On the south Ridge with Pico Viejo behind
The caldera walls of the huge crater of the Cañadas del Teide on Tenerife decompose into a number of mountains, separated by more or less profound saddles. While the central part of the caldera in the south appears to be a single wall with several highpoints at its north-eastern and western end the saddles reach down (almost) to the plain inside the crater, Cañada de la Grieta in the north-east and Llano de Ucanca in the west. In both locations there are giant portals, El Portillo in the north-east, Boca Tauce in the south-west, through which TF21 the Cañadas Highway connects the north with the south coast of the island. To the west of Boca Tauce, the Caldera runs out northward, forming four bizarre mountain structures, Montaña Gangarro (2195m)
, Roques de Chavao (2228m)
, Montaña del Cedro (2265m)
and Roques del Cedro (2147m)
. All four can be climbed on a single day, starting from Boca Tauce and heading along the north-south crests of the respective mountains.
The Roques del Cedro are the last, i.e. the northernmost of these structures. In fact they show a shallow, pine covered, slope on the outside of the caldera, while dropping towards the high plateau on the inside in several giant steps. Moreover the lava structures - though erosion - form vertical, even overhanging towers, between which the regular approach winds its way to the top. There are two easy ascent routes up the mountain, the south-ridge, which is unspectacular and which is generally used for descent, and the north-east ridge which cuts through the east face of the mountain. The latter generally is used to reach the summit, though there are some sections on it which show more than moderate exposure. Also, routefinding on this normal route can be a bit tricky as pines and baslt blocks often bar the way and obstruct the views.
But once on top the efforts of the ascent are soon forgotten. Arguably, the main summit of the Roques del Cedro offers the best view towards Pico Viejo
, Tenerife's second highest summit. It rises beyond the plain of the Cañadas to the east with mighty Teide
peeping across its shoulder. To the south El Sombrero
and La Guajara
mark the highest summits of the caldera rim, while to the west and north-west the islands of El Hierro, La Gomera and La Palma drift in the Atlantic.
Right after the ascent of Teide, the four summit tour across the mountains to the west of the caldera is the most important and interesting tour on the island.
Islands in the Sea
El Hierro and La Gomera as seen from the main summit of the Roques del Cedro
Southern Cañadas Pico Viejo, Teide summit Break
The trailhead for the climb of the Rooques del Cedro is at the road junction at Boca Tauce. It can be reached quite easily from all sides of the compass by following the signs to Teide:
- TF21 from Granadilla de Abona through Vilaflor (S)
- TF38 from Guìa de Isora (W)
- TF21 from La Orotava (N)
- TF24 (Cumbre Highway) from La Esperanza (E)
The best parking can be found east of the junction between TF21 and TF38. There are two parking lots to both sides of the road. Both are often crowded by tourists enjoying the view of Pico Viejo and Teide.
Alternatively you can take a bus either from Playa de las Americas (Line 342) or from Puerto de la Cruz (Line 348). Both buses depart at about 9:00 a.m., the return buses go around 4:00 p.m.
The Roques del Cedro are located on the border between the "Parque Nacional del Teide" which is composed of a giant volcanic crater the "Cañadas del Teide" with 48km circumference, and the "Parque Natural Corrona Forestal", a natural park in which similar rules apply as in the national park. Trails are marked and it is not permitted to leave them. Plants may not be removed and the few animals have to be left alone. Some places in the Corrona Forestal Park are private hunting grounds but not in this part close to the Cañadas.
Of course you can find a lot of hotels, fincas and casas on the island which you can book from any travel office. The Cañadas del Teide are a natural park so camping is not allowed. You might use the Parador Hotel which is supposed to be quite expensive, however. Better stay at one of the hotels at sea level and drive up by rental car or bus.
The closest town is Vilaflor, which though it certainly offers inns and hotels, certainly is not one of the most popular tourist destinations.
There are several sites on the web which give you information on the weather on Tenerife. However, they all show the weather for the coastal regions (Puerto de la Cruz) which significantly differs from the weather in the Cañadas del Teide which are 2000m of elevation higher. The following table shows data for Puerto de la Cruz on the coast.
|Avg. day temp.[°C / °F]||19 / 66||19 / 66||20 / 68||21 / 70||22 / 72||23 / 73||24 / 75||26 / 79||26 / 79||24 / 75||22 / 72||20 / 68|
|Avg. night temp.[°C / °F]||13 / 55||13 / 55||14 / 57||14 / 57||16 / 61||18 / 64||19 / 66||20 / 68||20 / 68||18 / 64||17 / 63||14 / 57|
|Water temp.[°C / °F]||19 / 66||19 / 66||19 / 66||19 / 66||20 / 68||20 / 68||22 / 72||23 / 73||22 / 72||22 / 72||21 / 70||20 / 68|
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 2000m.
The mountains themselves - being mostly of the same altitude - finally stop the clouds so that on their southeastern slopes the clouds "run out". In the case of Tenerife the Cañadas del Teide are so high that rarely ever you encounter fog or clouds. This on the other hand means that the whole area is very dry so be sure to bring your own water.
Maps & Books
Out of the multitude of maps and books I have been using the following. However, so far I have not
found a good hiking map of the island. The one posted here is ok but shows only a fraction of the marked hiking trails. The guidebook is excellent but be careful if you do any one of the suggested "variations" to the tours described therein. The variations are described in a few words only and you might get the wrong impression of their quality.
Kompass Map WK233
- Teneriffa, Tenerife
K.Wolfsperger, C. Ade
Rother Walking Guide
English - ISBN: 3-7633-4809-3
German - ISBN: 3-7633-4016-5