The little known Sierra de Huetor north east of Granada, Andalucia offers some really interesting and relaxed forest walking. In mid winter easy motorway access also offers the chance to enjoy superb snowshoeing terrain.
We have been visiting the Sierra de Huetor since 2002. Mainly exploring and scrambling our way around the mountain ridges of Majalijar (1887m), Peñon de la Mata (1669m), Peñon Grande (1713m) and La Cruz (2027m). It is quiet and relatively unspoilt given its close access to Granada (30 mins). Sure, at weekends it can be busy and the A92 motorway lets you access the park very quickly, but once away from the main forest road there is plenty to go at. It is a great place to make for if bad weather stops you from heading for the higher hills.
It is first class walking or snowshoeing terrain with undulating forest tracks and open hillsides. The forests are open with clearings and glades. Nature is evident everywhere. On our last trip we found a great variety of birdlife including Nutchatch, Firecrest, Iberian Green Woodpecker, Short Toed Eagles, Golden Eagles and Buzzards. Overhead Griffon Vultures soared and red squirrels were in abundance in the trees. There are also Genets, Badgers, Beech Martins, Wildcats, Wild Boar and Spanish Ibex.
It is not steep terrain but when you are walking through the forests it is easy to get lose ones way and direction. There are few path markings. Incredible after heavy snowfall when your snowshoes plunge through the knee deep virgin powder snow!
So where do you go? The maps that there are give are insufficient detail. We started by using Google Earth. This wonderful piece of software suggests ways through the forests rather than firm tracks. From then on it is up to you. Go and explore. That’s half the fun!
We traced suggested lines on an image taken from Google Earth and then went out and tried it. Anybody with a good sense of direction will have some fun. My latest sketch map of the route I was looking to complete is below (press to enlarge). You get the idea?
Of course you are always welcome to join us on one of our frequent walking trips or snowshoeing tours. If you want to do your own thing and require further help please contact me and I shall do my best to help. Photos from our trip today are below and give you a sense of what this wonderful and underestimated area is about.