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The Gorge of Hells and The Pilones

The Jerte Valley, famous among many other things for its striking springtime, has splendid corners that surprise with their unique beauty, formed under the protection and influence of the Sierra of Gredos and the other systems that surround it. The Natural Reserve of the Gorge of the Hells brings together high mountains, leafy forests and a wide and sensational hydrographic network, ideal habitat for the varied flora and fauna that inhabit it and a paradise for hiking in Cáceres.

Gorge of the Hells


The route through its 15.6 km takes us fully into the Natural Reserve, starting this interesting walk from the Interpretation Center of the Gorge of the Hells. From there we begin a tireless ascent up the mountain and river through the lush forest. Newts, golden eagles, black storks, otters or mountain goats join the colourful cherry trees that dye the valley white in spring, the oaks, yews and grasses that grow in the mountains, giving even more value to the landscape that is to come. Our itinerary coincides with many of the trekking routes that run through this area of the Jerte Valley, giving us the option on some occasions of taking a small detour or shortcut to approach corners such as the Viewpoint of the Chorreo of the Virgin, an exceptional balcony from which a large part of the surrounding environment can be seen. Without hardly noticing it, the vegetation gives way to one of the great values of this route, Los Pilones. This gorge of capricious forms resembles the pots that, if they existed, would be used by the giants for their potions, hence its other name. But the route for many does not end here but continues up the gorge following the course of the river to reach, shortly after passing by the Sacristan Bridge, the Vado de Cantares where we will have the option of taking the detour to the New Bridge through the path that goes up the Three Hills Gorge, taking us directly to this regal bridge.

New Bridge or Charles V Bridge the Gorge of the Hells

We can also follow our course up the slope of the mountain that borders the Gorge of the Pass of the Mares until the Bridge of the Carrascal, for from there accompanied by the privileged panoramic one that offers this part of the route, to go now if towards the New or Carlos V Bridge. Shortly before reaching it we will have the privilege of following the Route of Carlos V that follows the steps that the Emperor and his entourage took in their retreat to the Monastery of Yuste, but in the opposite direction. This well-known route will accompany us while we cross the opposite slope to the one we arrived at, until shortly after the Las Losas pass, not without first having to decide between heading towards Jerte or following the detour to the Interpretation Centre, from which we set off and from which we are still a few kilometres away. Without the company of the Carlos V Route we start the long descent that will take us to the valley. The leafy forest gradually gives way to the unmistakable cherry trees while we contemplate the town of Jerte and its curious church whose tower is independent of the main body of the temple. This part of the route is a marvel in the spring months when the fields are dyed white as if the snow covered everything. This charming landscape will accompany us as we cross the Jerte River bank to the very Interpretation Centre of the Gorge of the Hells where the end of this intense trekking route awaits us.

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Los Pilones


The Legend

Legend has it that in the Jerte Valley woods wanders a small, not very good-looking and somewhat unruly elf known to the locals as La Pomporrilla. Her greatest hobby is to make fun of the people who live in the valley or roam its forests and mountains. To do so, she does not hesitate to go into the houses or approach unseen the careless hikers who rest peacefully and hide their belongings from them. Then, protected by the safety of her hiding place, she laughs as she watches them frustrated for not finding what La Pomporrilla hid for them.

How to get to

Jerte is located in the middle of the N-110 that links Ávila with Plasencia, not far from the latter. We can also get to Jerte following the CC-102 that goes to the vicinity of the town from Hervás, near the A-66 Salamanca-Cáceres motorway. Once there, shortly before arriving to Jerte if we do it from Plasencia, in an industrial area, we will find the detour that we must follow and the corresponding sign that indicates it, Natural Reserve Gorge of the Hells. We will follow this narrow road without deviating and shortly after crossing the river Jerte we will arrive at the parking area next to the Interpretation Centre of the Natural Reserve, where we can park our vehicle and from where the great majority of the routes start or pass.

