Driving the stunning Pista de Ruego to Minas de Liena

Pista de Ruego is the name of a stunning drive climbing up to the abandoned Minas de Liena, in Aragon, an autonomous community of Spain. It's one of the highest roads of Spain. 

Pista de Ruego

Is Pista de Ruego paved?

Tucked away on the northeastern part of the country, within the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, the road is mostly unpaved. Starting at Parzan, the first 4,5km are very narrow but paved.

Is Pista de Ruego dangerous?

The most challenging part of the drive is beyond Chisagüés, a small town. It's a very narrow path, impassable for 2 cars at the same time, featuring extremely dangerous drop offs (over 600 meters), and not for the sissies. The last km is very rocky, with loose stones and rocks and a series of hairpin turns. The road, also known as Camino de las Pardas o de los Ingenieros, shouldn’t be attempted by those who don't know how to reverse. It’s definitely not for anyone suffering from vertigo. If you are fearful of heights this is the last place on Earth you’ll want to be.

Do I need a 4x4 vehicle to drive Pista de Ruego?

Running through the scenic Barrosa cirque, the road has a small fee (3,5 euros) and a capable 4x4 vehicle with high clearance is required to complete the drive. The track has 3 parts. The first kilometers are open to passenger vehicles; on the middle section you’ll need a high clearance vehicle, and the last part is for 4x4 vehicles with high clearance only.

Is Pista de Ruego open in winters?

Expect snow, fog, cold and rain, even in summers. The road is impassable from November to June. It’s said to be the highest road of the Spanish  Pyrenees. 

When was Pista de Ruego built?

The road was built in the 1900's, to reach a small lead and iron mine, known as Minas de Liena, at an elevation of 2.580m (8,464ft) above the sea level, near Cima Liena, a mountain peak, also known as Punta Liena. The mine ceased its activities in 1924.

Is Pista de Ruego steep?

Starting at the paved Carretera Aragonesa (A-138), in the village of Parzán, the road to the abandoned mine is 16.6 km (10.31 miles) long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1456 meters. The average gradient is 8,77%, with extremely steep sections, hitting an 18% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. 

Is Pista de Ruego scenic?

Set high in the Espierba range of the Pyrenees, the drive features stunning views of Monte Perdido mountain. The track was heavily used by smugglers in the past.