North end of the Gorge

WALK ALONG THE RIVER TO THE NORTH END OF THE GORGE.

3-4 km

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Summary

This is very pretty walk to the less visited, and more interesting, end of the gorge. It can be combined with the Pico del Convento walk to get a different, stunning view of the gorge from above.

To get to the start

From El Chorro, take the road North for approx 6km till you meet the road to Ardales. Turn right at this junction. Follow the road for 2km. Turn right onto the track just before the tunnel. You will see the Mirador Restaurant above the road. Follow the track to a car park on the left a few metres after the restaurant. You can either park here and walk around a kilometer to the end, or keep following the track till it ends a a viewing point and park there. (Note, make sure there is nothing lying around in the car as there have been breakins around the lakes area).

The walk

As you come along the track, the viewing point is to your left. Look in the far right hand corner of the parking area to find a small path. Follow this path downhill until it meets a larger path and turn right onto it. Follow the path down hill and then along the river until you reach a small electircal power station. You will see the large track doubling back up the hill, which is the way you will return to the car.

Walk to the left of the power station. You will soon see the gorge in front of you. There are two main ways to see the gorge.

  1. keep along the path until it ends at what used to be the entrance onto the Camino Del Rey
  2. Shortly after passing the power station take some stairs down to the left and follow the lower path towards some disused workings and the bottom of the gorge.

Return by taking the broad track uphill from the small power station.

To do an extension of around 4km to Pico del Convento, take the track doubling back and uphill to your left a couple of hundred metres after passing through a tunnel. (See sheet for Pico del Convento walk for details)

For the main walk, or having taken the detour, continue along the track to the T junction at the top. Turn right to get to the viewing point and left to get to the car park by the Mirador restaurant.

For an easier walk down to the gorge and back, park at the car park by the Mirador and continue along the track until you see a turn to the right. Follow this track for around 1.5 km down to the power station and return the same way.

Features

-Views over the dams from the viewpoint

-Ruined cottages built into the cliff face (inhabited until the 1960ís)

-The weird rock sculptures across the river

-Vultures flying over the gorge

-Camino del Rey, the old walkway along the gorge used by the electrical engineers

-The high water marks from the 1940ís on the cliff face

-The Mirador restaurant