You can ascend to the top by three different trails. The first one leads from Achada to Teixeira. It is short and convenient for undemanding tourists. The second one starts off at the top of Madeira's third highest peak Pico do Arieiro . It is a very difficult trail and takes about 2 hours. The last one leads from the defile Encumeada. This one takes about 6 hours and belongs to more demanding rises. There is a beautiful view of the whole island from the top of Pico Ruivo but it can be covered in mist early in the morning.
There is a chalet offering accommodation and food under the top of Pico Ruivo.