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Oscuros del Balces, Sierra de Guara

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Les Oscuros del Balces is undeniably one of the most beautiful in the Sierra. With its limestone setting, crystal-clear turquoise waters and exceptional interior gallery, it's a real gem that's a must-see! Accessible, moderately difficult, fairly short and without any throwaway sections, it's obviously a very popular option just a few kilometers from Rodellar. The 2 abseils are short but with plenty of water. A great atmosphere for 2 hours, before exiting into a little paradise of translucent pools to prolong the pleasure a little longer.

Galerie illuminée !

Technical summary

Type ✦ Water canyon

Location ✦ Almunias, Sierra de Guara

Region ✦ Aragon

Country ✦ Spain

Length ✦ 1.5km

Vertical rise ✦ 60m

Difficulty ✦ v2-a5-III

Max abseil ✦ 8m

Duration ✦ 2h

Interest ✦ ★★★

Access to the place

Near Rodellar, between km 9 and 10 of the road back to Bierge, take the track at the Fondo start sign. Follow it, pass the viewpoint and continue a little further to find some small parking lots.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 45'

Continue north on the track, then fork right at a sharp bend (barranco indicated). The path narrows and eventually climbs up to the Balces ridge. The rocky path then descends steeply and dizzyingly, ending at the bottom of the canyon at the Riereta del Balces. Follow the torrent bed to the right along a small forest path on the right-hand side until the canyon narrows and you can see the entrance to the original chaos.

Course 2h

Walking quietly in the starting parade, we soon come around a bend to the chaos of the entrance, which we have to negotiate either by sliding under a boulder and then passing a small siphon without difficulty, or by jumping (1 point to move forward onto the jumping boulder (2m)). We're then at the 1st abseil R1 (6m), which takes us into a small interior basin.

Further on, after threading our way under and through the large boulders (a small slide to be negotiated with care for the head), we swim through an almost black corridor to reach the incredible Oscuro gallery: undulating and striated walls, pink, brown and salmon reflections, sparkling water and, with luck, a shaft of light to illuminate the passage. It's a thing of beauty!

At the exit, we reach the 2nd abseil R2 (5m) with 2 installations on the right and left. Sprayed again, we finish by swimming out of the Oscuros and discovering a little paradise: "el rincon d'a Nuguera". All that remains is to descend the final chaos (easy this time) with a few aquatic options on the right, including an almost underground gallery and an underwater passage in a hole just before rejoining the main bed and the exit at del Tranco As Olas.


Take the obvious path up along a balustrade. The path climbs quite steeply, then crosses a forest to finally reach the pass near the parking lot.

Map & topo



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