Hiking La Pedriza
La Pedriza is a geological feature on the southern slopes of the Guadarrama mountain range of great scenic and leisure interest. Access is from Manzanares el Real, a municipality in the northwest of the Community of Madrid (Spain).
Geological forces have created a remarkable boulder field of strangely eroded granitic outcrops, and nearly a thousand rock climbing routes of all difficulties are available to rock climbers.
It is one of the largest granitic ranges of Europe and holds numerous peaks, rocky cliffs, streams and meadows. The 32 square kilometres occupied by La Pedriza lies within the National Park of Guadarrama. In this zone, vegetation is sparse, but there are Mediterranean shrubs like the rockrose, and alpine varieties like fabaceaes.
The fauna is rich in birds of prey; the breeding colony of over 100 pairs of griffon vultures is the largest in the Madrid area.
This natural area has been the scene of some movie shootings such as El Cid. The Fall of the Roman Empire or Conan the Barbarian.
The hike will plunge into the valley bottom of Rio Manzanares and after will go slowly but constantly upwards until we reach the highest point of the day, "Goat Pass (1.147m high)". From that point we will have great views of almost the entire granitic formations and their peculiar names.