Circuit of Ballestera via Barrancos Estrets and Riu de les Valls

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2 beautiful barrancos with grand scenery all around with a set of wooded connecting paths with sweeping views between them.
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  2. 40.9045930, 0.2820610 Copy to clipboard Copy
    #Nature Trails

Location of Start - 40.904593, 0.282061
Distance - 15km.
Ascent - 460m.
Walking time and total completion time including any stops - 4hr / 5.75hr
Start point - Arnes, Remote location on minor road leading to Els Estrets at finger post indicating 2km to Els Estrets Lay-by suitable for up to 4 cars at side of road. Other parking slots available on this road.

Continue along the road in the direction that you drove in to the parking area. When you reach the finger post that shows 1.75km to Els Estrets turn R onto a track. Cross a stream by ford or stepping stones and walk uphill to a fork where you turn R now clearly following small blue star markers indicating the Estels del Sud (a 5-day circuit of Els Ports). 540m,
 Once this track becomes a grassy lane look out carefully for a footpath going off to the R which we take. This is indicated by a small cairn and a fading blue star paint marker. Follow this about 20m above the stream bed which is on your RHS.  1.1km,
 Carry on into the Estrets, an open area with grand crags above you, using a path where you continue directly ahead climbing up to walk on top of a closed water channel. Ignore a small path that moves off to the L shortly after you start along this route.  1.8km,
 The valley narrows and the cliffs become more impressive. After some 20mins and 1.5km look out for a small concrete obelisk beside you on the RHS which marks a footpath fork and here you turn R downhill and shortly after R again to cross the stream bed and then begin to walk uphill.  3.6km,
 Pass 2 finger posts descending a little at the second and after working up beside a heavily eroded barranco swing around into an open area where there is a third finger post with signs pointing both ahead and to the L. Ignore both of these and instead take a thin path going off to the R which soon becomes clearer in woodland.  4.2km,
1hr 2min
Continue up this path, occasionally climbing steeply up through terraces, for some time to reach a track where you turn R to quickly reach a col. 5.9km,
1hr 35min
Descend the far side of this and cross a barranco onto a grassy plateau where there is a fork. Take the L option and rise steadily.
This track ends at a col where a footpath continues slightly to the L immediately descending the other side.
1hr 46min
Continue down until you reach a large open area with a ruin on a terrace above you on the LHS. This is the Mas de les Valls.
Follow the footpath down to the junction with the Riu de les Valls where a R turn brings you onto a path marked with blue stars. This path follows alongside of the barranco as it descends in a series of small cascades and blue-green pools.
2hr 7min
Follow the well-made path across rocky slabs sometimes close to the water and sometimes high above it. After some time you enter woodland and descend steeply on a broad path to a junction. (30 mins and 1.7km after your last R turn into the valley)
Turn R here onto a smaller path with blue star markings and start to ascend again in woodland.
2hr 41min
From here on the blue markers are essential to help navigate the many junctions and changes from path to track. The path soon passes a substantial ruined Mas on the LHS before reaching a col a few minutes later. 10.4km, 2hr
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