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Morro de Pajonales
Mountain/Rock

Morro de Pajonales

 
Morro de Pajonales

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Gran Canaria, Spain, Africa/Europe

Lat/Lon: 27.94718°N / 15.65831°W

Object Title: Morro de Pajonales

Activities: Hiking, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 4688 ft / 1429 m

 

Page By: Gangolf Haub

Created/Edited: Mar 3, 2013 / Mar 11, 2013

Object ID: 840805

Hits: 778 

Page Score: 78.87%  - 10 Votes 

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Overview

 
Morro de Pajonales
Morro de Pajonales seen from Montaña de Sandara

Gran Canaria's largest geographical feature is the giant Caldera de Tejeda, a crater, formed when the islands original stratovolcano collapsed. Millenia of erosion washed the soft volcanic debris away through what is now Barranco de La Aldea de San Nicolas, leaving the giant cauldron. Its northern and eastern sides form the weather divide of Gran Canaria, leaving the interior and the south and east sides desert dry. In the south-east of the crater you find the island's highpoint, Pico de la Nieve, from where the two crater ridges gradually drop towards the sea at San Nicolas in the west. The southern of these branches runs almost directly westward across the northern part of the Cumbre Central as well as the long bend of the Pajonales Crest, named after its central but not the highest mountain: Morro de Pajonales.

The Pajonales Ridge is a long series of Morros, pine covered hills with rocky basalt tops, often offering good backcountry climbing when the big walls of the Cumbre Central are overcrowded. The area has been set aside as a natural preserve, to protect the fragile Canary Pine forest as well as its inhabitant, the endemic blue Gran Canaria pigeon. Park rules (mainly to stay on trails and don't stay overnight) will be rigidly enforced, mainly to avoid forest fires like the big 2007 one, which devastated huge areas in the south of the island, including Pajonales.
 
Morro de Pajonales
 
 
Morro Pajonales in front of Montaña de Sandara
 
 
Morro de Pajonales
 

The Pajonales Ridge bends from Degollada del Asserador in the east to Montaña del Viso in the north-west, finally dropping towards San Nicolas de Tolentino. Its mountains are similar in height with Montaña de Sandara the highest one at 1576m. Still, the lower Morro Pajonales received the honor of namesake of the crest, being one of the most easily accessible summits. It is a mountain, typical for Gran Canaria: overall hill-like and covered with a loose pine forest there are massive walls of basalt pillars to the north and west of the summit. The north and west faces are separated by a giant couloir, a veritable rockslide chute. The top of the mountain is a small plateau, accessible from the south-west. The basalt pillars offer high quality climbing, a bit brittle but a good alternative if the climbing walls near Ayacata are overcrowded.

Getting There


Pajonales Ridge in front of the Cumbre Central


Gran Canaria can be reached from any major European airport. Usually charter carriers fly there but the spanish airline Iberia has also regular flights. The airport is on the eastern coast of the island, far away from the tourist centres in the south.

Trailheads for Morro de Pajonales are at Degollada del Asserador, El Juncal and at Presa de las Cuevas de las Niñas.

  • From the south
    • From Maspalomas take GC60 through Fataga and San Bartolome to the saddle Cruz Grande.
    • From the saddle stay on GC60 until you get to Ayacata.
    • For Embalse de las Cuevas de las Niñas turn left onto GC605 which passes the reservoir.
    • For Degollada del Asserador and El Juncal stay on GC60. The road to El Juncal turns off left about 500m after the degollada.
  • From the north
    • From Telde take GC131 which turns into GC130, direction Pico de la Nieve. The road will hit GC150 right at Gran Canaria's highpoint.
    • Stay on GC150 for a few metres, then turn onto GC600 to Ayacata.
    • For Embalse de las Cuevas de las Niñas turn left onto GC605 which passes the reservoir.
    • For Degollada del Asserador and El Juncal stay on GC60. The road to El Juncal turns off left about 500m after the degollada.

