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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks to the condition of the route, with its corresponding footbridges and handrails, we can enjoy this privileged environment.
We alternate zones of footbridges with others of ample footpath while we go down and we climb some that another staircase.
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 zones of footpath more exposed or given to slips count on their corresponding towrope to help us.
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.
As we get closer to the head of the gorge we find the occasional steeper stretch.
Surrounded by the beauty of the environment that surrounds us we hardly realize the difference in unevenness that we are gaining with each step.
We cross the river again to undertake a new climb that will take us to another of the charming corners of this route.
In front of us we have the mysterious waterfall of Kakueta (0h 45min) of which the origin of its waters is not yet known.
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.
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.
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.
From here we will return on our steps to the place where we started our journey (2h 00min) through the Kakueta Gorges.
The different itinerary options do not imply a significant variation in this figure.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84
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.
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.
Una ruta preciosa, los Pirineos son siempre espectaculares. Merece la pena visitarla pasas un día muy agradable, toda una experiencia.
¿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.
From the commitment of SENDITUR with Nature and the respect to the balance of the environment, SENDITUR urges you to travel in a responsible way, with low environmental impact and respecting at all times the Natural, Cultural and Social environment wherever you go.
Besides sharing with all of us your experience on the route we would be grateful if you could write to us to inform us of any erroneous or outdated information you may have found, or simply to let us know what you think at Thank you.
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.
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