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Pet area, hiking with my dog

It is a hard route for which our friend is important to be well prepared, otherwise neither he nor we will enjoy it. It is not a good idea to let him go too much of his own free will, besides being able to get lost he will add much more distance to an already long route, in which heat also plays a role.

Some energetic food and of course water cannot be missing from your backpack, keep in mind that even though we will be passing near rivers, it may not be very advisable to let you get close, besides it is forbidden to take a bath. Along the route there are several fountains where you will surely be able to replenish their supplies.

It is not so strange to meet the native fauna of the area so we will have to be careful to avoid disturbing it. Also in the final stretch the horses and other pets that live there will come out to greet us.


Description of the circular route of the Gorge of the Hells

From the Interpretation Centre to Los Pilones 2.5 km

A little further on from the car park, at the back of the Interpretation Centre (0h 00min), you will find the information signs that mark the beginning of the circular route of the Gorge of the Hells

We start the route of the Gorge of the Hells

From the first moment we will have to face a steep trail conditioned with the typical stairs that try to facilitate the ascent.

We gained height from the start


The trail makes us gain height with a certain speed, while it winds along the mountainside looking to reduce its unevenness.

The route is easy to follow

There are several trails to be found along this stretch, but the marks of the route and our trail, a little more stepped and with the mentioned stairs will serve us as a reference in case of doubt.

We arrived at the first crossroads

Almost without noticing it, our trail goes out to the first of the paths that we will encounter. We will continue to climb it for a few more metres until we find another trail to follow.

The stairs are in the steepest areas

Once again, the unevenness requires us to make an extra effort, which, if we are calm enough, becomes much more bearable. The altitude gained allows us to enjoy splendid views of the Jerte Valley, in the areas where the vegetation opens a window.

The trail is in pretty good shape

This stretch of trail alternates areas with greater unevenness with other softer areas, as well as some stony sections with areas in better condition.

We went out on another path.

Once again it is a clue that marks the end of our trail. Now it's time to lose some of the height gained in search of the next crossroads.

We left the path

We quickly reach the detour where we leave the comfort of the track to continue along a wide trail. The slope seems to have given us a break, at least for now.

We arrived at the detour of the Viewpoint of the Chorreo of the Virgin


Soon we will reach the crossroads with the path that goes up to the Viewpoint of the Chorreo of the Virgin. If we follow this detour, we will be able to resume our route a little further on, without having to return here.

We continue along the trail

If we do not deviate, there is a comfortable stretch of trail ahead of us with hardly any unevenness that cuts the side of the mountain following the course marked by the ravine we are climbing.

We went out on another track

Without almost noticing it, again the trail ends suddenly in a perfect path where those who strayed to the viewpoint will descend.

We follow the cobblestone track

Already together we will undertake a notable descent following this conditioned track, whose firm cobblestone is not very pleasant to step on, especially if it is wet.

We didn't leave the path for the moment

The descent is coming to an end leaving us closer than we think to our first goal of the day.

We continue on the right

After a short ramp the path leads us correctly to a small recreational area with tables and benches.

We go down to the river

The Pilones (0h 50min) await us as soon as we pass through this area, although to reach them we will still have to descend to the course of the river.

From Los Pilones to the detour of the New Bridge 2 km

Once down, the route crosses the river thanks to a strategic little bridge that acts as an unbeatable viewpoint.

The route continues to the other side of Los Pilones

Some stairs carved in the rock allow us to go up Los Pilones, while we contemplate this beautiful spot.

We leave Los Pilones behind

Once up we will leave the railing that accompanied us, to continue climbing along some huge blocks.

These ramps are a little tougher

The trail snakes through the hillside again making us gain height with every step. The ramp we are facing is short but demanding.

We continue on the left

Once we are up we find another crossroads, just when the slope seems to end. Here we will say goodbye to the Route of the Umbria that continues its course towards Cabezuela del Valle.

This area is much quieter

There is a long stretch ahead of us that for the moment does not require much effort to cover. We advance up the gorge, following the marked and wide trail that runs halfway up the hillside.

