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From: Pátzcuaro to Toluca via Mex 15
Date: December 12, 2000
Logged By: Mike and Terri Church
Vehicle: 19-foot Class B Van

Note: This route to the Mexico City area is really most suitable for smaller rigs. Highway 15 is known as the Mil Cumbres (Thousand Summits) Route, which gives you some idea. It is really not as bad as all that, but some portions are very narrow and winding. An alternative would be to drive north from Pátzcuaro and around Morelos to the toll route Mex 15D which runs all the way to Toluca and is much faster.


000.0 Miles (000.0 Km) -- This drive begins in Pátzcuaro at the intersection where the Uruapan - Pátzcuaro road log dated 12/07/00 ends. Turn left at the intersection.

000.6 Miles (001.0 Km) -- Cutoff to the left for the free road to Uruapan, Mex 14. Also for the boats to islands in the lake. We continue straight.

000.7 Miles (001.1 Km) -- Pemex #587 on the left, it is small with poor access and has magna and premium.

001.8 Miles (002.9 Km) -- Pemex #589 on the right, small, good access, with magna, premium, and diesel.

002.5 Miles (004.0 Km) -- Cutoff left for Quiroga. This is the road that runs up the east side of Lake Pátzcuaro and connects with Mex 15 east of Morelia. It passes through Tzintzuntzán and past the archeological site there. Quiroga is a great town for shopping for local handicrafts. We continue straight.

002.5 Miles (004.0 Km) -- Highway becomes four lanes.

003.9 Miles (006.3 Km) -- Exit on the right for Mex 14D to Uruapan. This is the highway we used to reach Pátzcuaro, we just exited a little nearer to Uruapan.

020.3 Miles (032.7 Km) -- Pemex #5482 on the right and left. They are medium-sized with good access and sell magna, premium, and diesel.

029.4 Miles (047.4 Km) -- Pemex #4175 on the left. It is medium-sized with magna, premium, and diesel.

031.5 Miles (050.8 Km) -- Pemex #3106 on the left. It is medium-sized with good access and has magna, premium, and diesel.

031.6 Miles (051.0 Km) -- Take the off-ramp to the right to the Morelia ring road. It is marked as UNAM and La Huerta but there is no mention that it is a ring road or periférico. Once on the ring road watch for laterals to start, heavy rigs (those with duals) must use the laterals or risk a ticket. If you go straight and pass under the ring road there is a large Wal-Mart down the hill on the left. See Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping for directions and information about Morelia campgrounds.

032.4 Miles (052.3 Km) -- Costco store on the right.

032.7 Miles (052.7 Km) -- Pemex #5229 on the right with magna and premium.

033.7 Miles (054.4 Km) -- Lateral begins. Heavy rigs should use it. If you stay on the light traffic lanes be careful because the left-most lane sometimes turns into a left-turn lane without warning and you could be trapped into heading downtown.

036.4 Miles (058.7 Km) -- Plaza Las Americas shopping center on the left with a Commercial Mexicana supermarket and a Sanborns restaurant and book store as well as other stores. Poor parking for larger rigs.

036.9 Miles (059.5 Km) -- Gigante supermarket on the right.

037.4 Miles (060.3 Km) -- Turn right onto Mex 15. There is no sign from our direction telling where the road goes, but this is the beginning of the Mil Cumbres Route. It is a two-lane paved road.

038.8 Miles (062.6 Km) -- Km marker 236. This is the distance to Toluca via this route. We're soon out of town.

048.8 Miles (078.7 Km) -- Parque Nacional picnic area to the right. The road has become narrow and winding as it climbs up into the mountains. At one point we stopped and measured the lane, it was 8 feet wide with an additional six inches to the very edge of the pavement outside the fog line. Despite this we pass the occasional 40-foot wide-body bus.

060.6 Miles (097.7 Km) -- Pass through village of Las Perras

065.2 Miles (105.2 Km) -- Pass through the larger village of San Jose de la Cumbre.

077.8 Miles (125.5 Km) -- Mirador Mil Cumbres on the right. This is a good place to stop and enjoy the view across the peaks.

