La Muela Route
Accessed to the south from the same town of Montalbán, it is a purely mountainous route through the great stone mass that in its ascent will show us different viewpoints of the Martín valley, the stately village of Montalbán and wide panoramic views of the rich geology that characterizes this environment.
The trail starts on the same road where it joins the GR-262 between Martín del Río and Montalbán. After crossing the river over a footbridge, the riverside poplars, the orchard and fruit trees will be replaced by reforestation pines, whose copse begins to thicken as we ascend the path. Soon you will come to a watering place for livestock that uses the waters of the Valdemiguel spring. We will reach a track and after crossing it we will link with the path that ascends to the Muela and where we will return if we only do this hiking loop. Soon we will stumble upon the Fuente de Valdemiguel. It is a large crack, like a wound in the massif, from which a crystalline and fresh water emerges, allowing us to refresh ourselves.
The path from here ascends in zigzag to overcome the steep slope of the ascent. The first viewpoint is at the top of the Valdemiguel fountain. From this point we can observe the Paleozoic materials of the Montalbán anticline riding over Mesozoic and Tertiary materials, the Jurassic limestones of the Santa Bárbara headland, whose whitish color gave Montalbán its name, and different geological structures that will attract the visitor’s attention.
Continuing up the path, the birds of prey, especially the griffon vulture, which find refuge in the body of this massif will accompany us, and the pine forest that initially thickens will become lighter alternating with junipers and kermes oaks with a variety of aromatic dominated by rosemary. It will be easy to observe a ground cover plant that adorns the slopes with its red berries “the gayubas”, junipers and some holly.
The path almost at the top, with gentle slopes will begin to flatten by the massif to show us, from several detours that converge at the Fuente de los Vaciones, the caves of Candil and Greñicas, the viewpoint of Montalbán from where a beautiful panoramic view opens and where there is a telescope installed, or the top of the Muela (1294 m), and continuing along the route we will arrive at the viewpoint of Morrón Royo. The trail from here begins its descent until it reaches a junction with the forest trail that will allow us to return through the Piedra Chimila to the Fuente de Valdemiguel (forming the hiking loop), go down to Montalbán or connect with the excursion through the route of the Río Ancho.
Ancho River Route
To access the route we will approach the forest track that leads us through the pine forest slopes of the Muela and take the detour along the river Ancho, a mainly fluvial route through the lush meadow of one of the streams that descend from the Sierra de San Just and flows into the Martín river. This route will allow us to observe and identify various geological formations, including the anticline of the Fuente del Regallo in the Burriel pass or the olistolite of the lengua del vago (an almost vertical limestone ridge interspersed between the conglomerates that were eroded to be less resistant). The trail connects with the GR 262 at the height of the picnic area of Baño, where we can return to the town of Montalbán thus configuring a hiking loop.