Toluca Navada, Mexico

two hikers brace themselves against the wind as they begin to walk through the crater of toluca navada

This is the inside of the crater atop Toluca Navada, a 15,354 foot volcano in central Mexico. There are two lakes in this crater, and we're looking at the smaller of the two, Lago de la Luna (Moon Lake) The other lake, as you may have guess is the Sun Lake, Lago del Sol. Although the slopes seen here look like a mountain range all of their own, this is just the tip of the iceberg. It takes over an hour to drive up to the crater from the bottom of the volcano on a curvy winding road. At this point, you get out and take a 20 minute hike to the rim of the crater, and this is what you see as you peer inside.

 Here's what you see in the other direction, looking towards Lago del Sol, the larger of the two lakes.

We were in this part of the world on a paragliding trip, but the weather wasn't so great for flying that day. I think it was too windy and cloudbase was too low, I can't remember for sure. In any case one of the pilots knew a local girl who frequently hikes and mountain bikes here. So she gave us a tour. She explained to us that the locals refer to this Giant as the Snowy Lord, and that the weather up here can be quite treacherous at times. In fact there is typically snow at the top during the time we were visiting. As you can see from the people in the photos all bundled up in their coats, it was quite cold up there, but there had been a dry spell.

As we were leaving a cloud rolled in below us, so thick that we were no longer able to see the metropolis below. The cloud turned out to be a storm that we fortunately missed.The next day we were a couple of hours away on our way to go paragliding at another mountain, and in the distance we could see the Snowy Lord was covered in snow again.