patrick Stewart on Oct 14, 1999
    I got up to 15,000 feet when I started coughing up peices of Lung. Had to turn around. On my way down I watched a Mexcian climber in what looked like a womens winter jacket and plastic snowmobile...
  • Log #6211 - by Joe Marabotto on Sep 09, 1999
    I went up with some friends from Veracruz.(living in Cholula then)A warm spring day, bought a sweater and tennis with me. Halfway up from Amecameca the storm came in, by the time we got to Tlamacas...
  • Log #6212 - by LUKAS on June 29, 1999
    It is closed.we tracking to izta. Izta is near popo.when do you go to izta,you must be careful.
  • Log #6213 - by Paul Romkens on May 19, 1999
    The mountain was quiet yet, but that was about to change drastically. Only a few weeks after the day I climbed the mountain, they closed it, and for good reasons. So, I do not know how it look right...
  • Log #6215 - by Bob Oppermann on May 05, 1999
    March 3, 1996, our bus left Mexico City for a planned assault of the 5th highest peak in North America. One hour out of MC, the bus driver heard on radio that Popo was begginning to erupt, and that...
  • Log #6216 - by Michael Woergoetter on Jan 05, 1999
    Popo was my first 5.000 m mountain, I went up alone, it was really amazing. Also I had best weather conditions. Perhaps I come back to climb it again.