Panticosa Summer is coming and a multitude of hikers choose Pyrenees As a holiday destination. A trekking / hiking route by Panticosa Baths it can be a great option and even more if we combine it with several nights at the foot of a tent. Route without shelters, there are none, but the company of more than 10 lakes during the journey makes the effort worthwhile.
From Lake to Lake by Panticosa
What are you going to do a route to Penticosa? Isn't that a ski resort or a spa? These are the questions that my friends asked me before I left for this place in the Pyrenees. It is certainly known for its small ski resort (several kilometers from here) and its spa on foot of the Ibón de los Baños, not forgetting the winter diving that takes place under the ice of this lake, but also topical, it is also an ideal place for hiking.
Many routes depart from the same lake, but perhaps the most visited and massive, is the one that unites Panticosa Baths with the Bachimaña Alto Reservoir, but don't be alarmed, 90% of people stay enjoying the waterfalls, like the Pine tree, just 2 kilometers from the lake.
Our route was by finger from the map of the place and calculating the days we would need, taking into account that there were people in the group with low fitness. The main thing was to have fun, and since we were here ... enjoy beautiful scenery and above all, the more lakes the better, because we love them 😀. Well, simply, all this is what brings this route together. More than 10 lakes, breathtaking views, numerous waterfalls and idyllic places to camp, it sounds good ehh, because I am not deceiving you is just what you will find.
Day 1 of the route
Distance: 5.1 km
Approximate duration : 3h / 4h
Total ascent : 758m
Total descent : 42m
Maximum altitude: 2,388m
Leaving Panticosa Baths
We arrived on a Friday at 5:00 p.m. Parking of Baños de Panticosa and we planned to walk for a few hours until nightfall, around 3 hours, with the aim of camping on the second lake we reached, the Ibón de Brazato. It was a sunny day, a bit hot for which we appreciated the shade of the pines during the first kilometers.
The route takes the GR-11 in sense East, not in the direction of the waterfalls which is where the opposite side is (North). At first the slope is smooth and the road wide enough to enter up to 4 people. Gradually you will take height and you will see how the town gets smaller and smaller and so on until you leave the part of the pines and the most inclined and rocky part begins. At this point, do not miss the views of the Peaks of Hell and the Black Garmo, the three westernmost thousands of the Pyrenees.
The view of Ibón de Baños They are spectacular, which encourages you to continue walking until you reach our first lake on the route, the Lower Ion of Brazato.
Lower Ion of Brazato - panticosa
The truth is that Ibón had several places to place our tents, but since we still had time, we were encouraged to continue walking until the next one, the Ibón de Brazato, much larger than the previous one.
Ibón del Brazato - Near Panticosa
Here we decided to put an end to the day, riding the tent and preparing a hot soup as the night began to cool.
Day 2 of the route
Distance: 12.5 km
Approximate duration : 9h / 10h (Counting stop for lunch and long nap ...)
Total ascent : 851m
Total descent : 878m
Maximum altitude: 2,650m
Ibones Altos del Brazato
It dawns at 7: 30/8, but the sleeping bag sticks to the body and we don't leave the tent until the sun starts to bother us. We pick up the beach bar and start a new day, the longest of the entire route.
The road begins bordering the Ibón de Brazato on its left side, until reaching all the Ibones Altos de Brazato, a group of three lakes under the rocky Labasa Peaks or Batanes Teeth, of 2736 meters of altitude. After this we reach a hill called of course ... Brazato pass at 2500m altitude.
Lagoons of Barranco de Batanes
From here it is the typical lower leg break for some or demoralizing for others through the Batanes Ravine. But of course, not everything is bad news, as we begin to see one of the most spectacular peaks of the Spanish and French Pyrenees, the Vignemale / Viñamala with its imposing 3298m altitude.
Ibón Bajo de Batanes
After arriving at a fork with another road, we left both to reach the Ibón Bajo de Batanes and upload the address to Signboard Hill. This climb is the hardest of the entire route and in some cases even heavy, since the road is not very well signposted. Keep in mind that we are no longer in the GR-11, we are on a very little traveled path.
Luckily he Vignemale He accompanies us at all times, as I remember with some heaviness, that bordering the lake of photography was an odyssey. Not because it was complicated, but large rocks made the road difficult and made us move very slowly.
And finally we arrive at Signboard Hill, the highest point of our route, to 2650m of altitude, without having passed a snowy step that presented some difficulty (It is not the one in the photograph), especially if you are very heavy. Without snow, I don't think it's very complicated.
Ibón de Bramatuero Alto
We go down towards Ibón de Bramatuero Alto, which curiously at its end point has numerous blocks of ice floating, looking small icebergs. It is bordered by its left side, and eye, neither is the road very well signposted, but considering that the lake has no loss, surely you find the right path.
After this we reach the last lake of the day, the Ibón de Bramatuero Bajo, where we camp at the foot of a splendid panorama of the Peaks of Hell, first photograph of this Post.
Day 3 of the route
Distance: 8.8 km
Approximate duration : 3h / 4h
Total ascent : 210m
Total descent : 826m
Maximum altitude: 2,263m
Peaks of Hell
And the last day arrived and just the least physically demanding. Almost everything downhill, passing through another beautiful lake and the set of waterfalls near Panticosa.
After picking up the store, we headed to Bachimaña Alto Reservoir, a beautiful dammed lake with an island at its central point. This we border on its right side, although the maps indicated an alternative path on its left side, but since the GR-11 joined by the other side coming from the Piedrafita Peak, we decided to take this first option.
Bachimaña Alto Reservoir
After the Reservoir we will begin to meet people, curious since during the last day we barely saw a couple of groups of people. Now the road is much wider, it is a GR!!, and is suitable even for walking with children. Many people come up here to cool off in the pools that are formed in the river and the truth seems to me to be a magnificent idea.
We begin to see the end, the town of Panticosa Baths and its characteristic lake. The route is almost over, but before the dip under any of the waterfalls nobody takes it from me !! , although perhaps what best suited us, were the beers that we had in the Stone House Shelter already in bathrooms.
When to go?
The best time to make this route through Panticosa is from the end of June, until the middle of October. In some cases it is advisable to do it in the month of July, depending on whether the year has been kind to the snows or not. Personally, I would call a shelter (like the one in Baños) to discuss the conditions.
How to get?
It has no loss, once we have taken the road to Tena Valley since Sabináñigo, we take the indications to the Panticosa ski resort. A few kilometers before arriving we will begin to see the signs to The Baths of Panticosa, where we will leave the car in the free parking of the entrance.
What to wear
This list of material is only useful in the summer months.
- Comfortable boots with water repellent and breathable membrane.
- Water treatment pills.
- Food (There are no shelters on this route) and its utensils ...
- Front or flashlight.
- Optional canes
- Cut winds
- Warm clothes for cold nights.
- Waterproof jacket.
- Cap and a pair of gloves.
- Sleeping bag and optionally the tent.
Where to sleep?
No shelters available on this route near the Baths of Panticosa, so nature and tranquility will accompany you all the way. The bad ... the weight we will have to carry on our backs.