The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu (also known as Camino Inca or Camino Inka) is a hiking trail in Peru that terminates at Machu Picchu. It consists of three overlapping trails: Mollepata, Classic, and One Day. Mollepata is the longest of the three routes with the highest mountain pass and intersects with the Classic route before crossing Warmiwañusqa («dead woman»). Located in the Andes mountain range, the trail passes through several types of Andean environments including cloud forests and alpine tundra. Settlements, tunnels, and many Incan ruins are located along the trail before ending at the terminus at the Sun Gate on Machu Picchu mountain. The two longer routes require an ascent beyond 4,200 meters (13,800 ft) above sea level, which can result in altitude sickness.
Concern about overuse leading to erosion has led the Peruvian government to place a limit on the number of people who may hike this trail per season and to sharply limit the companies that can provide guides. As a result, advance booking is mandatory. A maximum of 500 people are allowed on the trail each day, of which only 200 are trekkers, the rest being guides and porters. As a result, the high season books out very quickly.
The trail is closed every February for cleaning. This was originally done informally by organizations such as South American Explorers but is now managed officially.