The Sierra Nevada (with or without) Guide

Routes, Maps & Inspiration for Self Guided Walking & Hiking in Spain's Sierra Nevada

Los Tres Picos trek, Sierra Nevada wild camping


43km of high mountain terrain, 2570m ascent, 3 days, taking in the 3 highest peaks and staying overnight in incredibly wild mountain lakeside locations. Ideal trek for hikers and trekkers wanting to “get away from it all”!

Camp by sheltered lagunas

  • Access: Capileira
  • Start: Hoya del Portillo.┬áKeep following the road through Capileira. In 5 mins you will pass horse riding stables. Immediately after take the right when the road forks. Follow this rough track for 15 mins. Park at the Forestry Station barrier and car park. Suitable for saloon cars with care.
  • End: Capileira

Cicerone Guide Book Sierra Nevada

Route Description

This trek can be done from May to November inclusive, but the summer months of June, July, August and September offer stable weather and lightest backpacking weights.

Day 1 - Siete Lagunas

Ascend from the high trailhead at Hoya del portillo, above the Alpujarras village of Capileira. Through pine forests and onto open country above. The challenge for the forthcoming days in obvious as you get great views to Mulhacen and Veleta. At the 3000m level take a traverse path round the eastern flanks of Mulhacen to arrive at the delightful valley of Siete Lagunas. Filled with cold clear mountain lakes and streams this is an idyllic location for the first nights stay.

Day 2 - Alcazaba and Mulhacen

Ascend a steep rocky couloir that brings you to the summit of Alcazaba. The magnificence of the north faces of the “big 3” are well seen from this point. Then its a return to the SE to the base of Mulhacen’s E ridge which you can use to ascend to the highest point in mainland Spain, and the highest peak outside the Alps in western europe. From here drop down to camp by the tranquil lakes of the upper Rio Seco valley.

Day 3 - To Veleta and back!

Today an easy start to climb the last of “Los Tres Picos”, Veleta. Then it’s a hard afternoon downhill walk over Loma Pua and Pico de Sabinar to the village at Capileira.

N.B Please take note of National Park Rules and Regulations regarding Wild Camping

Interactive map (opens in new window)

Map of trekking route

Recommended map: Parque Nacional de Sierra Nevada 1:40000 www.penebetica.com

Tres Picos

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