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Aigüestortes Vall de Fosca Lakes and Reservoirs

Spectacular 14km circular hiking route via seven glacial lakes in high mountains of Aigüestortes Vall de Fosca using a cable car to climb to Estany Gento

Updated: Sep 2, 2023 by: Barcelona Travel Hacks Views: 342

About Aigüestortes Vall de Fosca Lakes and Reservoirs

Vall de Fosca in the Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici Parc Nacional is a spectacular hiking route that uses a cable car to ascend to the first of many great lakes that form part of a vast hydro electric power generation complex that is hidden underground within the mountain.

This is a demanding 14Km one-day hike through the high mountain valley of La Vall Fosca. The Vall de Fosca, Dark Valley, is composed of twent-six lakes, of glacial origin. Highlights are Salente reservoir, Panta de Salente , Gento Lake Estany Gento, Tort Lake Estany Tort, Colomina Lake Estany Colomina, Sea Lake Estany de Mar, Sea Lake Estany de Mar, Saburó Lake Estany Saburó and Frescal Lake Estany Frescal.

When walking to Tort Lake you will see the remains of a narrow gauge railway. This was used to mine the granite rock to build all the dams for the lakes to convert the mountain into a power station. The last section of the route from Gento lake to Salente reservoir is along a via verde. Via Verde's are old rural railway lines that have been removed and converted into cycle lanes.

Sallente reservoir Hydro Electric Power Generation

The Sallente reservoir is fed by water from Estany Gento and 26 glacial lakes that feed the Flamisell river. It is what is known as a Reversible Hydro electric plant. Gento Lake is at an altitude 400m greater than Sallente lake. To generate electricity water is dropped in a steep subterranean tube under pressure of gravity to turn turbines at the height of Sallente lake hidden inside a chamber within the mountain. Valves at the top open to allow water to rush into the tube when electricity is in demand. When electricity is at a surplus (at night) water is pumped back up to the top lake (Estany Gento). This is what is called a peeking generator (or water battery) to provide a boost to the electricity grid in times of high demand.

The power plant within the mountain is closed to the public and does not offer guided tours. The only evidence of it's existence is a large substation at the base of the cable car and a mysterious tunnel entrance that drops down a steep incline into the mountain.

Visiting Aigüestortes Vall de Fosca Lakes and Reservoirs

Allow 7 to 9 hours to complete this route.

I would start the route with 2 to 3 litres of water, knowing that there is plenty of fresh water in the lakes.

Aim to get the 10:00 or 11:00 cable car to Estany Gento. any later and this is not viable as a one day hike.

Alternatively, this can be done as a two day hike staying overnight in a mountain hut next to Colomina Lake Refugi Colomina.

Note: that it is not permitted to swim in any of the lakes in Aigüestortes Natural park and if your caught you will get fined.

What to take with you for Aigüestortes Vall de Fosca Lakes and Reservoirs

This is a medium-hard walking route. I always do it with a small rucksack of the essentials and first aid kit. Emergency waterproof/windproof jacket is advised because it can be windy in these high mountains.

I would start the route with 2 to 3 litres of water, knowing that there is plenty of fresh water in the lakes.

Small 30L Hiking Rucksack

Small 30L Hiking Rucksack

Includes high visibility fog and rain waterproof cover in zip compartment at bottom of rucksack.

Decathlon Spain Link Amazon Spain Link
Compact First Aid Kit

Compact First Aid Kit

Small lightweight first aid kit

Decathlon Spain Link Amazon Spain Link
Emergency Rain jacket

Emergency Rain jacket

Small pouch lightweight Waterproof jacket for emergencies

Decathlon Spain Link Amazon Spain Link
Running shorts

Running shorts

Mens trail running shorts

Decathlon Spain Link Amazon Spain Link
Convertible Trousers

Convertible Trousers

Lightweight convertible trousers that zip down to shorts

Decathlon Spain Link Amazon Spain Link
Gore-Tex Hiking boots

Gore-Tex Hiking boots

I prefer ankle high boots on mountain trails for the ankle support and increased stability over rocky trails.

Decathlon Spain Link Amazon Spain Link
warm Wool socks

warm Wool socks

With toe and heel reinforcements that give good padding.

Decathlon Spain Link Amazon Spain Link
Fleece jacket or Jersey

Fleece jacket or Jersey

Light weight warm fleece

Decathlon Spain Link Amazon Spain Link
Phone Case for watersports

Phone Case for watersports

IPX8 waterproof floating and submersible case & Lanyard. Permits photos and touchscreen use.

Decathlon Spain Link Amazon Spain Link
Mid layer Top

Mid layer Top

Light weight cotton quick dry T-shirt

Decathlon Spain Link Amazon Spain Link
0.8L water bottle

0.8L water bottle

Reusable, refillable 1L water bottle.

Decathlon Spain Link Amazon Spain Link
Wet shoes

Wet shoes

Waterproof shoes for coastal hikes and remote stoney beaches.

Decathlon Spain Link Amazon Spain Link
Lightweight Towel

Lightweight Towel

Compact lightweight microfibre towel for coastal and mountain hiking

Decathlon Spain Link Amazon Spain Link

Summary of Prices

Train/Bus Fare Entry Ticket Additional Information Train/Bus Fare Entry Ticket Additional Information Adult € 25.00 € 12.00 Child € 25.00 € 9.00 3 - 19 Years Old. Under 3 years old FREENotes Cable Car - 2 adults + 2 children (3 to 9 years) 55 Euros Return

Getting to Aigüestortes Vall de Fosca Lakes and Reservoirs

Address: La Torre de Cabdella, Lleida. 25515

Documents for Aigüestortes Vall de Fosca Lakes and Reservoirs

Click on any one of the 6 PDFs to view in full screen and download.

\'Vall

Vall de Fosca Bus and Teleferico Cable Car timetables

Author: www.vallfosca.net

\'Vall

Vall de Fosca Bus Timetable

Author: www.vallfosca.net

\'Vall

Vall de Fosca Map

Author: Barcelona Travel Hacks

\'Lleida

Lleida to Poble de Segur Train map & Timetable

Author: www.fgc.cat

\'Barcelona

Barcelona to Vall de Fosca by Public Transport

Author: Barcelona Travel Hacks

\'Renfe

Renfe Regional trains to Lleida

Author: www.renfe.com

Wikiloc Trail for Aigüestortes Vall de Fosca Lakes and Reservoirs

a0304 - Aigüestortes Vall de Fosca Lakes and Reservoirs

Spectacular 14km circular hiking route via seven glacial lakes in high mountains of Aigüestortes Vall de Fosca using a cable car to climb to Estany Gento

Distance: 14.80 Km

Difficulty: Moderate

Return Travel Fare: 20.00 EUR

Transport Network: Car

Weather for La Torre de Cabdella


Mountain Forecast weather for Aigüestortes Pic Morto


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