Cortes de Pállas is an inland town in the Communidad Valenciana. The town is situated on the edge of a reservoir and it is the start of the Ruta de Cavanilles. This trail goes to the top of Muela de Cortes and then down to a river and waterfall so that’s where we went.
We started by going up a concrete road that soon turned into the Ruta de Cavanillas trail. The trail zig-zags up the valley resulting in stunning views of the reservoir in one direction and along the Júcar River to Chirel castle in the other. There are lots of great photo opportunities along this part of the route as the trail goes higher. As you can see from the photos below, we took full advantage of the this.
Once we got to the top of Muela de Cortes the path changed from a rocky uphill path to a broad and flat path along the side of a reservoir. There’s also a gravel heap on this path which was fun for running up and down.
We took a dusty path into the scrubland, trying to avoid stepping on all the cute lizards and soon started our descent. The descent was quite steep and the trail had lots of loose stone which made it quite slippery in places. Along the ridgeway there were chains to hold on to, although they weren’t strictly necessary they did help. Just like the trail going up, this one had long switch backs. From this trail we could see the Ventana de Águila (Eagle Window). A natural hole in the rock face, although we only saw the window, sadly not an eagle.
Once we had made it down the valley we stopped at the Minguita Cave for lunch and to enjoy some shade whilst watching the butterflies. The cave is only 50m off the main path so it is an easy detour.
From the cave it was not long before we heard the river but a bit longer until we saw it. There was a steep trail down through the trees until we came to our first river crossings of the day. There were no bridges or stepping stones so the only option was to wade across. Fortunately the water was only knee high so it was easy to walk through.
Soon we had to cross the river again but this time there was a bridge. The bridge has amazing views both up and down the river and great photo opportunities from the bridge and the river bank.
We followed the ravine above the river before coming down to cross it once again. This time there was no bridge but there were stones although they weren’t the easiest to cross, yet somehow none of us ended up with wet feet.
A short walk on from this crossing we came to the largest waterfall of the hike. The waterfall creates a beautiful natural pool for swimming and many people were enjoying picnics in the surrounding area. It is close to the Cortes de Pállas, so it did not take long to walk back to the town.
On the road out of the town there is a viewpoint where you can see along the Júcar river. It’s certainly worth a stop even if there is no ice cream van. The Canavilles Trail is a fun hike and the views along the Júcar River are certainly worth the climb. Going down is just as fun with more beautiful vistas, steep hills and plenty of river crossings ending with a impressive waterfall.
Thank you to Cate for the additional photos 🙂 Check out her awesome instagram here (Username: @chimerasfire).