ApproachSee the main page for the directions to the trailhead at Bocca Tauce.
- Start altitude: 1900m
- Summit altitude: 3134m
- Prevailing exposition: SE
- Type: 5h scree ascent
- Protection: sparsely marked but clearly visible path
This is without doubt one of the most strenuous hikes/scrambles on all the Canarias. The trail covers roughly 1200m of elevation, half of which runs along fine scree. Since each two steps up mean one step back, you'll rather have to cover something like 1600m. Also the nature of the underground makes it difficult to keep your balance, especially if you negotiate the eastern rim of the Narices del Teide.
From Bocca Tauce head out along the northward road for a couple of hundred meters. Here turn right into the large Llano de Ucanca using a dirt road, which is used by the park rangers. The roads leads in direction of Teide but heads to a point east of the summit. You cross a couple of ditches which resemble dried creeks before you reach the point where the Pico Viejo trail leaves to the left (west, 45min).
The trail first leads levelly westward and reaches a couple of lava bombs. Take a short rest here since now you start out for the Pico Viejo Scramble. The path heads northward at first climbing through sparse desert vegetation, which is soon left behind. You are below the Narices del Teide now and the going gets rough. Fine scree fields have to be scrambled up, the trail crossing over to the western side before heading eastwards again for the bottom rim of the largest of the Narices craters (shown in the large picture above).
From here on take the eastern side of the crater and head directly for Pico Viejo. The underground remains the same but closer to the summit you'll be able to make out some rockier sections. Head for those, even if they seem to be steeper - they'll give you a much needed foothold. Closer to the southern summit the going gets shallower until you reach the south-summit plateau. The northern summit can be reached by circumventing the Pico Viejo Crater on its eastern side, again scrambling up through steep scree.
Returning to the trailhead at Bocca Tauce is one hell of a fun scree ride. It'll take you down in almost no time at all.