caminito del rey - el chorro gorge (spain)

Camino del Rey - El Chorro gorge (Spain)

The Camino del Rey is a vertiginous and very dangerous trail attached to a vertical cliff in a canyon near El Chorro, in southern Spain.­

caminito del rey camino del rey canyon cliff desfiladero de los gaitanes el chorro gorge mountain mountaineering pathway trail via ferrata
Route MA-444, Ardales, Málaga, Spain

Photos of the Caminito del Rey, a vertiginous and very dangerous trail in a very steep canyon called Desfiladero de los Gaitanes (or El Chorro Gorge), in southern Spain.­

Those photos were taken before the restoration of the trail.­

At the time, this ws a "No Trespassing" zone, officially closed to the public, but many climbers and hikers walked this trail every day despite its very poor condition and several fatal accidents in recent years.­

The pathway was equipped with a safety cable (via ferrata), so it was recommended to do it with a harness and safety ropes.­

The trail is made of slabs of concrete attached to a vertical cliff, about 100m (300ft) above the bottom of the canyon.­ There was no guard-rail and the concrete slabs were completely rotten, with gaping holes and entire sections missing.­

The trail follows an old aqueduct (now disused), and it is possible to walk back through the old aqueduct tunnel if you have a flashlight and boots (the aqueduct is pretty muddy per place).­

At the time, the easiest access to the southern part of the trail was from the wider part of the valley, which can be accessed from the south by walking along a railroad, Northbound, through several tunnels (also a No-Trespassing area - don't walk on the train bridges, they are too narrow with no safe space between train and bridge - instead, use the trails along the mountain to go from tunnel to tunnel).­ then after the last tunnel you need to go down a very steep embankment and cross the river, then go up toward the aqueduct.­ There is an old structure that can be seen, like a little house, near the aqueduct.­

The direct access to the southern part of the trail, from south of the narrow gorge, used to require some climbing gear and climbing experience.­ Most of the trail was equipped with a safety cable, and it could be done without climbing equipment, but a harness and safety line was strongly recommended.­

The North part of the trail, that reaches the dam north of the gorge, was in very poor conditions and was not equipped with a safety cable when i was there.­ Entire sections of the trail had collapsed, and you needed to have rope and be an experience climber to do this part.­

For more information about the Caminito del Rey near El Chorro (Spain), read en.­wikipedia.­org/­wiki/­Caminito_­del_­Rey