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The canyon of the Monachil river

The Sierra Nevada National Park, in the province of Granada, offers us a myriad of natural landscapes of great beauty, hiking trails and colossal mountains. One of the most visited hiking trails of all those that await us here is perhaps the route of the Cahorros of Monachil. A route that runs through a narrow gorge that can be reached directly by bus from Granada capital. Hanging bridges, vertical walls, natural caves and stretches so narrow that almost force us to get into the river to move forward, are his letters of introduction.

How to get to the Cahorros of Monachil

As you can imagine to make this beautiful route we must go to the town of Monachil, located not far from Granada capital, so we can get there by bus if we need it. Once there and almost in the center we will find next to the river and properly signposted parking from where the route of the Cahorros of Monachil begins, although of course we have several areas where you can also park.​

Itinerary of the route of the Cahorros of Monachil

From Monachil to the first suspension bridge 1.5 km

There are several options that we have to visit this imposing natural site, in our case we will follow the path of the Monachil River instead of the circular route of the Cahorros, longer and more demanding. In any case along the route we can vary the itinerary depending on our tastes. We leave the parking lot of the Cahorros in the middle of Monachil, we go up the river bank following the signs that lead us to the meeting of the green marks of the river path.

After descending some stairs, the real path begins, which continues along the Monachil River.

The route takes us past the old hydroelectric power station of La Trola and then leads us to the building of the hydroelectric power station of Tranvías, still in operation today. Almost without noticing we have reached the first suspension bridge (0h 20min), of the five that we will cross today. After crossing it there are some stairs to climb and a trail that connects with the path that comes from Portachuelos, another of the possible routes that we can combine in this route and that allows us to return to Monachil.

From first suspension bridge to third suspension bridge 0.4 km

We follow the course of the river definitely entering Los Cahorros following the course that marks us an irrigation ditch. We are quickly surprised by a beautiful waterfall while we are approaching the second of the suspension bridges that we must cross. The canyon that we are crossing together with the river and the vegetation compensate the ups and downs that we are forced to do. After a short while we find ourselves in front of the third suspension bridge (0h 35min) that we will cross today. After crossing it we will find another crossroads of trails that give us the opportunity to design a route to our liking both outward and return.

From the third suspension bridge to the fifth suspension bridge 1.1 Km

Here we have the possibility of ascending the path that leads to the Eras de los Renegales to approach the Viewpoint in the Cahorros Altos. This is a more than advisable option as long as we do not have in mind to return by the path of the Cahorros Altos, which as we will see later we can follow as a return itinerary if we wish. In our case we leave this detour for the return journey and continue crossing the nearby fourth suspension bridge of the route of the Cahorros of Monachil. From here on, the most entertaining section of the route awaits us, in which the trail runs over a concrete projection built as a skirting board of the vertical walls that form the canyon of the Monachil River.

In this part of the route there is barely room for one person and in some areas we will even find pegs that serve as handholds to facilitate our passage.

We will also find steps where we will have to bend down to pass under the rocks or if we prefer we can also get into the riverbed if it allows us and we wear appropriate footwear for it. The narrowness of the gorge is significant in some areas, having its maximum exponent in the Cave of the Pigeons, a tunnel created by the detachment of the rocks that we will have to cross. If instead of continuing along the concrete lane we continue along the riverbed we will find several pegs next to some stone blocks that will allow us to climb back to the concrete path. After this area the Cahorros gradually gain in width until you reach the Paraje de Azuelas where the fifth and last suspension bridge (1h 00min) of the route awaits you.

Route of return to Monachil

This is the end of this beautiful hiking route in the province of Granada. From here we have several options to return to Monachil, in addition to doing it by the same route by which we arrived. We can, for example, not cross the suspension bridge and continue up the riverbed until we reach a new crossroads where we can go to the Bridge of the Chorreras to return linking with the upper path of the Cahorros or continue to the hydroelectric plant of La Vega and return by the official route proposed by the provincial tourism board. Another possibility is to cross the suspension bridge and link directly with the path that runs through the Cahorros Altos, thus avoiding a long stretch. This trail, besides giving us a different perspective of the Cahorros, allows us to approach the viewpoint that we mentioned earlier and enjoy a circular route of just over 7 km. We can even go down from this viewpoint back to the path of the Monachil river, thus avoiding the less attractive section of the route.

Tips for do the route of the Cahorros of Monachil

1-If you decide to return by a different route, keep in mind that in addition to increasing the total distance, the total elevation gain will also increase.

2-It is not a bad idea to carry an additional pair of cros type shoes to have the option of being able to get into the riverbed without problems and not get your hiking shoes wet.

3-The route does not present major complications but it is important to be careful when crossing bridges, the most exposed sections, and especially the area of the viewpoints if we return by that slope.

4-Be informed beforehand about the state of the route as the river may make it not very advisable to do it.

Waypoints of the route
1-Monachil 0:00h 820m 0km 30S 452307 4109526
2-5º Suspension bridge 1:00h 985m 3Km 30S 454427 4108709

Coordinates UTM Datúm WGS84

Profile of the Route of the Cahorros of Monachil

Profile of the Route of the Cahorros of Monachil

ico-distancia-totalDistance: 6Km

ico-tiempo-totalTime: 2:00h

ico-dificultadDifficulty: Medium

ico-desnivel-acumuladoSlope: 420m

ico-desnivel-positivoSlope +: 210m

ico-desnivel-negativoSlope -: 210m

ico-altitud-maximaMaximum altitude: 985m

ico-altitud-minimaMinimum altitude: 810m


Topographic map of the Route of the Cahorros of Monachil

ico IGN

This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 1026-2 y 1027-1 1:25.000".

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¿Did you know that...

The Tranvías hydroelectric plant was built in 1907 to supply electricity to the Sierra Nevada tramway. It was in the 1960s when it fell into disuse and was restored and put back into operation in 1991.

Don't miss out...

The viewpoint of the Eras de los Renegales to which you can climb a path carved into the rock from the same canyon of the Cahorros. From the viewpoint you can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of this natural landscape.


Go to Hiking equipment What to bring?


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Route information updated on 18-05-2021. 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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