A TRUE five star walk, this is the best of the three main routes leading to the summit of la Maroma (2068m).
Departing from the lovely village of Canillas de Aceituno, there are glorious sea views as well as vistas of the magnificent Loma de Capellanía and promontory of Proa del Barco (The Ship’s Prow).
From the summit, the vast panoramic vistas are hard to better and are particulary memorable when the Sierra Nevada is cloaked in its winter mantle of snow.
The great thing about the Canillas ascent is that once you’re back down at Los Charcones you follow a different path back to the village, descending parallel to the gorge of Los Almanchares: a route once used to bring ice down from the summit.
The Nitty Gritty
Distance: 21 kms
Time Required: 7 hrs
Total Height gain: 1625m
Map(s): ING 1:50000 Zafarraya 1040 (18-43)
Water: spring at 4 hrs 50 mins
Getting to the beginning of the walk
Arriving in Canillas from the west head towards the village centre. Reaching a playground for children park on the left then continue along Avenida de Andalucía to lower end of the Plaza de la Constitución.
The walk begins in Plaza de la Constitución. Facing the town hall exit at its top, left hand corner then cut right past a statue following a sign for La Maroma. Angling left then right continue up a narrow street, ignoring a sign off right for La Rábita.
Head straight on at the next junction passing left of an ornamental olive. Angling left the road descends to a junction then arcs left. Here turn right following a sign for Campo de Fútbol.
Climbing a steep road, La Cuesta de los Picachos, you pass the village cementery then a football pitch where the track angles right.
After 300m cut left at a marker post up a narrow path. Reaching the track once again by a bird hide bear left.
After following the track in a northwesterly direction look for a cairn to its right where you should again cut a corner, rejoining the track at a concreted section where you reach the Mirador de Castillejo.
Follow the track to the right then as the concrete ends cut left at a cairn up a path which shortly angles back to the track which levels as it runs on to the east. Passing a forestry building after 600m you reach a sign post pointing left for La Maroma. (1 hr)
Cut left through the pines down a path which shortly crosses two (dry) stream beds then climbs past an old calera (a lime pit).
Continuing up the footpath you pass a second calera.
The pines thin out as you climb up the right side of the Barranco de las Tejas. Soon the path begins to descend.
25m before reaching the bed of the barranco cut right at a cairn and marker post. After running directly away from the stream the path arcs left, clearer now, as it climbs parallel to the streambed.
Zigzagging steeply up you reach a junction with a clearer path as you come up to the Los Charcones pass. In front of you is a sign post Sendero SLA-142. (1 hr 30 mins)
Here cut left. Running north the path crosses a tributary of the Arroyo de las Tejas where you pass another sign for SLA-142.
The path loops steeply up past a rocky promontory as it runs west before angling back to the right.
Zigzagging up to the north the path again arcs to the west and traverses a swathe of scree.
Passing green arrows on a rock you reach the promontory known as the Proa del Barco and a marker post with a cairn at its base. (2 hrs 10 mins)
Here angle right. The path becomes less distinct but cairns guide you across a vast field of rock.
The Barranco de la Cueva de Don Pedro is now down to your left. Reaching a jagged outcrop the path angles left.
30m before it reaches the tail end of the barranco angle right, away from the path you’ve been following, to pick up another which leads to the summit, initially on a due easterly course.
Angling back down to a (dry) streambed continue along its course, passing just right of a fenced enclosure then angle right. Care should be taken: the path now runs close to the steep southern face of the Loma de Capellanía.
It’s a good idea to occasionally look behind you: it will make coming back down easier! After angling left then crossing a rise you’ll see a nipple-like cairn at the left side of the summit ridge.
Head up to the cairn from where, passing well to the left of a high metal pole, continue up to the tower-like trig point at the summit (2068m). (2 hrs 50 mins)
Leaving the summit make your way back down to the point you passed at 1hr 30mins, the Los Charcones pass. (4 hrs 10 mins)
Here, instead of angling right down the path you followed earlier, cut left through a breach in the rock.
Running south along the ridge the path angles left then zigzags down and passes a (dry) spring. Running more level the path cuts through a stand of young pines before angling right to the top of the Rávita ridge, marked on the I.G.N. map as Collado de la Rávita. Here angling right you pass an SLA-142 marker post.
Continuing south for 300m you reach a junction. Take the right branch.
The path adopts a southwesterly course, descending towards Canillas across an area more denuded of vegetation, high above the ravine of the Arroyo de Almanchares.
Just before the path angles hard right you reach the cave of La Rávita and a signboard.
Angling right a few metres before the cave the path passes a calera then reaches a spring, El Fuente de la Rávita. (4 hrs 50 mins)
The path now angles slightly left, along a ridge, before adopting a course towards Canillas.
Occasionally looping down to a lower level the path eventually drops down past a signboard Sendero Casa de la Nieve to a track.
Cut right for 50m then reaching a pylon cut left between two ramshackle farm buildings to reach the first village houses.
Just before reaching a sign Calle Sierrecilla cut right down a zigzagging path. Passing a sign for La Rábita (sic) angle left then cut right down Calle Calleja.
Pass beneath an arch then at the next junction cut left to return to the start point of the walk. (5 hrs 35 mins)