Cumbres de Majalca National Park

Imagine an escape to pristine nature, a paradise where the mightiness of the land combines with rich biodiversity. We invite you to explore one of the best-preserved natural sites in Mexico, the Cumbres de Majalca National Park (in Spanish: Parque Nacional Cumbres de Majalca). This guide will assist you in delving through its mysteries and wonders, providing all the essential information about its fauna, flora, geography, and climate for a well-organized adventure.

Introduction to the Cumbres de Majalca National Park

Cumbres de Majalca National Park

Park Location and Name Meaning

Located in the state of Chihuahua, the Cumbres de Majalca National Park is situated about 50 kilometers west of the city of Chihuahua. The name "Majalca" originates from the Tarahumara language and signifies "place of arrows." It is positioned in the transitional zone between the Sierra Madre Occidental and the valleys of the Chihuahuan Desert, enabling a lush ecosystem.

Recognition and National Park Status

Established as a national park on September 1, 1939, Cumbres de Majalca is a gem in Mexico’s national park system, safeguarded for its significant ecosystem and natural beauty, covering an area of 4,701.17 hectares.

History of Cumbres de Majalca National Park and Conservation


The park is located in the towering Sierra de Majalca, a name bestowed in 1711 by its first known settler, a Spanish captain. Although two centuries passed, it was in 1926 when it was envisioned as an ideal getaway for the residents of Chihuahua to enjoy a summer refuge. Later, on September 1, 1939, President Lázaro Cárdenas issued the decree declaring it a national park, with the aim of preserving its valuable ecosystem. Currently, park management falls under the responsibility of the National Commission of Natural Protected Areas, since 2008. This recognition and institutional protection are vital to ensure the long-term conservation of this natural treasure.

Development and Conservation

Over the years, numerous efforts have been made at both local and national levels to maintain and enhance the park, thereby ensuring its long-term preservation.

Geography and Climate

Geographical Description

The park, with its impressive rock formations and towering mountains, presents a spectacular landscape as it is situated in the Sierra de Majalca. The area is dominated by high peaks and deep canyons, offering endless opportunities for exploration.

Climate Patterns

With a semi-arid climate, the park experiences warm summers and cold winters. Precipitation is more frequent during the summer months, and the climate can vary significantly with altitude.



Cumbres de Majalca National Park is home to a variety of plant species, including pines, oaks, and cacti. Its diverse flora provides an enriched ecosystem that supports a wide range of wildlife.


Regarding fauna, species such as pumas, coyotes, foxes, deer, and a wide variety of birds can be found. Observing wildlife in its natural habitat is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding experiences the park offers. Notable birds of prey include the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), the red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis), and other birds such as the sharp-shinned hawk (Accipiter striatus), as well as finches, crows, swallows, robins, and many more.

Endemic and Threatened Species

The park hosts several endemic and threatened species, underscoring its importance as a biodiversity sanctuary. Conservation of these species is a priority for the park authorities.

Attractions and Activities

Natural Attractions

Among the most popular attractions are the rock formations, hidden waterfalls, and breathtaking panoramic views. Hiking excursions will allow you to discover these places of exceptional beauty.

Recreational Activities

The park offers numerous activities such as hiking, camping, picnicking, nature photography, and birdwatching. Additionally, for the more adventurous, the peaks offer an exciting challenge for rock climbing.

Events and Programs

Throughout the year, events and educational programs are conducted to raise public awareness about the importance of conservation and biodiversity. These may include workshops, guided hikes, and special events for children.

Practical Guide

Getting There

Cumbres de Majalca National Park is accessible by road from the city of Chihuahua. The journey takes approximately an hour and a half.

Best Time to Visit

The park is enjoyable year-round, but the best time to visit is during spring and fall when temperatures are more moderate and vegetation is at its peak. During these periods, you can enjoy colorful landscapes and pleasant weather conditions for outdoor activities.

Accommodation and Services Information

In Cumbres de Majalca National Park, you’ll find accommodation options ranging from cabins and campsites to nearby hotels. It’s advisable to make reservations in advance, especially during peak months. Additionally, the park provides basic amenities such as picnic areas, restrooms, and information points.

Park Rules and Regulations

When visiting the park, it’s important to respect the established rules and regulations to preserve the natural environment and ensure the safety of all visitors. Some common rules include not littering, staying on designated trails, respecting wildlife, and avoiding fires in prohibited areas. Familiarize yourself with these guidelines before your visit to contribute to the park’s conservation.

Challenges and Threats

Environmental Threats

Despite conservation efforts, Cumbres de Majalca faces several environmental challenges. These include habitat fragmentation due to human activity, climate change, and the introduction of invasive species. These factors can have a negative impact on biodiversity and the overall health of the ecosystem.

