El Camino del Rey
From: Alex Simon
Sent: Sunday, September 28, 2014 10:38 PM
Subject: Caminito del Rey restoration
I saw your page about El Caminito del Rey and I
would like to give you some updates.
The path will be completely open to public in
March 2015, work is underway for seven months
already. It will be less of a climbing spot and
open more to all types of people.
I am in charge of the website
and I can provide you photos of the work
done (already I have not uploaded them well).
I would be very glad if you would mention my
site on your page as I will post regular updates
about the path.
Hiking Trail: El Camino del Rey Walkway
El Camino del Rey
the name of a
very dangerous walkway that winds
its way along the steep walls of a narrow
gorge known as El Chorro. The bridge in the
picture on the right is part of El Camino del Rey.
The El Chorro gorge is located in Spain near
Alora, a village close to Malaga. As you
can see from the map, El Chorro is very close to the
According to Wikipedia,
El Chorro is a limestone gorge in Andalusia
(a province in southern Spain),
through which passes the Guadalhorce River.
This river was dammed in
1921, forming three reservoirs which are flanked by
thick pine forests.
Rivers, lakes, canyons, and trees are the trademark of the
an area renowned as
being one of the best rock climbing areas in Europe, but is
also very popular for mountain biking, hiking, and camping.
The El Chorro gorge sits next to the 700m high
Desfiladero de los Gaitanes Pass
(see picture. If you look closely, you will see the walkway
on the side of the mountain).
This pass is famous for a
very dangerous path called El
Caminito del Rey (The King's
little path). The path
was constructed back in 1901. It
got its name because the path
was officially opened by Alfonso XIII of Spain.
People have traversed the path for many
years now, but the path has fallen into serious disrepair.
Official access to the path was removed in 2000 after
a tourist died trying to cross it.
However that doesn't seem to have stopped many people.
El Camino del Rey remains a popular climb even today
thanks to a very unusual Internet video.
Here is a passage that describes
Camino Del Rey:
El Chorro is one of the strangest
places that I have ever climbed. The Camino del Rey
is a walkway constructed on the gorge wall.
It travels the full length of the gorge and sits a
hundred meters above the canyon base is an unusual feature.
Walking out on this 80 year-old suspended sidewalk had me
shaking in fear from the sudden exposure.
The walkway is no
longer in the best shape, with sections of concrete broken
away. Even though parts of the walkway have fallen, walking
the full length is still possible. It is said that the
walkway was built so that the King could observe the
engineering work taking place in the gorge. Instead of
Royalty, the walkway now carries climbers to their chosen
climb. Climbs are positioned above and below the walkway.
Access to other climbs can be attained by walking through
the train tunnels and following the train tracks, preferably
Rick Archer's Note:
As you can see from the picture on the left,
Caminito del Rey (El Camino del
Rey for short) is a
frightening mountain walkway
The El Camino del Rey walkway was
built in 1901. This
narrow, gut-wrenching path is only 3 feet wide!
The path is held to the mountainside by pins driven into the
stone. If you fall, it is
nearly 700 feet the river below. How
would you like to trust the building technology of a century
It was built to allow local
workers the ability cross between
two nearby waterfalls, Chorro Falls and Gaitanejo
Falls. It served as a shortcut
so the workers would not have to climb down the mountain on
one side and climb back up on the other.
Now a century later, the walkway
has fallen into a state of serious
disrepair. Many parts
of the walkway have completely collapsed, leaving nothing
but a metal beam and a wire between you and 700 feet of
nothing. As you walk the narrow
path, whatever you do, don't look down!
The danger doesn't seem to stop people from climbing it.
This walkway serves as time-saving
approach to Makinodromo,
the name of a famous climbing
sector of El Chorro. Since the
walkway is just as much a shortcut today as it was one
hundred years ago, people risk their lives on a daily basis
despite its illegal status.
Several years ago El Camino del Rey became famous
thanks to an amazing 6-minute video. Although I was
unable to learn who actually filmed it, I watched the
incredible footage with my mouth wide open. The video
is so riveting you feel like you are the one risking your
life (the horror movie Cloverfield was filmed in a
very similar style). Some intrepid climber videotaped
the entire route himself. He shot footage with one
hand while barely keeping his balance with the other hand.
Watching the gaps in the path plus all the insane
people he had to pass
along the way made me queasy. I
could barely stand it! I was
convinced he would fall at any minute. I
actually developed a bad case of vertigo even though I was
sitting in complete safety at my computer screen.
Thanks to this infamous video, El Camino del Rey has
acquired a bizarre status. Today El Camino del Rey
serves as a death-dying climbing
dare for adventurous people.