Routes Overview

 
Morro de Pajonales
 
 
Roque Nublo, Morro de Pajonales, Morro de la Negra
 
 
Morro de Pajonales
 

There are three hiking routes to Morro de Pajonales. If you plan to climb the basalt pillars shortest accesss is along the senond route.
  1. Pajonales Ridge Traverse from Degollada del Asserador: a wonderful hikie along the Pajonales Ridge with exceptional views to the Cumbre Central. Morro Pajonales lies a bit to the side (north-west) of the hiking path a short scramble takes you to the top.
  2. Road Hike from El Juncal: A forest road leads from El Juncal to Embalse de las Cuevas de las Niñas. Parking either in the village or some 2km along the road at a forest cabin. Morro Pajonales rises above the road - shortest access for climbers. For the summit use the road to the saddle Cruz de la Huesita, where you turn left (east) following the ridge to Morro Pajonales.
  3. Road Hike or Dirt Scrabmle to Cruz de la Huesita: From Embalse de las Cuevas de las Niñas either follow the dirt road to Cruz de la Huesita or - starting at the camping zone - hike along a steep path through the pine forest. Both routes lead to the saddle from where you turn east onto the Pajonales Ridge

Red Tape

The Pajonales ridge is part of Parque Natural de Pajonales. Hiking and climbing are allowed, camping isn't. Take care with fire! In 2007 a huge forest fire raged the park and the whole south-west of the island, killing all but the hardy Canarian Pines.

Accommodation

Gran Canaria has a lot of options for accommodation. Most visitors book hotel rooms from their travel offices or over the internet. However, you will most certainly end up in the ugly tourist centres along the south coast. Therefore a much better solution is to rent a holiday home, most often a rural finca. This can also be done by travel office or internet.

Camping is a bit of an issue on all the Canary Island. There are designated camping zones but getting a place often involves some bureaucracy. The closest campground is at Embalse de las Cuevas de las Niñas some 2km to the south of the mountain. Wild camping is not permitted anywhere on the island.

Weather Conditions

The following table gives a rough general overview over the weather on Gran Canaria, at sea level.

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg. day temp.[°C / °F]21 / 7021 / 7022 / 7222 / 7222 / 7223 / 7324 / 7525 / 7725 / 7725 / 7724 / 7522 / 72
Avg. night temp.[°C / °F]16 / 6116 / 6116 / 6117 / 6316 / 6117 / 6318 / 6420 / 6820 / 6818 / 6418 / 6417 / 63
Water temp.[°C / °F]19 / 6618 / 6419 / 6619 / 6619 / 6620 / 6822 / 7223 / 7323 / 7323 / 7321 / 7020 / 68
Rainy days432211111333


The Canarian Islands (as well as Madeira) are located in the trade wind zone. You almost always encounter northeastern winds which carry a lot of humid air. Being forced to climb to higher altitudes this moisture condenses into clouds. This in return means that most of the time the northeastern part of the islands is covered in clouds from altitudes of 1000m through 1500m.


The mountainous region in the centre of the island is of the same alltitude and higher and thus stops the clouds. While the northern parts of the islands can be foggy and rainy the southern parts most often are sunny and hot. On Gran Canaria the north-eastern part of the island collects almost all moisture. However, unlike on the other Canary Islands no cloud forest remains. The laurisilva fell victim to the agricultural development of the island.

Maps & Books

Regular Maps


  • Gran Canaria
    Kompass Map WK237
    Kompass Verlag
    1:50000
    ISBN 3-85491-114-9
  • Gran Canaria North
    Public Press Map 442
    1:50000
    ISBN: 978-3-89920-442-1
  • Gran Canaria South
    Public Press Map 443
    1:50000
    ISBN: 978-3-89920-443-8

Digital Maps


Kompass is the only company known to me which offers GPS digital Maps. In addition for those of you with Garmin GPS receivers there is a map source map set of all Canary islands out there.
  • Gran Canaria
    Kompass GPS4237
    Kompass Verlag
    ISBN 978-3-85491-219-4
  • Islas Canarias
    Map Source custom map
    By Manfred Pepper
    downloadable zip-file

Books


My recommendation is a guidebook by Rother Verlag, available in English and German. The book is an excellent hiking guide covering all the interesting areas of the island. Since it comes with small maps for each excursion it might even be used without a map to support them.
  • Gran Canaria
    Izabella Gawin
    Rother Verlag
    ISBN 978-3-7633-4816-9 (English)
    ISBN 978-3-7633-4000-2 (German)

Images

Morro de PajonalesMorro de PajonalesMorro de PajonalesMorro de PajonalesAltavista seen from Morro PajonalesLooking down into Caldera de TejedaThe Pajonales Ridge in front of the Cumbre Central
Morro de PajonalesMorro de PajonalesMorro de PajonalesRoque Nublo, Morro de Pajonales, Morro de la NegraMorro Pajonales in front of Montaña de Sandara