Region: Gran Canaria
Climbing effort: 1311 cep
Elevation meters: 1817
Steepest kilometer: 12.4%
Steepest 250 m: 14%
Foot: 427 m Top: 1939 m
Mean slope: 4.3%
Length: 35.4 km
From: Embalse del Parralillo
Road conditions (2022): good
Other race bikers: 1-5 per hour
Motor vehicles: 30-60 per hour
Scenery and road: (3/5)
Restaurant or bar near top: no
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This ascent to the Pico de las Nieves begins
at the Embalse (reservoir) del Parralillo and runs via Artenara.
In fact, the climb should start in La Aldea de San Nicolás
instead of at the reservoir
but unfortunately the road between La Aldea
and the reservoir was closed when I visited Gran Canaria.
That is why on this website the ascent begins near the reservoir
at the fork of the
ascent described here and the
parallel running ascent to the Pico de las Nieves
via El Carrizal and Ayacata.
The ride is utterly varied
both in terms of the landscape
and in terms of the steepness of the road.
It can be divided into two parts.
The part between the reservoir and Artenara has a length of 16 kilometers. Of these, the first about 5 kilometers are the most beautiful, although they unfortunately take place on a road with moderate asphalt. Vegetation is sparse but both the near and the more distant mountains are steep, rugged and full of colour. First the road runs one kilometer downhill until a bridge makes you switch to the other side of the valley. There the road initially has a relatively small gradient (4-5%) but the next 3 kilometers are harder (average 8.5%). Two easier kilometers (5-7%) follow, in which you cycle past the hamlet of Candelaria, located at the foot of a steep cliff. The road surface is much better now. After that a strenuous section with four hairpin turns (8-11%) follows. Then the really hard work is done for a while. Still eight kilometers remain until Artenara, with the slope varying between -1 and 7%. The road mostly runs through the forest here.
Between Artenara and the Pico de las Nieves (another 19 kilometers) it gets very steep at two more locations. After 6 kilometers up and down (more down than up), we turn left towards Cruz de Tejeda at a roundabout and two viciously steep kilometers (10-13%) follow on a slightly busier, wide road. The heavy work makes it difficult to enjoy the magnificent view of Tejeda and the Roque Bentayga behind that village. During the rest of the way to the summit the gradient varies considerably. Often cycling is relatively easy, for example in the first three kilometers after Tejeda (-2 to 4%), in which, on a clear day, you can see the city of Las Palmas far below. Immediately afterwards you enter the forests with the coniferous trees of the highest part of the island and another steep kilometer of 10%. After that 4 kilometers (0-8%) remain to the Pico de las Nieves, from where you can see almost the whole island on a clear day.