Circular route from Barranca to Maliciosa (and Bola del mundo)

The route from the Barranca to the Maliciosa is one of the classic crossings of the Sierra de Guadarrama. It is an easy route with little technical complication and ideal to know this beautiful National Park north of Madrid. The Malicious next to the World Ball They are two of the great classics of hiking in Madrid, do you want to know an even more daring circular ?.

Circular circular route from the Barranca to the Maliciosa

The Malicious and the World Ball are two points that can be accessed from countless trails in Guadarrama. For example, from Sierra calf we have the spectacular southern face of the Malicious or another circular no less impressive as the one that starts from Mataelpino. But perhaps the most classic is the climb to the World ball from Navacerrada, the busiest route next to the ascent to Peñalara. In any case the Sierra de Guadarrama gives a lot of play and the route we have today travels through a classic area and another not so well known and little marked, a route that will make it easier for hikers who like somewhat longer routes.

Circular Route

Departing from the Barranca

We start from the parking of the Barranca along a track where vehicles can no longer circulate. As soon as we start walking we have a beautiful reservoir on the right, that of the Army of the Air, surrounded by pine trees and with the powerful saw at its back. As you ascend, you will be able to cross places where people normally do picnic and even do adventure activities in an area of zip lines.

Air Army Reservoir
The ravine

After the set of zip lines we hesitate to shorten through a path that crosses the stream that descends from the mountains, but if you always follow the marks white / yellow of the route, very marked in the trees, you will not miss at least until the Source of the Bell. One of the main points and where most of the walkers go is the Campanilla Fountain, the end point for many if above all you are accompanied by children or family.

Campanilla Fountain
Rise to the Malicious

Leaving the source behind the route begins to change abruptly. From being under the shelter of the trees we pass to a completely clear landscape. The ground changes, and it is filled with large stones to start a large stone. In this part of the route you can see on the right the Vulture Rope and in the background, as a false top, the Piornal pass, at 2,074m.

Ascension to the Malicious

The Collado del Piornal joins both the Malicious and the Ball of the World. When you reach this hill, if you go to the right, you will ascend by a path with little difficulty to the Malicious leaving behind you the ascent towards the Ball of the world and to the right the descent towards the parking of the Barranca.

Rise to the Malicious

Going up in the direction of the Malicious is taking unevenness little by little, especially as you get closer to the top. From the Barranca it takes around 2h to reach the top of the Maliciosa and many choose to return along the same path to complete the route in less than 4h. If you see yourself with strength, it is best to return by Collado del Piornal to take the World Ball and make the route in a circular way.

Heading to the World Ball

We made the route in mid-May and the whole hill was covered by a lovely white cloak, especially around the antenna and the booths that make up the World Ball. Upon reaching the ball there were more than one meter and a half of snow, so sometimes we sank to the knee. We circled the ball to the left to take the path that goes toNavacerrada, road that 20 minutes later we leave to take a somewhat hidden path to undertake the cliffs of the Heirs.
World ball
World ball

From Emburriaderos to the Barranca

From this point we walk practically alone except for some mountain goat that appeared on some hill. This point of the route is possibly the most beautiful, both for the views of the Malicious and the Navacerrada Harbor. You walk along a narrow path and through a hill overlooking vertigo.
From Emburriaderos to the Barranca
From Emburriaderos to the Barranca

You have to be careful not to get lost, but be careful, deep down it has no loss, as you will always see To your left, very far down the Barranca, parking and the reservoir, three points that will always mark your destination. There is a moment of the route, when you start to get down a little, which goes constantly parallel to the mountain leaving the hill on the right. In the end this path communicates directly with the tracks that go to the ravine.

Sierra de Guadarrama
Sierra de Guadarrama

Once on the slopes you have two options, shorten making a straight towards the parking lot or go around the slopes. It's up to you :).

Practical data

How to get?

To reach the Port of Cotos there are several ways. In car, by the Port of Navacerrada or by Rascafría, or by train from Cercedilla (line C9).

Recommended reading

Here are two guides that bring together 50 routes of the Sierra de Guadarrama and Gredos. Totally recommended.

  • Rother's Sierra de Gredos
  • Sierra de Guadarrama de Rother

What clothes to wear in winter?

  • Long pants, thermal shirt and fleece
  • Hat and gloves
  • Primaloft if you are cold
  • Raincoat or third layer for wind or rain
  • Long boots and winter socks
  • Crampons and ice ax, the top may be frozen
  • Leggings. Here is a good example of Leggings and eye with size.
  • Backpack of at least 30l
  • Trekking sticks
  • Map/GPS. Without this, don't even show up. As a GPS, our recommendation is Garmin GPS 64

More routes in the hiking section and Guadarrama