Barranco del Garbanzal and Picones de Fique

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Barranco del Garbanzal and Picones de Fique

This trail is truly spectacular. It will take you through the area known as Pasada de Bosques, lying beneath the unusual petrified rock formations of the Picones de Fique and running along both sides of the Barranco del Garbanzal ravine before arriving at the ruins of the forest house, of which only a pile of rubble remains. The ruins are approximately 2 kilometres from the starting point and if you continue along the forest trail you will enter another, much wider and more open ravine known as the Extremara, bearing the same name as the stream that runs through it. Approximately 1.2 kilometres further on, you will reach another, crystal-clear watercourse, which is forded by the trail, and if you carry on walking upstream you will arrive at a spring thought to mark the source of the stream below.


The name “Pasada de Bosques” has an interesting origin that bears examination. What is now a wide trail was originally a bridle path linking the forest house at Garbanzal to the Tíscar area, and was converted into a forest trail over 30 years ago in order to provide vehicle access in case of emergencies, thanks to the tenacity and foresight of a forest ranger named Alfonso Bosques. The opening stretch of the trail was faced with the substantial obstacle of a sheer wall, in the form of the Picones de Fique, which Bosques’s superiors considered impossible to traverse and would not even attempt.

However, Bosques was in charge of a maintenance team, which was responsible for cleaning the ditches and keeping the forest trails in good condition and when his superiors were away on holiday Bosques put his team to work, despite the almost total absence of resources. Through a combination of hard work and stonemasonry Bosques and his team were able to widen the trail in just over 20 days, even though they had to resort to fireworks in order to blow up certain sections of rock as they were the only forms of explosive they had access to. Nonetheless, in the event of a forest fire an area that was previously only accessible on foot or via a circular route almost 40 kilometres long could now be accessed quickly and easily by off-road vehicles. Since then, the ranger’s surname has always been used by locals to refer to the area.

 

We recommend…

  • Enjoying the superb panoramas from the natural viewing point created by one of the promontories of the Picones, located at the start of the trail next to the chain.
  • Following the short route leading over the Picones de Fique to the mouth of the Barranco Extremera ravine, to a spot known as La Bujea beneath the peak of Picón del Guante. To get there, leave your vehicle at the place mentioned above and continue along the main trail, which climbs up the flanks of Picón del Rayal before passing through the pine forest and entering a clearing with a stream. A few metres above the trail, following the course of the stream, which is known as the Bujea, disappearing halfway along the ravine, we come to its source. This is truly the source of the Extremera, as the waters that appear lower down are actually the same waters as the waters of the Bujea, reappearing after having travelled underground for a certain distance.

 

LOCATION

Taking the Tíscar Pass as a reference, 500 metres on from the highest point on the road (heading towards Pozo Alcón) you will come across a forest trail to the left with a wide entrance where you can leave your vehicle. Alternatively, as the ground is firm you can drive along the trail for a further 800 metres until you reach a wide bend, notable for the pine tree on the inside of the curve, where you can also park your vehicle. Continuing on foot or by bicycle, a few metres on from the main trail there is another, identifiable by the chain blocking vehicle access, leading off up the slope and into an area of rocky terrain: if you turn off on to this trail you will reach the Picones del Fique and the Barranco del Garbanzal, whilst if you carry on, to the next ravine, you will arrive at the source of the Extremera stream.



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