Although the promotion is not yet over

Soon the relative comfort gives way to the occasional ramp that reminds us that we are in constant ascent.

We move forward without major complications

The trail saves the occasional creek that rushes to the bottom of the valley.

We follow the trail without ever leaving it

The Fishermen's shelter watches us at the bottom of the gorge as we leave behind the detour leading to it.

We'll pass a few more creeks

The trail alternates again between steeper and decomposed areas, with other more comfortable areas that usually coincide with the passage through some creek.

The landscape is very beautiful

In the distance we can already see the silhouette of the Gorge of the Three Hills at whose entrance we are about to arrive.

We're approaching the intersection

Another detour is behind us, shortly before we reach the point where the Path to Los Pilones and the New Bridge say goodbye to us.

Our route does not cross the stream

At the confluence of the next two ravines that we are going to cross is where the signal is located, it indicates the Detour to the New Bridge (1h 35min). If we follow this route we will go up the Gorge of the Three Hills not before crossing the stream that separates us from its entrance.

The route from Los Pilones to the New Bridge continues on the other side

A chaos of stones, which added to the variability of the flow that goes down them, will force us to look for the best way to cross to another side to be able to follow this route that leads directly to the Carlos V Bridge, saving us about 3 km approximately, but also overcoming a good unevenness.

From detour New Bridge to Carrascal Bridge 2.1 km

We set off for the Carrascal Bridge following the steep trail that zigzags up the side of the mountain.

We're going back up

This part of the route makes us face strong ramps, while we leave behind the previous crossroads and progress through the ravine of the Pass of the Mares.

You gain height with every step

The slope barely gives us a break and the effort is compounded by the worst state of the terrain that does not allow us to advance as before.

Attention to milestones and brands

In addition, the trail is sometimes not as defined as it used to be, forcing us to look around for the landmarks that point the way forward.

We almost didn't stop ascending at any time

We continue to gain height by walking the whimsical trail that takes us from one side to the other, trying not to lean too much. We face without a doubt the most demanding part of the whole route, as well as the less civilized one.

We kept going through streams...

Here there are also several streams or torrents that we will have to overcome, although they usually do not have much water.

This section is quite entertaining

The rugged terrain and the surrounding landscape make the hard ascent more enjoyable.

We continue to gain altitude

Curves and more curves that little by little are taking us up the slope of the Sierra of Tormantos, which we are crossing.

The slope seems to be losing its inclination

After a while, the slope seems to smooth out almost at the same time as the gorge narrows.

Sometimes it's hard to see where the trail goes

The vegetation is thick and for some time now it has almost completely covered the trail.

We began to descend into the ravine

Our next stop, where we are heading, is already visible at the bottom of the ravine. Luckily the hard ramps have given way to a stony descent that will bring us closer to the river we have to cross.

We arrived at Carrascal Bridge

The Carrascal Bridge (2h 35min) is a great ally for this company.

From Carrascal Bridge to New Bridge or Carlos V Bridge 2.1 km

As soon as we cross the bridge we will change direction, to go through the gorge where we arrived, but on the other side.

We left the Carrascal Bridge behind

Although the first steps on this hillside made us think that the ascent was not finished, nothing could be further from the truth.

This part of the route of the Gorge of the Hells is quieter

Although there are still some ramps to ascend, ahead of us lies an area of continuous descent that will take us to the Charles V Bridge, where we will have to face another stretch of ascent.

The profile of this section is much more bearable

The trail takes us along the slope of the mountain allowing us to contemplate or rather to intuit the route we are taking on the other side of the ravine.

We entered the forest

The forest once again offers us its precious shade, very grateful for the hot days.

We join the Route of Carlos V

After a while, we are surprised by a new crossroads, this time that of the Carlos V Route with which we will share a few kilometers, even though its usual course is in the opposite direction to the one we are going to travel.

