Recreation Trail: Encamp Long: Long Trek

RECREATION TRAIL: ENCAMP LONG: LONG TREK

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Level

Experts only

Distance

46 km

You could also do this trek over two days, with an overnight stay in Pas de la Casa or Grau Roig.

Start off from the Encamp Tourist Office, taking the GR that passes by, and then take the path up to Engolasters. After a demanding initial ascent, there’s a flat, easy stretch leading gently down to the Coll Jovell. Staying on the GR at all times, go down to the spectacular Madriu Valley, a Biosphere Reserve, and follow the path of the River Madriu. All along the valley you’ll find free mountain shelters, until you get to the top where you’ll find the Refugi de l'Illa, a ‘new-generation’ mountain shelter, rather like a small hotel.

Above the shelter you’ll reach the Coll de Valcivera, where you’ll begin the descent through the Catalan Cerdanya to the Cabana dels Esparvers. Staying on the GR, you’ll gradually make your way up the Engaït Valley to Portella Blanca d’Andorra, from where you’ll ascend to the Coll dels Isards, the highest point on the route. At the pass, you’ll see Pas de la Casa at your feet, and then first of all it’s down the path, and then along the ski slopes.

Coming very close to the town you’ll take a steep climb up from the foot of the ski lift to the Coll Blanc (There’s a distinctive building up there that really stands out), and from the pass you’ll take the ski slope down to Grau Roig. On the way down, you’ll see the forest trail you’ll need to follow next, which runs by the Estany de la Cubil lake and will take you to the Estació Superior del Funicamp Les Solanelles, at nearly 2500 m above sea level. From this point on, it’s nearly all downhill, first along a forest trail, where you’ll take a short cut on some of the bends, and then along a path up to the Estació Intermedia del Funicamp.

Continue down along the path among pastures, towards grassy areas, until you get to a clutch of traditional stone cottages. Keep an eye out  for the Funicamp tower that you’ll see in the distance; there, you’ll link up with the clearly marked path that leads quickly down, always keeping the village in sight until you get to the Estació del Funicamp where you started out from.

WATER. All services in Encamp. Fountains at Passeig d’Engolasters. Fountain at the Fontverd Shelter. Fountain at the Illa Shelter. Restaurants in Pas de la Casa and Grau Roig. Streams and lakes where you can cool off.

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