best day hike out of Granada, Spain

The hanging bridges of Los Cahorros Monachil.

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Millions of tourists visit Granada, Spain in any given year. Very few of those make their way to this adventure.

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John Kramer for Spain Holiday:

Monachil is a tiny village situated only 8 kilometres from the centre of Granada. Despite its proximity, it remains a place that is relatively undiscovered by mass tourism. The boundaries of the province of Monachil are fairly extensive and include several peaks over 3000m, including Europe’s most southerly ski station – Pradollano, Sierra Nevada.

The impressive Los Cahorros gorge is situated 2 kilometres from the sleepy village centre. Until very recently, the gorge was only really known and appreciated in rock climbing circles, the steep limestone cliffs offering numerous routes for climbers. …

One route in particular, is exceptionally beautiful. And suitable for families. A walk alongside and through the Rio Monachil – the Monachil river.

Unbeatable views, waterfalls, plenty of rock pools for swimming, narrow caves and tunnels that you have to crawl through or hang off the rock face, walking alongside acequias that date back to Moorish times and, of course, the famous hanging bridges.

The hike takes you through some spectacular Andalucian countryside. …

read more …

I did the 15 Euro guided hike out of Oasis Hostel. Very popular with the young people.

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This dog has joined the Oasis walkers every trip for 6 years!

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It’s all gorgeous. But the highlight are the waterfalls.

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Highly recommended for all visitors to Granada. You can do it on your own via city bus for free.

Copper Canyon Traverse, Mexico

In 2013 Justin “Trauma” Lichter and Cam “Swami” Honan completed a 381 mile (613 km) traverse of Mexico´s Copper Canyon region. A first thru hike.

Justin Lichter at the base of Basaseachi Falls
Justin Lichter at the base of Basaseachi Falls

The traverse was a combination of hiking, packrafting, swimming, bushwhacking, scrambling, crawling and weaving our way around clandestine drug fields.

Our route linked together the six major canyons (along with numerous minor ones) that constitute the Copper Canyon region. It took us from the region’s northwest corner (Basaseachi Falls) to its southeastern limits (Sinforosa Canyon). In the order in which they were traversed, the canyons were as follows:

Candamena
Oteros
Copper
Urique
Batopilas
Sinforosa

The Hiking Life

Copper-Canyon-Traverse-3

Zebra Canyon and Tunnel Slot, Escalante

Utah Canyons STORE & COFFEE SHOP should be your first stop on arriving in Escalante, Utah.

We have fuel, custom annotated topographic maps, guidebooks and “desert tested” gear to help you fully enjoy your remote day-hike, canyoneering adventure or epic backpacking trip. …

Get local information on what hikes are best while you are there.

There are plenty of fantastic overnight and day hikes in the area.

Zebra Canyon and Tunnel Slot looks perfect to me.

… we decided to stop and check out the beautiful Zebra Canyon. The added bonus to this route was tunnel Slot, a very dark tunnel through the sandstone, filled with ice cold water. Visiting these two locations took us 3.5 hours.

We went as far as we could up Zebra first then turned around and hiked out then up the sandstone to the top of this canyon to look down it. Up top we found tons of moqui marbles in all various sizes. …

After this canyon we hiked straight towards Tunnel Slot by taking the obvious cut in the terrain connecting the two canyons. Arriving at the top of Tunnel we found that it was full of water whose depth was hard to determine and ended up being about thigh deep. Tunnel Slot is a very short oddity of a canyon due to its shape but was fun to visit. It also had the coldest water I think I’ve ever felt in my life. The short stint in the water, maybe 75 feet made my feet and legs feel like they suddenly belonged to someone else. …

trip report from 2012

2012 Escalante (65)

2012 Escalante (23)

researching Fish River Canyon, Namibia

The Fish River Canyon 5 day trek is one of the best in the world.

But it’s very difficult to get a reservation, even a year in advance. I’ve been turned down for all dates in June 2015. 😦

But I may try to show up at the trailhead anyway. Hang out. And look to substitute for a hiker missing from a booked group. (You must have a minimum of 3 people to register, in any case.)

Wish me luck.

- by  Daniel Smith
– by Daniel Smith

I’ve put up a draft information page on the Fish River Canyon trek with what I was able to find out online.

Leave a comment if you have any advice.

Caminito del Rey – opens Feb 2015

Caminito del Rey footpath, Garganta del Chorro, El Chorro, Spain

The notorious Caminito del Rey footpath, known as one of the world’s scariest hiking routes, is opening to the public again after a multi-million euro restoration.

