The Valley of Tena, in the region of Alto Gállego, hides real places of great beauty surrounded by the colossal mountains of this area of the Pyrenees of Huesca. Villages of marked character that zealously preserve all their history and customs. Villages like Panticosa, nestled between vertical mountains crisscrossed by countless hiking trails and climbs to mythical peaks.
The Walk of the Health of Baños of Panticosa covers in its hardly 2,6 km the surroundings of this privileged place. The Panticosa Spa is located next to the tranquil Pyrenean lake of Baños, which is one of the starting points for the busy routes that lead to the famous peaks that surround it, in addition to our own. The waters of this spa have been and are a reason for admiration, this route of hiking in Baños of Panticosa runs through some of the sources whose healing waters still flow in them combining health with the beauty of the environment that surrounds us. The San Agustín Fountain, the Carmen Fountain or the Beauty Fountain await us protected by the temples that house them, buildings such as the Clock House inside which the waters of the Herpes Fountain flow, which sits on the side of the mountain to which we gain access after climbing a steep staircase. The GR 11, also known as the Path Pyrenean, will act as our guide as we leave the spa behind. The unevenness of the surrounding mountains forces us to wind over and over again to gain height more easily. This height allows us to enjoy magnificent views over Baños of Panticosa.
An avalanche wall reminds us of the harsh conditions here in winter. After saving this parapet, we will say goodbye to the GR 11 that is heading towards Bujaruelo, to continue our journey that, after jumping the hydroelectric pipe that runs through the mountain, invites us to take a small detour to approach the Viewpoint of The Pine. An imposing balcony from which to contemplate not only the Panticosa Spa and its Pyrenean lake of Baños, but also the noisy and beautiful waterfalls made here by the Caldarés River to bridge the gap. Returning to the path, we will cross the river to join the GR 11 again, this time with the route that comes from Sallent de Gállego, and together we will set a course for Baños of Panticosa. But before that, another impressive place awaits us, the Viewpoint of the Queen, the true starting point of the dizzying descent that will take us to the very door of the House of Stone shelter, once again in Baños of Panticosa. From there, we will only have to continue along the course of the river Caldarés to meet up again with the Pyrenean lake of Baños, and put an end to this excursion in the Tena Valley.
To get to Baños de Panticosa we have to do it from Biescas, in the middle of the N-260 known as the Pyrenean axis. Here leaves the A-136 that connects Biescas with France through Portalet, through Sallent de Gállego among other locations. It is shortly before reaching Escarrilla, just after passing through the Búbal reservoir, where we will find the junction with the road that leads to Panticosa first and then to Baños de Panticosa. Once there we will have a large car park where we can park our vehicle.
The parking area of Baños de Panticosa (0h 00min) is the starting point of this circular route of hiking in the heart of the Pyrenees of Huesca.
We will take as our starting point the Pyrenean lake of Baños, where the river Caldarés pours its waters into it, a point from which some of the most frequented routes in this area also start.
Although we can shorten this part of the route, the landscape around us invites us to walk along the track that delimits the Pyrenean lake of in this part, heading towards the road by which we arrive at Baños de Panticosa.
When we get there, we will say goodbye to the Pyrenean lake of Baños and head for the spa buildings.
It is at the end of this urbanized area where the GR 11, known as the Pyrenean Path, enters Baños de Panticosa during its stage between the Panticosa Spa and Bujaruelo. GR 11 will be our companion for almost the entire route.
We go up the stairs that we find here starting to overcome the unevenness that we have in front of us.
At the end of the stairs, the route turns again and, following the GR 11 marks, moves forward in search of the wide trail that awaits us a little further on. We leave the old spa buildings behind us to get fully into the mountain route of this entertaining tour.
Soon we began to draw the typical curves that characterize the sections that overcome great unevenness. Although we have to overcome the same height, unlike if we had followed this route in the opposite direction, the slope is not so demanding, and it allows us to advance with some ease.
The wide trail and the marks of the Pyrenean Path leave no room for doubt at any time.
We gain height as we enjoy the magnificent landscape around us and contemplate Baños de Panticosa further down.
After overcoming a demanding ramp, an old construction that protects the spa from possible avalanches forces us to zigzag again in order to overcome the barrier it represents. At the moment we will find several trails that shorten the new turn we have to make.
Almost immediately, just before we see ourselves crossing from side to side this avalanche parapet, we will come across the crossroads where we will say goodbye to the section of the GR 11 that goes towards Bujaruelo, passing through the Pyrenean lakes of Brazato.
We will have to follow the trail that connects it, without having to pass through Baños de Panticosa, with its other route, the stage between Sallent de Gállego and the Panticosa Spa. This area of our route, already without so much unevenness, allows us to enjoy wide panoramic views over the spa and the Pyrenean lake of Baños.
The stony trail leads us directly to the large pipe that runs along the side of the mountain. Shortly after crossing the pipe we will reach a new detour.
Here we have the unavoidable possibility of approaching the Viewpoint of the Waterfall of the Pine (0h 40min), leaving for a few moments the footpath that we are following.
