The Carros de Foc crossing is a circular route of high mountain that links the different shelters of the National Park of Aigüestortes and Estany de Sant Maurici, in the Pyrenees of Lérida. This itinerary will uncover wonderful places: Aigüestortes, the Lake of Sant Maurici, the mountain of Els Encantats, the Agulles d’Amitges, the Colomers circus, the Besiberris massif, the Monestero valley… This proposal is adequate for people with a good physical preparation.
The crossing consists of 6 stages and we will discover the National Park in the totality of the 4 regions that make it up: the Alta Ribagorza, the Valle de Aran, the Pallars Sobirá and the Pallars Jussá. The route will impress us by its spectacular nature and its beauty: high mountain lakes, great peaks, incredible sunrises and sunsets, beautiful valleys and forests of darts, granite needles, … Each stage becomes a new and great spectacle of nature!
Also, the 5 shelters where we will spend the night are located in places of great beauty and will allow us to regain strength thanks to their good meals. We will also know what life is like in high mountain refuges, establishments that, beyond offering shelter, play a very important role in the conservation of this great protected natural space.
Over the course of 6 days, we will make a complete loop through the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici National Park. Translated into English as “The winding streams and St. Maurice Lake”, this park in the Spanish Pyrenees is full of enchanting sites.
As we make our way around the Carros de Foc circuit, we will stop and stay in 5 different mountain huts: Saboredo, Restanca, Ventosa y Calvell, Estany Llong and Colomina. Each hut has its own charm and seems to be in a more picturesque setting than the last. In addition to being an ideal place to rest and relax, the huts will also be preparing all of our meals. You can count on delicious breakfasts, boxed lunches and hot dinners daily. This multi-day trek along the Carros de Foc is suitable for fit trekkers.
On this multi-day, hut-to-hut trek on the Carros de Foc, or “Chariots of Fire”, we will see the very best of
the Aigüestortes National Park. There are far too many incredible sites to list here, but a few of the highlights include:
Along the Carros de Foc, we will see many of the 200 lakes located within Catalonia’s only national park. We will also trek through lush pine forests and admire the many stunning peaks that rise within Aigüestortes.
At the huts, we will revel in the mountain life as we awaken with the sunrise each morning. In the evenings, we will enjoy a tasty meal in the company of new friends and old as the sun sets over this one-of-a-kind landscape in the Pyrenees.
Sometimes changes to the itinerary are necessary due to the weather or special situations This can happen with little notice. If you’re flexible and have a sense of humour, you’re bound to have a fun and relaxing trip across this beautiful part of the world.
We will meet in Espot in the morning and travel together to St. Maurice Lake. With a view of the Els Encantats mountain, we will start walking leisurely through the forest toward the Amidges Hut. From here, we will follow a trail upward to Lake Ratera. A short decent will land us at our first destination: the Saboredo Hut, where we will spend the night.
This section of the trail is more difficult than the previous section. From the Saboredo Hut, we will traverse the Sendrosa Col in order to reach the Colomers Cirque. The descent from this col is steep and rocky in parts.
Before entering the Colomers Cirque, we will sidetrack a bit in order to see Long Lake and Lac Major de Colomers. We will admire the view of the lakes and nearby refugio before continuing onward.
From here, we will gradually ascend Port de Ribereta, Port de Caldes and Coll de Crestada (Crestada Col). This is a beautiful path that only gets better as we begin our descent toward Lake Restanca and the Restanca Hut below.
We will give our legs a bit of a rest today with a shorter, less difficult hike. From the Restanca Hut, we will ascend higher into the mountain and once again cross the Crestada Col.
From here, a gradual descent will bring us to the inviting Ventosa y Calvell Hut.
DAY 4: Ventosa y Calvell Hut – Contraix Col – Estany Llong Hut
Today will be our longest and most challenging day on this trek. Fortunately, it also happens to be the day with the best scenery!
After climbing our way through scattered boulders, a steep ascent will take us up to the Contraix Col (2748m). This is the highest point we will reach during our 6-day trek. From the col, we will carefully descend toward the Sant Nicolau Valley, pausing frequently to take in the remarkable views. Following a short uphill climb from the valley, we will have arrived at the Estany Llong Hut tired, but thoroughly satisfied.
From the Estany Llong Hut, we will slowly rise above the valley as we walk through a pine forest. As we advance along the trail, we will see one glacial pond after the next, until reaching the Dellui Col.
Atop the col, we will have an impressive view of the trail ahead. Winding between glacial lakes interspersed with boulders, we will eventually reach Estany Tort. From this lake, we will follow old railroad tracks and climb up to the final hut on our itinerary: the Colomina Hut.
On our final day, we will reluctantly set off on the last leg of our journey in the Aigüestortes National Park. We will pass the beautiful glacial lakes of Colomina and transit the Pas de L’os.
Once we reach the Estany Negre de Peguera and the Josep M. Blanc Hut, we will start to trek uphill toward Monestero. As we ascend Monestero, we will climb over boulders and reach the Estany Gran de Peguero.
From this lake, a few short steps will land us at the top of hill. At this point, we will begin our descent through a forest to St. Maurice Lake, effectively completing our circuit. Accomodation tonight in a hotel in Espot and farewell dinner to celebrate our amazing hike with Traveladventurekids.
Breakfast and it is time to say Godbye or at least until our next adventure together with Traveladventurekids.
Possibility of transfer to the airport for those who require it.
END OF TRIP
Duration of the activity: 7days / 6 nights.
Physical demand: High. Suitable route for people with a good physical training who practice sports frequently or are accustomed to hiking for several days with significant differences in level. It is recommended to have made a route
of several days previously.
Technical difficulty: The route runs through high mountain terrain: trails, irregular terrain, terrain and block areas. During the itinerary we went through some mountain passes more than 2700m above sea level and occasionally
we may need to help with our hands to progress with more confidence and certain points. It is necessary to have
previously made routes through high mountain terrain.
Total distance: 76 km (6 days). Cumulative difference in height: 4,900m (6 days). Recommended time: From June to October.
Essential individual material:
It is essential to bring mountain clothes to make the route (waterproof windbreaker, warm clothes, breathable and comfortable clothing, long pants and mountain socks, high-top mountain boots to protect the ankles, gloves, panties and hat Replacement clothes to change in the shelters For the rain: waterproof poncho / capeline and waterproof cover for the backpack For the sun: sunglasses, sunscreen, protection for the lips and cap). Suitable mountain backpack. Front or flashlight. Sack sheet (in the shelters there are blankets). Telescopic poles for walking. Earplugs
for the nights in the shelters (optional).
Food: Drink or water and the food that each one considers appropriate for the first day (snack, picnic, fruit, nuts, chocolate, energy bars, …). Dinners, breakfasts and lunches (picnic bags) are provided in the shelters. Profile of the TRAVELADVENTUREKIDS’ guide: Mountain guide titled with great experience in the National Park. Extensive knowledge in flora, fauna and geology of the environment.