The Estany de Sant Maurici & Aigüestortes National Park is the only park of this category in Catalonia. Located in the northwestern corner of Catalonia, in the Upper Central Pyrenees, its surface is divided between four regions: Pallars Jussá, Pallars Sobirá, l’Alta Ribagorça and Val d’Aran. The park has two distinct parts, the western area, Aigüestortes, accessible from the Boí valley, and the eastern, with l’Estany de Sant Maurici and els Encantats, accessible from Espot.
Hikers and mountain lovers will find a paradise, an incredible place where they can make all kinds of routes in which they can enjoy the landscape of high mountains, vegetation and water of more than 200 lakes, in addition to waterfalls and streams. Peguera peak with almost 3,000 m, is one of the most special ones.
The Espot valley is known for the estany of Sant Maurici and the sharp peaks of the Encantats, one of the most photographed prints by all the visitors of the valley. If you want to walk for a while, you can climb towards the Ratera lake and Amitges peaks, where the forest disappears and we submerge in the real high mountain. A less frequented valley, and with a sharp slope from Espot, allows to climb up to Estany Negre de Peguera.
Join us and discover with us this jewel of the Pyrenees. Whether hiking or snowshoeing in winter, the beauty of the place will bring you great emotions.
|Starting Point / Arriving Point:||Espot, Pallars Sobirà|
|Departure Time:||09:00 am|
Discover a territory modeled by glacier
- Estany de Sant Maurici: a magnificent example of a valley finishing and the starting point of most itineraries of the eastern sector of the National Park. Located at the bottom of the subalpine floor, it is surrounded by a belt of spruce and black pine forests crowned by high rocky peaks. The surrounding landscape is very varied. Meadows, thickets of juniper and juniper, rocky areas and rocky areas that break the forest, shelter in the solanas; while in the umbría the pine forests with rhododendron and the abetal form dense forests. The vegetation of ravines and small springs is also well represented.
- Els Encantats (2.747 m): formed by limestone, is a mythical mountain in the Pyrenees and a true symbol of the Park. Between these two summits it is possible to see the small silhouettes of the two hunters who were turned into stone, according to the legend, for having left aside their religious duties the day of Sant Maurici. Due to the calcareous nature here we find very rare communities and species in the Pyrenees, such as the Pyrenean lizard (Iberolacerta bonnali).
- The Fangassals de Monestero: very picturesque place consisting of an old glacial bucket, full of sediment, and has given rise to a small area of Aigüestortes. Here we can see good specimens of the flora adapted to these soaked areas, such as water violets and peat mosses.
- Monestero Lake: located at an altitude of 2,150 m between granite walls and at the foot of the circus of the same name, this small lake is surrounded by a chaotic pile of rocky blocks that constitute a natural prey. This means that, in dry years, the level is very low, and that it does not recover until the arrival of the rains. In its surroundings it is easy to make good observations of Pyrenean mountain goat in the sunrise or at dusk.
- The Peguera Peak: the highest peak in the southern part of the National Park. With an imposing profile, its summit can be reached without too much difficulty, but its final crest, plain and formed by large blocks of granite, is quite aerial, and pretty. The spectacle from the top is impressive with panoramas to other peaks like Saburo, Mainera, Subenuix, Encantats …, numerous lakes and valleys, in all directions. Further afield we can see the Montsec, the Besiberris, the Aneto, the Posets, the Perdiguero, the Pica d’Estats, the Comapedrosa ….
|Groupsize||mín. 2 / máx. 8|
Departure from Espot town, towards Josep Maria Blanc mountain hut. From the bridge of Feners, on the Peguera river, starting point of our trekking, we can observe the Muslim’s Tower (La Torreta), a guard tower of the well preserved medieval period. We will follow the path that follows, the waters of Peguera, upstream. A little further on, a path descends to the left, to a gorge, where the fountain of Sulfur, which glows temperate and with a characteristic smell and color, is found.
The road follows a steep climb between pines, and crosses the river by the bridge of the Savior. The landscape is beautiful and dark. We will cross the river again, and we will continue this time by sunny spots, climbing between meadows.
Increasingly the view becomes more extensive. The road leads us to the torrent of the Font Grossa, with its short waterfalls. It is usually a good place to stock up on water. From here the road climbs between sinuous curves until you leave the forest. We will continue over a footbridge of logs crossing an extensive area that is usually totally drenched.
Later our way will unravel on a forest track. We will continue along the track, which rises steeply. To the left, among the clearings of the forest, we will find the beautiful lake of Trescuro, surrounded by pine trees and large expanses of aquatic vegetation.
Afterwards we will arrive at la pleta de les Romes, which is the gateway to the upper Peguera valley, once gained the granite wall that serves as base. The track continues around this granite zone and we will leave to our right the dam located in the northeast end of the Tort de Peguera lake. Then we will leave the track that goes to Negre lake, to take the path that takes us to the Josep Maria Blanc mountain hut (2,350 m). (3h)
Dinner and overnight at the hut
From the hut we will go to the Cabana lake, then Coveta lake at 2.400 m, in the general west direction, and we will continue along the coma of the Peguera, on a gentle ascent to Petit de Peguera lake.
We will begin to climb in a North-West direction, avoiding the rocky ground that extends to the feet of the Monastero peak. We will leave Gran de Peguera lake to our left, much lower and finally we will arrive at the wide of Monastero pass(2,715 m)
From now on we will continue along the path that flanks the mountainside of the north edge of Peguera. Then we will follow a slope with a lot of loose stone until we reach the edge, for which we will climb by blocks of granite, the last meters (steps of II and some isolated of III) aerial but very safe, that’s funny !!
In about 3 hours from the refuge, we will reach the Peguera peak (2,983 m).
Then we will descend again to Monastero pass, to descend later to the valley of the same name, we will arrive between meadows, forests of black pine and rhododendron to the valley of Monastero, and soon to the Fangassals of Monastero, a landscape of great beauty. Finally we will arrive at l’Estany de Sant Muarici, with views of the Encantats and the shelter Enest Mallafré (1.950 m) (3.5 h from the hill).
Dinner and overnight at the hut.
It is a simple day, which can be extended as much as we want, with different proposals such as a tour around Sant Maurici or a visit to the Ratera Waterfall.
The route follows the valley of the Escrita river, passes between pastures and forests of black pine, spruces, birches and serval, allows you to see samples of the cattle activity of the valley, and during the tour you can see posters about the flora and fauna . Also, in the cottage of the “Pont de Pallers” you can visit an exhibition on the traditional exploitation of the forest in these valleys of the Pyrenees.
The course, about 260 m of slope, can be done in about 2 hours.
The program may change depending on the weather, the terrain (snow and ice on the hills), the status of the group and the decisions taken by the guide at all times.
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