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The pioneers hike

Spring Trips


The pioneers hike is a mid-mountain hiking route in which we will cross some traditional places in the Sierra Nevada. It is a rarely visited path that provides us with spectacular landscape and places that we will reach through ancient footpaths that were first used by the pioneers of mountaineering and skiing of the Sierra Nevada.

Key Facts:

Length: 18 km; Accumulated height difference: 880 m; Difficulty: Moderate-High.

Departure time (Granada): 8:00 am

Meeting point: Bus stop Severo Ochoa, at the door of the University gardens

Meeting Point

Arrival time: approximately 5:00 pm, but it depends on the pace of the group

The pioneers hike. The Víboras mountain pass – Campos de Otero spot.

The trip:

The trip takes place in the Sierra Nevada Natural and National Park Visitor’s center,known as the Dornajo. From this point, we will cross different paths which will take us to the Campos de Otero spot. First, we will go down to the Güéjar Sierra while we will admire great views of the village, the reservoir, the Genil Valley, the Maitena River, the entire Sierra de Huétor and the Sierra Arana.

After about 9 kilometers from here and a hard ascent, we will cross the los Tejos and las Ánimas cliffs. We will get to the Peña del Perro, an exceptional spot to rest while we admire a marvelous landscape. From this place, we will cross a beautiful and ancient path which will take us through another viewpoint, a traditional place of the Sierra Nevada mountaineers, called the Peña de San Juan.

We will rest again before another ascent to arrive at one of the most historical places of the Sierra Nevada, the San Francisco shelter, located on the Campos de Otero spot, where skiing was born the Sierra Nevada . This shelter was built in 1920 by the first mountaineering organized group of Granada, known as “Ten Friends Limited.”

After pausing in the shelter, we will begin the return through a dirt track that leads to the Diablo mountain-pass situated at about 2,240 meters of altitude. From here, we will continue our trip along the Cañada Real of the Sabinillas route. We will enjoy 360-degree views from one more viewpoint, called Monte ahí de Cara.The descent of the Desmayo slope takes us through the Víboras mountain pass and from here to the starting point of the route in the Dornajo Visitors’ center.

Landscape and heritage:

  • Sierra Nevada Natural and National Park 
  • 360-degree views: Sierra Nevada, Sierra Arana and Sierra de Huetor
  • Campos de Otero spot
  • The San Francisco shelter, the first Mountainerring organized group of Granada

Equipment recommended:
There isn’t any potable water on the path. We recommend carrying 2l of water. In spring, the weather can be very changeable. It is necessary to take several kinds of clothes including a warm coat and a raincoat. We highly recommend hiking sticks. The walking paths are in good condition, but if it has rained, it can be muddy. We recommend wearing hiking boots or trekking shoes. Sunglasses, sun cream, protective lip cream, a hat, gloves and appropriate clothing for the season and the weather forecast.

Participants should take nuts, dried fruits, and sandwiches for our picnic in the countryside.

Price of “custom date”: €60/pp. 2 people minimum. It includes the guided trip, insurance, and transportation.

Purchasing Conditions:  Excursions must be booked and paid for at least three days in advance.  Participants must arrive at the meeting point on time. The group will wait for participants for five minutes but then leave.  In this situation, no money will be reimbursed.  All participants should ensure that they know how to get to the meeting point and if you have any questions or doubts, please do not hesitate to contact us.



Location: Sierra Nevada National Park, Granada
Duration: 8 hours
Difficulty: Level 2 (REI)


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Activity Level Descriptions



(1) Relaxed: Adventure travel at its most relaxed pace.

  • Activity: 1-3 hours most days
  • Distances: walk less than 3 miles most days
  • Surfaces: flat terrain
  • Elevation change: little to none
  • Altitude: less than 3,000 ft

(2) Easy: Great for newcomers to active travel.

  • Activity: 2-5 hours most days
  • Distances: hike up to 6 miles, cycle 10-30 miles most days
  • Surfaces: flat or rolling terrain with some possible steeps
  • Elevation change: up to 2,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 6,000 ft

(3) Moderate: For outdoor novices and above.

  • Activity: 4-6 hours most days
  • Distances: hike up to 10 miles most days, cycle 20-40 miles most days
  • Surfaces: rolling or mountainous terrain with some steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation change: up to 3,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 10,000 ft

(4) Vigorous: Recommended for fir travelers with basic skills.

  • Activity: 5-8 hours most days
  • Distances: hike up to 12 miles most days, cycle 30-50 miles most days
  • Surfaces: mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
  • Elevation change: up to 4,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 14,000 ft
  • Experience and a doctor's release may be required

(5) Strenuous: Designed for very fit travelers.

  • Activity: 10+ hours/day
  • Distances: hike up to 12 miles most days, cycle 50 miles or more miles most days
  • Surfaces: remote mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents, uneven trails with loose features.
  • Elevation change: up to 4,000 ft/day
  • Altitude: up to 14,000 ft
  • Experience and a doctor's release may be required

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