Hiking in Las Chorreras: Nature’s own Water Park

Las Chorreras is a section of the Río Cabriel (Cabriel River) where the water has sculpted the rock into a series of different pools connected by various waterfalls and rapids: it’s truly nature’s own water park. The water itself is freezing, even in the height of summer, but it would be a sin to not get into that crystal blue water on a hot day. Until those days arrive, however, you can explore this area via the PR-CU 53 Sendero de Las Chorreras (Las Chorreras Trail). Most of the trail that I bring to you today is the official route but I have slightly modified it to make it more interesting and varied.

The trail starts in the main square of Enguídanos, a small village located in the province of Cuenca and only 1 hour 39 minutes from Valencia.

You can view and download the trail from Wikiloc here so that you can get your bearings and make sure you know where you are going.

Wikiloc Trail

This trail is classified as PR (Pequeño Recorrido: Short Distance) which means that the signposts and markings that you need to follow are colour coded in white and yellow. Sometimes the white and yellow markings will also include a red marking; this identifies that it is also part of a GR (Gran Recorrido: Long Distance) trail. Watch out for these markings painted on rocks, walls and trees.

Let’s get started!

Park your car in the main square next to the church and then go to a road called Gran Vía where you can see a signpost indicating the PR 53. Follow the road until you get to another signpost indicating a narrow trail going down beside some buildings. If you’d rather not take the “adventure” route you can carry on walking down the road as it more or less takes you to the same spot. Once you reach the bottom, you need to cross the river to get to the other side where the majority of this trail will take place.

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Once you get to the other side of the river turn left and follow the trail parallel to the river. After a while you will come across the Presa de La Lastra (La Lastra Dam) and its Playeta (mini “beach”). We will come back to this area on the way back where we can explore this area further, but for now, carry on forward and enjoy the scenery and the calm river.

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At the next signpost that you will come across you have two options. You can either carry on with my trail and follow PR 53 Las Chorreras por Las Hoyas or abandon the trail and carry on forward on PR 53 Las Chorreras por La Junta. If you choose to follow my proposed route, you will go up the mountain to higher ground to an area known as Las Hoyas. However, if you are short on time or if you’d rather not walk up a mountain you can just carry on walking forward to the main part of Las Chorreras (on our route we will end up here eventually). The only downside of this different route, however, is that the route would end up being linear instead of circular.

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Going up to Las Hoyas takes a bit of effort as it is uphill and the terrain is a bit rocky but it isn’t anything too strenuous (trust me, if I can do it, you can do it). You’ll then get to another signpost where you need to turn right to follow PR 53 Enguídanos Las Hoyas. Once you reach the signpost indicating Las Hoyas you need to follow PR 53 Enguídanos Las Chorreras.

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Up here on higher ground there are some tremendous views of the valleys around this area and you can also see the village perched in the distance. This area is also full of agricultural fields which during Spring is especially beautiful as the trees are in blossom.

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At the next signpost follow PR 53 Enguídanos Las Chorreras and continue walking until you reach another signpost where you will then need to turn left to enter a narrower trail. Alternatively, at this signpost you can also take a detour and visit the Presa de Villora (Villora Dam) which is close-by.

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The narrow trail makes its way back down the mountain and down to the river below. At this point I was starting to miss the river so was glad that it soon came back into view. We decided that this spot overlooking the first sign of Las Chorreras would be a perfect picnic spot so we sat down and gorged on our food while sitting next to the cliff and marvelling at the gushing river and waterfalls below.

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My idea of heaven: food and waterfalls.

After lunch we continued the trail a little further on until we reached the Mirador de Las Chorreras (Las Chorreras Viewpoint) where we were blown away by the most spectacular waterfalls of Las Chorreras. This part of Las Chorreras is a popular spot for canyoning and a friend of mine who also came along on this hike had hurled herself down the longest waterfall and down into the natural pool below. Awesome!

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There is nothing better than to listen to the sound of water (if you are not bursting for a wee, that is).

The next part of the trail is the last descent that you’ll need to complete in order to get down to the river level of Las Chorreras.

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Once you are down here you can abandon the trail and explore the area: walk to the edge of the river and see all the different pools and waterfalls of Las Chorreras, dip your toes into the water (or get in if it’s a hot day), do some Geocaching (if you’re into it) and investigate the abandoned buildings scattered around the area.

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After you have had your fair share of exploration, get back on the trail and continue walking parallel to the river where you will then have the possibility of taking another detour if you wish. The detour involves crossing the river via a ford and then exploring the other side of Las Chorreras where you can also reach an area known as El Salto. This area is where people tend to park to reach Las Chorreras during the summer as it is the closest parking area to Las Chorreras. On this occasion, however, we are not wading through the ford but carrying on forward towards Enguídanos.

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As you walk further on, you will realise that you are back in the area where you were before going up to Las Hoyas. A bit further on you will come back to the Presa de La Lastra (La Lastra Dam) and its Playeta (mini “beach”) where you need to cross it to reach the other side. The dam is open and is easy to cross but you need to make sure you close the little gates behind you when necessary. If you suffer from vertigo or would rather not cross the dam you can continue the trail instead and then cross the river where you crossed it at the start of the route.

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After visiting this mini “beach”, all that is needed is to carry on walking forward and you will realise you are back where you started before crossing the river. Go back up the little trail and follow PR 53 Enguídanos to make your way back up into the village. Once you are back in the village you can have a well deserved beverage. We went to a bar (doesn’t look like a bar from the outside) with no name on Gran Vía just around the corner from the parking spot.

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If you are into Geocaching there 3 caches that you can reach from this trail. To get to the other 5 caches you’d need to take a detour and cross to the other side of the river (perhaps by crossing the ford along this trail). If you are unfamiliar with Geocaching visit this site and join up if you wish.

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Rating: 10/10

Difficulty level: Easy

Approximate time:  3 ½ hours

Total Distance: 14 km approx

Type of trail: Circular (possibility of making it shorter and linear instead)

Distance from Valencia: 155 km 1 hour 39 minutes by car. You can also reach Enguídanos by bus but as there are not many buses you’d need to stay the night in the village. You also need to change at Campillo de Altobuey. Book your tickets from http://www.monbus.es/en

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