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Refugio Casa Forestal Collado Zamora - Belerda

Long stage of 18 kilometers in which we descend more than 700 meters of altitude to move to the southernmost part of the natural park. In the initial part we will contemplate great views towards the countryside areas, both in the province of Jaén and Granada, as well as the mountainous massifs of Magina and Sierra Nevada. The landscape is abrupt and steep, with large rocks and limestone walls that determine our course throughout the journey, dominating the pine forests up to the Puerto de Tíscar, and from there we will see more humanized landscapes.

Most of the stage runs along the quiet forest track of the Barranco del Garbanzal, built mainly to extract wood from these forests in the last century. In addition to the steps over the Béjar stream, the Cueva de Jaén or Barranco del Moro stream and the Extremera river, it will be amazing for us to cross the Pasada de Bosques, under the vertical walls of the Picones de Fique, a track so narrow that he barely lets a vehicle pass, which became a forest lane more than thirty years ago thanks to the perseverance and tenacity of a forester named Bo ...


Technical information

Route Name Rutas Bosques GR247

Rutas Bosques GR247 12: Refugio Casa Forestal Collado Zamora - Belerda


COORDINATES Según Proyección UTM Datum European 1950:

Refugio Collado Zamora: x500164 y4188084
Belerda: x497597 y4179428

COORDINATES Según Proyección UTM Datum ETRS89:

Refugio Collado Zamora: x500053 y4187877
Belerda: x497486 y4179221


Asphalt or cement section 16,94 %

Section of track or forest road or promenade 75,67 %

Senda section 7,39 %

tramos-de-Vía-pecuaria 0 %


5 h 51 min


630 m
1410 m




Severity of the natural environment



Orientation in the itinerary



Difficulty moving



Amount of effort required



The Collado Zamora Refuge is accessed by the JF-7093 forest track from La Iruela or from the Source of the Guadalquivir. This track can also be accessed from Quesada by track JV-7107.


Belerda is accessed by the A-6206 road from Tíscar, turning off the JA-7200. It is also accessed from the nearby town of Huesa.





Puerto de Tíscar

Km 12,8



Km 15,6

Km 15,6

Km 15,6

Km 16,7

Km 16,7


From kilometer 13.1 to 13.7 the path is not very defined and the terrain is quite uneven.


Port of Tíscar, Arroyo Vadillo, Tícar, Belerda


On the trail: Belerda
Near the trail: Quesada, Huesa


PR-A 316


Fork of slopes Collado Zamora

This stage begins, leaving the main track on which we have arrived here and descending by another much narrower forest track heading south. At 100 meters we find a barrier that limits access to motor vehicles, we cross it and head towards a fairly deep ravine that crosses perpendicularly. The soil on this slope is quite poor, with rock outcrops that largely condition tree colonization. Here the black pine has no competitor, twisting its roots between the rocks to cling to life.

Béjar River

We cross this high mountain river, seeing on the left one of the many dams built in these mountains to stop the erosive action of the water. We will find notable differences in the vegetation between different slopes, even at the same altitude, which is due to the different microclimates that are generated depending on the type of soil and the orientation, which determines the light they receive and the temperatures.

Botanical interest area

In one of the curves through which this forest track descends, we find a unique corner that will attract our attention because it is different from what we have seen so far. There is a fence that surrounds an area of ??special protection, to the right of the track. Both inside and outside of it there are specimens of species more typical of the north of Spain than of the south, which contrast with the vegetation that surrounds us and form a small botanical island, isolated because similar conditions are not found for several kilometers around. In addition to maples, oaks, boxwoods and honeysuckle, we will see several examples of yew, the oldest tree in Europe, made of very resistant wood, which in past times was highly appreciated in the manufacture of arches and in shipbuilding, and which curiously had a More than important role in Roman times, as its deadly toxin was used as a poison, since all parts of the tree were poisonous except for the reddish pulp of the aril that surrounds the seed.

Arroyo de la Cueva de Jaén

After enjoying some exceptional views over the town of Quesada, Sierra Mágina, the Barranco de Béjar and Collado Zamora itself, the starting point, we leave a small rounded promontory on the left with no tree vegetation, 3.6 km from the beginning . Below us, a ravine announces the proximity of the Arroyo de la Cueva de Jaén. This place is ideal to observe a colony of griffon vulture, which on the other side of the ravine finds in the strata of a sedimentary fold the ideal holes and ledges for resting and nesting. In addition to hawks and other raptors that inhabit the entire park, in this area we can hopefully contemplate the agile and majestic flight of the largest of our raptors, the golden eagle. For bird watching it is convenient to go as unnoticed as possible, so it is not convenient to leave the track. They are protected birds and the vertical walls are of great importance because they are their nesting points.

Continuing our track we will leave two lanes to the right before reaching the Arroyo de l ...


