Hike to the Torrecilla (there & back: 24 km, 6 – 8 hours approx.)
The Torrecilla is the highest peak in the province of Málaga, 1919 metres high. This peak is just behind La Concha.
To start this route we recommend to drive up from San Pedro Alcántara to Ronda, and to stop approximately 30 km away from San Pedro, where you will take the exit to the Parque Natural de la Sierra de las Nieves (natural park). Leave the car in the area of Los Quejigales, which is at approximately 1000 meters above see level, and take the footpath called “Carril del Sabinal”.
In the first part of the hike you will find streams and muddy soil, especially if it has rained recently, and you won’t see many trees. Further up, the footpath goes through a magnificent pinsapo forest (pinsapo is an extremely rare pine variety) and along the way you will find marvellous natural elements such as icicles, birds and ancestral trees.
After the pinsapo forest you will arrive at the Puerto de los Pilones, a plain where you will find a track. Take to the left on the plain, and shortly, you will find a viewpoint with an incredible and unforgettable panorama. As you continue walking up the track to the Torrecilla you will see a hut and an antenna on the left hand side. Further up at your right, you will also see an old fridge in which the snow was collected to be later on sold on the coast.
This hill-walking route is approximately 24 kilometres long and could be achieved in 6-8 hours. The most sensible thing would be to return taking the same route, but if you feel tired you could always take the track down to Los Quejigales instead of crossing the pinsapo forest. Bear in mind that if you take the track instead of the forest the walk will be slightly longer. However, this descending route is easier than the pinsapo forest one.
In winter, when the peaks are covered in snow, is one of the most beautiful times of the year to go up the Sierra de las Nieves, but also one of the most dangerous to climb up the Torrecilla, as the north side of the mountain will be frozen and very slippery. Therefore, if you decide to climb up in winter, we recommend you to take crampons with you. In spring and autumn this hill-walking experience would be very enjoyable as well, but in summer it could be extremely hot.
Bring your own provisions (water and food), proper hill-walking shoes and sun-cream.