R6. Earth of Gullies
Typical badlands morphology of the Monnegre river.
Monnegre River - Mutxamel
Clay-sandy formations of the Monnegre river.
Assut de Sant Joan
The beautiful curved assutu of Sant Joan is more than 7 m high and 3.6 m wide.
El Pantanet Reservoir
The Pantanet and housing for the maintenance manager.
Alto del Cap de Monnegre
Casa del Capellà at the foot of the top of the Cap de Monnegre on the left and in the background the Peña Alta.
Middle course of the Monnegre river
Detail of the morphology of the “badlands” and its polychromy.
Tibi reservoir: 4.7 km (100% on foot; 1.5 h).
Closure of Tibi reservoir
View from the right bank, with Mos del Bou high in the background.
Barranco de Silim - Tibi
Detail of the triassic colourful clay of the barranco de Silim.
Height of the Moleta
Canelobre Caves - Busot
Detail of the stalagmite that gives name to the cave.
Various mineral formations and precipitates.
Penya del Llamp (Peña del Rayo)
Esquenall de la Foradada (Crest of the Horadada).
Cabezoncillo Mountain Range
Old baths of Busot
Ruins of the old spa of Aigües,
later conditioned as an anti-tuberculous preventive.
Ruta 6: Earth of Gullies
On this route the intense colors of the terrain contrast with the intense blue of the sky.
This 53 km route runs through an environment of coloured clay with gypsum from the Triassic, impermeable materials that play a fundamental role in hydrogeology by constituting the watertight base or lateral elements of infinity of aquifers in this region.
The route along the Monnegre river course shows the typical morphology that runoff water generates in this type of clay-sand formations, the mal lands or badlands. Skyled areas, canyons, gullies, ditches, canals and ravines cover a ruiniform and semi-desert landscape with intense reddish, ochre, violet and brownish colors of the terrain.
A route that is also completed with a visit to the touristic Caves of Canelobre and the Busot baths, and classified as medium difficulty by the short route of several kilometers, which to see the Tibi reservoir, must be done on foot.
It may seem to the hiker that this stage has little hydrogeological significance as it basically crosses an arid and impermeable terrain, but nothing further from reality, they are essential in hydrogeology.
The total distance of the route does not include the following route (round-trip):
- Microroute to the Tibi reservoir: 4,7 km (100% on foot; 1,5 h).
Highlighted Places of Hydrogeological Interest
Badlands of the Monnegre river
The badlands are spectacular places due to their geomorphological uniqueness, since they constitute areas of great beauty, but also constitute authentic natural laboratories in the face of such important aspects as climate change.
Between the towns of Mutxamel and Tibi, the Monnegre river flows over the coloured clay with casts of the Keuper (Triassic) facies, creating a cave landscape andbadlands of singular beauty and colorful>. The route can start from both the Tibi reservoir area and the southeast, where the Monnegre and Torre rivers meet.
Canelobre means candelabra in Valencian. With that term, the first explorers of this unique Alicante cave wanted to designate a large, vertical and slender stalagmita anchored in the ground, with a shape similar to the old individual candelabra that carried candles to illuminate the rooms of the houses.
Situated in the Sierra del Cabeçó d’ Or, in the municipality of Busot, it is a cave of great beauty and singularity, prepared for the visit. It was used in the civil war as a refuge and as a factory for airplanes and powder kegs.
This microroute starts from the Salim de Dalt site, an area located about 1,500 m downstream of the dam closure. From here the total route (round trip) is only 5 km.
It must be done on foot and has a last circular section that passes through the dam.
The return to the starting point is made by the same linear section of the route’s starting point and the total approximate duration is 1.5 hours.
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