Cascada de Gerber

Puerto de la Bonaigua / Parc Nacional d'Aiguestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici / Catalonia Region, Lleida, Spain

About Cascada de Gerber


Hiking Distance: < 1km round trip (to base)
Suggested Time: 30-60 minutes (to base)

Date first visited: 2015-06-18
Date last visited: 2015-06-18

Waterfall Latitude: 42.64317
Waterfall Longitude: 1.00893

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.

Cascada_de_Gerber_048_06182015 - Cascada de Gerber
Cascada de Gerber

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).

Cascada_de_Gerber_009_06182015 - On the short trail leading close to the Cascada de Gerber
On the short trail leading close to the Cascada de Gerber

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.

Cascada_de_Gerber_016_06182015 - Ascending the steps up to the spray from the Cascada de Gerber
Ascending the steps up to the spray from the Cascada de Gerber

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.

Cascada_de_Gerber_022_06182015 - Direct look at the torrent from the Cascada de Gerber
Direct look at the torrent from the Cascada de Gerber

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.

Cascada_de_Gerber_040_06182015 - Context of the C-28 Road looking back towards the Bonaigua Pass as I started the short scramble to a contextual view of Cascada de Gerber
Context of the C-28 Road looking back towards the Bonaigua Pass as I started the short scramble to a contextual view of Cascada de Gerber

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.

Cascada_de_Gerber_055_06182015 - Focused look across the valley at the Cascada de Gerber
Focused look across the valley at the Cascada de Gerber

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.

Authorities

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.

Valle_d_Aran_002_06182015 - This was one of the surprise waterfalls that we saw along the long drive from Torla into Val d'Aran
Valle_d_Aran_013_06182015 - Looking towards this very partial view of a side waterfall that seemed significant, but we couldn't find a pullout with a suitable view of it. This was seen during our climb up into Val d'Aran and Vielha
Valle_d_Aran_016_06182015 - This was another waterfall we spotted while passing through the dramatic Val d'Aran
Valle_d_Aran_021_06182015 - Focused look into a tall and stringy cascade that we noticed during our dramatic drive into Val d'Aran and ultimately to Vielha
Valle_d_Aran_028_06182015 - Driving towards the Bonaigua Pass
Cascada_de_Gerber_003_06182015 - The easy-to-miss trailhead for Cascada de Gerber by the road up the Gerber Valley to Bonaigua Pass
Cascada_de_Gerber_008_06182015 - At first the walk from the Cascada de Gerber trailhead to the mirador was on a lush dirt path surrounded by many trees and bush
Cascada_de_Gerber_010_06182015 - A section where the Cascada de Gerber trail traversed this rock slide area en route to its mirador very close to its base
Cascada_de_Gerber_012_06182015 - The interpretive sign by the trail junction where we would go to the right and up the steps to the mirador for the Cascada de Gerber
Cascada_de_Gerber_031_06182015 - As we were getting closer to the mirador, the spray from the Cascada de Gerber was intensifying
Cascada_de_Gerber_027_06182015 - Carefully going down the wet steps beneath the mirador Cascada de Gerber
Cascada_de_Gerber_034_06182015 - Looking back up at some lower cascades with a hint of the Cascada de Gerber peeking above the trees
Cascada_de_Gerber_036_06182015 - Julie and Tahia back at the car and tight parking space after our short little excursion to Cascada de Gerber
Cascada_de_Gerber_066_06182015 - This was the view of the Cascada de Gerber from the C-28 road at the gutter where we stopped the car
Cascada_de_Gerber_039_06182015 - Contextual view of the pullout, the cow pasture, and the power lines where I got my best views of Cascada de Gerber
Cascada_de_Gerber_053_06182015 - A clean look (without power lines) of the Cascada de Gerber
Cascada_de_Gerber_062_06182015 - The whole time I was scrambling on the cow pasture, I had to keep an eye out for cow patties like this
Cascada_de_Gerber_064_06182015 - Looking back over the cow pasture towards the Cascada de Gerber through the power lines

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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.

Valle_d_Aran_007_06182015 - Looking towards a side waterfall on the dramatic climb up to Vielha in Val d'Aran
Looking towards a side waterfall on the dramatic climb up to Vielha in Val d’Aran

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

Cascada_de_Gerber_004_06182015 - The easy-to-miss trailhead for Cascada de Gerber by the C-28 Road up the Gerber Valley to Bonaigua Pass
The easy-to-miss trailhead for Cascada de Gerber by the C-28 Road up the Gerber Valley to Bonaigua Pass

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.

Cascada_de_Gerber_067_06182015 - Context of the C-28 Road with the narrow gutter (that we used as a pullout) where I started the short scramble down to a contextual view of Cascada de Gerber
Context of the C-28 Road with the narrow gutter (that we used as a pullout) where I started the short scramble down to a contextual view of Cascada de Gerber

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.

Espot_003_06182015 - Approaching the town of Espot
Approaching 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.

Misty sweep looking at the falls from an unsanctioned spot before scrambling towards the official lookout where I get blasted by its mist


Examining the falls from a distance under power lines so I could better appreciate its full size

Tagged with: espot, puerto de la bonaigua, lleida, aiguestortes, parc nacional, national park, estany de sant maurici, catalonia, spain, waterfall, pyrenees, bonaigua pass



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Johnny Cheng

About Johnny Cheng

Johnny Cheng is the founder of the World of Waterfalls and author of A Guide to New Zealand Waterfalls. Over the last 2 decades, he has visited thousands of waterfalls in over 40 countries around the world and nearly 40 states in the USA.
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