The route we didn't follow and the one that's coming

Soon, on our left, we will be able to contemplate the trail that we did not follow and led directly to the Carlos V Bridge. And on the mountain opposite, the trail that awaits us a little further on.

We passed one of the few fountains on the route

However, for now we still have a long way to go.

We continue to descend

Almost under our feet we can already contemplate the New Bridge towards which we are heading, just before undertaking the steep descent that will take us there.

The stony trail keeps losing height

Once again the trail winds through the mountain making us lose height with some speed.

We are joined by the other route

A few bends later, we will come across the trail that comes directly from Los Pilones, to make the last stretch together to the Carlos V Bridge.

We arrive at the New Bridge or Carlos V Bridge

The cobblestone trail takes us without further ado to the very gates of the New Bridge or Carlos V Bridge (3h 10min), which will allow us to cross the river without any problems.

From New Bridge or Carlos V Bridge to the detour Interpretation Centre 1.5 km

As soon as we crossed it, the steep trail that we were observing when we arrived, on the other side, was waiting for us.

The route continues on the left as soon as you cross the Carlos V Bridge

Despite the fact that its slope is not as outstanding as it seemed to us from the other side, the accumulated kilometers and the effort required make it more demanding than it really is.

We begin the last stretch of the true ascent route

On the contrary, we will be able to enjoy the magnificent views offered by this clear stretch of the route.

Better from the right

The ascent gradually seems to lose intensity as we follow the battered trail, without finding many places that might make us doubt the itinerary to follow.

We went into the forest

As we move away from the Carlos V Bridge, the grove of trees takes over again and provides us with its comfortable shade.

We went out on a path

Once inside the forest our trail reaches its end, giving way once again to a wide dirt track.

We left behind several paths

The end point of the ascent is near, but first we will have to leave behind a new crossroads.

We didn't leave the main track at any time

We face the last stretch of the ascent that takes us straight to a new crossroads.

If we're clear, we can cut through

Before reaching the detour to the Interpretation Centre (3h 45min), we leave a short trail on our right which, if we follow it, takes us directly to the beginning of the section that goes down to Jerte.

We continue on the right

If we approach the crossroads we can decide between following the circular route we are taking or returning along the path on the left, without passing through Jerte, to the Interpretation Centre, shortening the route by approximately 1 km.

Del desvío del Centro de Interpretación a Jerte 2,9 Km

We follow the path on the right for a few meters, joining the trail that acts as a shortcut.

Attention, we follow the trail that descends, not the paths.

In that place begins the long and steep descent that will take us back to the bottom of Jerte Valley.

The trail's a little steep

Once again, a battered trail serves as a guide on this entertaining hiking route.

We continue to descend

We will quickly meet up at a new crossroads where, here, we will say goodbye to the Carlos V Route, to continue our descent along the narrow trail.

The forest is all around us

The shady forest brings all its freshness making this part of the route more bearable. The thick vegetation of the forest we are walking through dominates the landscape again and sometimes almost covers the trail.

Again we go out on a path

The trail, at the same time as the descent, seems to take a break, takes us to a small path that will now be in charge of guiding us.

We don't stop going down

We continue to descend, leaving behind another track, while our path begins to draw the curves with which it cuts the side of the mountain. The path leads us through hidden corners of the nature reserve where we are.

We continue on the right

After a long time descending this path, we arrive at another crossroads where we will have to continue on the right.

Now for the left

Quickly the track is divided in two, making us choose the option on the left, of the two possible ones. A conditioned track will be in charge of leading us to Jerte itself.

We didn't leave the cement track

We continue to lose height without leaving the cemented track at any time. The forest gives way to the cherry trees that add their special touch to this part of the route.

The descent is quite long

The Valley of Jerte stretches out before us as we approach it. This stretch also has a significant slope that fortunately we had to descend.

Until we arrive at Valle del Jerte we don't stop descending

We will not come across too many paths or tracks, in any case the always downward trend of the option to be followed will take us out of doubt.

