Cycling route: Sanctuary of Tiscar - Collado Zamora

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Cycling route: Sanctuary of Tiscar - Collado Zamora

Puerto de Tíscar is one of the most emblematic historical passes in these mountains, as the towers and watchtowers in the area show. The route starts at the Sanctuary of Tíscar, where a visit to the spectacularly beautiful natural temple of Cueva del Agua (Water Cave) is a must. Pedal uphill on the A-323 road in the direction of the Tíscar Pass, past the hill known as La Pedriza and the ravine Barranco de la Presilla on your right. 4.5 km further on, just before you arrive at the pass and Torreón de Don Enrique tower, turn off onto a track on the right in the direction of Loma del Rayal, which goes around Loma de los Picones.

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NAME OF THE TRAIL TYPE OF TRAIL
SANCTUARY OF TISCAR TO COLLADO ZAMORA LINEAR (there and back)
STARTING POINT ALTITUDE (M)
SANCTUARY OF TISCAR 893 m
END POINT ALTITUDE (M)
Río Madera junction, where JF-7038 joins the JF-7039 1414 m

ITINERARY: SANTUARIO DE TISCAR- GARBANZAL- COLLADO DE LOS CORZOS- BARRANCO DEL MORO- RIO BEJAR AND COLLADO ZAMORA

TOTAL DISTANCE (IN METRES): 16410 (ONE DIRECTION ONLY)
Asphalted or cement sections (in metres): 12000 % of the total 26.9 %
Sections of track or forest track or dry riverbed (in metres): 25100 % of the total 73.1 %
Trail Sections (in metres) % of the total %
Sections of Livestock Routes (in metres) - Green Route % of the total %
SUITABILITY FOR CYCLING (%)
100%
TYPE OF TRACK SURFACE (i.e. ROCKY, SANDY)
Sandy and rocky
MAXIMUM ALTUTUDE GAIN: 537 M
Accumulated ascent 1111 m
Accumulated descent 609 m
TYPE OF ACCESSIBILITY
Cycling, on horseback or on foot
MAPS
Topographic maps of ANDALUSIA published by ING (the National Geographic Institute) (1:25.000): 
PAGES 21 and 33
WAYPOINTS (IN CONSECUTIVE ORDER FROM START TO FINISH)

Short Name

Description

Coordinates

Elevation [m]

1

Sanctuary of Tíscar

30S x=498049 y=4180443

894

2

Detour to Loma del Rayal

30S x=498071 y=4181570

986

3

Turn-off to Garbanzal

30S x=497198 y=4182430

1135

4

Desvío a Garbanzal

30S x=497321 y=4182952

1181

5

Arroyo del Barranco del Garbanzal

30S x=498091 y=4183491

1111

6

Río Extremera

30S x=498759 y=4184429

1110

7

Collado Hoyo de los Corzos

30S x=498420 y=4185035

1199

8

Arroyo de la Cueva de Jaén

30S x=500226 y=4185907

1307

9

Panoramic Window overlooking a vulture colony

30S x=499701 y=4186403

1334

10

Unique botanical spot

30S x=500428 y=4186817

1422

11

Puente Rosalejo bridge

30S x=500639 y=4187622

1403

12

Collado Zamora - panoramic views

30S x=500141 y=4188071

1414


DESCRIPTION OF THE ITINERARY

Puerto de Tíscar is one of the most emblematic historical passes in these mountains, as the towers and watchtowers in the area show. The route starts at the Sanctuary of Tíscar, where a visit to the spectacularly beautiful natural temple of Cueva del Agua (Water Cave) is a must. Pedal uphill on the A-323 road in the direction of the Tíscar Pass, past the hill known as La Pedriza and the ravine Barranco de la Presilla on your right. 4.5 km further on, just before you arrive at the pass and Torreón de Don Enrique tower, turn off onto a track on the right in the direction of Loma del Rayal, which goes around Loma de los Picones.

800 m from the starting point, take a left turn off the main track onto a trail that is barely visible at first. It goes uphill along a short riverbed to a gate formed by two rocks with a chain across the track between them that prevents motor vehicles from entering. This is the turn off to Barranco del Garbanzal. The trail soon starts to descend, staying close to the vertical limestone walls that predominate on this side of the mountain. The entire route is spectacular, owing to the views on one side of the rock faces and to the plains covered in olive trees at the lower end.

Very soon, at 6.5 km from the starting point, you will have gone down to where you cross the Arroyo del Garbanzal stream. From there, the trail goes uphill until you arrive at a crossroads. Take the trail to the right and you will soon pass the ruins of the Garbanzal Forestry House on your right. Go downhill again for a short way until you cross Río Extremera at 8.1 km. This alpine stream comes down from the ravines known as Barranco de los Arenales and Barranco Extremera. Ignore another track that turns off to the left just before you come to the place where you cross the stream. 

From then on you zig zag uphill again until you come to the top of the hill known as Collado de la Hoya de los Corzos. Here we find another track on your left that you ignore. There are steep slopes on either side but the track seems to stick to this side, going uphill and down constantly for nearly three kilometres but with an upward trend until you arrive at Arroyo de la Cueva de Jaén (12.2 km). Just before this point you will go past a vulture colony carved into a sedimentary folding just above you, on the right. Apart from griffon vultures, these rock faces are very suitable for spotting falcons and several different species of eagles.

Leaving the stream behind, you will be in a better position to take a good look at the vulture colony. The incline is very steep again, and after a wide bend to the right you arrive at a low, bare hill that affords sweeping panoramic views of the vulture colony and the surrounding area. We pass by another downhill track on your left that turns off halfway around the wide bend. There is a lot of mistletoe in this area, living as a parasite off the Corsican pines. 

The track continues uphill from this open promontory and soon you arrive at one of the most unique places on this route. It is small spot with a microclimate that makes it completely different to the rest of the mountain slope, and much cooler owing to its altitude and orientation. You can feel the difference in temperature and notice botanical species that don’t  exist elsewhere on the way up, including several yew trees, some of which are quite huge, and a few maple trees as well. 

You cross the River Bejar at km 15.5, passing a dam on your right. The pine trees' twisted roots penetrate the rocks and soon, after 800 m, we come to a chain that cuts off motor vehicle traffic. On your right stands an old forestry house and straight ahead, Collado Zamora. You have arrived at a veritable natural balcony where you can see all the way to the Sierra Nevada massif and Sierra Mágina on clear days. This is an ideal route for observing wildlife, particularly mouflon, Spanish ibex and wild boar. 

The return trip follows the same route in the opposite direction.

ELEVATION PROFILES

POINTS OF INTEREST
MUNICIPAL DISTRICTS EN ROUTE

Quesada

REGION(S) TO WHICH THEY BELONG

Sierra de Cazorla region

RECREATIONAL AND SPORTS AREAS NEAR THE TRAIL

Sanctuary of Tíscar



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