The Cumbres de Monterrey National Park and Biosphere Reserve is located in the northern portion of the Sierra Madre Oriental, a mountain range in northeastern Mexico and near the city of Monterrey, consisting of rugged terrain boasting steep mountains, deep canyons, rivers and waterfalls.
The Cumbres de Monterrey National Park and Biosphere Reserve is located in the northern portion of the Sierra Madre Oriental, a mountain range in northeastern Mexico and near the city of Monterrey, consisting of rugged terrain boasting steep mountains reaching an elevation of 2,260 m (7,410 ft) above sea level, deep canyons, rivers and waterfalls.
The Sierra Madre Oriental is a mountain range in northeastern Mexico and part of the American Cordillera, a chain of mountain ranges (cordillera) that consists of an almost continuous sequence of mountain ranges that form the western "backbone" of North America, Central America, South America and Antarctica.
The Highest Peaks in the Cumbres del Monterrey National Park and Biosphere Reserve:
- Pinar: 1,515 m (4,970 ft) above sea level
- La Ventana: 1,955 m (6,414 ft) above sea level
- La Antenna: 2,015 m (6,611 ft) above sea level
- M Este: 2,020 m (6,630 ft) above sea level
- Copete de las Águilas: 2,260 m (7,410 ft) above sea level
The main types of ecosystems found within the biosphere reserve are coniferous forests: forests of oaks and scrub. It is considered a priority region and an important area for bird conservation because of its vicinity to El Taray reserve (a parrot reserve in the mountains in the east). It is important for the production of ecosystem services, providing approximately 50% of water consumed in Monterrey and its metropolitan area.
Grutas de García (García Caves) is one of the largest cave system in Mexico and is one of the most popular attractions within the park. García Caves were hidden for millions of years until being discovered in 1843. Marine fossils have been discovered inside these caves because the lining of the caves mainly consist of oceanic sedimentary rock.
Cañón de la Huasteca is the most famous of the many canyons found in Cumbres de Monterrey. The canyon accounts for about 200 hectares of the park. The walls of Cañón de la Huastecan are marked with a significant number prehistoric glyphs created thousands of years ago by the ancient inhabitants of the region.
Throughout the park/reserve there are numerous waterfalls. The two most famous waterfalls are Cascada Cola de Caballo (Horsetail Falls) and Cascada de Chipitín (Chipitín Falls).
The Cumbres de Monterrey National Park and Biosphere Reserve has a great variety of ecosystems throughout the park due to the geography of the park where there are many microclimates allowing a greater variety of flora and fauna to flourish. Agave, Dasylirion, and Rhus species are found in many areas of the park. The forest is made up mainly of the following tree species:
- Spruce: Picea martinezii, Picea engelmannii
- Yucca: Yucca carnerosana, Yucca filifera
- Douglas Fir: Pseudotsuga lindleyana, Pseudotsuga flahualti
- Firs: Abies vejarii, Abies hickelii, Abies hidalgensis, Abies durangensis
- Oak: Quercus fusiformis, Quercus greggii, Quercus hipoxlanta, Quercus laeta, Quercus saltillensis
- Pine: Pinus ayacahuite, Pinus cembroides, Pinus greggii, Pinus hartwegii, Pinus pinceana, Pinus pseudostrobus, Pinus rudis, Pinus teocote
The pine and oak forests and steppe are home to many animals. The Cumbres de Monterrey National Park and Biosphere Reserve has one of the most diverse ecosystems in the northern part of Mexico. There is a large variety of fish that can be found in the park but most species are endangered.
32 towns are located in the biosphere reserve and park with a total population of around 2000 people. The area has been zoned according to the priority of conservation of ecosystems and land use, including space for the development of the traditional activities of local residents.