Classic Inca Trail Map
Day 1: This is where the Inca Trail begins, with a nice flat warm-up for the first day. The trek passes the first ruins called Patallaqta and ends at the first campsite, Wayllabamba. This is the easiest day of the trek as you can see from the elevation profile.
Day 2: Day two is a full day hike of elevation gain and altitude and is much more difficult than day one. The Inca Trail elevation gain on day two is the hardest day of the trek with over 1,200 meters up. You will conquer Warmiwanusca Pass, also called Dead Woman’s Pass, which is the highest point on the trek.
Day 3: Day three involves trekking to the archaeological sites of Runkuracay, Sayacmarca, and Phuyupatamarca. This begins a series of over 1,000 stone steps down to the ruins of Winay Wayna, and finally your campsite.
Day 4: Day four is all about Machu Picchu! After hiking you will reach a climb of over 50 very steep stone steps to Inti Punku or the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu! The day typically ends with a tour of the Machu Picchu citadel.
What is the Elevation of the Inca Trail?
As seen from the map the Inca Trail elevation has lots of gain and descent. The easiest day is the first day as it is relatively flat. The Inca Trail elevation varies, with the highest point rising to 13,828 feet (4200 m) over Dead Woman’s Pass. The second day is the hardest day which starts at 9,800 feet (3000 m) and ascends to Dead Woman’s Pass.
Day three and four of the Inca Trail elevation change is a relative descent heading to Machu Picchu. Machu Picchu sits at 7,972 feet (2,430 m).
The Inca Trail is a hell of an undertaking. You’re gonna work hard on the trek. But the views are something that makes it all the worthwhile.