Rick Archer's Note: Now you need to go watch this
incredible famous video. The El Camino del Rey video
is posted in many places on the Internet. For your
convenience, I have listed two places to view the video.
Take your pick; it's the same video.
If one of the links stops working,
please let me know and I will find a new one.
From: Götz Gressnich
Sent: Sunday, August 16, 2009 11:19 AM
Subject: Camino des Rey video
Since you asked people to report, I wanted to let you
know that both video links you provided in your Camino
del Rey article are dead. The first one apparently lead
to Brightcove.TV which went off the air, and the second
took me to an article on planetmountain.com which
contains an embedded YouTube video that has been taken
offline for copyright violations.
Keep up the good work =)
Note: As of August 17, 2009, I put in two new links.
Please let me know if they stop working (
Another link to El
From: J H
Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 4:36 AM
Subject: el caminito del rey
if you go to youtube and type in "el caminito del rey
original version" you will see the 9.35 minute version.
there is a girl climbing who also appears to be on the
shortened version so it appears that this is an accurate
discription of this tape. hope you will find this useful. it
also has the opening sequence of the music. regards
Letter Twenty Six: Regarding
Angel's Landing in Zion and El Camino del Rey
From: Sarah Brown
Sent: Friday, November 26, 2010 4:22 PM
Subject: Angels Landing in Zion and El Camino Del
Hi there. My name is Sarah, and I am from Cambridge
in the UK and rock climbing is a hobby of mine. I'm
writing this from a B&B in El Chorro, Spain,
however, where I have just completed one of my
life's ambitions - both yesterday and today I
traversed El Camino Del Rey, which was amazing fun.
I guess I want to say a a few things about it. The
first is that it's a type of trail known as a via
ferrata. Via ferratas are "equipped paths",
originally invented in Italy for alpine troops to
move around the mountains in WW1. They still have a
lot of them and they are a popular tourist
attraction. I did some in the Italian dolomites in
August this year. A basic via ferrata consists of a
steel cable which to follow. Wearing a climbing
harness, you use something called a Via Ferrata kit
attached to your harness which consists of two
lanyards with carabiners at the ends as well as a
shock absorber, to break your fall should you lose
your grip. The idea behind having two lanyards is
that each time you pass an anchor point, you unclip
one, clip it to the other side, and then follow with
the second. That way you are always attached to the
In addition, a via ferrata will often have ladders,
stemples, pegs etc. drilled into the rock to help
El Camino Del Rey is equipped as a Via Ferrata -
most of it is protected by stemples or a steel
cable, and by via ferrata standards it's actually
really easy. Anyone with climbing skills would
consider it a walk in the park. Without climbing
skills you would want a guide, but you will need a
head for heights - it's really exposed, and the bits
where the concrete has fallen away are kinda spicy.
They make great spots for photos to terrify your
friends with though!
The cable is also a lot thinner than a typical Via
Ferrata cable. I wouldn't like to rely on it to hold
me in a fall, but it probably would. I honestly
think the Via Ferratas of the Italian Dolomites are
scarier and tougher than El Camino, although perhaps
not as famous nor as unique! The thing is, I've seen
people take kids on some of those!
Anyway, I noticed on your site that you asked about
Angels' Landing in Zion, and that's why I have
decided to write to you. I go to Zion most years, to
descend the canyons there. It's a lot of fun. No
trip to Zion is complete without doing the Angels'
Landing hike though, and I have been up there
The hike itself is quite short - 2 1/2 miles in each
direction (it's an out and back hike), and starts
from the valley floor on a mostly paved trail,
ascending over a thousand feet up a series of
switchbacks to a junction called Scouts Lookout.
Left is the west rim trail, which eventually leads
out of the park. Right is the half mile ridge hike
to Angels' Landing itself.
Angels' Landing is a 1500 feet high promontory
sticking out into Zion Canyon. In places the walls
on either side are sheer all the way down and the
path is only a few feet wide. There are chains to
hold on to in the more exposed bits. It's a very
popular hike and lots of people attempt it, and
scare themselves silly! Most I would say reach the
top. While a few people have died falling from
there, if you take care and pay attention to the
weather, I really don't think it's dangerous.
Certainly unlike El Camino Del Rey, you don't need
climbing experience to hike to Angels' Landing - its
not technical in any way, it's just a hike with some
very long drop offs! Still, if you search the web
there are plenty of dramatic photos of it up there.
It has to be one of the coolest walks in the world
though, and rightly deserves a mention on your site.
