Roque de los Muchachos is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 2.423m (7,949ft) above the sea level, located on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands, Spain. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of Spain.
The road to the summit is paved. It’s called Carretera al Roque de los Muchachos. Fog, clouds and snow make the road dangerous. The drive is not for the faint of heart and guests should expect a couple of bends and hairpin turns on the way. For those who suffer from vertigo it is best to prepare yourself beforehand.
Nestled at the highest point of La Palma, the summit hosts the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (ORM), one of the largest arrays of telescopes in the world. This immense climb is one of the best places in the world for stargazing. The road was built for access to the astronomical observatory. The last stretch of road is open during the day. At night, the road is closed to the public. Since it is a mountain road, you have to climb slowly and carefully.
The road to the summit is 3.8km long, starting from LP-4 road. Over this distance the elevation gain is 277 meters. The average gradient is 7.28%, hitting a 12% through some of the ramps. It is a drive-to summit, with a developed asphalt road right to the top, a parking lot right on the summit and an information booth right there.
The beautiful drive is definitely worth it and offers spectacular views. Roque de los Muchachos boasts one of the clearest skies on the planet thanks to the climatic conditions and its unique physical characteristics. From the summit, one can see the islands of Tenerife, El Hierro and La Gomera.