Canary Islands, La Palma

La Palma Peaks

View from Roque de los Muchachos

View from Roque de los Muchachos
(Click for larger image)

 


 

A brief, subjective introduction...

As for mountain tops, there are two areas of interest on the island of La Palma;

  • The northern volcano crater - Caldera de Taburiente and the Cumbre Nueva (new) ridge
  • The southern volcanoes along Cumbre Vieja (old) ridge
     

The "ultimate" hike could be to start just west of Los Llanos, follow the crater rim up to Roque de Los Muchachos (2426m) - the highest point on the island, continue across Pico de la Nieve and down Cumbre Nueva (this route is also known as Ruta de la Cresteria), past Refugio Punta de Los Roques, past Refugio El Pilar and across the southern volcanoes on Cumbre Vieja - also known as "La Ruta de los Volcanes" - with Fuencalente as the final destination.

This route requires at least 3 long days on the trail. A more practical approach could be to start at Roque de Los Muchachos (there is a road going all the way to the top) and hike all the way to the shelter at Refugio El Pilar (28,1km) or Refugio Punta de los Roques (15,2km). On the second day, continue across Cumbre Nueva and La Ruta de Los Volcanos to Fuencalente.

The signposts and the hiking trails on the island are just excellent. If you've just got a map (so you know where you want to go), you should be fine even if the fog comes rolling in. The winds may be strong and cold so dress accordingly.

Consider if you really need a rental car. The bus services are quite good all around the island and you can cover some good distance with taxi before you exceed your rental car budget. The best hikes on the islands runs from one place to another and having a car at one trailhead doesn't give you the freedom you should have when hiking on La Palma.

 

La Palma island

La Palma island
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The main mountain tops

Roque de los Muchachos (2426m) and Roque Palmero (2306m)

There is a paved road going all the way to the top. The road also serves the observatories on the crater rim. You can get there by rental car or taxi (a bike trip would be legendary!). Only charter buses go up here. In winter, the road may be closed due to snow.

The summit pinnacles are not available to the public. A small fence and a "prohibido pasar" sign tells you it is not allowed to cross. If you've traveled halfway across the world, you might feel cheated...

 

Roque de los Muchachos

Roque de los Muchachos
(Click for larger image)

 

Once up here, consider also visiting Roque Palmero - a 3,7km hike (one way) from Roque de los Muchachos. Follow the mountain road 0,7km down and turn left at this signpost. The Degollado de Las Palomas (2207m) pass gives the peak a primary factor (PF) of 99m. If you choose to disregard the common map height of 2306m and use the summit signpost (2310m) as source, the peak becomes a member of the world's 100m+ PF tops...

 

Roque Palmero

Roque Palmero
(Click for larger image)

 

Pico Bejenado (1852m)

This peak is by some considered to be the only real peak on the island. It is located on the south side of the Caldera de Taburiente crater and is quite accessible via three popular trails - where the Cumbrecita pass offers possibly the most popular route to the top. 

Bus route 300 bus runs between the east and the west and stops by the National Park Visitor Centre. From here, you can start walking - or take a taxi up to the trailheads Cumbrecita or Pista de Valencia. The 4,3km route from Cumbrecita follows the crater rim while the route from Pista de Valencia offers a round trip hike. The 5,5km route from Pista de Valencia also offers a possibility for a round trip hike in the forest. All three routes meet at point El Rodeo

Some maps has 1844m as the official height while others have 1852m. The summit signpost says 1854m, but this elevation is not found on any of the normal maps.

 

Pico Bejenado

Pico Bejenado
(Click for larger image)

 

Roque de los Muchachos and Pico Bejenado in Google Earth

Roque de los Muchachos and Pico Bejenado in Google Earth
(Click for larger image)

 

Punta de los Roques (2085m)

This peak towers proud and mighty above the Cumbrecita pass. Easiest access is from the Pico de la Nieve trailhead (on the road to Roque de los Muchachos) and along a 7km hike along the Cumbre Nueva ridge (mostly downhill). An alternative starting point is the church Ermita Virgen del Pino and along a 8km route (mostly uphill). There are other routes coming up from the east but they involve considerably more vertical gain.

The shelter Refugio Punta de los Roques is located 200m southeast of the summit.

 

Punta de Los Roques

Punta de Los Roques
(Click for larger image)

 

Montaña la Barquita (1809m), Hoyo Negro (1936m), Volcan de la Deseada (1945m)

These are the most prominent tops along the southern ridge Cumbre Vieja - also known as La Ruta de los Volcanes. There are several volcano tops along this ridge but these three have a primary factor exceeding 100 meters. The shortest route to these tops starts at Refugio El Pilar, but you can also start at Fuencalente in the south. The route fro Fuencalente involves more vertical gain. The main route is 17,1km, but this does not cross any of the volcano tops. Add 4 more km's if you want to walk across the tops.

 

Hoyo Negro crater

Hoyo Negro crater
(Click for larger image)

 

La Ruta de los Volcanes

La Ruta de los Volcanes
(Click for larger image)

 

Other tops

Other named tops along La Ruta de los Volcanes are Pico Birigoyo (1806m), Montaña de los Charcos (1852m), Pico Nambroque (1922m), Montaña Del Fraile (1908m), Montaña Los Bemejales (1875m), Volcan Cabrito (1859m), Caldera del Bucaro (1694m), Volcan de San Martin (1597m) and Montaña Pelada (1441m).

Other named tops along La Ruta de la Cresteria are Hoya Grande (1386m), Somada Alta (1927m), Pico de la Cruz (2351m), Piedra Llana (2314m), Pico de la Sabina (2137m) and Pico Corralejo (2145m)

Then there are some smaller volcanoes here and there on the island. Montaña de la Breña (565m) southwest of Santa Cruz is a popular top. Montaña de Enrique (1255m) and Montaña Quemada (1362m) is found close to Refugio El Pilar and Volcan San Antonio (663m) is a popular destination on the south side of the island.

 

Google Map of peaks described in the trip reports

Google's interactive map. You can zoom, pan and click on the markers.
 

 

Trip Reports

This disclaimer is regarding all of the literature and instructional guides posted on the westcoastpeaks.com website. These instructions are guidelines only, and should not be used in lieu of common sense or judgment when attempting any of the actions involved or instructed. Westcoastpeaks nor myself will not be liable nor will it indemnify any form of compensation to anyone who has injured, harmed or even killed themselves or others while following any of the instructions written within the website. It should be noted by any persons willing to undertake any of the instructions provided that mountains offer varying levels of risk, regardless of size or incline. Risks to be considered are as follows but not limited to: wild animals, weather, the terrain, bad judgment, inappropriate or insufficient equipment, improper training or experience and of course, bad luck...

 

Dec 30 2014 Pico Bejenado
Dec 31 2014 Roque de los Muchachos, Roque Palmero
Jan 1 2015 La Ruta de los Volcanes
Jan 2 2015 Montaña de la Breña
Jan 3 2015 Pico de la Nieve, Punta de Los Roques


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