El Yunque Hike

Date TBD - see below
El Yunque National Forest • Puerto Rico

Explore the only rainforest in the US National Forest System...
Experience the wide variety of plant and tree species in the forest...
Gaze upon your reflection in a natural pool...
Climb up an observation tower for some magnificent views...

IMPORTANT UPDATE: El Yunque National Park has been closed until further notice due to damage caused by Hurricane Irma. Therefore, we will need to re-schedule this hike. We are hoping for sometime in October, but cannot confirm a firm date at this time. We will email again when we have more information. In the meantime, we are leaving the event open to new sign-up's for those who may wish to participate once the new date is known.

These are just a few of the attractions on the 4.8 mile El Yunque Trail hike in the El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico.

During your trek, you will travel through three types of forests: Palo Colorado Forest, Palma Sierra area, and the Dwarf forest. This diverse environment has thousands of plants, trees, and small animals, many of which are only found in this rainforest.

Meet new friends and enjoy the natural beauty of Puerto Rico's rain forest, less than an hour from San Juan.

Registration Is Free

Instead of charging a fee, we ask your help raising funds for mental health research and trail maintenance.

It's fast and easy! When you register, you will be able to personalize a sponsorship page and share it through email and your favorite social media such as Facebook or Instagram. How does it work?  

Every little bit helps, and there is no minimum to raise – we just ask that you help us spread the word, then come join us on the trail.

Get a Free Hiking Shirt

Our quick-dry shirts look and feel great, on or off the trail.

Every registered hiker who raises at least $100 will receive a HIKE for Mental Health shirt as a token of our appreciation.

Available in men's or women's sizes SMALL – XXL.

When you register, we will ask your size preference. Once you reach $100 in donations to your fundraising page, we will get your shirt to you.

If you hit the $100 ten days before the hike, your hike leader will have your shirt for you on hike day. Otherwise, we will mail it to you after the hike.

So help us raise money and awareness for this great cause.

For a Good Cause

HIKE for Mental Health is an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

All contributions are tax deductible, and 100% of the hike donations support our mission.

Eighty cents of every dollar funds mental health programs, including break-through scientific research into PTSD, schizophrenia, bipolar spectrum disorders, depression and other major mental ilnesses. Through research we can find better ways to alleviate the suffering that affects 1 in 4 American families.

The remaining twenty cents maintains wilderness trails across the U.S. By supporting non-profit, volunteer groups that care for our trails, we help preserve wilderness experiences for generations to come. Where the money goes.

Hike Details

Location: Palo Colorado Visitor Center, El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico
Date: TBD - see notice in red above
Time: 8 AM - 4 PM. Exact times and locations with directions provided to registered hikers only.
Distance: Approximately 4.8 miles.
Difficulty level: Moderate to strenuous.
Suitable for beginners? Absolutely! A great hike for outdoorsy beginners who are physically fit and can readily climb 5 flights of stairs and still be smiling.
Registration fee Registration is free.
Pet friendly? Dogs are welcome in the park.
Sponsorship amount: The hike goal is $3,000. There is no minimum required to join the hike, but if every hiker raised $200, we would get very close to our goal.
Free shirt: Hikers who raise $100 or more will receive a free HIKE for Mental Health quick-dry hiking shirt.
Free gear: The top fundraiser for this hike will receive a pair of Leki Utlralite Corklite Trekking Poles, valued at $140, generously donated by Leki. The winner will be the hiker registered for this hike with the highest fundraising total on his or her fundraising page by the end of day, one week after the hike.
Hike directors:

Emily EllisMaria Diehl is a lead Mental Health neuroscientist at the University of Puerto Rico in the department of Psychiatry in the laboratory of Dr. Gregory J. Quirk. Her goal is to better understand mental illnesses such as PTSD and other anxiety disorders through studying the brain's neural circuits. She returns to HFMH for a second year as an organizer and also organizes several meetup groups in Puerto Rico. "I chose this hike because it is perfect for showcasing the beautiful rainforest of Puerto Rico. On a clear day, the view at the peak is magnificent. I love sharing my joy of nature and hiking with others, and this is a great hike for doing just that."

Behind Maria in the photo is Armando Vengoechea. "I'm hiking with HIKE for Mental Health because it feels very good when I do things for a good cause. This time is different, because this cause is very important to me. I have suffered from OCD for the past 12 years. Doing this hike will help the cause and make other people feel better. Also, we will create awareness and help eliminate the stigma associated with mental health disorders." Armando is, among many accomplishments, a certified MMA conditioning coach, a Spartan SXG coach, a motivational speaker, and a certified BBQ judge!

Trail Map

Every HIKE for Mental Health is an opportunity to:

  • get away from the hustle and bustle of work-a-day life and enjoy the beauty of Nature
  • renew old friendships and make new ones
  • have a great time hiking with a good group of people
  • stand up against the stigma of mental illness
  • discover your new favorite get-away
  • raise money for a great cause

Come on out and join us!


If you have any questions or ideas, please contact us.

We are glad to talk with you about your hike and how you can help HIKE for Mental Health.

We hope you will make HIKE for Mental Health a part of your hike.

Go to Schedule of Hikes