Campos Hernán Perea

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Campos Hernán Perea

Campos de Hernán Pelea (or Perea, as it is often spelled on many maps) is the largest high plateau in Spain, boasting an average altitude of 1600-1700 metres and covering an area of more than 5000 hectares. This vast plateau is one of the most magnificent and original landscapes in the Nature Park, clearly differentiated from all others.


It is a superb example of a karstic landscape and nobody can say that they know the park from top to bottom unless they have explored the breathtaking, virtually treeless mountain pastures of the Campos. High mountain grazing is the main activity in this area and for centuries has been the livelihood of people in these remote lands, the home of the Segura sheep.

It is said that the solitude of Los Campos is almost tangible. In reality, there are no fewer people here than in the wooded areas of the Park and shepherds will be frequently encountered; however, the uncluttered extension of the landscape with which we are confronted makes us more aware of our own diminutive nature than when we are exploring the woods and forests.

The Campos de Hernán Perea actually begin approximately 11 kilometres from the village of Don Domingo, once we have passed Cañada Hermosa, the first of three refuges built to provide shelter to mountaineers along this route. They were built by ICONA (the National Institute for Nature Conservation) in the 1970s and are situated next to the main trail, which winds its way through shallow depressions, sinkholes and jagged chains of limestone rocks.

The vegetation, consisting of broom, hawthorn and common juniper (rastrero), has adapted to the harsh climatological conditions and you will also find patches of land sown with cereal and, of course, a great many herbaceous plants that provide food for the livestock.

Embarking upon this route in winter, when the snow covers its singular terrain, you will feel as though you were traversing an arctic landscape: it is therefore very important to check weather forecasts, as heavy snow can cause serious difficulties. Spring is the best time to visit the Campos, as the climatic conditions are less demanding, but, in any season, it is best never to leave the main trail that crosses the plateau from north to south.

We recommend:

  • Visiting the famous Pino Galapán, a 39-metre-tall pine tree that has earned renown in the area and is located approximately 3.5 km from the village of Don Domingo: this “giant” of the Segura mountains is a truly unforgettable sight.
  • Observing the birds of prey that soar majestically over this landscape all year round. Binoculars will come in handy for spotting golden eagles, griffon vultures or perhaps even a bearded vulture. Mouflon are very common in this area.

  • It should not be forgotten that the beauty and grandeur of the Campos mask substantial dangers at certain times of the year. Winter, which here takes in almost the entire autumn period and part of spring, can offer surprises in the form of heavy snowfalls that may eventually trap visitors or leave them stranded on the plateau without visual references to guide them back. In any event, you should always travel through these areas in an off-road vehicle and in a convoy of at least two vehicles so that you can assist one another when necessary as that there is no telephone coverage here. We do not recommend entering this area during winter, in the evening or at night and we advise you to always let someone know when you are setting off on your excursion.

LOCATION

From Santiago de la Espada take the A-317 towards La Puebla de Don Fadrique. At kilometre 2.1, you will come to the JF-7091 road on the right that leads to La Matea. Take this road until you reach the village of Don Domingo. The forest track heading towards Rambla Seca will take you to Campos de Hernán Perea.



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