- I was here: 4 days in June 2010.
- Recommended number of days: minimum 2.
- My score: 4/5.
They are not the Canadian Rockies, but we should not underestimate the charms of Spain‘s best high mountain national park; there’s a reason why it was decreed as such already in 1918, it is a Biosphere Reserve since 1977 and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. Its main points of interest are:
- Ordesa Valley, following the bed of Arazas river, surrounded by imposing rocky massifs, is the most accessible, simple and, of course, busy route. More than 80% of the 600,000 visitors a year only go through this trail; Hundreds of hikers walk the path between the entrance of the park and the Cascada de Cola de Caballo (Pony Tail Waterfall) daily, several thousand a day in summer. The route is certainly attractive, but those who like more vertical treks will find their reward at higher points, such as the Senda de los Cazadores (Hunters’ Trail), the Beech Forest, or the climb to Goriz Hut, with unsurpassable views of the glacial Cirque of Soaso.
- From the hut you can attack Monte Perdido (Lost Mountain), the highest peak in the park, 3355 meters high and perpetual snow, its surroundings have characteristics of high mountain all year.
- Or continue towards the northwest to the near Brecha de Rolando, a pierced part in the Pyrenean ridge that allows the passage between Spain and France. On the Gallic side, 5 km away from it is the magnificent glacial Cirque of Gavarnie, with the highest waterfall in Europe, more than 400 meters of vertical fall. And if we decide to continue on the Spanish side, further west we will descend to the bucolic and spectacular Bujaruelo Valley, which although it does not belong to the park, due to its proximity and beauty, it deserves a full day in its own right.
The route between Bujaruelo and Goriz Hut is part of the GR11 or Senda Pirenaica, but these are just some of the many routes to be performed in the park. Pine and spruce forests are mixed with beech and ash, which turn yellow in autumn, giving a new image to the landscape. As far as the fauna, in the high and little crowded parts we will be able to see chamois, wild boars, small carnivorous mammals and if we are lucky (or very bad luck) brown bears; we can also see great prey birds such as vultures (the star is the bearded vulture), golden eagles, kites and owls, and with luck the elusive capercaillie.
- PARK ENTRANCE – COLA DE CABALLO WATERFALL – GORIZ HUT
- GORIZ – ROLANDO GAP – BUJARUELO
- BUJARUELO VALLEY- TORLA
- CARRIATA CIRCUS – COTATUERO – BEECH FOREST
- WHEN TO GO
- WHERE TO STAY, EAT AND EQUIP
- DANGERS AND PROBLEMS