Enclave:

Pradera de Ordesa - Soaso Cirque - Cola de Caballo

  • Distance :
  • Starting Point :Pradera de Ordesa
  • Total climb/descent :450 m
  • Route type :Linear.
  • Time :3 hours (route out only).
  • Difficulty :Easy. However, even though the path itself presents no difficulties, bear in mind the total length of time from start to finish.

Mapa

Description

This is the best-known and most popular walk in the Pyrenees. The landscape changes as the walk proceeds and there are many surprises in store. The great Cola de Caballo Waterfall and the unmistakeable profile of the Monte Perdido massif will be waiting for you at the end of this unforgettable and unmissable itinerary.

The path begins next to the National Park information point in Pradera de Ordesa. From there it heads eastwards into one of the best preserved beech forests in the Pyrenees.

After just ten minutes, you come to a small wooden chapel with a plaque reminding people passing by that these valleys and mountains enjoy full recognition from UNESCO as the Pyrenees-Monte Perdido World Heritage Site. The path to the Cotatuero Waterfall starts here.
Continue along the main path, climbing gradually in an easterly direction. The dense forest contrasts with the bare, vertical limestone rock faces of the sides of the valley, evidence of the erosion caused by successive glaciers during the Quaternary Period. In addition to the constant sound of the river, you will also hear birdsong, though the birds will be hidden deep among the trees.

As you proceed along the route, make sure you visit the various vantage points to view the beauty of the Arripas, Cueva and Estrecho waterfalls (50 minutes).

After a slightly steeper stretch, the forest begins to thin and the valley opens out. This is when the Gradas de Soaso will appear before you (2 hours 30 minutes), so called because they are a tiered series of waterfalls (gradas means tiers or steps in Spanish).

From here the path narrows and grows steeper. You climb up the side, zigzagging till you reach the vast swathes of pastureland, where it is easy to spot flocks of Pyrenean mountain goats and to hear the shrill calls of marmots.

The imposing Treserols massif, dominated by the summit of Monte Perdido (3,355 m), stands before us, remaining in sight till the end of the route at the unmistakeable Cola de Caballo Waterfall (3 hours).

Recommendations

Take water with you, although you will come across the occasional spring along the way. Stay on the path to avoid slipping, falling and possible damage to plantlife.