The Wild Road to Mina de Riosol in northern Spain
Mina de Riosol is an abandoned mercury mine at an elevation of 1.680m (5,511ft) above the sea level, located in the province of León, Castile and León, Spain.
Set high in the Cordillera Cantábrica mountain range, within the Cabañas Valley, the road to the mine, also known as Mina Carmina, is totally unpaved. A 4x4 vehicle is required. The mine was put into operation around 1961, and was active until 1969.
Tucked away in the northwestern part of the country, within the Riosol valley, in the area known as Buecicardiel, access to the mine is typically open all year round, but winter weather may cause restrictions and closures due to dangerous weather conditions. Starting at the paved CL-635 road, the road to the mine is very steep, hitting a 14% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. It is 2.8 km (1.73 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 259 meters. The average gradient is 9.25%.
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