Located in the northern outskirts of Guadalajara is La Barranca, a gorge with winding, rocky footpaths curving to the valley floor. This gorge boasts an athletic adventure for everyone. Descend slowly and enjoy the lush green landscape, or trot down quickly in order to reach the bottom. Either way you'll forget you're so close to the city. Bring water because the hike up can be strenous. This spot is a weekend favorite, so to avoid the crowds go early or during the week.
I like to go during the summer afternoons, but since it often rains around 4PM, you have to be careful. To get to the bottom and back will take at least a couple hours, so be prepared. If you make it to the bottom you must wander through the little village. You'll feel like your trespassing on private land, but the road is public. It's very safe, but I wouldn't go alone. If you don't have the time or energy to reach the bottom, a nice turning point is about 30 minutes down. You can't miss it. The trail will bend hard to the left. The look out point has a railing to prevent people from getting to close to the edge. The picture with this entry is from that spot.
If you go on the weekend, it will be crowded, but still fun. The advantage of lots of people is there will be more vendors, even on the trail. And when I say on the trail, I mean literally on it. You'll have to go around them. If you decide to go between 8-11AM don't be surprise to find hundreds of caterpillars dangling from the trees. They're cute until one lands in your mouth. (Hey, what's a little extra protein. :) )
To get there
Take a bus or taxi to La Barranca de los Oblatos. The easiest way is by taxi. Tell the drive you want to go to La Barranca. He might want to take you to El Mirador, which, as its name suggests, has a great view, but tell him you want to hike down into the gorge. If your Spanish is rusty tell him: Quiero bajar hasta el fondo de la barranca. The trailhead is also the final destination for the buses that go to La Barranca.