Scenic walk from the Parador hotel in Las Cañadas del Teide to Vilaflor passing the Sombrero de Chasna

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View of the caldera from the path between the Parador and the Degollada de Ucanca

On Wednesday last week I walked with a group of 11 others from the Parador in Las Canadas del Teide down to Vilaflor.  We could have gone a number of different ways but this time we walked up to the Degollada de Ucanca, following the national park path 31, then turning right on the ridge around the caldera till we reached the Sombrero de Chasna and descending with that to our left down the ridge to Vilaflor.  The weather forecast was not perfect so we went prepared for all weathers and were pleasantly surprised to find the sun shining in the National Park.  It stayed warm and sunny all the way until we passed the Sombrero when we entered the cloud.  Thereafter we were in cloud the rest of the way.  The sunny weather enabled me to get some good photos, it makes such a difference.

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A view of Teide from the ridge between Degollada de Ucanca and Sombrero de Chasna

We arrived at the Parador in the Teide bus at just before 11.00 and at that time there was still frost in the shade in the National Park.  However, the air temperature felt warm in the sunshine, and we soon got ourselves warm with the initial climb up the side of the caldera, which took us about 50 minutes.  Turning right we began the stretch on the ridge, still enjoying the fine views of Teide and the caldera, although not down in the other direction.  On the ridge we saw several plants of La Palma groundsel (Senecio palmensis) with the remains of flowers on them, but they were the only flowers we saw.

Looking back at the west face of Mt Guajara from the ridge

Looking back at the west face of Mt Guajara from the ridge

The walk along the ridge involves two places where a little rock scrambling is needed due to a sudden change of level.  Both are well signed with paint arrows and cairns so it is easy to see where to go, and they are easy to manage for the non-rock-climbing walker with normal agility.  At times on the ridge the path weaves in and out of Mt Teide broom (Spartocytisus supranubius) bushes, and in some places it is difficult to see where the path goes, but you soon join up with the path again, as long as you stay on the ridge.

Mt Teide from the ridge.  In the foreground a plant of La Palma groundsel with a few flowers on it.

Mt Teide from the ridge. In the foreground a plant of La Palma groundsel with a few flowers on it.

Having negotiated the second of the two rock scrambles we enjoyed a lunch break still in the sunshine, with nice sun-warmed rocks to sit on.  Then we started the descent to the western side of the Sombrero de Chasna, following the path that goes down that way past an iconic rock pile which is a great landmark.  Soon after that we took the left hand path at a fork and continued down that path for quite a way.  We were now in the cloud which robbed us of the views down to the south of the island.  After about 15 minutes of walking from the fork we reached a point on the path where a line of cairns could be seen going off to the left of the path.  We turned off the path to follow the cairns, thus joining the path we walked up in September – described in my blog of September 17th.  We had better weather then to enjoy the views!

The second place where a little rock scrambling was necessary to get down this rocky slope

The second place where a little rock scrambling was necessary to get down this rocky slope

There was no real visible path at first because the slope was covered with loose rocks, but following the cairns down the slope a faint path at the bottom turned to the left to cross a small barranco, then continuing on the other side to cross another small barranco and up the other side to join an old water channel with a galvanized metal water pipe inside it.  We were, more or less, to follow this down to the crossing of the main road, the TF-21 from Boca de Tauce in Las Canadas to Vilaflor, at km 63.  At times cairns guided us to the right or left of the pipe to avoid the steep slopes the pipe went straight down.

The western face of Sombrero de Chasna and the landmark rocks by the path

The western face of Sombrero de Chasna and the landmark rocks by the path

We crossed the main road when we reached it and walked a few yards down it till we turned down a path to the right used by mountain bikers, with a steep slope down from the road.  We followed that path downhill and then turning to the left, passing below the road till we got to a path going to the right which took us all the way down to Vilaflor.  We arrived at the football field near the Hotel Villalba and continued straight on down a very steep tarmac road to the main road and across that down another steep street to the main street of the town and went right to where we had parked our cars to go back to the coast.

The path approaching the fork where we turned left

The path approaching the fork where we turned left

The walk was about 13 km / 8.1ml long, with about 430m of accumulated climb, and 1090m of descent.  It took us about 4.75 hours.

A GPS downloadable track can be found at:

Descending from Sombrero, in the last of the sunshine for that day

Descending from Sombrero, in the last of the sunshine for that day

http://www.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=4025186

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About Sally Whymark

When I retired and moved out to Tenerife a few years ago, one of the things I really wanted to do was go walking in the mountains. The scenery is very dramatic, and varied. The views are amazing. The native birds and butterflies and other fauna are remarkable. But the flowers - they're just stunning. Little did I know how this would fire up my interest in plants. While living in England, I had always had an interest in flowers and plants, indeed I ran a plant nursery with my husband for many years, but had not spent a great deal of time pursuing botany. But when walking in Tenerife, I noticed all the unfamiliar shapes of the local flowers, and longed to find out more about them. There are literally hundreds of species endemic to just Tenerife (or even just one part of it), the Canary Islands, or Macronesia (the Atlantic Islands, including Madeira, Canaries and Azores). They are so exciting, and so many of them are really showy as well. So I have started this blog to share with you my excitement at all the great sights I see when walking in Tenerife. I hope you'll enjoy it - and want to come here and experience it for yourself.

Posted on December 2, 2012, in South Tenerife, Teide National Park, Teide National Park, Walks in Tenerife and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Nice pics Sally. I like the walk along the top. Interesting views from El Sombrero too. Thyanks.

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