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Gorges of Kakueta a wild and spectacular place

In the region of Haute-Soule, real treasures minted by nature await us, such as the colossal Cavity of La Verna, along with well-kept villages with deep-rooted traditions that still persist today. Villages such as Sainte-Engrâce, for which countless pilgrims have passed through the years and which is world famous thanks in part to the Kakueta Gorges.

Kakueta Gorges

To venture into the interior of this overwhelming gorge, and travel the 2 km of the route that furrows it, is to enter a wild world of vertiginous walls surrounded by ferns and lichens. A landscape that surrounds us that reminds us of tropical landscapes from other latitudes, where we will be surprised at every step. The conditioned route that since 1966 allows us to discover this jewel of nature enters the Gorge of Kakueta going up the riverbed thanks to the footbridges and small trails that extends to its shore anchored to the base of the narrow gorge.

Kakueta Waterfall

The waterfall of Kakueta, with its 20 m of waterfall springs from the wall of the mountain precipitating into the void. This beautiful corner of the gorge precedes the end of the route marked by the Grotte Aux Lacs, in whose interior curious stalactites and stalagmites await us to put an end and followed to our journey by the Kakueta Gorges.

Kakueta Gorges

The Legend

Many years ago, the gorge was inhabited by a tenebrous being who frightened all the inhabitants of the area. This strange character took refuge inside the lake's cave and from there attacked his fearsome misdeeds. Tired of enduring their wickedness, the locals devised a plan to get rid of it and, gathering the courage, they left inside a cave, in the throat, a shining treasure that soon caught the beast's attention. When the beast climbed the mountain wall and entered the cave, the locals diverted the course of a stream that from the top of the mountain rushed down its entrails, blocking the exit of the cave and imprisoning this singular beast forever, or at least as long as the water that blocks its exit continues to flow.

How to get to Kakueta Gorge

The access to the Kakueta Gorges can be found near the town of Sainte-Engrâce, in the middle of the road that on one side comes from Tardets-Sorholus and Larrau, or on the other side from the station of La Pierre Saint Martin. Once there we have several parking areas on the same road where we can park our vehicle and go on foot to the track that descends to the bar where you buy tickets and from where the journey begins.

Pet area, hiking with my dog

Access for our friend is allowed as long as we have him tied up at all times. In addition, the route should not be too complicated for him.

Although the water is one of the protagonists of the route, it is necessary to take some water and food, especially if we are going to entertain ourselves inside the gorge.

Very probably we have to meet with some dog that is also doing the route, eye there are quite narrow areas where we do not have enough space so you have to keep your distance.

Kakueta Gorges Route Description

Once we are in possession of our corresponding ticket, which we get in the Cascade bar we can start with the adventure that awaits us.

We buy our ticket and start the route

A small hut next to the terrace of the bar is the starting point of the tour (0h 00min), after presenting our entry we will begin a quick descent that brings us to the shore of Lake Sainte-Engrâce.

Two possibilities to choose from

As soon as we finish descending we will find a bifurcation in which we will be able to choose between both options since both will take us to the same point, one bordering the lake and the one on our left following a beautiful path.

We chose the most entertaining trail

A trail that begins as soon as you cross an area with tables and benches. This trail allows us to get a small idea of how much awaits us at the same time that we enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the lake.

Again it's time to choose

A little further on our path meets again the road that borders the lake. And once again we see ourselves before a new bifurcation. As before, either of the two options is valid as they come together again soon after, the difference on this occasion lies in the way we face the unevenness in front of us.

The slope is important

The path to our right goes up describing a typical zeta that softens the inclination somewhat, while the path to the left does so without contemplation.

And then it's up!

Once up and joined both ways, we will begin a more than considerable descent that will bring us closer to the meeting of the river that runs through the Gorges of Kakuetta.

We're approaching the tunnel.

A river that is and will be one of the main protagonists of this beautiful route whose course we begin to go up again in search of the tunnel that awaits us a little further on.

The surroundings are magnificent

If the landscape that surrounds us already seemed magnificent, as soon as we pass through the tunnel we will see ourselves almost stuck between the colossal walls that give shape to the Kakueta Gorges.

The route is fully prepared

Thanks to the condition of the route, with its corresponding footbridges and handrails, we can enjoy this privileged environment.

Watch out for possible slips and falls of stones

We alternate zones of footbridges with others of ample footpath while we go down and we climb some that another staircase.

Although it's conditioned, it's still wild.

A route that for the moment does not present more difficulty than the slippery that we can find the land that we step on.

The river is always very close

The zones of footpath more exposed or given to slips count on their corresponding towrope to help us.

The route is still spectacular

We continue to climb the river bed changed side without problems. The route continues making us go up and down small steep slopes without much trouble.

