The Caminito del Rey is a path that was built along a cliff face and gorge high above the Guadalhorce River in order for workers to maintain a hydro dam water channel that ran through the gorge. The original path began construction in 1901, and was completed in 1905.
The original path was constructed of concrete and rested on steel rails supported by bars built into the rock face. It deteriorated over the years and there were a lot of sections where part or all of the concrete top had collapsed. By the 1990's, the result was that large open-air gaps were bridged only by narrow steel beams.
In 2013, several levels of government decided to rebuild the pathway at a cost of more than 5 million euros. The new pathway opened in February of 2015.
You can park at either the north or south end of the trail, however the path now only starts at the north entrance. It's a total of about 7.6 kms (4.7 miles) in length. And in the village of El Chorro there is a bus that costs €1.55 to takes you back to the parking areas at the north entrance. So if you park at the south end, you would immediately take the bus back to the north end to start the trail.
You have to hike through this tunnel to get to the trail leading to the entrance.
GPS coordinates of the tunnel entrance are 36.92993, -4.800593
Enjoying the scenery along the way.
Ruth and Helen on the path towards the entrance gate.
Interesting rock formation.
No sandals allowed, no bare feet, No large backpacks, no umbrellas. And, there are no toilets along the way, so you have to make sure you use the ones at the entrance before you start the trail!
Entry fee is €10 ($14.30 CAD, $10.80 USD). And you can book in advance online. Go to http://www.caminitodelrey.info/en/#3 and click where it says "Book your visit".
Waiting for our brain buckets.
Hey, we're all set now!
Aren't we stylish?
Groups head out at timed intervals, but once you're on the trail you go at your own pace. So sometimes there is traffic as you need to pass someone, or someone needs to pass you. I think if we were to do it again we would do it towards the end of the day with less people.
Our first view of the walk!
Yep, we're heading up there!
I took a video for you...it's about 4 minutes long, so you don't have to watch the whole thing if you don't want to. But, it does give a better idea of the perspective than actual still photos do...
Not dangerous at all, but if you're afraid of heights you might have a problem.
It's not dangerous, nor is it strenuous. Yes, you have to be able to walk approximately 7.5 kms, but if you take your time this is a hike that anybody could do. And, the views are spectacular.
Looking up the valley.
All the metal bracings are thick stainless steel.
Kevin, near the bottom of the walkway.
It looks worse than it is.
Looking up the canyon.
Yes, we will in fact be crossing that bridge.
Saw some kind of mountain goats along the way.
There are two canyon walkways, separated by a normal walking path.
Starting the second walkway.
Lots of interesting rock formations.
They have a glass floor section for those who want to stand on it.
Lots of opportunity for photos!
Here, you can see where the new walkway was built on top of the original path.
Yep, we made it across the suspension bridge. That was fun!
The walkway is attached to the walls of the sheer rock face!
What a different walk! It was a little too busy for my liking though. We figured it wouldn't be that busy on a Monday, but today (Tuesday) is a holiday in this part of Spain, so perhaps many people also took yesterday off.
Not as exciting as it used to be for the thrill seekers who were doing this trail back in the 1990's, but still a worthwhile thing to do if you're in the area. Be sure to check the weather in advance...there was snow up here when we first tried to go back on January 20th and the roads were closed. They also close the trail if winds go above 35 km/h.
And, of course you can always find more information on their website at... http://www.caminitodelrey.info/en/
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