Montaña de los Rodeos is not one of your typical volcanoes on Lanzarote. Though definitely of volcanic origin (it erupted some 5000 - 6000 years ago) it appears to be a whale-backed mountain without a distinct crater. If you look closely, however, you'll find the remains of the crater in the north-east of the mountain, though eroded into near invisibility.
Montaña de los Rodeos is what they call an islote, an island mountain, which survived the three year long eruption of the Montañas del Fuego, which created craters and volcanoes all around. Lava flowes flowed around Montaña de los Rodeos towards the north coast where they extended the island by a considerable margin.
Today this geologic history is evident if you visit the mountain. On all sides it is surrounded by malpais - bad lands created by lava flows - and without the roads and hiking tracks it would virtually unreachable. However, due to lava mining parts of the malpais have been criscrossed by mining roads so that Montaña de los Rodeos is reachable by a somewhat longish but straightforward hike.
The whaleback of the south-west ridge rises gradually out of the malpais, forming two summits. The lower southern one is some 350m high and separated by a broad saddle from the northern main summit. Up there you have good close-up views of the volcanoes around you but somewhat feel isolated by the sea of black lava. Montaña de los Rodeos is rarely climbed even though a point at the end of its south-west ridge is used as trailhead by some tour operators. They, however prefer to guide their clients to Montaña de Señalo or Caldera de la Rilla, both in the south-west of our mountain.
Montaña Ortiz, Montaña del Señalo, Montaña de los Rodeos, Pico Partido
Though there are ferries from the Spanish mainland to the Canary Islands, they take more than 24h for the trip. Therefore most visitors therefore go by plane. Every travel agency in Europe offers flights, hotel rooms, apartments, rental cars etc. so that reaching the Canaries is rather a matter of money than opportunity. During the summer season flight fares can be reasonable but during the Easter and Christmas holidays you have to be prepared for additional fees of 500€ per person.
Lanzarote has its own airport between the capital Arrecife and one of the main tourist centres, Puerto del Carmen. There are public bus lines but – like on all the islands – they don't run too regularly. If you plan to stay on your own, better take a rental car right at the airport.
There are two possible trailheads, both on LZ-57 between La Geria and Tinguatón. One is in the village Tinguatón itself, the other a small parking lot between Montaña de los Cuervos and Montaña Negra. The latter requires the traverse of a large lava field and is somewhat dangerous if you stray from the path (brittle lava with caves underneath!). You can reach the trailheads as follows:
From Arrecife follow LZ20 through San Bartolomé.
At the Monumento del Campesino turn onto LZ30 west.
Drive through Masdache and at the intersection with LZ56 turn northward in direction Tinajo.
The first trailhead is on the left hand (western) side at a parking lot north of Montaña de los Cuervos.
For the second trailhead is also a parking lot on the left hand side, at an intersection just before the village Tinguatón
Caldera Santa Catilina and Montaña de los Rodeos
From the parking lot follow the dirt road which leads towards the south-west. After a while it turns to the south, now heading directly towards Montaña de los Rodeos. You can pass the mountain on either side as both roads recombine on the broad south ridge of the mountain. From there a brad track heads up the even broader ridge to the top.
Los Cuervos Route
Follow LZ-56 northward for around 700m. Turn left onto a dirt road which heads westwards. After you passed Caldera Santa Catalina the road turns north but loses itself in a quarry-like maze. After about 100m turn left (west) onto a broad path which soon turns to the north. It passes an elevation (ambiguous here), decends towards the lava plain underneath. You can see the dirt road around Montaña de los Rodeos from here, which the path turns to. It reaches the road in its very end. Turn northward for a few steps until you reach a path which heads up (south-west) towards the broad south ridge of Montaña de los Rodeos. Follow the broad path towards the top of the mountain.
Montaña de los Rodeos lies outside the Timanfaya Natural Park but inside the Parque Natural de los Volcanes. Here hiking is still possible on the well established hiking trails. In fact some tour operators use the dirt roads around Montaña de los Rodeos to drive deep inside the park to start volcano hiking trips from there.
You are requested to leave everything in its place - don't take any lava rocks with you, don't turn them around, don't stray from the trails. The environment is very fragile and each step can destroy decades worth of slow lichen growth.
For holiday homes, hotels or apartments either consult your nearest travel office, or – search for lodgings on Google. There are several sites on the web, dedicated to rent privately owned houses or apartments. Prices are generally a bit less expensive than for tour operators but you don't have as much security.
Lanzarote is usually swept by fierce north-western trade winds. Though they deposit their humidity on almost all of the other Canary Islands, Lanzarote is simply too low to form a decent obstacle. Therefore the climate is very arid.
For some time of the year, eastern winds prevail, which almost always carry clouds of Sahara dust with them. Usually this means reduced visibility but in some occasions "Calima" occurs. Fierce storms take up the dust from the Sahara and sweep it across the islands. In these times visibility is nil and sometimes even the planes are grounded.
Maps & Books
Kompass Map WK241
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.
ISBN 3-85491-223-4 Inselkarte (Island Map)
Downlaoadable at www.wanderreitkarte.de
My recommendation is a guidebook by Rother Verlag, available in 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.