Pico de las Nieves

Pico de las Nieves

Pico de las Nieves is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.942m (6,371ft) above the sea level, located in the island of Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain. It’s the highest peak of the island.

The road to the summit is called GC-134. It’s asphalted but pretty steep, with sections up to 23%.The road is certainly breathtaking. Most of the highest plateau is occupied by a military base, including a big soccer-ball-shaped radar. Civilian visitors are allowed to enter a platform somewhat below the base, from which half of the island as well as Tenerife's Pico del Teide, in case of good weather. The name means 'peak of snows' in Spanish and refers to the fact that several pools (neveras in Spanish) for catching snow were built directly below the mountain in the 17th century (1694). The peak could be accessed by car, as there is a road used by the army. The peak is located between the municipalities of Tejeda, Vega de San Mateo and San Bartolome de Tirajana. The route to Pico just gets harder and harder as you approach the summit, and so at the top you’ll have the opportunity to look at the rarefied denim blue sky, at the distant Teide peak on Tenerife, or down to the valley from whence you came and thence forward you descend.

To reach the summit there are 4 possible routes. Starting from Carrizal, the ascent is 26.7 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.835 meters. The average percentage is 6.9 % (extremely steep between kilometers 11 and 14, average 13%, several long sections at 17-23%.). Starting from Tejeda, the ascent is 14.5 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 860 meters. The average percentage is 5.9 %. Starting from Ayacata, the ascent is 11.7 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 600 meters. The average percentage is 5.1 %. And starting from Fataga, the ascent is 29.5 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1.330 meters. The average percentage is 4.5 %.