Today we are hiking the last stage of the official La senda de camille trail, a 104 km circular hiking route in the western Pyrenees.
Location: Spanish Pyrenees
Altitude: +1100, -1000
Good to know if you are interested in hiking this trail yourself: You don’t really need anything in order to complete this trail. However, a GPX file will help on the part that is less marked. Also, as always, make sure to bring good hiking shoes.
The Start of the day
We don’t actually leave exactly from Lizara refuge, we found a very nice camping spot a bit higher up. We preferred the solitude and the views over the refuge. This also means we have to climb a little bit less today, which isn’t the worst thing in the world.
The skies aren’t as clear as they were the day before. We soon find ourselves in a beautiful but cloudy valley as we start our first climb of the day.
We are crossing our fingers that we don’t receive too much rain today, but it doesn’t take long before the first rain drops are falling from the sky.
We shouldn’t complain, the rain isn’t too bad and at the end of this first part of the climb we can take a short break in one of the cleaner deserted mountains refuges. A perfect place for a snack and pray for some better weather.
When we step out of the shelter, we do see that the sky is opening up. Sadly, this is behind us, in front of us the skies are looking much more gray.
From time to time, the sun fights its way through the clouds and meets us while we are enjoying some beautiful scenery. The climb was actually really interesting with lots of variety and great views.
Eventually we reach the top and find ourselves on a grassy plateau. Apparently these plateau was crowded with other beings. Soon enough, our new friends come to meet us.
We are happy that the next hour or so, the trail remains pretty flat. The surroundings are still really beautiful, there is some peace and quietness in this valley (once you pass the cows and their bells) that seems pretty rare in the Pyrenees. We did see a handful of hikers, but not too many.
This allowed us to spot a couple of chamois. We know that there are also Marmots nearby, but we couldn’t spot them when we were there. No worries, there are plenty of opportunities to spot marmots in this region.
The last stretch of grassy plateau before we start to make our way down to the large and impressive “ibon de estanes”, an impressive mountain lake.
Starting the descent
The next stage is all about descending. The views are still nice, but can’t compete with the ones we had on our climb and on the grassy plateaus.
However, after a while we get our first view of the lake and are pretty impressed once again.
We decided to have (late) lunch here. We take our time to absorb our surroundings before we get ready for the next part of the trail.
At this point, the trail is a bit more crowded and you can feel that this is only a (relatively) short hike away from the next town. However, we won’t go directly to the closest place to stay the night, we are planning a little detour.
We follow a dirt road/trail for a little while before making our way right. We can already see a beautiful cirque ahead of us.
The views are once again really nice and it becomes very clear that this trail/day hike is one of the best trails that we have done this vacation.
After a while we reach a forest, that has this “old and mysterious forest vibe”, even though it’s not that large. Not long after that, we start to hear the impressive and slightly scary sound of a very loud waterfall nearby, the one we will have to cross.
Not much later, we do actually cross a small waterfall, a bit after that the real waterfall follows.
It’s not that hard to cross, but it’s important to follow the markings. Also, you can’t always cross, it depends on the season, make sure to do your research!
This part is actually pretty demanding because there are a lot of steep parts where we can’t make very much pace. Also, the day has been long and more demanding than expected. We also have a bit more altitude meters done than was reported.
Anyway, we are probably just a bit tired from the days before. We know it’s the last stretch, so we don’t mind too much.
The last part
We do end up losing the trail for a short while before we actually reach our destination. The trail was very well-marked except for the last part, the fact that some fog and rain was coming in didn’t help. This made us lose some time and considering it was a pretty long day, it was pretty painful.
However, not much later, we actually arrive at col de Somport. The refuge here wasn’t too bad, most importantly the showers were great after such a great hiking.
In essence, this is the end of the La senda de camille trail, but it’s also a great spot to start the Tour of the peak du midi d’osseau.
Ferona Jose is a passionate travel writer and blogger at Travelistia. She has traveled throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Her writing focuses on cheap travel destinations, travel experiences, cultural insights, and travel hacks.