This hike had it all, the Peñescabia peak with stunning views, forest trails, a beautiful river through the Barranco Resinero and the Nacimiento del río Palancia canyon! The steep trails and attempts to keep our feet dry made for a very fun day.
We started at the Fuente los Cloticos, where we followed the locals’ example and filled up our bottles with the delicious mountain spring water that Bejís is famous for. Fully hydrated and with sufficient supplies of water, we were ready to go.
We followed a track through the forest finding venomous caterpillars and poisonous mistletoe along the way before turning onto a smaller trail. This forest trail went up steeply and had lots of switch backs. The trees provided nice shade on what was already beginning to be a hot day. Through the breaks in the forest we could see beautiful views of the area whilst giving our legs a rest.
Exiting the forest, we came to a trail with plenty of loose stones and shale. This path lead us up to the peak of Peñaescabia (1331m). The large peak provided stunning views across the Sierra del Toro that were well worth the climb. We could see the hamsters in their wind turbines that we had visited on a previous hike. We had a break here to admire the views, take photos and enjoy the water from Fuente los Cloticos.
Going down, from the peak we took a different route and the terrain changed to grass, although the trail was still rocky. We went past the remains of some old buildings before heading down via a tricky forest path.
We came back to the gravel track and crossed over to begin the descent to Barranco Resinero and the River Palancia. This trail was even steeper than the forest trail down from the peak. The recent rains meant the ground was still quite slippery but despite a few missteps we all made it down safely.
At this point, calling the Palancia a river is a wee bit of an exaggeration – ok, more than a bit. It is more like a small (but very pretty) stream. We followed the narrow trail along the Palancia. Often, we had to navigate our way across the river using stones and logs but this just added to the fun.
Much of the trail through the Barranco Resinero ravine was slippery and as well as multiple crossings, there were fallen trees and ridges to navigate. The river got wider with small waterfalls and pools of crystal clear water which again needed crossing numerous times.
We followed the river for a while and enjoyed the sound of the water and the sunlight reflecting off it – whilst having a good laugh trying not to get our feet wet. We eventually headed up and found a place wide enough for us all to sit and eat lunch together.
From our lunch spot, we took a gravel tread that was mostly flat with the occasional gentle downhill. On this road we had great views of the peaks and the valley.
This road lead us to the path for the canyon, and the Nacimiento del río Palancia (birthplace of the Palancia River). The path through the canyon once again meant lots of water crossings via rocks, logs and rather wobbly makeshift bridges. Our route certainly amused the vultures that were looking down at us from their perch on the rocks. The canyon became narrower the further back we went and we were soon making our way through it by scrambling and climbing. We then had to turn back the way we came but this time some people got their feet wet!
Back on the main gravel road we had two options, take the direct route back to our starting point of Fuente los Cloticos or take a detour to the village of El Molinar. This charming village has barely changed for for hundreds of years and made for some very picturesque photographs.
Leaving the village, we took a narrow and flat path through forest and thickets before turning onto a steep section. It took some skill to stay upright on this trail but it was certainly a quicker way down. At the bottom of the trail we rejoined the track back to our starting point.
We returned to Fuente los Cloticos to refill our depleted water supplies as out hike was not yet over. From the carpark next to the Fuente, we went down the steps to a beautiful cascade before heading back.
We drove the short distance to Bejís where we stopped for a well earnt drink and a photo opportunity with one of the locals – a hat wearing rausuquio.
This hike really showcased the natural beauty of the area with peaks, rivers, canyons, waterfalls and we even found a dinosaur! Much of the hike was quite technical which made for a fun challenge. But powered by the mountain water in us we thoroughly enjoyed the hike and ended the day tired but happy.