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One of the first hiking trails in Madrid

The Mountain Range of Guadarrama, as well as giving its name to the National Park, is a natural landscape of great beauty and incalculable value. A natural border between Madrid and Segovia, in Guadarrama we can find mythical mountains and spectacular hiking routes such as the Schmidt Way. This route, which links the municipality of Cercedilla with the Port of Navacerrada, was created in 1926 by Eduardo Schmid, a member of the Royal Spanish Peñalara Mountaineering Society, as part of the aim of raising awareness of this area of the Central System. Today this route has become one of the best known hiking routes in the Community of Madrid, holding the designation of PR M5, linking the Peñalara refuge in Cercedilla with the Port of Navacerrada.

How to get to the Schmidt Way

The usual starting point for the Schmidt Way or Camino Schmid, as it is also known, is usually the Port of Navacerrada. There are excellent public transport links between Cercedilla and the Port of Navacerrada, which allow us to follow the route in different ways. In both cases the official starting point of the route is somewhat distant, but the different existing paths and trails will allow us to reach the official starting point of our choice. To get to the Port of Navacerrada we have to follow the road that joins Navacerrada village with the Royal Site of San Ildefonso.

Itinerary of the Schmidt Way

From Port of Navacerrada to Col Ventoso 4.2 km

In our case we take the parking place of the ski resort in the Port of Navacerrada (0h 00min) as the starting point of this hiking route in Madrid. In case you arrive here by train or if you have to park your car in the area of the hostel, from the vicinity of the non-commissioned officers' residence there is a path that takes you to the path you should follow. You will find this asphalted path just in front of the roundabout that leads to the ski resort car parking area.

This path ascends towards the military residence of Los Cogorros, although just before reaching it we must turn right to begin the real Schmid Way or PR M5.

In this first part of the route we are travelling through the province of Segovia, following the yellow markings that characterise the route we are following. After a while we reach a fork. Here we leave the path of the Path of the Cospe, which would take us to the Port of Fuenfría, to continue towards the Col Ventoso (1h 30min), where many people end the route and return to the Port of Navacerrada.

From the Col Ventoso to the Peñalara Refuge 2.6 Km

After enjoying the views offered by this spot, we continue our walk accompanied for a stretch by the markings of the Alevines PR M7 path. We will say goodbye to this path shortly afterwards to continue with the descent ahead of us. This path that we have left behind is the first of the options that allows us to approach the Port of Fuenfría and return to the Port of Navacerrada along the Path of the Cospe, thus making a beautiful circular route of approximately 11 km. Our route quickly takes us past the Antón Ruiz de Velasco fountain. Shortly afterwards we will come across the road to the Republic or GR-10. Here we have another opportunity to do a circular route a little longer than the previous one, as if we follow the road to our right we will ascend to the Port of Fuenfría, after passing by the nearby Viewpoint of the Queen.

A viewpoint that is worth a detour for a moment, even if it is not our aim to leave the Schmidt Way.

We cross the GR 10 to continue descending in search of the Roman road that awaits us a little further on. This ancient route will accompany us for a while. Almost at the end of our route we will be forced to cross the Fuenfría stream, thanks to a rudimentary wooden bridge. Our route comes out onto a wide dirt road, which hides a few metres to the right among the pines that populate the area the refuge of Peñalara (2h 00min), the end of the Schmid Way. From here we retrace our steps back to the Port of Navacerrada or we can continue along the path that starts right in front of the point where we left the path and that will take us to Cercedilla, from where we are still a little more than 7 km away.

Tips for doing the Schmidt Way

1-The route is initially not very complicated, as long as the terrain is not snowy or icy.

2-The entire route is a mountain route and runs at quite a high altitude, so it is important to equip yourself correctly, to be prudent, and to pay attention to the weather.

3-Although the Schmidt Way is a linear route, many people follow a circular route or even return from the Col Ventoso, thus saving kilometres and positive slope.

4-Remember that you are in a National Park with its specific regulations.

Waypoints of the route
1-Port of Guadarrama 0:00h 1855m 0km 30T 415327 4515770
2-Col Ventoso 1:30h 1896m 4.2Km 30T 411787 4515811
3-Peñalara Refuge 2:00h 1520m 6.2Km 30T 410050 4514992

Coordinates UTM Datúm WGS84

Profile of the Schmidt Way

Profile of the Schmidt Way

ico-distancia-totalDistance: 6.8Km

ico-tiempo-totalTime: 2:00h

ico-dificultadDifficulty: Medium

ico-desnivel-acumuladoSlope: 730m

ico-desnivel-positivoSlope +: 200m

ico-desnivel-negativoSlope -: 530m

ico-altitud-maximaMaximum altitude: 1896m

ico-altitud-minimaMinimum altitude: 1520m


Topographic map of the Schmidt Way

ico IGN

This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 508-2 y 508-1 1:25.000".

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¿Did you know that...

A large part of the route runs under the protection of the mountain cord of The Seven Peaks, which is characterised by the different formations of granite rocks that form it and is the natural border between the Community of Madrid and the Community of Castilla y León.

Don't miss out...

The villages of Navacerrada, Becerril de la Sierra or Collado Mediano, with their typical architecture and historical and artistic heritage, together with the different towns in the area, are well worth a visit.


Go to Hiking equipment What to bring?


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Route information updated on 07-12-2020. 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.

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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