For approach to Villanua see main page.
Up-date on access from Villanua/La Trapa (south) (thanks to ojo). Changes to access to La Trapa (track from Villanúa) for private vehicles. Between 1 May and 30 September, no permits are granted, as far as I can make out. Instead, a 4x4 jeep (or minibus) service has been put in place for access to the Refugio de la Espata, 1,690m (for Punta Espata or for the access to Collarada via Collado de Ip, for example) or for the higher-up Refugio de la Trapa, 1,720m.
Timetable and Prices here
. RESERVATION RECOMMENDED, especially if you want to make use of the early morning - 06:00h or the 07.30h - service. It is promoted for BTT (bike) with a network of BTT routes between La Trapa and Villanua, but is ideal for walkers who want to climb Collarada without hiking nearly 800m of ascent from Villanua (941m altitud) to La Trapa.
* Outside the above dates you will still need to seek a permit (well before the day you wish to have access) as detailed in the route information here. And by the way, I can confirm that the track from Villanua is not appropriate for a non-4x4 vehicle.
Hiking Option from Villanúa. Another option is to walk from the village by the “Camino Viejo de Collarada” which is a clearly-marked and in-good-condition path that takes you up, mostly through woodland, to La Trapa in less than 2 hours (timing is given as 2h 30m from Villanua but most fit hikers will take less time). It may be worth mentioning that THIS IS ONE OF THE BTT BIKE TRAILS. The upper part that zig zags through pine forest, is on very narrow paths. Keep an ear and eye open for possible bikers whizzing their way down it.
The path starts from the Visitors Centre La Guixa (caves). Follow the clearly-marked signpost in the carpark and the rest is clear. You will walk little more than 20 metres in total on track but will cross it various times. Each junction is clearly marked. It is a particularly nice way to descend from La Trapa to Villanua (sign post just down from the hut, by the wooden bench) and means you don’t have to wait for the 4x4 jeep service to pick you up. It took us under 1h 30m to descend at normal, mortals speed (not the 2h 30m indicated on the signpost).
The Pass "El Hachar": The scrambly section just at the start of the main route from La Trapa now (2011) has 3 short sections of shiny, new cable to help over the slightly polished scramble to reach the Campos de Trapal
Slope: 1126 metres (from the end of track in La Trapa).
Time to climb: 4h 45min (+3h of track without car or permission).
To ascend to this magnificent limy mountain there exists this route more short and popular among the public in general for being more attainable but it's less habitual for the mountaineers.
Trailhead: hut closed of La Trapa
We walk in north direction towards one channel with pines to promote the "necklace" of the mountain. In the left side that is more direct there is a small step-crossing of degree I. We follow the cairns for slope of grass to a bad hut (los cubilares
In direction northwest is seen an evident way up to a small pool (fountain of the Campanales
, 2460m) not drinkable. We enter an a bit heavy and sloping stony area (canes recommended)-Care with free stones of the people that precedes us.
Finally we appear in the crest that leads to the summit that is reached eastward.
Boots, canes, water,...
To avoid a trek of 3 hours for the track of 15 km from Villanua up to La Trapa it is necessary to request the permission of track in Villanua's town hall (the barrier is free but is prohibited without permission).