Estany de Monges
The National Park of Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici counts with about 200 lakes, most of them originated from glaciers. During this hike we visit a few of these lakes, such as the Estany Negre, Estany de Travessani, Estany Clot, Estany de Mangades and the Estany de Monges. The panorama of this succession of lakes situated in a rough rocky terrain and surrounded by the high peaks of mountains such as the Travessani, Montardo, Tumeneia and - further to the southwest - the Besiberri is magical and unprecedented. At the beginning and end of the hike we walk along the much bigger reservoir of Cavallers.
- From the parking lot (1) take the trail that runs uphill along the barrage, partially via staircases. Once above we turn left (2), onto the trail that runs on the right side of the reservoir.
- We follow this trail all along the reservoir. At the end of the reservoir (3) lies a trail on the right that we ignore, we climb away from the reservoir and reach a plain (Pletiu de Riumalo) where the Riuet del Negre flows (4). We keep right here, follow the yellow posts, cross three small bridges and eventually – through big boulders - further climb out of the valley of the Reservoir of Cavallers, all the time following the yellow posts and milestones.
- We eventually reach a junction (5) where we turn left, signposted as "Refugi Joan Ventosa i Calvell". Once at the refuge (6) just before it we turn left, further uphill. This trail further on is marked with yellow posts again.
- We now first walk past a few small lakes and then along the much bigger lake Estany de Travessani. Once past it - after a short climb - we keep left at a Y-junction (7), onto a trail that is not marked with yellow posts but once in a while with milestones.
- This trail, further on marked with yellow posts again, leads us to the Estany de Monges (8). The trail with the yellow posts continues here, but we return here. Very soon after returning from the Estany de Monges, we now turn right onto a trail that is not very well visible and is only marked with milestones (9).
- We follow the milestones and a bit further on we need to descend over a relatively big height (10). Here the marking is not well visible. Descend here through the left and then keep right again (11). Further on we will find the trail with the milestones again.
- On this trail lies beneath us at our left hand the Estany de Travessani. Before we descend towards it we keep straight on and continue above the back corner of this lake to go over the rocks (12). Once we are over these rocks we will find the milestones again and now start a clear descent to the lake.
- We now walk on the right side of the lake with to our right a few small lakes. At the end of this trail we cross a brook and reach the trail marked with yellow posts, on which we already walked on the way out (13). Here we now turn right and follow the same route back towards the Reservoir of Cavallers (1).