This detour takes us quickly to this spectacular balcony from which we can enjoy privileged views.
Here, if we follow the line of the wall that delimits the viewpoint, we can approach, with caution, the head of the waterfall where we will discover the two waterfalls that precede the one we have just contemplated.
Once we have contemplated this beautiful place we will have to return to the path, either retracing our steps or following the less clear course of the trail that brought us here.
This part of the trail recovers the lost height, winding through the mountain.
Soon we will meet again the path that we had left before to visit the viewpoint.
We quickly arrive at a new crossroads, here we must follow our course leaving behind the trail that leads to the Bachimaña lakes, along the Path of the Machos, to go in search of the GR 11 that comes from Sallent de Gállego.
In front of us is the bridge that will allow us to cross the Caldarés River. Once we have crossed the river, we will have to face the last stretch of ascent of this route.
Section that takes us directly to the encounter with the GR 11 itinerary, towards which we were heading. Once there, we will set a course for the Panticosa Spa.
We start the descent that will take us back to the starting point from where we started.
But before that, we will stop again at the Viewpoint of the Queen (0h 50min), which will allow us to enjoy again the landscape that surrounds this place of the Pyrenees.
We resume the dizzying descent that awaits us leaving this conditioned viewpoint behind.
Once again the waterfall of the Pine invites us to contemplate it making a stop on the way, although this time it requires us to approach an exposed place to do so.
The trail begins to lose altitude quickly as it changes direction again and again. This part of the route runs through a much steeper and more rugged area than the one we have been walking so far. The zigzags are constant and the terrain forces us to descend carefully.
After a good stretch of steep trail and countless bends, we see how we are getting closer to the end of this uncomfortable stretch.
Once downstairs, we are welcomed by the shelter of the Stone House, which precedes the parking area. Parking area that we will have to go through to return to the starting point.
Of course, along our route through the parking lot in Baños de Panticosa (1h 10min) we will have the possibility to go directly in search of the place where we parked our vehicle without the need to go to the Pyrenean lake of Baños.
On busy days this number will increase considerably, as we will be forced to park far away from the starting point of the route.
Doing the route in one direction or another should not vary too much the total time we will have to spend on it.
Autumn, spring and summer will certainly bring their special character to this route in the heart of the Pyrenees, in the Tena Valley, a route that surprises us with magnificent views over the Panticosa spa and its surroundings as well as giving us hidden places of great beauty. However, when snow, ice or bad weather make an appearance, the presence in these landscapes is limited to people with the necessary equipment and experience to face these conditions or to know when it is better to cancel the excursion and leave it for another day.
We must not forget that this route, although initially not very difficult, runs through high mountain terrain where appropriate footwear is essential, as it will give us the necessary grip and stability to tackle the most rugged areas of the route. Nor should we forget to take some water and food with us, and the usual for any route we take. Consult our list of material and equipment for hiking. Read more.
This route is short and allows us to face the unevenness of the terrain with the necessary calm, given the steepness of some of the ramps, especially if we take the route in the opposite direction. Otherwise, a person used to moving around in the mountains should not make a great effort.
Severity of the environment
As soon as we leave the safety of the spa we will find ourselves in the middle of a mountainous terrain, in some steep and vertical areas. Luckily the path we have to follow does not go through areas that are too exposed, although if it passes close to them so leaving it is not a very good idea. Pay attention to the possible fall of stones, there are parts of the path that, due to its zigzagging layout, leave us at the mercy of the stones that may fall on our heads. The descent section is undoubtedly the steepest of all, a fact that will force us to take it with caution, especially if the rock is wet. Things change if we find snow or ice, in this case the difficulty and our exposure will be considerably extended.
Thanks to the marks of the GR 11, we should have no problem following this route. Moreover, the path is clearly trodden on almost all the way. The crossroads also have the old and already battered posts that inform us where each path is heading. The most difficult part may be finding the start of the route between the buildings of the Panticosa spa, or not being confused between the different sections or stages of the GR 11 that we are going to pass through.
|1-Pyrenean lake of Baños
|30T 726131 4737908
|2-Viewpoint of the Pine
|30T 726529 4738270
|3-Viewpoint of the Queen
|30T 726436 4738314
|4-Pyrenean lake of Baños
|30T 726131 4737908
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 path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 145-2, 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.
Un paseo muy bonito, las vistas una maravilla, merece la pena hacer esta ruta si subes hasta Baños de Panticosa.
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¿Did you know that...
The medicinal properties of the waters of Baños de Panticosa were already known in Roman times. It consists of six springs from which water flows, each with specific healing properties. These sources are distributed around the current complex within buildings that look more like small temples.
Don't miss out...
The Argualas Waterfall can be reached in just 5 minutes from the Pyrenean lake of Baños following the path that starts from its northern corner, the opposite of the road to Baños de Panticosa. From the waterfall we can also approach the Fountain of The Lagoon one more of those that surround the spa.
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 15-07-2017. 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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