hiking Picos de Europa, Spain – day 2

Trip ReportPicos de Europa Circuit – by site editor Rick McCharles

The morning dawned clear. Quickly I climbed up above the valley cloud.

Picos-clouds

I met one of the alpine hut guards … with his free running dogs.

hiking-dogs

Here’s the large sign posted at his refugio, Marques de Villaviciosa:

sign

National Park regulations are somewhat flexible in Spain. And they vary wildly from place to place.

The main “story” of this Circuit are the climbs into and out of the huge Canal de Trea, one of the most spectacular canyons in the world.

descending 1200m of this cliff
descending 1200m of this cliff

There are many slippery and unstable sections before you reach, with relief, the Garganta del Cares gorge at the bottom.

…A remarkable engineering feat, the 3m-wide path running the length of the gorge was gouged out of its sheer walls in 1946 …

bridge

This relatively flat day hike is the best and most popular in the Park.

click for larger view
click for larger view

backpack

I “cheated” and took the Bulnes Funicular (an underground train) part way up the other side of the gorge, avoiding 4.5km distance and about 400m ascending.

My goal for the next day came into view.

Naranjo de Bulnes (Picu Urriellu)
Naranjo de Bulnes (Picu Urriellu)

A long but fantastic hiking day in perfect weather.

See the rest of my photos from day 2.

day 3

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