Peña Prieta: Queen of the cordillera

Peña Prieta, with 2539 m is the highest point of the Cantabrian Mountains. This mountain ridges are forming a natural border between three provinces: Cantabria, Palencia and León. This area is fully integrated in the Natural Reserve of Fuentes Carrionas and Fuente del Cobre, a place of great interest from the flora and fauna point of view: not in vain is nestled in the Cantabrian brown bear territory.

When seen from Potes, Peña Prieta stands out for its clean lines and majesty, being marked by dizzying channels, quarries and small glacial lakes. It´s so easy to understand the reason of  it´s name: prieta means “black” in the popular slang, due to different rock types that make up this mountain with rather dark colors. In the north face, its outline is softened at its base by the green meadows of “Puertos de Riofrio”.

The route we are going to undertake is considered one of the normal itineraries; it starts  in San Glorio (1617 m) mountain pass to reach the large hillock named Robadorio (2092 m) through the Portillo de las Yeguas. From this point its´s where the ridge follows an aesthetic line of summits composed by Los Altares, Alto del Cubil Can and Tres Provincias, ending in the summit of Peña Prieta.

The views could not be better: we are surrounded by the higuest and most iconic mountains of the Cantabrian Cordillera (Curavacas, Espigüete, Pico Murcia, Pumar, Mampodre, Ubiñas, Sierra de Peña Labra, Campóo), and to the north, by the Picos de Europa, with the Liebana basin separating the two large massifs. The descent takes us through the Vega Naranco, turning this round tour.

In spite of this route it´s not a technically difficult one, it requires to be used to 6 to 8 hrs walks in the mountain besides a medium to good physical condition.

For more information about Peña Prieta, see the following link:


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