Tenerife – Hiking around the white volcanic rock Risco Blanco

Regenbogen vor dem Risco Blanco


Hikes around the striking rock Risco Blanco

Risco Blanco with La Gomera in the background

The Risco Blanco is situated in the Teno Mountains and separates the Barranco Natero and the Barranco Seco with its ridge. Today I would like to introduce a small hiking tour from El Molledo to this beautiful white rock Risco Blanco. But those who want to hike more than just a little, will get their money’s worth in the surroundings of the Risco Blanco. Climbers can conquer the summit. And on the ridge there are wild goats to see from time to time.

Wild goat on the summit plateau close to Risco Blanco

Those who want to see these can descend on this hike at the foot of the Risco Blanco and hike on the lonely mountain ridge in front of it. It then descends a few metres on winding paths, which can also be climbed again. And if that is not enough for you, around the starting point El Molledo and the Risco Blanco there are countless hiking trails that can be easily combined with the hike to the Risco Blanco.

back of Risco Blanco - view from the summit plateau

El Duce and the Risco Blanco

A local greengrocer told me many years ago that the Risco Blanco was also called El Duce. Of course I wanted to know what the reason was. He said that Franco was also called El Duce. And the Risco Blanco has similarities with the profile of the former dictator. Is that so? In any case, I asked some older native villagers in Tamaimo and El Molledo and they all confirmed this story for me. Then maybe there is something to it. Find your own opinion. But now to the hike around the white volcanic rock.

Track hike El Molledo - Risco Blanco - plateau

General information about the hike around the Risco Blanco

Starting point and approach:

Starting point church in El Molledo

The starting point of the hike to Risco Blanco is the church square of El Molledo (small village at 880 m above sea level), which is located on the TF-82 between Tamaimo and Santiago del Teide.

postsign Risco Blanco

Arrival by car:

El Molledo can be reached via the TF-82 from Los Gigantes or Santiago del Teide. From the south you can also take the TF-1. Then take the exit at the end of the motorway and drive in the direction of Los Gigantes. In the village and around the church square there are plenty of parking spaces.

Arrival by bus:

The Titsa bus lines 325 (Puerto de la Cruz – Los Gigantes), 460 (Icod de los Vinos – Adeje), 462 (Guía de Isora – Los Gigantes) stop in El Molledo. You can find more information on the Titsa Homepage.

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Time:

I don’t like to give general time information for hiking tours, because the times are very individual. Those who only want to hike to the foot of the Risco Blanco will need about 2.5 hours for the way there and back. Those who want to hike further to the rock plateau should plan in approximately 1,5 hours more.

elevation profile El Molledo - Risco Blanco - summit plateau

Difference in altitude and distance: 

The height difference is gross with up and down about 340 meters. The distance to the foot is a little over 2 kilometres and to the rock plateau a little over 3 kilometres long (outward and return route therefore just over 4 and 6 kilometres respectively).

Requirement:

hiker on the trail TF PR 65.1

The hike to the foot of the Risco Blanco is easy. It is a relatively manageable hike on good and signposted hiking trails. But those who then want to go further down to the ridge of the Risco Blanco and climb to the rock plateau in front of it, have to reckon with partly impassable paths. Here, sure-footedness and a head for heights are absolute prerequisites. Also the way is not always easy to find.

Refreshment:

There are restaurants, bars and shops only in Santiago del Teide or Tamaimo (some kilometres away from the starting point). In El Molledo there is a small local supermarket. Therefore, take enough water and food with you.

description see variants

Variants:

This tour can be easily combined with various other hiking and circular walks in the vicinity. In El Molledo you cross the Camino Real, which leads from Los Gigantes to Santiago del Teide (description hike on seven islands). The Barranco Seco hike also starts in El Molledo. Further the small Teno round touches the today’s tour. There I have already given a short description of this tour as a variant. Not far away are also the round tours over the Guama and to the rock gate El Bujero. The picture with the tracks gives you only a small impression of the many possibilities on site.

view from the trail to El Molledo and Mount Teide

You can decide yourself if you want to do the “easy” hike to the foot of the Risco Blanco or if you want to hike even further to the rock plateau. Climbers are also welcome to climb the white volcanic rocks from the foot of Risco Blanco. The path to the summit starts at the foot of the Risco Blanco and climbs to the left of the rock. Since I was not yet up there, I can’t say more about it, but I have often seen “climbers” conquer the rock.

On the track you will see a track marked in orange. This is a small variation of this tour. You can walk half way back to El Molledo over a rocky plateau with beautiful views towards Tamaimo. Here you have to be sure-footed on the small path. The trail ends on the normal hiking trail over the height of Tamaimo to El Molledo. There you can turn left and walk back to El Molledo in about 20 minutes.

