Mt. Solmar Hike: The Must-Do Dog Hike in Los Cabos
Does it get any better than hiking with dogs in Cabo? If you’re a dog lover like me, the answer is likely an easy “no.”
If so, you’re in luck. Six days a week, a dog trainer named Enrique opens what is normally a private facility, allowing tourists to hike Mt. Solmar with his dogs.
There’s understandably a lot of hesitancy as people read about the Mt. Solmar hike, given that everyone has different fitness levels and perceptions of what rock climbing and steep drop-offs are.
So, instead of telling you about my experience, I’ll show it to you via the photos I took.
Note: Unfortunately, Mt. Solmar isn’t wheelchair accessible. However, the entrance to the dog facility is accessible, and you could wait there (possibly with some dogs) if you’re traveling with people who want to partake in the hike. You can learn more about accessible things to do in Cabo here.
A Background on the Mt. Solmar Hike
The Mount Solmar hike is run by a dog trainer and rescuer named Enrique. The area is private property, so you must arrive on time. Otherwise, Enrique will lock the gate and you’ll have to wait until the following morning to hike.
One of the many reasons that Mt. Solmar is among the best hikes in Cabo is because of its unparalleled views and tip-based nature. Enrique doesn’t charge a set fee, but I encourage you to tip him generously for his time.
Arriving at the Mt. Solmar Meeting Point
To find the start of the Mt. Solmar hike, open Google Maps and type “The Hike.”
Enrique’s dog training facility will show up on the map—that’s how popular this hike is.
The dog facility sits almost at the end of Boulevard Paseo de la Marina near La Empacadora Beach. It’s just a block back from the pedestrian boardwalk along the Marina.
When you arrive, you’ll see a large chain link fence and the following signs indicating that you’re at the right place:
Hours of Operation
As of April 2022, the Mt. Solmar hiking schedule is as follows:
Sunday – Friday at 8:15 am
That means you can’t hike Mt. Solmar on Saturdays. That said, before you confirm your plans, I encourage you to check if the start time or days of operation have changed. Enrique posts them on a sign at the entrance gate.
If you discover any changes from the information here, I’d appreciate you letting me know in the comments section. Your updates will undoubtedly help others looking for up-to-date details on this hike.
Enrique is a punctual man, so I encourage you to be the same. He’ll open the door at 8:15 am, allowing visitors to mingle with his dogs.
At this time, he’ll give you some background on the facility, how they obtained the property, and other essential items to know before you em”bark” on the Mt. Solmar hike. The tour is entirely in English, although Enrique is bilingual, with Spanish being his native language.
Around 8:30 am, Enrique will lock the door and the hike will commence.
Children’s Age Restrictions
There’s a loose minimum age rule to hike Mt. Solmar with children, which is 12 years old and up.
However, Enrique doesn’t make these rules. Instead, Mexico City monitors the area using cameras and drones.
So, if your child looks tall enough to be 12 years old, you shouldn’t have an issue.
And if your kid looks younger than twelve, you may not either.
There was a seven-year-old boy in my group. After talking with the child about whether he could handle the hike, Enrique made a call and got the okay from Mexico City for the child to join.
How Long Does the Mt. Solmar Hike Take?
The Mt. Solmar hike takes approximately 45 minutes up and a bit less on the way down. However, you can expect the entire experience to last around two hours.
That’s because Enrique begins with a talk on Cabo’s history, stops mid-way to give more insight into the area, and then allows plenty of time for people to explore at the top (and give slower hikers time to catch up).
Items to Pack
Mt. Solmar isn’t the type of hike you can do without a bit of preparation. Make sure to pack/wear the following items.
- Sneakers or hiking boots
- A backpack to carry your belongings (you’ll want to hike hands-free, trust me!)
My Photo Essay Disclaimer
Of all the hiking near Cabo San Lucas you can do, Mt. Solmar is arguably the most challenging. That said, of the approximately 50 people in my group, there was a range of age and fitness levels. Everyone completed the hike mostly uninjured—a minor scrape here or there can happen.
While I’m hoping the photos below help you determine whether Mt. Solmar is the right fit for you, I want to caution you that a portion of the rock climbing required two hands. Plus, with people behind me, I didn’t want to hold up the crowd by taking photos.
So, you’ll have to use your imagination for some of the rock climbing parts.
The bottom line?
If anything you see here looks too physically challenging or you have a fear of heights, it’s likely best to skip this hike, as I’m not able to show you the most difficult section.
Photo Essay of the Mt. Solmar Hike
Without further ado, below is a step-by-step photo guide on the experience you can expect to have during your Mt. Solmar Cabo hike.
