Tour of the Gresolet Valley

Tour of the Gresolet Valley

The Gresolet Forest is probably the most spectacular and typical beech forest in Berguedà, as we find some of the largest monumental examples of beech trees in the country. You can do the long version (the one with the truck), or do the short one, which would be to go and return to the Les Molleres fir tree.

The discovery of the bottom of the valley is a reward. The views of the north face of Pedraforca are exceptional and the autumn colors of the valley floor are unique. On this route, we not only reach the monumental trees, but we also seek to make a circular route to see the entire valley, from below and then from above, following a section of the Cavalls del Vent.

  • Difficulty: Easy-medium. No special difficulty, it is enough to be alert to the steep descent slope.
  • Unevenness: 952 meters of accumulated ascent.
  • Time: Between 4 and 5 hours to go all the way around. Partial: 30' to the Beech trees of Clot de l'Om, about 30 minutes more to the Haya Gros de les Molleres and the Abeto de las Molleres, 1 hour to Collell, 50 minutes to the Estasen refuge, 12' to the viewpoint of Gresolet and 1h15' to the Gresolet sanctuary car park.
  • Kilometers: 4.5 km.
  • Variants: You can do the route only of the monumental trees in about 2 hours and about 6.5 km. round trip without making a circular route. You can also leave from Saldes and follow the path of the Coast to Gresolet and return from the Estasen refuge towards there. Finally, the return can also be followed by other sections of the Cavalls del Vent towards the Coll de la Bauma and turn around along the track that goes along the southern slope of the Cadí.

How to get

From Bagà it can be accessed via Gisclareny and the Coll de la Bena forest track at Coll de la Bauma and get off at the Gresolet Sanctuary. From the road from Maçaners to Saldes, there is also a track that goes down to the Sanctuary of Gresolet. For low cars, the route coming from Saldes is better, but the tracks are in good condition.

Tour of the Gresolet Valley

We leave the car park that is about a hundred meters below the Gresolet Sanctuary. We will see the signpost that marks the path of the local trail that goes to Collell signposted as 11 - Les Molleres and also with the signs of the monumental trees that we will find. As soon as the track begins, we see a Natural Park fence and a small space where we can leave the car.

We continue along the forest track walking, first along the sunny slope of Cadí. We can perfectly see all the shade of Las Molleras and the beech forest in front of us. Above it rises the imposing north wall of Pedraforca and, behind it, little by little we move away from the Gresolet Sanctuary and the Moronta Strait, where the valley drains to the south.

After about 10 minutes on foot, the track begins to enter the beech forest, with some goads, some ash trees and some isolated pine trees. We go higher and higher as we get closer to the bottom of the valley.

About 15-18 minutes after starting, we find a detour to the left of the track with a signpost that marks the monumental trees of Clot del Olmo and Molleres de Gresolet. From there, we leave the track for a while and follow the yellow markings, which with stakes indicate the way.

Shortly after, we cross the Les Molleres torrent (the Gresolet stream) and, just on the other side, we find a sign indicating the monumental beeches of Clot de l'Om, on our left. A few steps further, we come to the four giant trees. Their dimensions are surprising since they are beech trees of unusual size, they are probably more than 200 years old. Opposite we have beech I which has recently fallen and makes it difficult to access beech II, higher up on a steeply sloping terrain. Beeches III and IV are on the left, side by side. Until here it will take between 25 and 30 minutes to arrive.

Tour of the Gresolet Valley

We go back a few meters to the last signpost and now continue along this side of the stream in the direction of the two monumental trees that we are missing: the Faig Gros and the Molleres de Gresolet Fir, just over a kilometer away. The path, sometimes blurred by beech leaves, is marked with yellow stakes, so there is no getting lost.

We are gaining ground and pass through an area with several beech trees that are also quite large (although they are not monumental). All this gives us the sensation of being in a mature forest, unusual in our country that has traditionally exploited the wood of the forests.

After about 10 minutes of walking through the forest, we cross a stream that descends from the Gerdera Canal and we find the forest track again. We now continue along the track, inside the beech forest, surrounded by quite mature trees.

5 minutes later, we find the detour to the left with a signpost to go to Faig Gros and Avet de les Molleres. From here to the trees it is about 20 minutes one way up a steep climb and a little less on the way back. To get there, we will follow the yellow stakes that will be especially useful in some clearings in the forest and in some sections where the path turns.

We climb a steep slope to overcome the 150 meter drop that separates us from the Avet de les Molleres. The path goes through various forest clearings heading south and then turns to the right. We pass a stretch of uphill beech forest and we will come out in another clearing, where we will turn left. When we re-enter the forest, the Haya Gros de les Molleres appears, which is the monumental tree with the thickest trunk in the Gresolet beech forest. Really, being at his feet is impressive, and the verse on the label of the tree is appropriate.

We pass behind Faig Gros and go up a bit further uphill. Afterwards, the path turns to the left and plans until Avet de les Molleres. The measurements of this fir tree are spectacular and it is one of the 5 tallest in Catalonia, with 35 meters. Around us, we see other fairly large fir trees that give that feeling of mature forest and other cut vines that make us imagine what this forest must have been like before practically everything was cut down during the 40s and 50s.

Tour of the Gresolet Valley

We undo the path to the track and continue up to go towards Collell. A few minutes later (5-8 min) we find a turning to the left with a milestone and a path that continues straight on. To make it easy, let's ignore the milestone and continue along the straight path since further up the paths meet again.

We continue along the track for about 5 more minutes until it ends and becomes a path. From there, a half hour of steep ascent awaits us until we reach Collell. The forest has also changed. We have left the beech forest behind and are now surrounded by pine trees and boxwood undergrowth, the most common and characteristic forest in Berguedà. Along the way we find some green and white local trail markings, you have to look closely.

Photographs and text authorship: Sergi Boixader

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