We reached one of the areas where the trail is narrowest

As we get closer to the head of the gorge we find the occasional steeper stretch.

This area is usually very slippery.

Surrounded by the beauty of the environment that surrounds us we hardly realize the difference in unevenness that we are gaining with each step.

Looks like we're in a tropical forest.

We cross the river again to undertake a new climb that will take us to another of the charming corners of this route.

We approach the waterfall of Kakueta

In front of us we have the mysterious waterfall of Kakueta (0h 45min) of which the origin of its waters is not yet known.

We go in behind the waterfall.

Here the most intrepid have the option to follow the path that will take them to pass behind the water curtain of the waterfall, the others have a large bridge that saves its waters.

We continue with the route

After enjoying this spot, we return to the route crossing the river again. We only have a short but slippery and steep stretch to reach the end of this route.

We arrived at the Grotte Aux Lacs

After overcoming it the Grotte Aux Lacs (1h 05min) awaits us. A short and not too complicated itinerary takes us to its interior where the route ends.

We enter the Grotte Aux Lacs

From here we will return on our steps to the place where we started our journey (2h 00min) through the Kakueta Gorges.​

Technical data sheet of the route

ico-distancia-totalDistance. 4Km

The different itinerary options do not imply a significant variation in this figure.

ico-tiempo-totalTime. 2:00h

This figure depends more on the habitual thing of us since not only the slippery one of the land will make us go more or less fast, also it is necessary to count on the time that we dedicate to each corner by which we pass.

ico-calendarioTime of year

To visit the Kakueta Gorges we will have to do it from mid-March to mid-November as the rest of the year remains closed to the public. Also in case of bad weather or risk of floods or landslides the responsible can close their access and even make us leave the tour if we are already on it.

ico-materialRequired equipment

We should not fall into the error of underestimating the terrain where the route passes by given its level of conditioning, we are on a mountain route in which at a minimum we must wear appropriate footwear to provide us with a good grip. In our backpack we can not miss even in summer some warm clothing. Those responsible for the route make available to us along the route helmets for the heads, but if you have, better take yours. It is also possible to request a baby carrier in the bar of the Cascade. Consult our list of material and equipment for hiking. Read more.

ico-dificultadDifficulty. Medium


We have to face a couple of ramps whose slope is important, to this we have to add the continuous ups and downs that we will find along the route and the tiredness that some people can generate the stress that can be produced by crossing the most slippery and steep areas of the itinerary.

Severity of the environment

At first glance what most worries most people who visit the Kakueta Gorges is the slippery terrain they are passing through, but the helmets that the organization makes available to us and that no one usually wears, and the emergency warning centers give us a clue to the dangers that fly over us. Stone falls, floods and landslides must also be taken into account no matter how civilized the route may be. It is important to pay attention to the emergency signs and warnings made by those responsible for the route and, of course, not to leave the signposted route.


The civilized nature of the route and the lack of other paths mean that we should not have problems with this section.

Important places to pass through
1-Ticket sales 0:00h 485m 0Km 30T 676027 4762945
2-Kakueta Waterfall 0:45h 535m 1.6Km 30T 675507 4762211
3-Grotte Aux Lacs 1:05h 560m 2Km 30T 675162 4761684
4-Kakueta Waterfall 1:15h 535m 2.4Km 30T 675507 4762211
5-Ticket sales 2:00h 485m 4Km 30T 676027 4762945

Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84

Profile of the route

Profile of the route of the Kakueta Gorges

ico-desnivel-acumuladoSlope: 480m

ico-desnivel-positivoSlope +: 240m

ico-desnivel-negativoSlope -: 240m

ico-altitud-maximaMaximum altitude: 560m

ico-altitud-minimaMinimum altitude: 460m

Cartography, maps and tracks

Kakueta Gorges Route Map

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 of the route of the Kakueta Gorges

This schematic with the route is approximate, map Tardets Sorholus La-Pierre-Saint-Martin Canyons de la Haute Source. TOP25 1446ET. 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.

Gorges of Kakueta
Gorges of Kakueta
Gorges of Kakueta
Grotte Aux Lacs
Lake of Sainte-Engrâce
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Listado de experiencias
Ana Sanz
Created the 01-03-2019

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¿Did you know that...

Just a stone's throw from the Kakueta Gorge is the Cavity of the Verna, one of the ten largest caves in the world, famous for its exceptional geological configuration.

Don't miss out...

The Romanesque church of Santa Grazi in Sainte-Engrâce is not only known for its unquestionable architectural notoriety, but also for the magnificent environment that surrounds it.


Go to 8 Hiking Routes in the Pyrenees that you have to do

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Go to Hiking equipment What to bring?


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This route has been carried out in the field by SENDITUR on 15-09-2018. 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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