A Circular walk in the pine forest between Mt Chinyero and Mt Samara
Last spring we did a walk from Mt Samara and found a path leading downwards to Mt Chinyero. As we did not want to go downhill any further at the time, when we met a track we turned left and then followed some cairns across some lava till we found another path running roughly parallel with the one we came down, and we followed this upwards back to where we started. However, we knew both paths we had used continued downwards and I was keen to find out where they went and where the came out, so in the summer, when there are fewer of us walking we explored the bottom halves of these paths. The exploration of the area went well and we found where the paths joined up with our previous walk. So recently we were able to introduce returning walking friends to the complete circular walk we had managed to find.
When we discovered the top of these paths the weather was not good and we were walking in cloud, so we had not appreciated the views that can be seen from the paths, particularly the one we came down, passing Mt Cuevacitas. The paths run either side of a relatively fresh lava flow of the aa type (lava of low viscosity which ends up very rough when cooled, known in spanish as malpais). Because of the lava the forest is relatively open, so although there is plenty of shade when required, the canopy is also quite open, allowing for views and sunshine.
Our group likes to walk uphill towards the beginning of walks, if that is possible, and downhill towards the end, so we started the walk at the lower end. However, it did involve an hour long walk along the track at first which, after an initial gentle climb, was mainly level. Then we did the main climb.
The walk starts from the TF-38 main road from Chio to Boca de Tauce in the National Park, where a track leaves the road a little downhill from Km 12. We walked along this track for 4.2km, which took us 55 minutes. At that point there is a track junction, with a bar gate across a rough track going to the right, while the main track continues on the left fork. We took the right turn, and continued slightly uphill on this very rough track for about 0.7km (9mins walking) till we saw a cairn above the track to the right. It is not a very prominent cairn so you need to look hard for it. We scambled up to the cairn, and only when you are up above the track can you see the path continuing in a dip and then curving to the right, and then to the left up a slope. There are cairns at regular intervals to guide you. The path forks at the top of the initial steep slope, we took the right fork and continued following cairns upwards until we came out on a track.
We turned left (virtually straight on) on the track and followed it around a left hand bend and then a right hand bend till we reached a very large cairn on the right, where we turned off the track onto a footpath again and continued following the cairns uphill. We continued on this path for about 2 km (approx 30 mins walking) till we reached a crossroads of paths, where we turned right. The crossroads is in an open area with high ridges above it to the south and east and the path you take goes uphill in a southerly direction at an angle to climb one of these slopes. At the top of the slope there is a view of a wide lava flow, which the path follows the edge of for a while, and then crosses it. About a kilometer from the crossroads (about 25min walking) we turned right onto another footpath heading north west across lava at first but later going down through dips under trees, with views to the left of Mt Samara, and later, Mt Cuevitas. Much of the time you walk with a bare lava flow to your right, but walking on a pine needle strewn path. There are a number of paths to the right, crossing the lava, in the middle of the descent. Then there is a path to the left which climbs Mt Cuevacitas, which you can follow to get the excellent views from the top. Otherwise continue straight on down, through a field of black sand continuing slightly to the left. As a fresh lava flow appears ahead and to the left head towards it and you will find a narrow opening between this and a hill to the right, to reach the track you set out on. Turn left and return to the start.
This walk was 14.95km long and took us four and three quarter hours, and involved 445m of climbing and descent. If you would prefer a shorter walk, when you reach the track on the ascending footpath, turn right and when you see cairns on your right follow them to cross the lava and join the descending footpath.
A GPS track of this walk will be found at this link:
Even if you do not have a GPS viewing this will show you a map, and you can print it, if you wish.
Posted on November 12, 2014, in Walks in Tenerife, West Tenerife and tagged blue chaffinch, Fringilla teydea, hike, hiking, Mt Chinyero, Mt Cuevacitas, Mt Samara, rural tourism, senderismo, Tenerife, Walk, walking. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.