Skirting the Garganta del Chorro gorge, the original metre-wide white-knuckle path contoured across the sheer rock-face on a ledge 100m above the ground. Initially built in 1905 and traversed by King Alfonso XIII in 1921 (hence the name ‘Path of the King’), the path had fallen into severe disrepair by the late 1990s, finally closing following the tragic deaths of five walkers.

Fifteen years later, the route is reopening, allowing access again to one of Spain’s most spectacular walking trails. No longer the preserve of professional climbers and adrenaline-seekers, the damaged path has been fixed and reinforced, while a new handrail provides further support. The views however, continue to take your breath away.

Lonely Planet – The world’s hottest new travel experiences for 2015

Click PLAY or watch a scramble on the OLD route on YouTube.

Caminito del Rey … closing

Kraig Becker:

My friend Matthew Karsten recently had the opportunity to hike the Caminito del Rey, a notoriously dangerous trail located in Andalucia, Spain …

Matt gives us an extensive report on his experience there, as well as a fantastic video that he shot along the way. Read his thoughts on the experience here, and watch the video below. He describes the place as very beautiful, while also acknowledging the inherent dangers of walking this route at the same time.

If you’ve always wanted to walk the Caminito del Rey, you may want to hurry. Matt also reports that in May, the trail will be shut down, and a restoration plan will be put into place. …

Adventure Blog – Hiking The Caminito del Rey: Spain’s Most Dangerous Trail

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Bourke’s Luck Potholes

EVERYONE drives South Africa’s Blyde canyon highways carefully, dodging potholes. Yet EVERYONE stops at the Bourke’s Luck Potholes:

Sustained kolks in the Treur River’s plunge pools have eroded a number of cylindrical potholes or giant’s kettles, which can be viewed from the crags above. It was named after a local prospector, Tom Bourke, who predicted the presence of gold, though he found none himself. The pedestrian bridges connect the various overlooks of the potholes and the gorge downstream. …

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It really is a well done tourist attraction.

more photos

Parking permit required. ($5)

Thukela Gorge, South Africa

I hiked to the top of Thukela Falls, one of the highest in the world. There’s another terrific trek in the National Park to the base of the Falls.

Trip report from the Cooking in Tongues blog:

Royal Natal National Park, Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa, September 26, 2011

I’m up early hoping to catch the first rays of light on the Amphitheater. The cliff face glows in the early morning light just before 6. …

… about nine miles round trip up the gorge with great views of the Amphitheater. …

Royal Natal Rest Camp - early morning

We follow the river upstream until we come to the confluence of two rivers. Here you have the option of taking the “tunnel” along the river through the gorge or climbing the chain ladder up about 50 feet to a path that bypasses the “tunnel”. …

Royal Natal - Gorge walk - inside tunnel

read more …

Red Rock Canyon, Waterton

trip report by site editor Rick McCharles

Three teens from Calgary SOMEHOW had never been to Waterton Lakes National Park, even though it’s only 3hrs drive from their homes.

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Almost immediately we came upon 4 bears grazing the hillside.

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Like adjacent Glacier National Park, Waterton is a great place to see wildlife.

Due to bear problems in the National Park campgrounds, tenting was not allowed at Crandell Mountain Campground in 2013. We decided to stay outside the Park at Crooked Creek.

Crooked Creek

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We shared the Creek with a family of Beavers.

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Red Rock Canyon is a classic day hike, an easy loop.

More adventurous is to follow the Canyon up the mountain for as long as possible.

Red Rock

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The guys ended up scrambling over and under logs, getting wet and generally having a blast.

Red Rock logs

All and all, a pretty good introduction to the joys of Waterton National Park.

more Red Rock Canyon photos

more Waterton photos

The Subway – Zion National Park

There are two ways to explore The Subway (the Left Fork of North Creek). …

From the Bottom Up

This is a strenuous 9-mile round-trip hike through the Left Fork of North Creek that requires route finding, creek crossing, and scrambling over boulders. …

From the Top Down

This is a strenuous 9.5-mile hike that requires rappelling skills, 60 feet of rope, and extensive route finding experience. The route also requires swimming through several deep pools of very cold debris-filled water. …

details

Subway Permits are awarded by lottery. Occasionally walk-in permits are available the day prior.

Click PLAY or watch a well edited trip video on YouTube.

November through March no permit is necessary.

Hmm …

Thanks George.