Famed as the “World’s Most Dangerous Hike”, El Caminito Del Rey (The King’s Little Pathway) is a one-meter wide walkway traversing a gorge, over 100 meters above the torrents below – El Chorro, Spain.
Tucked in the outskirts of a quaint town in Southern Spain, El Caminito del Rey, lies nestled in a gorge 100 dizzying meters above a chalky blue river. The walkway begins with a final partner check before you head out, walking along a narrow ledge, the ground rapidly falling away below you. The original start to the trail is no longer passable, so to reach the pathway one must take a traversing pitch of climbing across old iron supports utilizing a rope and clipping bolts for protection.
The path was built on the order of Spanish King Alfonso XIII. It was constructed to facilitate workers movement through the canyon, to work on hydroelectric power plants at Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo Falls. Prior to the paths construction, the workers had to take a time consuming route around the mountains that pinch together and form the gorge. In 1921, when the King crossed the completed pathway for the inauguration of the Conde del Guadalhorce dam, the trail became forever known as El Caminito del Rey, the King’s little pathway.
While formally closed, guides still provide unofficial tours of the pathway which has been featured in National Geographic and climbing magazines. The regional government of Andalusia and the local government of Málaga have agreed to share the costs of restoring the pathway, to include construction of a car park and museum. They allocated some 9 million Euros to the project in 2011 but as of 2014 work has not yet started. Work is currently expected to begin at anytime, the budget now reduced to 3 million euros, with a projected completion date of February 2015. The restoration work will aim to maintain the pathways original features while keeping as much as possible to the original designs and materials.
Once hydroelectric projects were completed, the path was still used for a period to inspect the water channels, and workers regularly traveled its length to operate a water wheel at its far side regulating channel flow.
Quick Reference Guide
Location: El Chorro, Spain.
Getting There: Fly into Malaga, Spain. Rent a car and drive to El Chorro, Spain is your first option. Your second option is to travel by train from Malaga to either El Chorro Train Station on one of the two daily departures or to Alora on one of its hourly departures. Alora is 12km from El Chorro and you can take a taxi to El Chorro for 20 EUR.
- Train information: renfe.com
- Taxi Alora: +34 952 496 424
Best Time to Hike: Year round, though if combining with a climbing trip Spring and Fall offer the best sending temps.
- 30m rope, we brought our 60m climbing rope
- Rock Climbing Approach Shoes
- Via Ferrata Set
- Albergue ‘Camping El Chorro’, nearest campground to the climbing, market in town and the El Chorro train station
- La Finca la Campana, FAR end of El Chorro
- Complejo Turístico La Garganta, posh 3* accommodations in the heart of El Chorro. Niiiiiiiiccccceee! If you don’t stay here, at least rummage for spare change in your dirty clothes to eat dinner here.
- Dial ‘112’ for emergency services