The view from the top is incomparably stunning, and
if you find yourself passing through Southern Utah
on I15 with a day to spare, do take a diversion and
check it out - I promise it's worth it!
In a nutshell, I think Angels' Landing is probably
one of the more extreme things you can do as a
hiker. El Camino Del Rey is a not-especially extreme
thing to do as a climber, but it is interesting and
fun! As a climber I felt pretty safe up there, but
without proper equipment and technique it would be
very easy to die.
Meanwhile I have to work out what's next on my list
after crossing off El Camino Del Rey. That's the
problem with life goals, isn't it? What to do when
you've accomplished them!
Let me know if you'd like photographs of either -
I'm sure I could dig some out for you.
From: Mike M
Sent: Thursday, April 14, 2011 2:26 AM
Subject: El Camino Del Rey
Just found your site on google, I hiked El Camino Del Rey a
year or two ago, and just found out its going to be fixed. .
Thought it might be of interest to you since I saw this
article. Have a good day!
Thursday, April 14,
El Caminito Del Rey To Be Restored
million over 4 years to fund the
restoration of the landmark El Caminito Del Rey was decided
yesterday, with one of its major obstacles being the
funding. The full council of Malaga approved a multi-year
economic plan to fund the works between 2011 and 2015. The
investment amounts to 9,076,880 euros, which will be
contributed equally by the provincial body and the Junta de
Andalucia at a rate of 907,688.05 per year for each
“The board has already prepared the decree and we are committed to
signing it on June 17, following the local elections,” the president
of the council Salvador Banner announced yesterday, adding that,
once the agreement is signed, it will bring the contract for
execution of work very near.
Thus, it seems that the landscape is cleared for the execution of
the works presented by the project commissioned by the council and
presented last December. The study, prepared by the engineering firm
specializing 75, presents a complete rehabilitation of the bridge
built in the 1920's to gain access to the dam of El Chorro, between
the towns of Ardales and Alora.
“This is a very important project for recovery of historical
heritage and also fuels the most important economic activity:
tourism,” said Salvador Banner.
On the other hand, the council said that a second phase is to build
a visitor reception center and small museum of hydroelectric power
in the region. The institution said that it also maintains
conversations with ADIF (Railway Infrastructure Manager) for the
train to go directly to El Chorro and rehabilitate the halt of
A Note from Mike one
April 18, 2012 2:04 PM
Subject: El Camino Del Rey Part 2
This is Mike from
I emailed you a while
back to let you know about the upcoming restoration of El Camino. I
have some more info on the path, actually a couple things.
First, as a fun thing, I
posted a clip from the 1965 film Von Ryan’s Express which features
Caminito Del Rey Von Ryans Express Video
And second, which is more
exciting, is the fact that the walkway we all know and love, is
actually only half of it! The path actually starts up again and
goes twice as far, which I never knew, and don’t think most people
do. I just posted a detailed article on it including photos here:
El Camino Del Rey Second Half
Hope this message finds
Directions to El Caminito
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2011 12:21 PM
To: 'Rick Archer';
Subject: directions to El Camino Del Ray
To get to El Caminito,
catch the train to a town called Alora.
Alora is about 12 or 13 km away from El
Choro, which is your final destination. There is a train station in
El Choro, you can try and catch a train directly there, but the
trains do not run often. From Alora take a taxi, I believe there is
only 1 taxi, the driver's name is Antonio,
and if you ask at the local bar outside the Alora train station
they'll call for you. About 20€ for the ride, which is likely too
much, is expected or whatever you can negotiate.
Antonio will drop you in El Choro at a market which has a flyer for
the local climbing shop which is just down the road. Arrange a rough
time for Antonio to come pick you up, allow plenty of time to catch
your train as he'll probably have to drive from Alora to come get
you. Head down the road, it's pretty obvious which direction you
need to go to find the trail, and you'll find the climb shop to your
If you already have a harness, the straps,
and carabiners, you can skip this part, or go in and ask any
questions you may have. If you plan on renting your harness, be
aware that they only have 2 for rent, and they may already be
You may have to buy your harness, it cost
about 65 euros. The shop is run by a German guy who can answer
questions. I'm not a climber so I need all the info I can get.
DO GET A HARNESS as no matter how confident
you are in your abilities, the path is old and falling apart, and
you don't want to be the sucker who makes the next section crumble.
Even the cables you latch into are questionable, so don't fall.
Now that you have your harness, continue walking up the path with
the river on your left, its about 15-25 minutes to get to the trail
head. You'll start to see things you recognize, then you'll catch
your first glimpse of the bridge and El Camino Del Rey high up on