- Distance: 5.5 km
- Slope: 700 m
- Senyalització: no senyalització
- Duration: 4h 30min
The walk starts at Refugi Josep Maria Blanc (2,350 m), which can be reached from Espot in 2 hours 45 minutes following the path marked as GR-11-20, via Lladres lake.
On leaving the refuge we walk to the dam on Tort de Peguera lake and pick up a path along the foot of the dam. From here we take a cairned path which climbs above the northern shore of the lake and heads west towards a water channel. We cross this and keep climbing till we reach a small plateau beside La Cabana lake. We carry on down a short drop to its outlet (2,378 m). Once at the northern-most point of the lake we follow a channel up to the west, following the cairns to the shelves above. We continue to the north-west through beautiful landscape, passing a hidden tarn (2,506 m) which is in an area called Estanys Escondits, or “Hidden Lakes”. To the west we can see the two peaks of Monestero.
A little bit further up we pass another tarn on our right (2,550 m). We keep climbing this basin to the west to a series of lakes. We keep to the track, which is easy to follow, reaching another pool with a large rock at its side (2,600 m).
We pass the pool on our left and climb gently to the eastern shore of Amagat lake (or Estany del Pui) (2,620 m).
This long lake is the highest within the National Park’s boundaries and lies, from north to south, beneath grassy slopes dotted with rocks beneath Coll de la Valleta Seca.
To reach the summit of Monestero we walk to the left-hand (western) pass between Pic de la Valleta Seca (2,836 m) and Monestero. From this pass (2,793 m) we climb southwards along a rocky stretch through treeless terrain that is covered in grassy patches. We follow the sheep tracks to the top of Monestero (2,878 m), crowned by a great rock field. From here we can see a wonderful panorama of the surrounding mountains.
We come down from the summit to the north-east, without losing much altitude, until we reach Coll de la Valleta Seca (2,722 m). We carefully descend a channel of granite sand, where it is difficult to make out a path. It’s a good chance to stop and savour the wildness of this spot.
We cross this long coomb, with small grassy meadows dotted with granite scree. Abundant cairns make it possible to find our away in this unusual environment. On the other side of the valley, we pass the first pine trees on our left and the track gets easier to spot. We continue with the peaks of the Encantats above us.
The walk now leads us into the Samboiné woods, through which we descend easily, heading north all the time.
After about 4 hours 30 minutes’ walking we reach Refugi Ernest Mallafré, at 1,896 metres. Sant Maurici lake, which gives its name to the park, is a few minutes’ walk along a park track which comes up from Espot.
- Aigüestortes and Sant Maurici Lake National Park
- Refugi Josep Maria Blanc
- Tort lake de Peguera
- Cabana lake
- Estanys Escondits
- Pic de Monestero
- Amagat (or Pui) lake
- Coll de la Valleta Seca
- Els Encantats
- Samboiné wood
- Refugi Ernest Mallafré
- Sant Maurici lake
For this walk, you need mountain boots and a rucksack with warm clothing and rain gear. If there is snow, you will also need crampons and an ice axe.
You should not embark on this walk without having taken these precautions. You should inform the wardens at the mountain refuge of the route you intend to take.
High mountains are a particularly delicate ecosystem: do not leave any trace of your presence. Take all your rubbish down to the valleys and dispose of it in the bins there.