The relationship between the richness, diversity and distribution of fern and lycophyte species and some climatic and soil variables in the mountain cloud forest of the municipality of Tlanchinol, Hidalgo, Mexico, was analyzed. Twenty-four sampling plots of 400 m2 each were established in three elevational ranges between 1,107 and 1,903 m. In each plot, alpha and beta diversity, and the relative importance value (RIV) of the species were estimated. The relationship between richness, diversity, RIV and environmental variables was established by redundancy, linear regression and regression tree analysis. Few species showed high RIV per plot; richness and diversity values showed no statistically significant differences (P < 0.05) with respect to elevation, but did with respect to the minimum temperature of coldest month, precipitation of warmest quarter, orientation and slope. Beta diversity increased with elevation, was low between nearby elevational ranges and was high at the ends of the gradient. Species distribution was positively related to organic matter, isothermality and sodium content, and negatively with precipitation of driest month, annual actual evapotranspiration and actual evapotranspiration in the rainy season.