Stage 2: Nocito - Bolea

DOLMENS, ANCIENT FARMHOUSES, SNOW WELLS AND WILD RANGES. TODAY WE WILL LEAVE BEHIND THE SIERRA DE GUARA TO APPROACH THE REINO DE LOS MALLOS. BEFORE, WE MUST CROSS GRATAL &CABALLERA MOUNTAIN RANGES THAT SEPARATE HOYA DE HUESCA LOWLANDS FROM THE PYRENEES. TODAY WE’LL ENJOY A ROUTE WITH SPLENDID PANORAMIC VIEWS.

This stage is shorter and has less vertical gain than the rest, so enjoy the trip!  It departs from Nocito climbing up by road to Cuello Bail, a natural pass dividing Nocito and Guarga valleys. There, an unpaved road begins and soon reaches the Ibirque Dolmen, one of the highlights of today. From that point, the track is a continuous up-and-down, riding over  Sierra de Belarra crest watching the Pyrenees on the right and Nocito and Belsué valleys on the left.

The route passes very close to Ibirque, another magical uninhabited village that truly deserves to be visited. After crossing a barrier the first descend starts. We must pay attention to a detour on the left side heading towards Pardina de Ubieto. “Pardinas” were ancient farmhouses where several families made their living from cattle, agriculture and forestry labours in the surrounding mountains.

Just beyond the farmhouse ruins a lovely singletrack descends by the forest parallel to a ravine having some rocky steps. After crossing the ravine the trail goes up passing by Pardina de Ascaso, located close to some natural pools that are a superb place to have a bath. From Belsué to Arguis the route is shared with Camino Natural de la Hoya (garnet signs), first ascending by dirt roads and singletracks to Mesón Nuevo (with short hike-a-bike sections) and then by a nice downhill singletrack to Arguis.

Arguis and its beautiful lake surrounded by mountains is a perfect place to stop, have a snack and refill the bottles. Bordering its Romanesque church we’ll get again to Camino Natural and following it to the west. Then, a long unpaved road climbs to Sierra de Gratal passing by Las Calmas snow wells crossing nice forests of pines and beeches. The second well located at the left side of the road is the biggest one.

Once we’ve reached the col, the track goes flat by the top of the range having amazing views of the Pyrenees, Hoya de Huesca and the whole Ebro Valley. After a viewpoint the route goes down to Bolea snow wells, another interesting spot before taking the last downhill section of the day that can be done by singletrack or dirt road to Bolea. The singletrack is long and enjoyable, its first part by the forest is easier but when the rock arises more technical skills are needed, with some rocky steps before reaching Trinidad hermitage. There, the singletrack ends at the dirt road and only a comfortable descent to Bolea is left. The village has some interesting monuments, standing out the Colegiata which is worth a visit. Congratulations! You’ve finished the first half of the challenge!

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Mesón Nuevo - Etapa 2. Ruta Prepirenaica All Mountain. PREPYR365
Pozos de Bolea - Etapa 2. Ruta Prepirenaica All Mountain. PREPYR365
Dolmen de Ibirque - Etapa 2. Ruta Prepirenaica All Mountain. PREPYR365
Pardina de Ascaso - Etapa 2. Ruta Prepirenaica All Mountain. PREPYR365
Pardina de Ascaso - Etapa 2. Ruta Prepirenaica All Mountain. PREPYR365
Pozos de Bolea - Etapa 2. Ruta Prepirenaica All Mountain. PREPYR365
Type of itinerary: One-way trail
Estimated time: 5 - 7
Distance: 52,2 km
Surface: Road, unpaved road, singletrack
Elevation: 1.255 m
Paved road: 11% - 5,8 km
Physical difficulty: High
Unpaved road: 58% - 30,3 km
Technical difficulty: High
Path: 31% - 16,1 km

Ibirque Dolmen

Uninhabited village of Ibirque

Valle de Belsué

Pardina de Ascaso

Mesón Nuevo

Villages of Belsué, Arguis y Bolea

Embalse de Arguis

Las Calmas and Bolea ice wells

Sierra de Gratal        

Water: Nocito, Belsué, Arguis

Food & drinks: Arguis

Water: Nocito, Belsué, Arguis

Food & drinks: Arguis

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Alternative Variante Ibirque Pardina Usieto por sendero Alternative 1 - Mesón Nuevo Alternative 2 - Pozos de nieve por pista
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Plano 1. Etapa 2: Nocito - Bolea
Plano 2. Etapa 2: Nocito - Bolea
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