18th of December
The route of Barranco del Infierno, also known as la Catedral del Senderismo, or the Six Thousand Steps route, getting the latter name thanks to more than 6800 manmade steps excavated in rock to facilitate the ascents and the descents. This is one of the most famous trails in Comunidad Valenciana.
The trail is preserved in all its impeccable execution, within an untamed nature, footprints, steps, protection of margins and slopes carefully calculated in order to moderate the effort of horses and people passage. In sum a monument of anonymous popular engineering and dry stone architecture. A true open-air museum of life in the mountains of pre-industrial societies, among cultural landscapes framed in the imposing scenery of mountains and the ravines. A path that in short explains the difficult occupation of the territory and is the most genuine and relevant expression of the interrelation of man and the environment in the mountains.
El Camí de les Juvees
Barranc de l´Infern crosses the municipality of La Vall de Laguar, isolating two small hamlets from the valley located on terraces on the left bank of the ravine, called Les Cases de les Juvees, respectively de Dalt (top) and d’Enmig (middle). The need to communicate these small nuclei with the population heart of the valley gave rise to a unique network of trails known in a whole as El Camí de les Juvees. Let us remember the past – Juvea (or jovada according to the local denomination) is an old agrarian measure equivalent to the land that a herd of oxen could till in one day. This measure was introduced by King James I in the Repartiment when he handed over lots of land to repopulate them after the Christian conquest, with a dimension that interestedly reduces its surface, when there is already scarce land for distribution, in such a way that, saving land, it continues delivering the same plots committed. Returning to the Juvea (Jovada), possibly this local derivation comes from the Mallorcans who in the 17th century were brought in to fill the human void left by the expulsion of the Muslims in 1609.
Girona River and the Ravine
Barranc de l´Infern is a sector of the middle basin of the Girona river. Girona – more than a river, is actually a ravine with a sporadic course that maintains flows for only a few days, when the rains have been the most intense, or during autumn storms. It begins in the Vall d’Alcalà, runs to Vall d’Ebo and when it leaves this term, its course deepens vertically through an impressive erosive corridor of several kilometers, the Barranc de l´Infern. The combination of mechanical and chemical action of the meteoric waters has carved a narrow channel in living rock that progresses vertically with hardly any exterior denudation and in some points you can touch both walls with your hands, while the rocky bed is a secession of pots, benches, limestone blocks and stones that drag the momentum of the torrent. The passage along the strict and fascinating path of the water is only possible with the use of rope and climbing technique. Infern is a repeated place-name in our rugged geography, the popular term to name inhospitable places preserved by the unapproachable force of nature, spaces from which the unfathomable mystery of the unknown emanates and where life is not possible. At a stretch of the narrow ravine carved in living rock, it is possible to access it on firm footing and experience the fascination and magnitude of its forms in the magical semi-darkness of its closed walls.
Difficulty: medium/high (14km with 700m elevation gain)
Technical level: medium (steps carved out in rock)
Meeting point: Mestalla, parking lot on av. Aragón, 9:00 (return to Valencia ~18:30)
Price: 32 euros (28 euros signing up by Thursday, 15.12) / 12 euros coming to Vall de Laguar.
The price includes professional guide, transportation, accident and public liability insurances.
Bring at least 1l of water, lunch, long-sleeve clothes and hiking shoes.
Become a member and get a 6-euros discount for every hike.