Risco Blanco Massiv

Hike around the Risco Blanco

El Molledo section to the waterhole

The starting point of this hike is the church square in El Molledo. From the church in El Molledo, go straight ahead along Calle La Calzada and at the end of the village you will reach Barranco de Santiago, which you will cross. Here you cross the Camino Real, which runs between Los Gigantes and Santiago del Teide. On the other side of the Barranco, after a fork in the road, you go uphill. To the right is the path to Santiago del Teide. Go straight on and follow the signs for Risco Blanco (Trail 65.1), which you cannot miss. There are large signs at the crossroads.

Hiking crossroads in El Molledo and Teide in the background

Alternative paths

The hiking trail is initially easy and later also steep in some passages uphill across the slope. The path is easy to walk, not exposed and easy for hikers to find. This may also be the reason why a hiker is never completely alone up here. Relatively often you will meet individual hikers, but also whole groups. At one point the path forks and you have two possibilities. Either you go up the steep path on the right, where there is a crossed out cross at the front. There you have to climb up narrow rock steps. Or you can continue straight down on the hiking trail.

Old fountain with inscription from 1936

On the Track you can see that I went both ways.It is on the way up right and on the way back down around. On the lower way you pass a waterhole, from which the inhabitants of El Molledo partly get their drinking water on foot. Try the water – it tastes really refreshing and cannot be compared to the taste of the water bought from the supermarket. If, like me, you have a dog with you, you can fill it up with a little water. I really like this place around the water hole. You find an old stone with an inscription from 1936. But as you can read on it – always turn the tap off again.

hiking path Risco Blanco to the summit plateau

Section watering place to high plateau

You follow the path until you reach the pass at about 1000 meters altitude. On the pass you have a magnificent first view of the Risco Blanco and the Teide behind you. A path leads straight on. This is the path marked orange in the track, which you can take as a variation on the way back if you want to climb a bit. But now you turn right to the Risco Blanco. After some time you come over red rock and shortly after you pass a lonely finca. You bypass it on a narrow path. And then you stand on a small plateau with some ruins.

lonely situated finca behind red rocks

From here you have a fantastic view of the Risco Blanco and can look into the Barranco Natero from above. If the weather is good, the view extends far over the Teno mountains and to the neighbouring islands of La Gomera and La Palma. The ridge in front of the Risco Blanco is also clearly visible and you can walk down to it.

bypass at the watering hole

Route section high plateau to foot Risco Blanco

You circle around the ruin and follow the path steeply downhill. First you go down in serpentines. Then change sides on the ridge from left to right. On the right side of the slope you continue downhill. And in about 20 minutes you will be standing directly on the small saddle in front of the Risco Blanco. The official hiking trail to Risco Blanco ends here. A hiking board gives explanations and the place is suitable in the best way for a rest.

View to the Guergues Steig on the opposite side

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Now you are after up and down again approximately at the starting altitude (850 altitude meters). Immediately below the huge volcanic rock you can enjoy the view in all directions. Peak climbers can now climb the Risco Blanco directly from here. If you have had enough, you can take the same path back to El Molledo or take the branch (marked orange) over the rock formation to Tamaimo.

descent Risco Blanco - deep down the Barranco Natero

Section foot Risco Blanco up to a rock plateau

If you want to go a little further and are not afraid of narrow, partially overgrown paths, you can now climb down from the main path to the right onto a small path. I’m writing climbing because this path actually slipped a bit during my last visit in November 2018 and we had to scramble over screes and slippery bushes and stones. The small path leads you on the right side past the Risco Blanco. It goes down steeply. At first the path runs straight and then in small serpentines. There is also a little scramble over rocks.

ascent path to the summit plateau

When you have reached the bottom of the rock, you change to the other side of the slope. Now you follow a path that runs directly along the slope and is partly marked with stone figures. On the side of the slope it goes straight ahead for a while, partly through bushes. Then you reach a rock plateau. You cross the rock steps on the path marked Steinmännchen downhill.

Risco Blanco - El Duce?

Section Felsplateau up to the mountain ridge in front of it (plateau)

From the large rock terrace, turn left until you reach the mountain ridge. Follow the ridge on the right side of the slope down a narrow path. Here the path is mostly very overgrown. To your right is the Barranco Natero and to your left the mountain ridge in front of the Risco Blanco. You walk down the path to a height of about 700 metres. Then the small path goes straight on. There you can work your way further down to the ridge.

view to the summit plateau above the Barranco Seco

However, you follow a very steep stone step path on the left side. This will bring you steeply up to the rock in front of the Risco Blanco in a short time. At the top you will find yourself on a large rock plateau on the ridge.  There you can enjoy a wonderful view in all directions at a height of 760 metres. On the left you can see down into the Barranco Seco and on the right into the Barranco Natero. This is an ideal resting and picnic spot between jagged rocks. And if you are very lucky, you will meet wild goats there.

Wild goat on the summit plateau

And finally

I hope you enjoyed the hikes around the Risco Blanco. Just try out what is the best alternative for you. And if you meet a big old goat, please greet him from me. Have a lot of fun hiking!

Dagmar von Siebeninseln

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3 Replies to “Tenerife – Hiking around the white volcanic rock Risco Blanco”

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