We promised to write about this. Didn’t we?
Today we present detailed information about one of the most spectacular paths on the summit of Mount Teide: the trail to the Pico Viejo viewpoint.
What you can see on the trail to Pico Viejo
Walking along the Teide National Park’s trail No. 12 you can observe:
- How lava tongues gushed down the slopes of Teide almost reaching the walls of the cirque.
- The vertical formations of Roques de García. (Look around and search for the premises of the Parador de Turismo hotel to orient yourself).
- The multicoloured crater of Pico Viejo volcano at the end of the trail.
- From the end of the trail, you can also make out the outline of the southern and western coast of the island of Tenerife and distinguish towns, large tourist resorts or the Reina Sofia airport.
- You will be able to spot the island of La Gomera, which will appear to be a stone’s throw away.
- And little further than La Gomera on the horizon, the islands of El Hierro and La Palma.
Points of interest on the trail to the Pico Viejo viewpoint
You are probably wondering what are the must-see spots you should stop at if you choose to walk this path of great scenic and volcanological interest. The characteristic lava flows can be seen on this route, with the climax of the spectacular crater of Pico Viejo, 800 metres in diameter.
We present 3 of the 7 must-see stops you’ll want to do while you follow the trail to Pico Viejo on Teide.
Do not leave your camera at home!
Stop 1 on the trail to Pico Viejo: caldera
This trail offers a complementary view of the majestic Las Cañadas Caldera, so take your time to peacefully take it all in and enjoy the breathtaking views.
Did you know that the natural boundaries of the National Park are marked precisely by the edges of the caldera, which is an elliptical depression measuring 16 x 11 km, inside which the Teide stratovolcano was formed?
And do you know where the name of Las Cañadas comes from?
It comes from the plains that extend at the foot of the caldera’s wall, which were used as a cattle route (known as “cañada” in Spanish), and that were formed because lava prevented the waters that descended from the walls to find a way out, causing the materials carried by these waters to sediment and accumulate at the base.
The biggest one of these plains is known as Llano de Ucanca (No. 6 in the picture).
On the wall of the caldera to the right of the cable car tower, rises Guajara peak (No. 1), the biggest summit of the cirque.
If you look at the base of Guajara peak you will see the yellow spots of El Capricho (No. 2).
If you look along the top line of the wall, you will see the big lava “cake” of Sombrero de Chasna (No. 3) stand out; and further to the right near the end, El Sombrerito (No. 4).
Can you see the black lava inside the caldera to the far right? It corresponds to the eruption of the Narices del Teide (Teide’s Nostrils) craters of 1798 (No. 5). Indeed, the last historical eruption in this area!
In the distance in the south, if there aren’t many clouds (we refer to the phenomenon of Mare Nubium, or Sea of Clouds), you can see the coast with Montaña Roja (Red Mountain) to the left, the coast of Las Galletas and the profile of the great Guaza mountain near Los Cristianos.
And if weather conditions permit, from this point of interest on the trail to the Pico Viejo viewpoint you will be able to see the islands of La Gomera and El Hierro on the far right of the horizon.
Stop 2 on the trail to Pico Viejo: an ancient crater
Can you see the whitish hill that extends to the left of the path at the very beginning of the trail to Pico Viejo?
It is a remnant of the ancient crater that existed before the last eruption of Teide! What do you think about that?
Did you know that all this light-coloured elevation is altered by hot, sulphurous fumes and water vapour from the fumaroles that you will encounter along the way?
You may like to know that from this place you can also enjoy your first glimpse of the rocky outer edges of the crater on the summit of Mount Teide.
Stop 3 on the trail to Pico Viejo: fumaroles
Check out the first curve just after leaving behind a long, straight stretch of the trail!
Here, you’ll have to make a stop and marvel at the fumaroles in the ground with white and yellow deposits or efflorescence.
Why do these fumaroles on the trail to the Pico Viejo viewpoint have this colour? It’s a result of the sublimation or direct change from gas to solid of some of the substances from vapours around fumaroles.
Take the camera and place your hand near a fumarole because you will want to make this warm moment last forever.
How about booking a date and time to take the cable car to enjoy this sensational trail?