Empedrats, Cap de la Boixassa and the Adou del Bastareny
The calcareous terrain of Alt Berguedà has given rise to several springs of water that gush out in very spectacular fountains and waterfalls. The most typical are the Fuentes del Llobregat, but in the Bastareny valley, near Bagà, we find the main concentration of springs and waterfalls in the region: the Adou del Bastareny, the Bullidor de la Leche, the Los Empedrats waterfall and the waterfall de Murcurols offer four jumps of very different and original formations. This route connects them all and, in addition, goes up to the Sant Jordi refuge and the Boss de la Boixassa to have a wide perspective of the Bastareny Valley from the heights. We recommend doing this route after a period of heavy rains, or in spring with the thaw.
- Difficulty: easy-medium. It does not present any special difficulty but it has a significant slope in a few kilometers and some section with crossroads in which it is good to consult the GPS.
- Elevation gain: 1,052 meters of accumulated ascent
- Time: between 4h30 and 6h according to rhythm and stops
- Kilometers: 15 '7 km
Variants: The four waterfalls of the Bastareny valleys can be visited separately from the bottom of the valley. From Cal Cerdanyola we access the Bullidor de la Leche and the Empedrats waterfall in half an hour, and if we follow the forest track by car, we get close to the Adou and the Murcurols waterfall in no time. Likewise, there is the possibility of following the route of the PR-125 all the time, which from the neck of La Pelosa descends directly towards Cal Cerdanyola in a 10 km route.
We leave the car in the Cal Cerdanyola car park, a rural accommodation at the foot of the river and next to the Vientos del Cadí refuge, the point where the Cavalls del Vent route passes. It is common for the car park to be full by mid-morning on weekends, so we may have to leave the car a little later.
We will begin the route of the Empedrats following the PR-125 that leaves next to the bridge that crosses the river, to the right. We will continue along a path that runs through the bottom of the valley in the middle of a red pine forest and with several sections of spectacularly strong bojedal. The route is a classic in summer for those looking for a place to cool off, since we will be following the river all the time.
After about 15 minutes, we crossed the river by a bridge and in a few minutes we reached the Bullidor de la Leche crossing. We turn off along the path to the left that crosses the stream by a wooden lever and climbs steeply up a section of rock and a bojedal to reach the Bullidor de la Leche upwelling. It is a natural spring that comes out through a fissure in the rock about 3 meters high. It is usual that it is dry if it has not rained for weeks or in periods of drought. Just below the waterfall, a spectacular rock channel forms in which the stream descends like a water "slide". In periods of abundant rains, this point becomes very spectacular and there is a small viewpoint to contemplate the water as it lowers.
We undo the path to the detour where we have left the PR-125 and resume the path of the Empedrats (precisely at this point is where we see that the original path was paved and hence the name has remained, this was one of the most common routes to cross the Berguedà in La Cerdanya). In a few minutes, the path is encased in the Strait of the Empedrats and we will have to cross the stream up to three times. If a lot of water goes down, we may have to get our feet wet at some point.
After this section, in less than a quarter of an hour we arrive at the Empedrats waterfall or the Cola de Caballo, a waterfall with a pool that in summer is a good place to cool off. We cross the Fuente del Faig stream again and now we will go up the right bank through a rocky area where we will have to be careful with wet rocks if the water drops. Just above the big jump, we find some other equally nice little jumps.
We continue following the PR-125 markings and now we climb decisively while behind us are the walls of the Strait of Empedrats. Higher up we find a detour to the right, but we follow the PR marks, to the left.
We continue climbing, now more gently through an area of pines and boxwood, and we gain height with respect to the stream, to our right. Further up, we cross it again and continue through a sparser forest area, with some beech trees, until we reach the Gran d'Escriu Fountain (about 30-35 min from the Empedrats).
We continue, again, along the left bank of the stream and in half an hour we arrive at the Sant Jordi refuge (1h30-1h40 'from the beginning). The refuge is located in an area of meadows at the foot of the Moixeró mountain range. Towards the south, we see the entire valley through which we have climbed, and upwards, we could cross towards Cerdanya by the Coll de Pendís, two hundred meters higher.
We, however, chose to go up to the Boss de la Boixassa. Therefore, from the refuge, we undo the road until we find the indicator sign where we return to the PR-125 towards the southwest. We go up through a black pine forest, we pass a fairly large cave and we arrive at a hill from where we will already see our objective. We continue along the foot of the ridges of the head of La Boixassa, and we cross several channels of scree. We reached the ridge through the Paso de la Boixassa and discovered that the sunny slope is completely covered by boxwood (hence the name of the top). Now we will only have to climb the ridge by the easiest way to reach the top in a matter of a quarter of an hour.
We reach Cabo de la Boixassa (1820 m, 2h 30 'approx.) And we contemplate the wide perspective to the south, the eastern slope of the Cadí and the Pedraforca. To go down, we undo the path to the Paso de la Boixassa and continue down following the path of the PR that goes down the southern slope in the middle of the boxwoods.
In a short time we arrive at Coll de la Pelosa, a point where it can be accessed by forest track. Now we only have to go down the forest track until we reach the bottom of the valley. We will see that in a short time the PR-125 markings march along a path to the left: it is the fastest way to return to the point of origin, but to go to the Murcurols and Adou falls, the best way is to follow the track.
On the way down, we can shorten the wide loops made by the road, but we choose to go down gently following the forest track. After almost an hour of descent, we passed the Monnell's house and reached the bottom of the valley. On the other side of the valley, we will see where the Murcurols torrent descends. To get to the waterfall, we will need to take a path to the right (local trail markings) that goes down until we cross the Muga torrent and goes up a few meters until we reach the foot of the Murcurols waterfall (be careful not to deviate at a point where there are a fence on the other side of the stream, we need to continue to the right).
At the Murcurols waterfall, the water has formed a curious, truly original stone slide. In summer it is common to find it dry, so it is best to go after a period of rain.
We undo the path to the forest track and go gently down the valley floor until we reach the foot of the Adou del Bastareny in about 15-20 min. To get there, you will have to follow a very easy indicated path that passes by the river. This is one of the most spectacular points of the route since it is a natural spring that comes out of the middle of the rocks and collects a large part of the underground water of the Sierra del Cadí. During the thaw and after the summer and autumn rains, it is the best time to feel the roar of water coming out of the Adou.
We go back and continue along the forest track gliding gently. After 2 more km on the track and half an hour, we finally arrive at Cal Cerdanyola, the point of origin of this route.
Image and text authorship: Sergi Boixader