- Location: Ports Natural Park
- Municipalities: Horta de Sant Joan
- Distance: 9.92 km
- Type: Circular
- Difficulty: High
- Duration: –
- How to arrive: To do this route you must be located in Horta de Sant Joan, 20.5 km from Gandesa, the capital of Terra Alta, on the T-334 (C-111). You can also get there from the C-12 (between Tortosa and Móra d’Ebre) by taking the C-112 road. The itinerary starts at the crossroads of the Eras. This is a detour that leaves the paved track that connects Horta de Sant Joan with Mas de la Franqueta located 4.8 km from its start on the T-330 road.
- Description: 0.00 km (552 m). Crossroads of the Ages. Turnoff of the access track to Mas de la Franqueta with the forest track of Les Roques de Benet. Signage of the place and also of the route called “Estels del Sud”. The vehicle is parked on the esplanade of the turnoff and left on foot in an easterly direction, towards the imposing vertical walls that dominate the place. After 150 m, leave the path on the right (S) where you will return, having turned around. Further up, the track turns to the S.
0.94 km (646 m), 20 min. Bifurcation. Continue straight on, leaving a turnoff to the left where the Estels del Sud route goes. Continue south, paying attention to the next detour.
1.30 km (678 m), 26 min. You leave the track and take a shortcut taking a sloping path that comes out on the left towards the walls. Tiresome stretch that leads back to the track (1.46 km, 720 m, 35 min); continue to the left, to the N passing by the impressive western walls of the Roques de Benet. The track follows the base of the rocks, first turning east, then making a slight descent, south-southwest, until the slope stabilizes. It runs flat along the track for about 400 m, until it is abandoned at the next detour, to which you must be alert.
3.52 km (728 m), 1 h 3 min. Torrent de l’Avellanar. Attention must be paid to the busy canal that descends from the eastern sector of the mountain (stone landmarks). You leave the track and take an arduous and awkward climb up the scree that climbs to the right of the track. At the top, on the left side, rises a sharp ridge where you can guess a large opening: it is the Foradada. You have to go through it and, zigzagging, easily overcome a vertical degree. This climbing movement allows you to stand on the spur of the ridge, flattened here and forming a wide ridge (point 3.75 km of the route, 844 m. There are landmarks; the step is clear because the further to the right is look, to the north, more vertical is the wall). Once up, turn north following the road signs.
3.80 km (868 m), 1 h 30 min. It joins a path that comes from the normal access route to the top of Les Roques de Benet, located to the west. Go straight on leaving this link on the left (O). The route goes to the Faralló pass in a N direction, using a strip located between two cliffs, first going down a little, then gliding and, finally, uphill. 4.20 km (883 m), 1 h 37 min. Coll de Faralló, hanging on the northern walls, closed between the main peak of Les Roques de Benet (west) and the peculiar formation of Cap de Gos (east), characterized by the large reddish balma formed under the southern spur. It turns sharply to the south to find the pass of the Coll de les Roques along the western wall of the pass. At point 4.64 km (981 m) you are on this pass, where it joins the normal access road to the summit. Continue uphill (NO); after three hundred meters a zigzag is made and the summit is reached.
4.87 km (1,017 m), 2 h 0 min. The Castle, apex of the Rocks of Benet. Wide view of the north-western Ports and their innumerable corners, walls and peaks, the Terra Alta and the Western Strip, already in Aragon. To the west you can see the town of Arnes, to the north stands Horta de Sant Joan, crowded. It is easy to spot groups of cautiously sheltered wild goats. The panorama can be extended by moving one hundred meters to the north.
It goes back to the Coll de les Roques (981 m). Now you have to leave the path where you climbed on the left and go down on the right towards the sloping canal where the normal access route to the summit runs. It descends laboriously but without special difficulties to its base (902 m); the path, now much less sloping, turns to the SW: pay attention to the deviation that is about 150 m from this point.
5.62 km (864 m), 2 h 20 min. Detour to the left towards the Moleta del Salvatge pass, which will be taken after visiting the Gerra cave, located on the main road, a little further down. It continues downhill, therefore, for about 110 m of route, until the level 840 m. On the left, under a balmed wall and about five meters above the road, you can guess an entrance. You have to go up to access the Gerra cave, used as a shelter and habitation by the ancient shepherds of the area. If you dig deep enough you will see the stalagmite formation that gives the place its name.
Go back and undo the path to the previous turnoff, where you now turn right, uphill, until you reach the Moleta del Salvatge pass, hanging between the two slopes (6.01 km, 899 m ). Turn right (S) up and flanking the ridge first along its west coast and then along the east skirt. The path heads south on a gentle descent and then flat, through a lush pine forest – some trees are of remarkable size – using a beam hanging spectacularly over the cliff, but without difficulty. Further down the path turns to the SW and exits on the sunny side.
6.70 km (913 m), 2 h 40 min. Coll de Membrado, where it joins a forest path that leads to the track that was used at the exit of the route (the detour, located under the west wall of the Roques de Benet, has not been seen because has used a shortcut). Follow the track to the right (NW), downhill, describe a sharp bend that faces the road to the SE, enter the forest again and turn west. 7.55 km (830 m), 2 h 52 min. Deviation in a sharp bend. Leave the main track on the right (N and NE) and continue straight on, to the SW, along the path that crosses the thick pine forest to a clearing (8.05 km, 825 m), where the path ends. ample. To the left, there is a path that comes from the Botana pass and the Benaixa cave. Go straight on (NO) along the signposted path. After about 170 m from the clearing, leave a turnoff to the right and continue to the left (west, landmarks). Describing zigzags, the route turns north. It ends at the Pena del Gall pass (8.73 km, 714 m), the tip of which rises to the north of the site. Turn right € and enter the coma of the Pineda ravine, with a steep descent and describing these to lose height. Once at the bottom, the slope fades. You go out around the crops of the farmhouse of Curassana, you jump a retaining wall of a water channel, you leave the farmhouse on the left and you end up on the ascent track, next to the point of start of the excursion.
9.92 km (552 m), 3 h 25 min. Crossroads of the Ages. Turnoff of the access track to Mas de la Franqueta with the forest track of Les Roques de Benet. End of the itinerary.
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