This is one of the longest (16 Km) routes in Sierra de Guadarrama.
It is with Cuerda Larga one of the classics
and most known routes on the high range between Madrid and Segovia provinces.
Travesía Dos Castillas should be attempted with good weather trying to avoid the warmest months of summer (July and August) and from late autumn to mid winter.
In winter the fog could make you to get lost, there are no many references on the ridges and it would be very difficult to find the correct direction in the mist. Out of spring and summer hours try to start early in the morning because of the short days.
Cols and Mountains
Puerto de Navacerrada (1860 m)
1. Bola del Mundo (2255 m)
2. Peña del Aguila (2004 m) - Loma del Noruego
Col 1887 m
3. El Altozano (1921 m)
Puerto de Cotos (1830 m)
4. Peñalara (2429 m)
5. Peña Cítores (2180 m)
Puerto de Navacerrada (1860 m)
via Camino de las Pintadas
5. Risco de los Claveles (2387 m),
6. Risco de los Pájaros (2266 m),
Puerto de los Neveros (2096 m)
Valsaín (1190 m)
Note: there two different versions of the route but I prefer to describe only the first because is a round route.
From Madrid and east Península
take M-607 passing Navacerrada village, M-601 to Puerto de Navacerrada (1860 m). Or take (also from S and W Península) A-6 to Collado Villalba and M-601 as the preceding route.
take C-601 to Puerto de Navacerrada.
From north Península
take A-1, after Buitrago de Lozoya (Madrid) turn right, M-604 to Puerto de Cotos and Puerto de Navacerrada.
Road Passes Information.
Tag either Puertos or Meteorológicas.
Go from Madrid (Chamartín) to Cercedilla and then take the old tramway (1923) to Puerto de Navacerrada (1860 m). The track is the most incline all over Spain and the second higher. First you have to go to any of the train stations in Madrid. All of them have connection with the subway, Atocha and Chamartín are both main stations. Take the train on line C-8b of RENFE Cercanías and finally take the tramway at Cercedilla (line C-9) to Puerto de Navacerrada.
Travel on line 691 (Madrid-Becerril de la Sierra-Navacerrada-Cotos-Valdesquí ski resort) of Larrea (tel: 91 530 48 00). They part from Moncloa station (with subway).
On Puerto de Navacerrada (1860 m)
take the private closed road (PR-M11) to the chair lift low station. Leave it to the right and continue ascending on the concrete road. Take a short cut to the left, if not the road turn to the south and north turning on a curve and adding 300 m to the route. Once again on the road follow it til a diversion wich can done on either branch because both join 100 m ahead. Ascend on the road up to a double bend. Cut both corners reaching little col next to the chair lift high station. Continue towards the big antennas on Bola del Mundo summit (2255 m - 1 h 10 min without taking the short cut).
Surround the antennas and buildings on the left flat side towards a view point. Descend on the left trail PR-M/SG31 following Bola del Mundo N ridge. Valdesquí tracks (Circo de las Guarramillas) can be seen to the right. Continue on the wide ridge to Peña del Aguila (2004 m, 1h 45 min)-Loma del Noruego.
There is a flat section and a descent to the Col 1887 m.
Ascend a little hill called El Altozano (1921 m)
and continue in the pinewood to Puerto de Cotos (1830 m - 2h 50 min).
Take Dos Hermanas Normal
route to Peñalara (2429 m - 5 hours).
It's good to take the right wood variant
because is less steep than the left pinewood trail. Once on the summit descend to near the cornice ahead of Dos Hermanas Mayor (2284 m) and turn to the right following PR-M/SG3. Reach Col 2154 m
and ascend some meters in the thicket to Peña Cítores (2180 m - 6 hours).
Continue WNW wards to little unguarded hut placed on Peña Cítores W ridge. Take a path in the pinewood to the left and descend on a steep slope. Leave Arroyo del Cancho
and a beautiful cascade to the left. Reach Camino de las Pintadas
wich is a road in that section, take it to the left. Do not take any of two trails to the right, take the first paved road in that direction. This crossing is the lowest point (1465 m - 8h 20 min)
in the whole route. Camino de las Pintadas is in Pinar de Valsaín, a huge and beautiful pinewood that you should enjoy.
Ascend on the road to the left of Arroyo de las Pintadas.
There is a flat at 1530 m approximately, where the road converts into a trail. Approach the creek and follow it to the right, cross to the other shore (right) and follow an ascending trail. Do not take the unmarked path close to the stream. Our trail is on the west shore of the creek. Approximately at 1755 m leave it taking a short cut on a steep slope to the right and close to Arroyo de las Pintadas. Turn to the left when reaching CL-601 road and finally follow it to Puerto de Navacerrada (1860 m - 10 hours).
Note: timetable is without timing stops.
Essential GearIn warm season
wear a cap and put protection cream more than once. Don't forget a few warm clothes of a hard-shell jacket for a sudden weather change. Take a map too. In other seasons
don't forget compass and altimeter-gps. Take good trousers, gaiters if there is snow, crampons and ice axe (from late autumn to mid winter). Poles could be helpful in any season but they're not strictly necessary. Take enough water but remember that there are two drinking fountains near Puerto de Cotos and Puerto de Navacerrada respectively.
External LinksLuiso's variant of Travesía Dos Castillas (in Spanish)