We finally got down

After a good while the, sometimes uncomfortable, descent comes to an end when we reach the track on our right that leads to the heart of Jerte (4h 30min).​

From Jerte to the Interpretation Centre 2.5 km

From this place we have a good walk following the course of the river Jerte from afar.

This kind of local road will take us all the way

The conditioned and undulating track has nothing to do with the trails and paths we have traveled so far.

We didn't abandon her at any time

This part of the route although it does not have big ramps that put us in trouble, if it becomes harder due to accumulated tiredness.

This part of the route can get a little heavy

We advance without ever leaving the cemented track that will take us without complications to our destination.

We reach the end of the circular route of the Gorge of the Hells

After a long walk along the track we will arrive at the Interpretation Centre of the Gorge of the Hells (5h 10min) where we close the circle and the trekking route we have done in the Jerte Valley.

Technical data sheet of the route

Total distance. 15,6 Km

Total time. 5h 10min

If we take any of the possible variants this figure can be reduced, although not as much as the kilometres saved can make us imagine.

Time of year. Attention on very hot days

Except for very specific days, this is a hiking route that runs through a natural area that has great attractions throughout the year. Without a doubt, spring and autumn are special in this region of Jerte, bringing their unique colours to the already beautiful landscapes. In summer or with high temperatures it is interesting to get up early so as not to see ourselves in the hottest hours of the day in the midst of our efforts, although in a good part of the route we will be able to enjoy the good shade of the forests that it crosses.

Required equipment. Food and water essential

It is advisable to wear good hiking shoes, preferably boots, and long trousers to protect you from scratches and hives on the long stretches where the vegetation almost completely covers the path. If you are in doubt, you should also take the necessary equipment to be able to return to the path or follow it. The walking poles on such long routes and with such a steep profile are other great allies providing stability and reducing the effort to the legs. The sun and heat are other factors to take into account, sunglasses, a cap, and sunscreen are fundamental, as well as enough water and food. Consult our list of material and equipment for hiking. Read more.


Slope acumulate. 1374 m Slope positive. 687 m Slope negative. 687 m

Difficulty. Moderated


Both in terms of distance and the difference in altitude to be covered, we are faced with a demanding hiking route, but which has the advantage of being able to cut down if necessary, although these other options do not make it much easier, but we do reduce part of the final mileage. The heat will undoubtedly increase the physical demand hardening the route.

Severity of the environment

We will advance in most of the route by well marked paths and roads in good condition so as long as we do not get out of them we should not have more complications than some cobbled or gravel area where we will have to walk with more caution. We will also pass sections of path in the middle of the slope that can impose us a little if we do not go out a lot to the mountain. Pay attention to the river flows, especially if we decide to shorten the route by following the orange route of Los Pilones and the New Bridge or Carlos V since we must cross the stream. This pass can also put us in difficulty even if the river does not have much flow, given the maze of stones and large blocks that we have to cross looking for the best place to do so.


Generally well signposted, it is the different routes with which we are going to coincide that will surely generate some doubts when they follow their course saying goodbye to us. How well defined are the paths and trails of the entire route are also of great help in case of doubt. Given the distance we are going to cover, it is important to prepare the activity in advance, as it should be the usual way, in order to have a clear idea of the route and the different alternatives we are going to encounter.

Important places to pass through
1-Interpretation Centre 0h 00min 550 m 0 Km 30T 264068 4454306
2-Los Pilones 0h 50min 674 m 2,5 Km 30T 265559 4453763
3-New Bridge Detour 1h 35min 789 m 4,5 Km 30T 266941 4453352
4-Carrascal Bridge 2h 35min 1015 m 6,6 Km 30T 267987 4452579
5-New or Carlos V Bridge 3h 10min 875 m 8,7 Km 30T 267989 4453833
6-Detour Interpretation Center 3h 45min 960 m 10,2 Km 30T 266794 4454150
7-Jerte 4h 30min 595 m 13,1 Km 30T 266006 4455713
8-Interpretation Centre 5h 10min 550 m 15,6 Km 30T 264068 4454306

Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84

Profile of the route

Profile of the Route of the Gorge of the Hells

Cartography, maps and tracks

Map of the route Gorge of the Hells Los Pilones

This sketch of the route is not made to scale nor does it contain all the information relating to the area, it is merely indicative.

