Driving the wild road to Refugio Volcán Guagua Pichincha
Refugio Volcán Guagua Pichincha is a high mountain refuge at an elevation of 4.557m (14,950ft) above the sea level, located in Pichincha province, in the country of Ecuador. It's one of the highest roads of the country.
Located in the Andean foothills, 8 km from the centre of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, the road to the Ecuadorian Civil Defense hut is totally unpaved. It’s a dirt road that has been eroded from rainstorms and is dusty in dry weather and muddy in wet. The road up the mountain from the parking lot is pretty smooth but you’ll need a 4WD, high clearance vehicle. Your vehicle needs to be in good shape and be prepared for a lag in power.
Located on the slopes of Pichincha Volcano (Volcán Pichincha), an active stratovolcano, make sure the gas tank is full. The refuge is a small building with about a dozen bunkbeds. From the refuge you’ll need to walk 40 minutes to the summit of the volcano. Weather conditions can pose a problem.
The road to the refuge is pretty steep. Starting from Lloa, a rural parish of Quito Canton, Pichincha Province, outside of the capital, the road to the top is 14km (8.69 miles) long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.534 meters. The average percentage is 10.95%.
Pic: Alvaro Villamar