When you arrive at the meeting point for the hike, people will start congregating outside of the gate. Enrique will open the gate at the designated start time (8:15 am as of April 2022), and you’ll enter into the large space seen below.
Once Enrique lets all the dogs out and gives his orientation, you’ll embark on the hike, which begins behind the orange building.
I recommend analyzing your fitness level during the orientation. That way, you can decide where you want to fall in line during the hike, as the trail will soon become narrow enough where you’ll have to form a single line.
The path starts out pretty flat, and most of the dogs will run ahead to stay with Enrique or chase an animal they spot on the mountain slopes.
Nevertheless, as people begin the gentle upward climb, some older dogs will move at a slower pace. So, watch your feet as you hike to ensure you don’t accidentally trip on a dog.
As you start the gradual upward climb, you’ll start to have views over parts of Cabo. You’ll also be able to see the line of people behind you. Expect it to be a long one if you’re hiking towards the front!
Once you get your heart pumping and confidence built up thinking “This isn’t as bad as they say,” Enrique will stop at a little cement viewing area. Here, dogs and humans alike get to enjoy the views over the Marina while Enrique gives you more background on the area.
You’ll also get a good view of where the cruise ships station, if there are any in town.
Enrique will then lead you up the rocky side of a mountain that doesn’t look like it has a trail. But first, he’ll warn you that things are going to get tougher and remind you that you can’t backtrack since you’ll be taking a different path down.
As it turns out, a foot trail does exist, but barely. It gets more difficult (but not impossible) to pull over for a breather during this time, so make sure you position yourself accordingly in line after Enrique gives his speech.
If you’ve heard people say there’s rock climbing involved, situations like the next photo are what they’re talking about. It’s difficult to tell from the photo, but this was a steep incline.
It was around this time I had to put my phone away because I needed both of my hands to make my way through the steep, rocky, and prickly terrain.
Once you arrive at the top, you’ll be greeted by the Mexican flag and the freedom to explore the paths and, lack of paths, around the rocks as you wish.
Based on Enrique’s recommendation, it’s best to swing around to the right immediately upon arriving at the top of the hill. That way, you’ll save the best Mount Solmar Cabo hiking views for last.
When you go to the right, a nearly people-free beach and a series of hotels will greet you.
Some people decide to only stay on the right upon seeing the jagged rocks they’d have to climb to get to the iconic views of Land’s End from Mt. Solmar. I’ll admit that I almost stayed back too.
But I’m so glad I pushed ahead and climbed what ended up being the not-quite-as-scary-as-they-initially-seemed rocks.
If you have a fear of heights, though, traversing the rocks could get your heart beating fast again, for you’ll pass some steep drop-offs.
The good news is that the dogs mostly stay around Enrique. So, if you stay behind him, you shouldn’t have to worry about tripping over a pack of happy pups that beat you to the top.
Enrique will first go to the main lookout area so that people know where they can climb.
Afterward, he’ll find a shady spot to wait as everyone admires the views and explores the many different viewpoints. Some dogs end up choosing to take a rest with him.
After passing over the rocks and when standing at the main viewing area, you’ll see Divorce Beach off to the right.
But most of your attention will be looking straight ahead, which is where you’ll get to see the Land’s End rock formation. Here’s a fun fact: No land blocks the path between the tip of Land’s End and Antarctica.
During your exploration at the top of Mt. Solmar, you won’t hear anyone telling you to be careful or that you can’t climb up a particular rock. Instead, it’s an explore-at-your-own-risk kind of activity.
Whatever you do, don’t risk your well-being by rushing through the steepest part of the hike to get to the top of Mt. Solmar, as Enrique is generous with the amount of free time he offers at the top. We had over 30 minutes to explore. That allowed struggling hikers time to catch up and still enjoy the views.
In fact, you’ll likely end up taking a seat with a dog and soaking in the beauty and tranquility of the landscape after filling your phone with photos.
The dogs get tired from hiking, but they still had more energy than most hikers.
Take note of the cactus in the photo below. Cacti are everywhere during the hike, and it would be an easy but painful situation to mistake them for being tree branches that you can grab to steady yourself.
The dogs loved hanging out with each other as much as they did the tourists.
Once it’s time to descend, Enrique will walk around the top of the mountain to let everyone know. Although it’s sad to say goodbye to the unparalleled view of Land’s End, you’ll get excellent vistas of the Marina on the different path he’ll take you on.
You can also snap photos like the one below before starting to hike down the hill.
