Peña el Aguila and La Peñota seen from the west
Sierra de Guadarrama
- at least most of it -appears to be one of these typical lower mountain ranges - lots of round-topped, easy summits with an occasional rock on top. But upon a closer look you see lots of areas with impressive granite rock formations, La Pedriza
and Siete Picos
being the best known among them. And at an even closer look you'll see lots of Ianus-faced mountains with one hill-like and one rocky side. La Peñota
is one of these, a low mountain of less than 2000m height on the eastern boandary of Valle de Fuenfria
Its regular normal ascent starts in the valley and either heads across neighbouring Peña el Aguila
in the north, a very broad and very long stretched mountain, or through Collado del Rey from the east. Both ascents may be steep in places but are little mor than regular hiking routes. A third route, however, starting at Puerto de Guadarrama
(also Puerto de León
or Alto del Puerto
)first leads across a ridge of two or three minor summits before reachning the La Peñota
west ridge. And here a wonderful 1h ascent starts towards the summit.
The ridge is made up from granite blocks, which forms bizarre structures. The path winds between several minor summits, reaches a narrow ledge, which leads to a small saddle which separates a single tower from the main ridge. Again it threads along ledges to pass the western side summit, passes to the northern side of the ridge and finally heads up to the saddle between west and central summit. There is a lookout (an old civil war position) at the base of the western summit and a summit pillar on the central one. Reaching its top requires a bit of manual work. A third summit, the eastern one is formed like a large mushroom, some 200m to the east of the other two. It can be easily reached by ashort scramble and a couple of jumps towards the platform on top.
is a rather solitary mountain as the ascent routes all are rather long. Its standalone position, however, makes it a good lookout towards the other, less central parts of the Guadarrama Range
. Siete Picos
and the southern range between Cabeza Lijar
are the most prominent ones in the west and south while the Mujer Muerta
south-western parts can be seen in the north.
In all, La Peñota
is worth a trip, maybe along the long ridge traverse around the summits on the rim around Valle de Fuenfria
360° Summit Panorama
360° summit panorama from La Peñota
In the col between western and central summit with the eastern summit in the back
- From Madrid take motorway A-6 / AP-6 to the exit Guadarrama.
- For Valle de Fuenfria take M-614 to Guadarrama
- Switch to N-IV west for a few hundred metres
- Turn right onto M-622 to Cercedilla
- There follow the signs to La Dehesa and Fuenfria
- For Puerto de Guadarrama remain on N-IV which leads directly to the pass.
Summit Panorama: Mujer Muerta behind Peña el Ageuila, Peñalara, Siete Picos, La Maliciosa
I’m not aware of any red tape. In general the parking lot on Puerto de Guadarrama
is reserved for guests of the restaurant but it doesn’t look like this is enforced.
When to ClimbLa Peñota
can be climbed in all seasons. In winter the most reasonable ascent is the one across Peña el Aguila
from the north with tour skis or snowshoes.
La Peñota seen during the approach from Puerto de Guadarrama
There’s lots of accommodation around Sierra de Guadarrama
, especially close to the ski centers. Finding it online is a bit more difficult and you might have to visit commercial sites especially if you don’t speak Spanish.
On the other hand – Madrid is just 50km away so you’ll be able to get all kinds of accommodation within an hour of the trailheads.
Maps & Books
- Sierra de Guadarrama
Mapa excursionista y turistico
- Guadarrama Parc Natural de Peñalara
Mapa Y Guia Excursionista
- Guadarrama / La Pedriza
My recommendation is a guidebook by Rother Verlag, available only in German. The book is an excellent hiking guide covering all the interesting areas of the range. Since it comes with small maps for each excursion it might even be used without a map to support them. I don’t know the Spanish publications in the list so cannot comment on them
- Sierra de Guadarrama
- Guadarrama : 50 excursiones que no te puedes perder
Marta Viladot Santaló
- Guadarrama Parque Nacional: 50 excursiones fáciles
- Guadarrama con esquís : 20 itinerarios de esquí de montaña por las sierras de Guadarrama y Ayllón
Enrique Ribas Lasso