Management and Protection

To address these threats, management and protection programs are carried out in the park. These include implementing measures to control invasive species, promoting sustainable practices, and collaborating with local communities and conservation organizations. The active participation of all visitors and raising awareness about the importance of conservation are crucial to protect this natural treasure.

Photography and Nature Tourism

Nature Photography Tips

Cumbres de Majalca National Park offers numerous opportunities to capture stunning images of nature. To get quality photographs, it’s recommended to bring suitable equipment such as cameras with versatile lenses, tripods, and filters. Additionally, it’s important to respect the environment and wildlife while photographing, avoiding any actions that could disturb their natural behavior.

Best Wildlife Photography Locations

If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, the park provides the chance to witness a variety of species in their natural habitat. Some of the best places for wildlife observation include forest trails, streams, and areas with abundant vegetation. These places offer shelter and food for many species, increasing the chances of spotting animals like deer, raptors, foxes, and coyotes. Moreover, the rocky peaks offer panoramic views ideal for observing migratory birds.

Las Cumbres Trail

This trail winds through the park’s high peaks, offering panoramic views and the opportunity to observe raptors such as eagles and hawks. Additionally, it’s possible to spot mammals like deer and coyotes along the path.

Arroyo de Las Cascadas

This stream, with its waterfalls and lush vegetation, is an ideal spot for observing waterfowl and species that inhabit the nearby forests. You can find varieties of ducks, herons, and other shorebirds.

Zone of the Oak Trees

This wooded area is known to be a refuge for a wide diversity of birds, including woodpeckers, warblers, and hummingbirds. It’s also possible to encounter small mammals and reptiles among the oak trees.

Majalca Canyon

This deep canyon hosts a variety of species, from mammals like pumas and foxes to birds such as hawks and owls. Explore the trails that cross the canyon for a chance to spot wildlife in its natural habitat.

Rock Formations Area

The park’s rock formations provide natural hiding spots for many species, including reptiles like lizards and snakes. Pay attention to the cracks and crevices in the rocks to discover the fauna hidden in these places.

It’s important to remember that wildlife observation should be done with respect and care. Maintain an appropriate distance to avoid disturbing the animals, and use binoculars or telephoto lenses for closer viewing without causing discomfort.

Education and Conservation Programs

Current Programs

In the national park, you’ll find various education and conservation programs aimed at both visitors and the local community. These programs seek to promote environmental awareness, the importance of conservation, and the appreciation of biodiversity. You can participate in activities such as educational talks, field workshops, and volunteer programs to actively contribute to the protection of the park.

Volunteer Opportunities

If you’re interested in getting more involved in park conservation, there are volunteer opportunities available. These may include tasks such as species monitoring, habitat restoration, trail maintenance, and participation in clean-up campaigns. Volunteering will allow you to directly contribute to the preservation of the park and learn more about its ecosystem.

Mythology and Local Culture

Local Stories and Legends

Cumbres de Majalca National Park has a rich cultural and mythological history. The region has been inhabited by various indigenous communities over the centuries, each with its own stories and legends related to the natural environment. Exploring these tales can add a fascinating element to your park experience, giving you a greater appreciation for the connection between culture and nature.

Impact of Indigenous Culture

Indigenous culture has left a significant mark on the Cumbres de Majalca area. The ancestral wisdom of indigenous communities has contributed to the conservation of the natural environment over the years, and their knowledge of medicinal plants and resource management techniques is invaluable. Respecting and valuing this cultural heritage is essential to maintain the park’s integrity and its connection with local communities.

Research and Studies in the Park

Recent Research Projects

Cumbres de Majalca National Park has been the subject of various scientific research projects in recent years. These projects encompass areas such as biodiversity, landscape ecology, endemic species conservation, and climate change monitoring. The outcomes of these investigations provide crucial information for park management and protection, as well as informed decision-making related to its long-term conservation.

Opportunities for Scientific Research

If you’re a researcher or student interested in conducting studies, there are opportunities to collaborate with local and national institutions. You can focus on topics such as the ecology of specific species, the impact of climate change on ecosystems, or the assessment of conservation strategies implemented in the park. These research efforts will enhance the understanding of this valuable natural environment and develop more effective measures for its protection.

With its rich biodiversity, stunning landscapes, and conservation efforts, Cumbres de Majalca National Park is an incomparable destination for nature enthusiasts and those interested in learning about the importance of conservation. When visiting the park, remember to respect its environment, follow established rules, and contribute to its protection so that future generations can also enjoy its beauty and natural charm. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this natural treasure and immerse yourself in the magic of Cumbres de Majalca!

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