Ordesa National Park Itinerary

Starting point: Ordesa car park, 10 km from Torla.
Time: a full day.
Time of year: from May to October.

(i) This itinerary takes the visitor to an altitude of almost 2,500 m to enjoy sightings of the most alpine of species: Wallcreeper, Alpine Chough and Snowfinch. It is, however, a long uphill hike which will require about 10 hours and an ascent of more than 1,100m from the starting point in the Ordesa National Park car park. If you feel sure you can do it then it's well worth it, for both the birds and the scenery.

From the car park head northwards following the path that will take you up the long, steep ascent to the Faja de las Flores (in the general direction of the Circo de Carriata). Look skywards before entering the forest, as you may well spot Red-billed Chough, Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture or even Lammergeier flying around the vertical rock faces towering over you.

When you finally emerge from the forest keep an eye out for Rock Bunting and Citril Finch in the appropriate areas, where there are also Water Pipit, Northern Wheatear and Black Redstart. On arriving at the Clavijas de Salarons take a rest while searching for the Wallcreeper. From here follow on to the Faja de las Flores where, apart from having another opportunity of seeing the prized Wallcreeper, birds like Alpine Swift, Alpine Chough and Snowfinch may be claimed as just reward for your efforts.   

To make the descent continue to the Circo de Cotatuero and follow the downward leading path running parallel to the barranco. With some luck you may spot Alpine Accentor in the rocky areas or the scree slopes before descending into the forest where the Black Woodpecker breeds.

(ii) A second easier-going option, although still requiring a full day's walking, would be to follow the Senda de los Cazadores from the car park to the Cola de Caballo waterfall. This path runs along either side of the River Araza, but if you start out north of the river and return via the south you will be spared the steep climb up to the Calcilarruego viewpoint.

Although there is little chance of seeing the high-altitude species that inhabit the Faja de las Flores a good array of interesting species can still be observed, including Lammergeier, Golden Eagle, Black Woodpecker, Water Pipit, Dipper, Ring Ouzel, Citril Finch, Crossbill, Alpine Swift and Ortolan Bunting.