Hey everyone! Welcome to the third edition of Segovia Outdoors! Today, from the comfort of our couches, beds, and desks, we’re going to take a journey along the Rio Cambrones to Las 9 Calderas, my last trail before the COVID-19 crisis locked us all indoors.
First, as always, we need to know what we’re going to pack! Of course we need the essentials – a nutritious lunch, good hiking shoes, an extra pair of socks, etc (you can check with our previous hikes to see) – but we’re also going to bring something special along – a bathing suit! The 9 Calderas provide refreshing and little known swimming holes perfect for cooling off during a hot summer (or September) day. We’ll need to bring along a towel as well so you’re not sopping wet when you continue hiking. Now that we’re ready, let’s go hiking!
To start off our hike, we’ll use the same path we used to go to La Chorra Grande. Take the M8 to F. Cristal in San Ildefonso, then take the second road to the left to start walking up to the trailhead. From the trailhead, we’ll go straight up to the waterfall, but we’ll stop just below where it becomes steep. Here, you’ll see a dirt road across a creek. From here, it’s easy!
Take that dirt road along the ridge for 8 kilometers (5 miles). The views from this ridge will blow you away, I promise. You’ll pass a couple creeks and lookout spots, providing great opportunities for photos and water breaks. At 8 kilometers, the dirt road joins into another, and from here we’ll descend to the Rio Cambrones.
Now, this descent takes some effort and skill to complete, as it does not really follow a trail. You can see where people have walked before, and it’s best to follow these “paths”. When placing your feet, do your best to find rocks or roots to step on, as they provide the best support. If it has rained or snowed in the past days, don’t try this! Once we descend about 120 meters we reach the river, along which we’ll follow towards San Ildefonso.
Along here, we find Las 9 Calderas. They take this name as they bear resemblance to calderas, or cauldrons, splitting up the river into little swimming holes. The most famous caldera, La Caldera del Guindo, has a small dirt area to lay down and rest at. This one is deep enough to swim comfortably in, and downriver there’s a natural dam to keep you safe from drifting away. If you try to swim in any others, make sure you check the currents so as to not injure yourself or even drown (you should always do this when swimming in nature).
After the Caldera del Guindo, we’ll cross the river and start ascending from the river valley. This trail will take you to a farm, from which you’ll turn left and continue back to San Ildefonso. You will come into the town right at the bus station, but if you have time before the bus, you should definitely check out the town! I’ve got some recommendations for that here.
Hopefully those reading this after the quarantine can make a fun weekend day trip out of this article! And for those like me, stuck indoors, keep this in the back of your mind for when you return to Segovia, either in May or August!