What you SHOULDN’T do Hiking the Sierra Nevada Mountains

The Sierra Nevada mountains are the highest mountain range in Spain and are in the southern part of the country. The easiest city to reach the mountains is from Granada (where I studied abroad!) and is a great day trip.

One of the first things my roommate wanted to do was hike through the mountains. I’ve literally never been hiking before – Louisiana is probably one of the flattest places on earth – but like any good adventurer, I told her I was up for it.

The view from the mountains.

There are two options when wanting to hike the Sierra Nevada: you can either go on one of the guided tours that are offered by several companies, or you can wing it and take the bus and see where it drops you off. Most of the tours offered seemed like you would spend lots of time in a car, so we went with the second option – winging it.

I didn’t do too much research ahead of time because I figured the people I was going with, since they had been hiking before, knew what they were doing. Buut, I would highly recommend planning before hand! (Since you’re reading this article you’re already better off than I was.)

We woke up early in the morning to catch a bus to the mountains at 9 am. It cost 9 euros for a round trip ticket, and we bought ours at the kiosk in the bus station. The bus dropped us off at the ski station of Pradollano, which in the summer months (we went in early June) isn’t as crowded.

As soon as we stepped off the bus, I knew how unprepared we were. I was expecting trees, a little bit of wind, and maybe for it to get a little chilly – the bus dropped us off in snow! Even in the summer months the mountain tops can still receive snow. All I had on were leggings, a light sweater and a jean jacket – and one of the guys in our group had decided to wear shorts! But despite the weather we decided not to waste the day.

There weren’t a whole lot of signs, and I’m still not positive which trail we took (looking online I think it was the Hoya de la Mora trail), but we just started heading up. The trail we followed was not that difficult, but because of the altitude it was easy to lose your breath and the wind was not helping either. The views were not that incredible until we got further from the ski lodge. The higher we went, the better the view got!

We hiked for a good 2 or 3 hours until the weather got the best of us. It started raining/snowing and we had to book it back down the mountain. The weather in the mountains can change fairly quickly. The rest of the time, we spent indoors near where the bus dropped us off and ate and played card games.

Group photo of us near the top. (Smiling through the cold!)

For a trip that cost around 15 euros, I was not disappointed. We obviously weren’t prepared to do some intensive hiking that day, but I’m pretty proud of how far we did go. I would love to try and hike the Sierra Nevada mountains again – obviously dressed a little warmer, or with better weather!

Have you ever tried something during your travels and realized you were totally unprepared for it? Tell me your stories below!

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