Extremera River

The vegetation has changed drastically, appearing the Aleppo pines mixed with holm oaks, kermes oak, junipers, and boxwood. We arrive at the Extremera river, whose crystalline waters descend from the Barranco de los Arenales and the Barranco Extremera, both located under the Picón del Guante, another of the peaks of this area, to later cross the Cerrada Extremera, located to the left of the track where we are. We will have to ford the river and discard another track in poor condition that comes out to the right after 100 meters. From here we will walk parallel to the limestone cliff on the left, while to the right the olive groves mark the limit of the protected area.

9.6 kilometers from the beginning, in a small clearing of the forest, we leave the ruins of the El Garbanzal forest house on the left, of which there is hardly a small wall. A few meters away we find a fork in the tracks and we must continue to the left, to make one of the most spectacular sections of the Bosques del Sur trail, the Pasada de Bosques, crossing the Picones de Fique. It is hard to believe that vehicles can pass this road, as it is impressive even when walking. After progressively approaching the vertical limestone wall that we keep to the left, the path gains height to cross through a gate between the stones.


When leaving the gate we find another barrier that limits vehicle access. We are on the hill of Los Picones and to the left El Rayal, 1834 meters high, catches our attention. A few olive and almond trees in front of us indicate that we have reached more humanized landscapes. We come to a track that is wider than the one we have taken up to now, at which junction we must continue to the right downhill until kilometer 12.3 of our route, where we will reach the A-6206 road. This will accompany us to the right for 500 meters, now in a gentle climb.

Port of Tíscar

We crown the Puerto de Tíscar at an altitude of 1183 meters. In addition to quenching our thirst at the fountain that exists there, the Torreón del Infante Enrique is a must, with its striking exterior metal spiral staircase. From here, large expanses of both the countryside and the mountains are dominated, dominated by peaks such as El Rayal and El Caballo.

Our route continues along an olive track, which alternates in sections with a bridle path heading southwest. We walk downhill and in the direction of another watchtower, located on the rocky crest of the Peñas Negras, standing out in the valley. On this route we will cross the A-6206 road twice, until we reach the Vadillo fountain, located next to a bar-restaurant. There we cross the Arroyo Vadillo and join the aforementioned road 15.3 km from the beginning.


We travel about 300 meters along the road to deviate, to the left, through the entrance to Tíscar, which means passage between mountains in the Berber language. A curious tunnel under a building gives access to the small square where the Tíscar sanctuary is located, where we will also find several fountains. In the sanctuary, the access doors to the church through the atrium, the sacristy and small terracotta images of the Virgin and the Evangelists stand out. And just above, above the village, is the watchtower, difficult and dangerous to access.

After visiting Tíscar, we will exit through the other existing entrance, and we rejoin the road to the left, just where a small viewpoint is located on the fence that the Tíscar River has formed below us.

We walk along the asphalt road for 200 meters to deviate later to the right, following a sign that indicates «Natural Monument Cueva del Agua». We leave the asphalt access track to the cave just 100 meters away, to continue along the dirt track to the left. A small circula ...


Mr. Pedro

We access this village from its upper part. It is very small and somewhat scattered, around a single descending cemented main street. It receives its name in honor of the infant Don Pedro, uncle of Alfonso XI, who in 1319 conquered the Hispano-Muslim fortress of Tíscar. With less than a hundred inhabitants and surrounded by mountain olive groves, its neighbors seem to have stopped time and maintain a strong attachment to their customs and traditions. Along a cement track we descend between olive groves, leaving on the right the so-called Blue Pilon, a place of magical beings and legend, which is located right where the ravine opens, where a charming waterfall precipitates the waters of the Tiscar river over a pool, originating a pleasant freshness and a unique bathing area during the summer.


Later, the cement track runs very close to the Tíscar river and parallel to it. We pass an entrance to La Mendoreja to the right, a small farmhouse halfway between Don Pedro and our end of the stage, which is Belerda. It is nestled under the shelter of large rocky walls and is one of the most picturesque and welcoming villages in the entire area. It is also the starting point of the next stage of the Bosques del Sur trail, which starts to the left, just 100 meters from the end of it.

Both in the Tíscar area, as in Don Pedro and Belerda, there are tourist accommodation, mainly rural houses, and it is advisable to arrange the reservation in advance.

Additional information

The mountain goat

The current abundance and the extraordinary adaptation to the environment of the mountain goat (Capra pyrenaica) give this species an unbeatable animal halo, resistant to everything. Actually, it is resistant to almost everything. Endure the cold, the snow, the wind, the ice, the heat, the rocky soils, the shortage of food in winter. But it is fragile to a wrong management of its environment by man. We had the proof at the end of the 80s of the 20th century, when the park was on the verge of completely losing the species that has so often been described as queen of the peaks.

Indeed, at that time an epidemic of scabies was unleashed, caused by the Sarcoptes scabiei mite, which in just over a year wiped out 90% of the ibex. Their populations were reduced from about 10,000-12,000 individuals in 1986, to about 250-300 to what they remained in 1991.

Several were the causes that originated this drastic decline. Among them stands out the overpopulation of deer, fallow deer and mouflon, having been the last two s ...