The Bujaruelo Valley, included in the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, offers visitors magnificent natural landscapes of great beauty. There are several hiking routes and ascents that can be done from here. Perhaps one of the most popular excursions or routes for visitors is the one that climbs up to the glacier lake of Bernatuara from the Bujaruelo refuge. This route, as well as allowing us to enjoy spectacular views, puts us in the shoes of the ancient and current inhabitants of the Bujaruelo valley as we follow one of the routes that connects it with its French neighbours.
To get to San Nicolás de Bujaruelo we have to take the town of Torla as a reference point. Once there, we must follow the road we arrived on, which crosses the town, and continue on to Los Navarros Bridge. Once there, leave the road that climbs up to the Ordesa meadow to your right and follow the track that leads to Bujaruelo. This track has paved and unpaved sections, but in the summer season there are usually no problems. Once in San Nicolás de Bujaruelo there is a large parking area next to the refuge.
The car park next to the Bujaruelo refuge (0h 00min) is the starting point for this beautiful and demanding hiking route in the Pyrenees. The start could not be more interesting, as it takes us across the photographed Roman bridge of Bujaruelo. There are numerous informative signs and signs of the different routes that pass through here, including a route of the Way of St. James. We start to climb following the signs that take us to the Bernatuara lake and the Bujaruelo pass. This route is followed by mountaineers who climb towards the Sarradets refuge to crown the Taillón or the Gabietos, among other Pyrenean peaks. The path begins to follow the typical zigzags that partly reduce the difference in altitude that we are overcoming. After a while we reach the turning we should take, saying goodbye to the path that climbs up to the pass of Bujaruelo.
After doing so, we enter the forest following the stone milestones that now mark the route. We quickly leave the forest behind us to start the ascent that separates us from the Bernatuara lake. The Sandaruelo refuge invites us to take a short break before tackling the tough stretch ahead of us. The trodden path and the stone milestones that occasionally mark the route guide us as we go up the ravine that gives its name to the refuge we have just visited. There are many shortcuts that we will find, shortcuts that, in exchange for shortening a small stretch, force us to make a greater effort if we follow them. We will also have to cross the stream several times, generally without major complications. After the tough ramps, our route turns to the right and begins a gentle, practically flat stretch that will take us to the pass behind which the lake hides. Once at the pass, at our feet we find the Bernatuara glacier lake (2h 40min) wedged between the surrounding mountains.
We descend to the very edge of the Bernatuara glacier lake to skirt it on the left, with our sights set on the steep path we are about to follow. Almost without noticing we reach the Bernatuara pass, marked by a large stone cairn. This point also serves as a natural border between France and Spain, and has been a crossing point for livestock farmers and inhabitants of the area since time immemorial. We turn left to tackle the last stretch of ascent to the summit of Bernatuara Peak (3h 25min). After enjoying the spectacular views that this peak offers, including the Otal valley, the Gabietos, the Taillón, Monte Perdido and even the Vignemale, we start the descent that will take us back to the lake. From there we only have to return to Bujaruelo following the same route we came up.
|1-Bujaruelo mountain hut
|30T 737007 4730980
|2-Bernatuara glacier lake
|30T 737440 4733791
|30T 736923 4733856
Coordinates UTM Datúm WGS84
This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 146-3 1:25.000".
¿Did you know that...
The Bujaruelo valley is 20 km long, starting at the bridge of Los Navarros and reaching the col of Los Mulos. Several valleys converge here: the Batanes, Sandaruelo, Ordiso and Otal valleys.
Don't miss out...
The transhumance that takes place every year in June and September. More than a thousand head of cattle go up to the French pastures in June from the Broto Valley, passing through Bujaruelo. They come back down in September, a tradition that has become a festival of transhumance.
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.
Route information updated on 14-09-2020. 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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