Off Road Huéscar – Rural Explore and Watchtowers
I’m sure we’ve all been driving through somewhere, a stretch of woodland or mountain terrain when we’ve said to ourselves “must come back here some time”. Well, this is one of those places, a line of modest mountain terrain just outside the Andalucian town of Huéscar.
Our first drive through the area was on the way home from a short trip back in 2021, we had an hour or so to kill so decided to explore some trails and ended up driving through the woodland which had an interesting elevation and plenty of tracks to explore.
First though it was up to Perico Ruiz, an observation deck at one of the highest points overlooking the town.
Nice views from Perico Ruiz but not really that much else happening, this one is certainly more about the drive. Next up we headed further up the mountains to a landmark [watchtower] called ‘Atalaya de Almorox’ these old stone towers are dotted frequently around the landscape, many now in ruins and given their vary nature tend to be in some challenging areas, it is rare that you can get a vehicle, even a 4×4 anywhere close.
This one however is different… The route from Perico Ruiz is simple, the track through the forest is direct, all you have to do is make sure you don’t miss the access point to the trail that takes you to the tower. This is where the fun really starts.
On the way down you will notice a mountain bike trail that runs alongside the track, this eventually opens up into what looks like a river bed which is actually a water run off. The drive up here is a short 30 yards or so then you begin the climb [GPS recommended].
As the trail winds its way up the mountain side it does get more narrow and depending on how much recent rain there has been [and how heavy] there are divvets in the track that can be a challenge in places, there is also a deep gully on one side which keeps you on your toes.
The drive is probably around two kilometers, take your time as there is no rushing this one. Getting to the top and you are met with a flat wooded area, quite large and absolutely ideal to set up camp for the day, even better for night if camping was not prohibited although there are NO signs suggesting this…
This is as far as you can get, follow your nose and you are able to go slightly further but rocks are sharp and we decided against it to save tyres and untold aggrivation in a spot where help, should it be required was a long way off.
The final few hundred yards are a short and easy hike up to the watchtower, this is as close as we’ve been able to get the 4×4 up to one of these old towers and it was well worth it, besides from a flat and secluded area to camp up you have the area around the tower itself with some of the best views over the countryside.
The terrain is rough but a nice place to spend some time and create some photography, the tower has clearly been renovated quite recently and it’s position is, albeit a challenge accessable both on foot and by 4×4.
37.8717° N, 2.5231° W
Do we recommend a trip up to the Atalaya de Almorox? Absolutely, for us though we’d do it on a sunnier day as it was a rather cloudy on that weekend in January. Work it in as part of an overland day/weekend as it is quite short, a lunchtime stop off would be ideal.
There are other landmarks and spots in the area to make a full day or weekend of it and if its a challenging but perfectly do-able trail you are looking for then this one should be on the agenda.
Off Road Huéscar? Do you have any other suggestions or hidden trails in the area? Let us know in the comments below or catch up with us on Youtube.