Route to Brañagallones

La Vega de Brañagallones is a chimerical place, a dream landscape of glacial origin in the heart of the Redes Natural Park. Its compound name is faithful to nature and ethnography in equal parts. Like many other brañas – called Mayan in the municipality of Caso – it summons the herds of the area in search of summer pastures. On the other hand, gallu monte or gallón, is the term with which the locals know the capercaillie, a legendary bird that once had up to six cantaderos here (places where the males show off for mating).

Latitude: 43.1048698 Length: -5.3060532
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A vast field surrounded by dense beech forests y large moles of limestone, with dozens of pastoral huts well preserved within its limits. A territory that delights hikers and that has become one of the greatest attractions of this region.  At an altitude of 1225 meters, this meadow became a real town during the summer. The ranchers lived in more than thirty cabins. They went up to the braña looking for fresh pastures for their animals (cattle, sheep and horses) and established a permanent mail with towns like Bezanes, to which donkeys loaded with milk churns arrived daily from the plain.

In addition to the work of grazing, many cowboys took advantage of the summer to improve their economy, making Madreñes with local wood, for example. During their long stays they gave proper name to all corners of this space. Starting with La Coyuga, its initial part, adjacent to the source. To the left, Les Moñes. To the right, El Pelambre. Les Llombes, its highest part. El Requesón, its central area; o El Pandiellu, where it is currently located the shelter of Brañagallones, one of the best of its kind in the entire Principality - it has around 40 seats and top-class equipment.

How to get to Brañagallones

The casina town of bezanes (650 m.), Rural nucleus located on the edge of the AS-117 road, is the starting point of this excursion that will take us to its flying crests. We have to follow the short itinerary PR.AS-66, low-medium difficulty. A total distance of about 20 km and about 5 and a half hours round trip.

We will leave from the parking lot. The path along which we walk goes up from the southern limit of the town, the slope of La Roñada peak, describing a large arc with hard slopes. You pass next to the Los Arrieles winter resorts to immediately reach the panoramic viewpoint of the cantu texu of La Oración (973 m.) (2,4 km, in 1 hour), whose history takes us back to ancient times. It was the meeting place for shepherds to exercise their pagan and later Christian rites. From this lofty promontory you can see good images of the Casina orography.

Route to Brañagallones

After the hard slopes, the track follows the mountain well above the Monasterio River ravine, heading clearly south. After skirting the cliffs of the texu Los Carrascales, you enter the hanging meadows of Coto Abellar, with huts scattered in the profile of the hillside. The route continues along the track ahead, crossing the high and successive sheepfolds of Raigau, La Cardosa, El Fondil and Bláiz, presenting ourselves shortly after in Andurviu's sheepfold, where cabins and a good spring (1.073 m.) are distributed (5,5 km, in 2 h. and 10 min.).

If we continue along the original path, which from here goes into ZURE zone allowed, the march enters the forest, under which you can make out a precipice cut to a peak over the ravine. Further on, the track crosses it, under the concreted roof of the Llobu argayu, to immediately cross the carved rock of the Crestón tunnel, drilled in the limestone and that saves the knife of the Pintacanales mountain range. At its exit, there is a Canadian pass and a viewpoint, from which new landscape images are contemplated that continue to continue to the Pandu Quemáu fountain and the Brañagallones car park (1.215 m.) (10,6 km, in 3 h and 30 min). We are located in the antojana de La Vega, as it is also called, or Brañagallones, a true oasis that emerged on the southern borders of Caso. The places that surround the structural periphery of this sheepfold constitute an uninterrupted series of natural values ​​that surprises the hiker. It is protected on the eastern flank by the line of peaks of the Osu ridge and the Príes mountains, while, to the south, the Peña del Viento peaks and the ridged calcareous spurs of the Sellar and Los Fornos peaks compress this area.

Route to Brañagallones

The profusion of trees in many of its areas, mainly composed of beeches, oaks and holm oaks, gives a touch of class at any time of the year. Water is also a basic element in this fantastic nature, where the song of the Osu is constituted as a sovereign watchtower. The rustic cabins, built of stone walls, are still standing and in full use, in perfect harmony with the environment where they settle. On the promontory of Pandiellu (1.240 m.) Is located the refurbished shelter that was hunters and now mountaineering, managed by FEMPA and equipped with all the services, including a guide, that any mountaineer wants, and which is constituted as a starting point towards the surrounding mountains. It is served by an auto-taxi service.

Book «Networks, step by step»

If you want to know first-hand routes and places like this, we recommend you buy the book «Networks, step by step», written by Ángel Fernández Ortega in which he collects mountain roads and routes that he has traveled through this area for more than 40 years.

© · Text of "How to get to Brañagallones" and main photo extracted from the book "Redes, paso a paso" by Ángel Fernández Ortega, edited by Delallama Editorial.

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