About Cascada de Gerber
Cascada de Gerber was an unexpected waterfalling surprise as we made the long drive across the Pyrenees from Torla to Espot.
We didn’t even know this waterfall existed when we were planning the Pyrenees part of our trip.
However, it wasn’t until our daughter noticed this waterfall as I was busy concentrating while driving on the steep switchbacks beneath the Bonaigua Pass did we then acted to pursue it.
According to a nearby interpretive sign, the Cascada de Gerber was 125m tall.
It turned out that we would experience this waterfall in two different ways – one from right at its base, and the other from the road across the valley.
Getting close to the Cascada de Gerber
The route to the base of the Cascada de Gerber began from a very small trailhead area at the end of one of the switchbacks off the east side of the Bonaigua Pass (see directions below).
Once we found the correct pullout (confirmed by a small sign about the Pyrenees) and got out of the car, we followed a lush dirt trail following alongside a small stream.
The trail was composed of a combination of boardwalk and conventional trail.
It didn’t take long before we reached a junction, which was by an interpretive sign (claiming the falls was 125m tall).
We turned right at this junction and went up steps leading right up to the mirador for the waterfall.
The mirador itself was very wet and misty as it was smack in front of the rush of one of Cascada de Gerber’s sloping and twisting drops.
It was so misty at this mirador that I managed to scramble towards a spot that was a little less misty, and that was where I was able to at least take a photo without killing the camera.
We had to be real careful here because it was very wet and potentially slippery.
In any case, this was an example of being a bit too close to a waterfall, especially since our June 2015 visit was during peak flow.
Probably in lower flow, this might be a good way to experience the Cascada de Gerber.
Thus, we didn’t linger here for long, and we were back at the car barely 10 minutes after we had gotten started.
Contextual view of Cascada de Gerber
Of course, our misty experience left a lot to be desired.
So when we continued driving, we were actively looking for pullouts that would’ve given us a more satisfying view of the Cascada de Gerber from across the valley.
Fortunately, there was such a pullout, which I’ll get into later in the directions.
However, the problem with the view from here was that there were power lines cutting right in front of the field of view.
So in order to clean up the view and get the photo you see at the top of this page, I had to scramble down the grassy embankment from the road.
That embankment was essentially a mushy cow pasture full of a minefield of cow dung.
Eventually, after a couple minutes of scrambling, I’d get far enough beneath the power lines to get that satisfying view of Cascada de Gerber surrounded by trees covering the mountainside.
Cascada de Gerber resides beneath the Port de la Bonaigua (Bonaigua Pass in Catalán) near the town of Vielha in the province of Lleida, Spain. It may be administered by the municipality of Val d’Aran. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, you may be able to get leads from this website.
Since we visited the Cascada de Gerber as an unplanned excursion while driving between Torla and Espot, we’ll briefly describe the whole driving route that we took.
However, we’ll devote most of this driving description to the part where we get around the Bonaigua Pass area.
Driving from Torla to the Bonaigua Pass
From Torla, we headed south on the A-135 for about 2km to the N-260 road.
Turning left onto this road, we then followed it further south as it eventually veered eastwards for the next 117km.
The town of Aínsa was around the 44km point and the road passed through a scenically narrow gorge along the way.
Then, we turned left onto the busy N-230 road headed north into the Val d’Aran (which eventually continued towards the French border).
We followed this road to the busy mountain town of Vielha for 34km (including a long tunnel) before turning right onto the C-28 road as it would climb up to the Bonaigua Pass at round 22km east of Vielha.
Descending from Bonaigua Pass to both spots to experience Cascada de Gerber
Beyond the ski lifts at Bonaigua Pass, we then descended the C-28 road for the next 7km or so as we’d eventually find the small car park and trailhead for Cascada de Gerber, which was on the very bottommost switchback.
So overall, this long drive took us about 3.5 hours not counting the stops.
As for the more contextual view of the falls, we had to continue on the C-28 from this trailhead for another 500m.
There was a long pullout on the left side of the road past a gutter.
This was where we were able to stop the car, get out, and scramble lower to get a cleaner look (without the power lines) at the Cascada de Gerber from across the valley.
Driving from Cascada de Gerber to Espot
Beyond this pullout, it was another 13km or so before the C-28 junctioned with the C-13.
Turning right onto the C-13, we then drove for about the next 4km to the turnoff for Espot on the Lv-5004 road on our right.
We’d follow the Lv-5004 road for the last 7.5km into the town of Espot.
Overall, the drive between Cascada de Gerber and Espot would take about 30 minutes.
To give you some additional context, Espot was 204km (3.5 hours drive) east of Torla, 261km (over 3.5 hours drive) northwest of Barcelona, and 311km (under 4 hours drive) northeast of Zaragoza.
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