Vereda de la Estrella

Vereda de la Estrella

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This is one of the most beautiful walks in the Sierra Nevada. You will see many lovely rivers, interesting plants and trees and also be able to enjoy the impressive views over the North faces of the Mulhacén, Veleta and Alcazaba mountains. On this route you will pass an amazing giant chestnut tree as well as the now unused ruined mines of La Probadora and La Estrella.

 

DEPARTURE FROM BARRANCO DE SAN JUAN GORGE
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Start your walk by crossing through the village of Güéjar Sierra towards Maitena, along a scenic road that descends to the Río Genil. The old tram tunnels that lead to the Barranco de San Juan is where the path starts. The road runs upstream along the basin of the Río Genil.

The path starts steeply as you go deeper into the valley. Here you will see many species of tress including ash trees, maples, chestnut trees and oaks.

The path then becomes broader, rising gently. Soon you will pass an ancient chestnut tree on the side of the path by a low wall. The tree’s nickname is “El Abuelo” (the old man). 

WAYPOINT 1 > THE CONFLUENCE OF THE VADILLO RIVER

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After about an hour, you will reach the confluence of the Río Vadillo, where the landscape splits into two narrow valleys. From here another path begins that at first leads down to the river and then leads upwards to the “Cuesta de los Presidiarios” (The Prisoners’ Hill). This point is part of section 18 of the Sulayr trail. At this point turn right, continuing on the same path, into the heart of the Sierra Nevada. Follow the broad path that, decades ago,was used to carry copper ore from the Provadora, Estrella and Justicia mines.

The imposing peaks of the Alcazaba and Mulhacén will now come into view, and you will find yourself at the point called Viso de las Nortes.

WAYPOINT 2 > BRIDGE OVER GUARNON RIVER
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After passing the mines, the path leads downwards to cross the Río Guarnón, which tumbles down from the Corral del Veleta, to meet the Río Genil. The path then narrows as you approach the fast-flowing waters of the Río Genil. This part of the path is called the Camino del Real.  

WAYPOINT 3 > EL REAL
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Having passed the Justicia mine, the path will take you to the end of the route, the confluence of the four gorges.

If you want, you can visit the Cueva Secreta (literally the ‘secret cave’; a natural refuge used by goatherds), which is a further thirty minutes’ walk away.

It is possible to return to the starting point along a much harder path that crosses the river and then goes up the Barranco de Lucía gorge, the Aceral and Barranco Calvario gorge. This path then links up with El Vadillo at the Cuesta de los Presidiarios. As this path is more difficult and poorly signposted, we advise you to go back the way you came.

ROUTE INFORMATION

Regions: Sierra Nevada

Towns: Güéjar Sierra

Route length: 22.2 km

Estimated duration: 3.5 hours + 2.5 hours

Altitude on departure: 1175 metres

Maximum altitude reached: 1691 metres

Gradient: 520 metres

Ecosystem: Mid-level mountain

Recommended season: Autumn and spring

HIKE RATING SYSTEM

    • Itinerary and route
    • Paths or signposts showing the way
    • Effort needed
    • Over 3 and up to 6 hours (3+2+1) of effective walking
    • Severity of natural surroundings
    • More than one risk factor
    • Level of difficulty for walking
    • Walk on paths with steps or irregular surfaces

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