Summit block Altos de Uteza
The traverse of the Altos de Uteza is one of the most beautiful and panoramic hikes in the north of La Gomera. You have the island of Tenerife with Spein's highest mountain, Teide, always in view and if you turn around you will see the Roques, former volcanic plugs in the centre of La Gomera. Additionally the scrambles to the tops of the half dozen summits offer a little adventure, especially as you have to negotiate brittle rock overgrown by thorny bushes.
There are two access routes, one along a forest road, the other along a marked trail and you can combine them to a loop, which traverses the whole ridge of the Altos de Uteza.
Altos de Uteza
See the main page for the information. There is a small parking lot on TF711, the Carretera del Norte, from which the forest road starts. The hiking path starts from the forest road after some 100m.
On the path from La Gerode
- Start altitude: 400m
- Summit altitude: 738m
- Prevailing exposure: S
- Type: 2h one way
- Protection: None
Effort: 600m elevation gain across the whole ridge
Power: 1 - Long but not difficult
Psyche: 2-3 - Easy without the summit scrambles, otherwise loose and exposed
Orientation: 1 - Easy during access, some problems near the La Ggerode pass in the east
From the parking lot at the Carretera del Norte head out northward along the forest road. After some 100m a narrow path heads up the mountain to the left, zigzagging its way to the Uteza ridge. The forest road itself climbs to a saddle and crosses over to the other side to head for the settlement of Enchereda. At the saddle you can find a second entry to the ridge traverse.
My recommendation is to follow the forest road - mainly because from there you can follow the whole Uteza ridge without having to turn around. the hiking path reaches the ridge in its middle and thus you have to decide for the eastern or western branch. Both access routes are equally easy to hike.
From the La Gerode Pass a marked path heads up very steepy for some metres to attain the Uteza Ridge. For the most part it heads along the south side of the ridge, always steadily climbing towards the summits. Near La Gerode the marks are somewhat sparse and ambiguous so that here orientation is most difficult. After a while the path becomes evident, though at times it still climbs through dense and thorny bushes. As you get close to the top the single summits can be distiguished. Be sure to climb at least one of them - the views of Tenerife are gorgeous.
After a while you reach the intersection with the hiking path. Either head down to the trailhead or head onwards to the higher Altos de Uteca. Make sure that you don't switch to the northern side. There is a path there which descends to the Enchereda settlement. It is very overgrown and leads away from the main objective. Instead scramble towards the next two summits, whithout a trail or mark to guide you. It's a bit of an adventure due to the bushes but certainly worthwhile thanks to the views. Return to the intersection the way you came.
Essential GearHiking Gear is sufficient. In the summer bring lots of water.