The Barranco Del Inferno (Hells’ Gorge) is without doubt the most popular gorge trip on the Costa Blanca. Twisting and turning through limestone sums and water worn bowls, the feeling isolation is acute. The gorge is fully equipped with glu-in bolts, the odd rope on short steep sections and a horizontal Via Ferrata at the end.
The main gorge is 1km in length with 90m of descent. Approximate descent time 4 – 6 hours.
Gorge Start: 38 47 14 41N 0 08 04 43W 317m altitude
Parking 1 main road: 38 46 17 73N 0 08 07 25W 598m altitude
Parking 2 dirt road: 38 47 03 23N 0 08 20 42W 495m altitude
Road Access: From the A7 motorway take junction 63 (Benissa, just North of Caple). Take the first exit off the slip road into Benissa. Go straight at the first round about and left at the second, signed to Senija on the CV 745. Go through Senija and the following village LLiber. The next Village is Jalon, go straight over two roundabouts, and over a small bridge as you left the village. The next village is Alcalali. At the first junction turn left, after 100m turn right on to the CV 750. Follow this for 2km and a cross roads turn right for 500m and then turn left to Murla 1.6km. At a left bend in the road turn sharp right signed posted for “Bar Trinquet”. After 100m turn left and follow this road to it’s end in Fleix 3.6km away. At the T junction turn left and leave Fleix towards Benimaurrell 3.2km away. Stay right and follow the road around the village. The first parking is 600m after you leave the village. Or follow the road for a further 2km until you reach a bar and a prominate dirt road on the right, follow this very rough track for 4km and a parking spot next to a derelict on the right and a well on the left. This is the second parking spot.
From Parking at Benimaurrell: Walk North West for 300m over flat ground with a dry stone wall on your left. The path then drops and zig zags its way down to a junction with another path 1.4km, (this is where you rejoin the path on the way back). Take the left fork for a further 1 km. This brings you out at a derelict on a dirt track, which is the second parking spot. Turn right on the dirt track for 200m then a good path leads off to the left down hill towards the gorge 1km away. Turn right into the gorge after 60m a path leaves the gorge heading up the other side of the gorge ignore this and carry on for a further 250m. A boulder stops progress this is where the gorge starts.
Barranco Del Inferno: The first abseil of 5m can be by-passed by scrambling down on the left. 50m further the next abseil can not be by-passed, and marks the end of any easy retreat or escape. Many short drops are encountered with gravel beds inbetween. Anthing more than 2m is equipped with a bolt and sometimes a short length of rope to hand over hand down. As progress in made the sums become deeper. After rain these can be filled with water, necessitating a cold swim! Exiting a wet sum can prove difficult on wet and water polished limestone! The largest abseil is near the end and can some times be avoided by a rope on the right. During high water it is possible to jump this abseil, best to abseil someone into it first to check depth and for hidden dangers under the water. A rope Via Ferrata (VF) marks the finishing section, this is horizontal and therefore does not require VF lanyards. A metal staple ladder in at the end of the VF best to abseil here as the rungs are not safe. To finish walk through a rock arch! During high water this may be an under water swim! A chain has been place high on the wall above the arch, which enables an escape during high water without the under water swim.
Exiting the Barranco: Continue down the gorge for a further 250m until a second gorge joins Inferno from the right. It is possible to scramble up this to rejoin the walk in path, but some climbing skill is required and a cool head to solo, it is rigged to abseil so top roping isn’t a problem. Best to ignore this and keep walk for a further 800m to a good but narrow path which exits on the right, this is easily missed so be careful. This is the lowest part of the day at 220m. Follow the path zig zagging clearfully up hill for just over 2km and the junction with the walk in path. If you have park on the road turn left back up the hill, the way you walked in. If you have parked at the end of the dirt track turn right for 1km and the parking.