Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Cruz de Viznar, Sierra de Huetor

This walk marks the return to the Sierra de Huetor Parque Natural north of Granada. I’ve been walking and scrambling to the east of the area for a few years however I was recently given a map of the area and so have begun to explore more of the forest trails. The walking is fairly gentle following good paths through pine forest and open scrub.

Start from the information centre at Puerto Lobo above the village of Viznar. The centre is found by following brown direction signs from junction 252 off the A 92 autovia running east from Granada. A number of information boards mark the start of various trails, ours is marked Cruz de Viznar and is on the north side of the car parking near the entrance to a forestry building.

The path is clear as is climbs for about 30 minutes to finally zigzag up to a col about 5 minutes after passing a strangely phallic shaped rock. From the col our path heads North West following a sign for Cueva del Agua. Before we head off however the slight detour east up to the outcrop topped by the Cruz de Viznar is worth the effort. A sign warns of the dangers of ascending the last few meters of the outcrop to the cross itself. A direct ascent would indeed be dangerous however if you follow a small path along the north of the rocks an easier ascent can be found at its eastern end.

Returning to the col continue along a forest path which winds along a broad ridge before dropping to an odd two storey building at a path junction. Turn right to the Cueva del Agua and its view point. This is roughly the half way point of the walk so makes a good lunch stop. The cave entrance is gated, though accessible to dogs as we found out so take care if you have one with you.

Return past the building and continue along the now rockier path as it descends through the forest. After about 30 minutes pass a sign for La Alfaguara however stay on the level broad path to reach a forest track, turn right. This track takes us easily back to the start of the walk. If however if you still feel fit you can extend the walk slightly. Follow the main track as it descends past Mirador de Viznar into an area of forest. At a large bend on the track a sign post marks a narrower path up through the forest to return to the col we left a couple of hours before. From here descend to the car park.

I did this walk with some friends on a sunny but cool day in mid January. With the amount of shade it would make a good walk at any time of year. Spring would be ideal as I suspect that there would be a few more wild flowers out then when we did it.

4-5 hours, 10km, NO WATER