078.9 Miles (127.3 Km) -- Through village of La Mina.

082.8 Miles (133.5 Km) -- Highway 51 from Zinapécuario joins us from the left. The road becomes much better.

094.4 Miles (152.3 Km) -- Paved road goes left to Parque Natural Los Azufres. See Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping for information about camping in this area.

094.7 Miles (152.7 Km) -- Pemex #5065 on the right. It is large with good access and has magna, premium, and diesel.

094.8 Miles (152.9 Km) -- Cutoff right to Ciudad Hidalgo just to the right. We stay on the main road which is really a bypass of Ciudad Hidalgo.

101.9 Miles (164.4 Km) -- Cutoff right to Ciudad Hidalgo, this is the end of the bypass.

102.1 Miles (164.7 Km) -- Pemex #0602 on the right. It is large with good access and has magna, premium and diesel as well as some truck parking.

111.1 Miles (179.2 Km) -- Enter town of Tuxpan. Square on the right.

111.8 Miles (180.3 Km) -- Pemex #0971 on the left. It is medium-sized with magna, premium, and diesel.

112.5 Miles (181.5 Km) -- Pemex #4221 on the left. It is big with good access and has magna, premium, and diesel as well as some truck parking.

113.1 Miles (182.4 Km) -- Out of town of Tuxpan.

119.8 Miles (193.2 Km) -- Through the village of Ocurio.

121.9 Miles (196.6 Km) -- Archeological site of Los Alzati to the left.

123.2 Miles (198.7 Km) -- Enter the small town of San Felipe. In town there is a cutoff to the left that goes up to the Monarch butterfly viewing areas near Ocampo and Angangueo.

125.1 Miles (201.8 Km) -- Pemex #0977 on the right. It is small with good access and has magna, premium, and diesel.

127.9 Miles (206.3 Km) -- Cutoff to the right to Zitacuaro centro. We stay on the main road which is really a bypass.

129.3 Miles (208.5 Km) -- Second Zitacuaro centro cutoff to the right.

130.6 Miles (210.6 Km) -- Pemex #0979 to the right. It is medium-sized with good access and truck parking and sells magna, premium, and diesel. After Zitacuaro the road once again narrows and winds through the hills. It's slow going, about 30-35 mph.

142.7 Miles (230.2 Km) -- Leave the state of Michoacán, enter Estado de Mexico.

153.4 Miles (247.4 Km) -- Road right to Valle de Bravo, a popular lakeside resort. See Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping for directions and information about the campground there. After this intersection the road once again is better.

158.4 Miles (255.5 Km) -- Pemex on the left with magna, premium, and diesel.

166.2 Miles (268.1 Km) -- Hwy 14 goes left to eventually connect with Hwy 126 and Atlacomulco.

171.1 Miles (276.0 Km) -- Pemex #4944 on the left. It is large with good access and has magna, premium, and diesel.

173.8 Miles (280.3 Km) -- Pemex #5599 on the left. It is medium-sized with good access and has magna, premium, and diesel.

175.3 Miles (282.7 Km) -- Pemex #5548 on the right. It is big with good access and has magna, premium, and diesel.

181.3 Miles (292.4 Km) -- Pemex #5153 on the right. It is medium-sized with good access and has magna, premium, and diesel.

181.3 Miles (292.4 Km) -- Four lane highway begins. We are nearing Toluca.

185.0 Miles (298.4 Km) -- Pemex #947 on the left with magna, premium, and diesel.

185.1 Miles (298.5 Km) -- Toluca ring road to the right. Downtown Toluca straight ahead. See Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping for information about Toluca campgrounds.

Note: The next section of the road log begins on the far side of Mexico City because we followed a circuitous route while researching our book. We'll be driving through this area during April and may be able to add more logs.

See our book Traveler's Guide to Mexican Camping for information about camping in the Toluca area.

Copyright İ 2001 Mike and Terri Church

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