Since I moved here over a year ago I have been riding outside of the Pyrenees only ones. And until recently I didn’t go and ride into other valleys. I am sure that is because I never get bored of the trails in and around Zona Zero. There is so much to ride here, so much to explore and there is such a diversity in terrain. Aragon just keeps on throwing epic trails at you.
Let’s try to give you a little context.
Ainsa is situated 570 meter above see level and lays roughly 40 km south of the French border. Here peaks rice up to 3355 meter( Monte Perdido) from the Pineta Valley. A 45 minutes drive eastwards from Ainsa you’ll find the Benasque Valley and direct south of Sobrarbe until Huesca you’ll find the Sierra de Guara.
And all these different directions come with a different type of trail and terrain. The Higher Pyrenees like the mountains around the Benasque and the Pineta valley come with high alpine trails and beautiful open mountaintops and lush forest descent mixed with some rocks towards the bottom of the valleys. There is a beautiful red rock in Benasque Valley. You here the waterfalls in the Pineta valley drop their water miles away when you stand on top of Comodoto. (2361 meter) You find a majestic lake surrounded by stunning mountaintops, called Ibon de Plan just before the Chistau Valley.
The Sierra the Guara is a rugged mountain landcape in the pre Pyrenees with a lot of canyons and very technical trails. The vegetation is totally different from the higher pyrenees. The riding is rough, but very beautiful and you’ll find no else on the trails.
And then we have the area around Ainsa. This is a mix of what you can find in the higher pyrenees and the Sierra de Guara. With the addition of typical badlands terrain which in Spanish are called, margas. The Margas are a very loose rocky type of terrain build out of ancient layers of ocean sediment. Over centuries water carved a very typical terrain in this old sediment. The layers of rock and sediment are often tilted at an angel due to Spains collision with French millions of years ago. This makes the riding around Ainsa very unique to me.
For centuries people have lived in and on top of these wonderful mountains and hills. The areas have always been cultivated by little communities. And with cultivation and living comes connexions. Because all the villages where connected to eachother. People made footpaths to get from one village to another one. Paths leading from one hermitage to another and to the next church. And after world war two they started making fire roads up to the villages and churches and to the lands higher up.
This has been done not only around Ainsa but also in Guara and in the Higher Pyrenees. The result…. a fast network of mind-blowing trails with very good excess to the trailheads, trails in every hill you see. And a huge variety of trail types and trail surfaces. And all natural aka manmade in the middle ages, when they where not thinking of bikes at all. My latest video gives you a taste of the riding just around Ainsa, and follow the Youtube Channel, because the upcoming months I will be sharing more videos of the different terrain and trails in Zona Zero and around.