Located in the Izta-Popo Zoquiapan National Park, in the State of Mexico, La Joya is a high mountain hut at an elevation of 3.977m (13,047ft) above the sea level. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of the country.
The road to the hut is gravel and sand. Starting from Paso de Cortés, a high mountain pass at 3,400m (11,150ft) above the sea level, the road is 7.4 km long. It’s very steep. The elevation gain is 577m and the average gradient is 7,79%, with sections up to 10%.
The surface on this gravel road is often loose, especially along the sides of the road. Due its unique location and the climb in elevation over thousands of feet, and passing through remote areas, it is important when driving in these conditions to be prepared. Open to all motorized vehicles, however, recommended for high clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicles. The road gets worse at the very end and descends about 40 feet on a rough cobblestone hill so drivers tend to stop somewhere before La Joya however most of it is fairly smooth dirt. The road is only open from 8:00am to 6:00pm.
Near the hut there’s a parking lot, on the way to the Iztaccíhuatl volcano, at 5,230m (17,160ft) above the sea level. Do not travel this pass in severe weather conditions. The climb is simply terrible, with a notorius lack of oxygen that tests the organisms and a high degree of steepness. Most people feel altitude sickness at around 2,500-2,800 meters.
Road suggested by: Eblem Torres.