In northern Aragonia at the end of a winding road lies the picturesque village of Rodellar, which lies amongst green mountains and deep gorges. At this point, you are already in the middle of the Sierra y Cañones de Guara Natural Park, whose rock formations and deep canyons are famous among climbers and canyoneers.
Despite the notoriety, however, this pristine park offers visitors hikes of all difficulty levels, ranging from relaxing strolls to intense climbs. Winding you through deep gorges, up steep trails and through abandoned villages, one thing is certain, however: you’ll encounter some breathtaking views. Following already established hiking paths, you’ll hike alongside gentle rivers and into gaping canyons—the result of thousands of years of Mother Nature carving into the rock—and you’ll be exposed to a landscape that contains it all; one which will remind you of faraway countries—over and over again. The seclusion enjoyed in this park also makes it a busy ecosystem for numerous animals, including vultures and ibexes. Just don’t worry if you bump into any on the trails: They are friendly in these parts and very cautious around humans.
To help you make the most out of this incredible landscape, then, we’ve selected seven different day hikes for you. As the network of hiking trails is so widespread, however—and there is an abundance of affordable accommodation in the several villages in the area—feel free to connect each Tour’s Highlights however you want.
To get to the natural park, take the train or bus from Barcelona to Huesca, which is the nearest large city. As certain areas of the park will be off limits to those without a car, it's a good idea pick up a small rental in Huesca. During summer, there’s also an irregular shuttle bus, which takes you from Huesca to Rodellar, Alquezar or Bierge. Call the bus company, Alosa, at 0034 - 974 21 07 00 to get more information.
From the small mountain village of Rodellar you descend into the valley of the Río Mascún. The trail first leads along towering limestone cliffs and several times over the narrow watercourse. Later it goes up steeply and after the sweaty ascent you will be rewarded with a breathtaking panorama. The entire canyon spreads out at your feet and your gaze follows the Río Mascún out of the gorge to green soft valleys. The path then leads you to the deserted village of Otín, where the shade of the trees invites you to take a long break. The way back leads through wide and green meadows. At the end it is once again steep: It goes first back down into the canyon and then up back to Rodellar.There is no refreshments or drinking water along the way, so bring plenty of provisions with you. Already in spring it gets very warm and you need enough liquid.Shortly before the village square there are several parking spaces. These fill up in good weather quite quickly, so it may be necessary to park a bit outside the roadside.
Along the Río Alcanadre, the trail leads you into the gorges of the Sierra de Guara National Park. Sometimes, the well-marked trail runs promising with views of the surrounding mountains and sometimes exciting along the smooth-cut cliffs to the natural pool of Tamara. Even without a canyoning experience, you can relax in the crystal-clear water here. Before you go back, you can take a look at the narrowing canyons of Río Alcanadre. It is not possible to get into it without the right equipment and an experienced guide. When you get back to the parking lot, you will find the two basins of Salto de Bierge, where you can dive before your return journey.The Salto de Bierge parking lot fills up quite quickly on weekends during the summer months, so you should be there as early as possible or avoid the weekends altogether. Also bring enough food for the hike, as there is no rest stop on the way.
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Between all the hikes in canyons and rocky landscapes, a classic summit climb in this collection should not be missed. The Pico Gratal is not a mountain for experienced mountaineers, but you still need enough condition, because especially in the Spanish summer 700 meters can be very demanding. Most of the route runs on gravel roads and dirt roads, only on the last stretch to the summit it gets a bit rougher.Reasonable hiking boots are just as compulsory as sufficient provisions and especially drinking water. If the water gets scarce, you can replenish your bottles on the way to Fuente de Fenés.The entrance to the hike is located directly on the dam wall of the reservoir. Right next to it you will find a signposted parking lot.
Already at the trail parking lot you will be rewarded with a great view. The red rock formations of the Natural Park are simply unique, but of course it is even more impressive up close. The trail leads you in a generous arc once around the Huevo de Morrano, the rock egg, and around rewarded with great views of canyons and mountains.In the pre-Pyrenees, it gets very warm in the spring! Bring good footwear and especially enough drinking water with you to hike.The trail parking lot is located directly on the highway from Bierge to Yaso and is unfortunately very bad signposted. The entrance to the car park is a narrow gravel road that leads off the main road. Orient yourself at the entrance to the village Morrano, then you should not miss the place.
This hike is an absolute highlight! It starts at the Vadiello Reservoir in the middle of the famous canyon landscape of the Sierra de Guara. Following the course of the dammed up river, you work deeper into the gorges and mountains of the nature park. Again and again, you have breathtaking views of a landscape that would be more likely in the southwestern United States. If you're looking for a bigger challenge, you can follow the river up even further.The path is well signposted and developed. Steep places are secured by wire rope railings and on the way there are various information signs that inform you about the flora and fauna of the park - but only in Spanish. Bring yourself some solid shoes, because the ground is partly made of gravel. Another important note: The inviting turquoise blue reservoir is a drinking water reservoir, so there is absolute bathing prohibition.You can easily reach the start of the hike from Huesca. Leave the highway towards Loporzano and follow the highway for 16 kilometers to the reservoir. As soon as it goes into the mountains, the road gets a little narrower, but also offers alternative sites for campers. There are two parking lots right next to the reservoir where you can park your car.
For this hike, you need a head for heights and surefootedness, because it is more demanding than the data suggests. To get to the rock Peña de Miguel, you have to climb a piece up a prepared section. For this you will be rewarded with a 360 degree panoramic view of the surrounding landscape.Attention: The elevation data is faulty here. Of course it is not down to the valley, but up to the ridge. Therefore plan for this tour better two hours.Coming from Huesca you drive on the highway to Apiés. Three kilometers after Apiés, at the crossroads, turn right onto the narrow road towards 'Parque Natural de Sierra de Guara' and Santa Eulalia. Follow the meandering country road for another five kilometers to the trail parking lot.
Just outside the Siera de Guara Natural Park, the huge stone towers of Mallos de Riglos rise above the small village of Riglos. Our trek will take you around the famous rocks in a generous round and you will have the opportunity to enjoy the stunning views without climbing. The red rock formations are reminiscent of cliffs in Utah, and the cliff faces not only tower over Riglos, but traverse the entire landscape. Everywhere there are great viewpoints from which you can observe both the climbers in the rocks and the circling vultures in the sky. On your hike, it goes steeply up to the rim of the canyon and later directly through the rock formations back to Riglos.Nowhere is the hike complicated or dangerous, but please keep away from the unsecured rocky edges. Just stay at a distance, then you are on the safe side. Bring in any case with you solid shoes, the background of the trail changes repeatedly between gravel and dirt road. In Riglos there are both fresh water and Refreshments, but for the hike you need plenty of food.Riglos can be reached from Huesca within an hour both by car and by regional train that stops directly in the small town. If you arrive by car, you will find a signposted parking lot just after the town sign on the right.