Topographic map with the route of the Gorge of the Hells


This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 576-3, 1:25.000"

Senditur has manipulated the tracks to correct the aberrant points that may exist, caused by problems with the reception of the GPS signal. In any case the tracks are always approximate. SENDITUR encourages you to use the new technologies within your reach, using them as support and consultation in your activity, not basing the realization and orientation of the same only and exclusively on them, since they may see their functioning altered by very diverse causes, not functioning correctly and their indications may not be precise.

Gorge of the Hells
Gorge of the Three Hills
Jerte Valley
New Bridge or Charles V Bridge
The Pilones
Trails in the Natural Reserve of the Gorge of the Hells
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Listado de experiencias
Anabela Carvalho
Created the 28-08-2017

Decidimos hacer la "Ruta de Los Pilones-Puente Nuevo" 12km (ida y vuelta) para hacer la con los niños y que no quedara muy larga. Nos encanto el bosque y la parte de los pilones. Se os decidis banharos, hay que tener mucho cuidado, pues se resvala mucho.

Roberto Ruiz
Created the 04-01-2017

Una pasada de sitio, nosotros solo subimos hasta los pilones y luego nos dimos la vuelta, vamos un paseo, pero muy recomendable.

Monastery of Yuste
Cuacos de Yuste, Cáceres
Monastery of Yuste

Mythical place, retreat of the Emperor Carlos V

Roman City of Cáparra
Oliva de Plasencia, Cáceres
Roman City of Cáparra

He lost his population but not his name

Castle of Trujillo
Trujillo, Cáceres
Castle of Trujillo

Pedro I I considered her to be one of the safest fortresses in the kingdom

Monastery of Guadalupe
Guadalupe, Cáceres
Monastery of Guadalupe

Spiritual emblem of the people of Extremadura

Conventual of San Benito
Alcántara, Cáceres
Conventual of San Benito

One of the most representative ensembles of the Renaissance in Extremadura

Roman Bridge of Alcantara
Alcántara, Cáceres
Roman Bridge of Alcantara
See accommodation in Jerte
Jerte, Cáceres
See accommodation in Jerte

Jerte, Cáceres

See accommodation in Plasencia
Plasencia, Cáceres
See accommodation in Plasencia

Plasencia, Cáceres

See things to do in Jerte
Jerte, Cáceres
See things to do in Jerte

Jerte, Cáceres


Find out what to see in...


¿Did you know that...

The formation of Los Pilones is due to the erosive action of small rocks that are trapped in these cavities and thanks to the eddies that the water forms in them, these rocks move in a circular fashion hitting the walls, giving shape to this spot, one of the most spectacular natural pools in Spain.

Don't miss out...

The Mirador of the Chorreo of the Virgin, from it you can contemplate an exceptional panoramic view of one of the beautiful corners of the Natural Reserve of the Gorge of the Hells, the Chorreo of the Virgin, an impressive waterfall that flows from the skirts of the mountain.


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This route has been carried out in the field by SENDITUR on 07-10-2016. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.

All the times are approximate and take an orientative character, the stops have not been taken into account, no matter how small they are. All the information related to the route, texts, images, videos, maps, diagrams, tracks, towns, and places of tourist interest are published as a guide, and may not coincide with the current state of each place. Before undertaking any activity, assess your technical knowledge, your physical condition, find out about the weather and the variations that the route may undergo, equip yourself correctly, be prudent and responsible at all times, and do not exceed your capabilities. SENDITUR is not responsible for any misuse or inappropriate use of the comprehensive guides of its routes and/or publications as well as its electronic guides, nor for any variations in their descriptions for the aforementioned reasons, and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. We also encourage you to read books and specialised guides to complement the information described above.

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