Climbing down Mt. Solmar is seemingly less challenging than going up when you look at it at face value. There’s no rock climbing and, overall, people have an easier time keeping their pace in the line.
However, the terrain is slippery with loose dirt and small stones. Furthermore, the cacti become even denser on this trail, and you might get minor scratches from the brush.
As a word of caution, pay special attention to the last 15 – 20 feet before you hit flat ground. I’m not sure whether it’s from believing you’re in the clear, exhaustion, or because it’s truly extra slippery, but I nearly fell during that last bit and the woman behind me actually did fall. Luckily, at that point, you’ll have left the steep drop-offs behind.
When you reenter the dog training facility, you’ll pass by a small sign saying “Don’t forget to tip the guide.” Please do so! Enrique will wait at the gate to bid you farewell and accept your tip.
FAQs About the Mt. Solmar Hike
If you still have questions about hiking Mt. Solmar, below are some answers. If I missed anything, leave your question in the comments section and I’ll be happy to help.
What is the elevation of Mt. Solmar?
Mt. Solmar has an elevation of 544 feet. You’ll be starting the hike from sea level, so you need to be comfortable hiking with an over 500-foot elevation change.
Can you hike Mt. Solmar without a guide?
No, you can’t hike Mt. Solmar without a guide. Enrique will lead the tour, and the hike is gated so you can’t enter after the start of the hike time.
Can I turn around if the hike gets too hard?
Unfortunately, you can’t turn around if the hike gets too hard (although I’m sure Enrique has a plan for emergency situations). Instead, it’s your responsibility to decide whether you’re physically fit enough and capable of hiking in the heat before joining, as you won’t backtrack along the same trail.
How many people will be on the hike?
It’s common for there to be dozens of people on the hike. There’s only one hike per day, six days a week, so people arrive in droves to experience it. That said, you can expect relatively fewer hikers during the low tourist season (summer and fall).
Is there a limit on how many people can hike Mt. Solmar per day?
No, there’s no limit on how many people can hike Mt. Solmar. So, you don’t have to worry about too many people showing up.
Do you have to sign up in advance to hike Mt. Solmar?
No, you don’t have to sign up in advance to hike Mt. Solmar. In fact, it’s impossible to do so. Simply show up on time and embark on the hike. There isn’t even any paperwork to fill out.
Are there steep drop-offs on the Mt. Solmar hike?
Yes, Mt. Solmar has some steep drop-offs. So, if you’re afraid of heights, this likely isn’t the right hike for you.
Do I have to worry about snakes on the Mt. Solmar hike?
Enrique made a joke that he brings the dogs along to scare away the snakes. Although we all knew he was kidding in the sense that he loves his dogs and that they get attention from tourists, there was undoubtedly truth in what he said. Venomous snakes live in Mt. Solmar’s hills. So, don’t go sticking your hand in crevices.
Is there shade on the Mt. Solmar hike?
No, there’s essentially no shade on the Mt. Solmar hike. The exception is some shade by large rocks when you arrive at the top. Therefore, you must be both physically fit and capable of being out in hot, direct sunlight for around two hours to be able to do this hike.
Do You Want to Volunteer With Dogs in Cabo?
If your hike up Mt. Solmar leaves you craving more time with dogs in Cabo, consider volunteering at Los Cabos Humane Society.
This animal shelter is a short drive away from the Marina, and they welcome short and long-term volunteers alike. So, whether you want to walk dogs through Cabo’s countryside, cuddle with cats in the cat suite, or help with cleaning, they’ll be happy to receive you.
Some Final Thoughts
If you’ve been researching Cabo San Lucas hiking tours, Mt. Solmar is the hike to do.
While people of many ages and fitness levels successfully finish this hike, it’s important to know that there’s a lot of uneven terrain, a steep climb, some drop-offs, and essentially no shade.
So, if you’re leary about embarking up Mt. Solmar, there are other opportunities for hiking near Cabo San Lucas. Alternatively, you can take a stroll around the Marina, which offers views of Mt. Solmar from below.
Do you have questions about hiking Mt. Solmar? If so, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help. I’d also love to hear your feedback if you partake in this hike—your insight will surely help other hikers-to-be.
P.S.- Are you trying to decide between a visit to Cabo or Cancun? If so, don’t miss my guide on the 27 similarities and differences between these destinations.
Laura has been wandering the globe for over a decade. She’s an early bird and backpacker at heart and can often be spotted with a dog or ten that she’s befriended along the way. Much of the content Laura writes on A Piece of Travel includes details on wheelchair accessibility, with the support of her brother-in-law and sister. You can learn about their accessibility endeavors here.