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October 2010

Feature Article

The Tepalo Canyon Falls Hike: Ajijic's Backdoor into Wilderness

By Jim Cook

If you are a hiker planning to visit the Lake Chapala area, be sure to pack your hiking boots. I am always surprised to find how many people, even those who live here year-round, don't take advantage of the outstanding hiking opportunities that are within easy walking distance of the towns and villages along the heavily populated north shore of Mexico's largest lake.

I suppose it might be a bit daunting to discover that, although there are many miles of easily accessible trails throughout the mountains, they are almost all unmarked. A long ridge of mountains runs along the North Shore of Lake Chapala for 28 kilometers (17.4 mi.) from Chapala to Jocotopec. At first glance, they look intimidatingly steep and impassably jungled, like a huge green wall looming over the Lakeside communities. However, there are many trails into these mountains that can accommodate a wide range of hiking abilities.

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