How To Travel The Defiant Pista de la Estiva in Bielsa
Pista de la Estiva is the name of a stunning drive through the mountains, in Aragon, an autonomous community of Spain. It’s a great drive with exceptional views.
Tucked away in the northeastern part of the country, within the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, the road, also known as Pista de la Espierba, is mostly unpaved. The road has a small fee (3.5 euros) and a 4x4 vehicle is required to complete the drive. Near its end is a small mountain cabin, known as Caseta de la Estiva.
Set high in the Espierba range of the Pyrenees, the drive features stunning views of the mountains. It climbs up to Pico de la Estiva, a mountain peak at an elevation of 2.107m (6,912ft) above the sea level. It’s one of the highest roads of the country. The drive has very narrow parts, impassable for 2 cars at the same time, featuring extremely dangerous drop offs (over 600 meters), and not for the sissies.
Starting at the paved HU-V-6402, the road to the summit is 11.7 km (7.27 miles) long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 918 meters. The average gradient is 7.84%, with extremely steep sections, hitting a 15% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Expect snow, fog, cold and rain, even in summers. The road is usually impassable from November to June.
Pic: Keith Rose