Rock Climbing (with a child) in Chulilla (Spain)

My first introduction to sport climbing: the magical limestone walls of Chulilla. Nearly anywhere you look in and around Chulilla there are bolted routes ready to be climbed. In fact, there are hundreds and hundreds of routes. While most were out of reach for beginners, they certainly offered something to aspire to. Further, most climbing could be reached without a car or long hikes, and coupled with breathtaking views and the possibility of a cool swim in nearby Charco Azul or Rio Turia. I would recommend browsing topos on 27crags and climbmaps. If you need help or gear, there is a climbing shop in Chulilla with very friendly staff.

Enjoying a well-earned post-climb swim at Puentes Colgantes. Photo credit © Siena Anstis.

After much trial and error, we managed to find two climbing areas that could accommodate sport climbing beginners and a sometimes frustrated four-year-old. The first, La Ceguera (routes 4-11 on the first image), is just a few minutes down from one of the Chulilla parking lots. The path was a bit hidden due to construction, but, once at the parking lot, head towards the wall edge and you should be able to find a small footpath heading down. Continue past the first wall on the right, which is immediately under the parking lot, to the second, a little further down. The other wall we climbed was just after the suspension bridge at Puentes Colgantes. The climbing area is not showing up on 27crags, but is well-marked, including photos, in climbmaps under the name Miguel Gómez. Also easy to find: it’s the wall on the left side right after the first suspension bridge and before the second bridge when you are walking in from this parking lot.

Finishing a day of climbing at Puentes Colgantes. Photo credit © Siena Anstis.

The trail down to La Ceguera was a bit steep and rocky, but still easily accessible for a child. We found another family, managing a total of two young children while scampering up all the routes and hardly breaking a sweat. While the climbing around Puentes Colgantes took longer to reach on foot (about a 20 minute hike from this parking lot, following the directions towards Puentes Colgantes or the suspension bridge), the climbs were easier, the ground flat, and the river within arm’s reach for a post-climb swim. I would not recommend the area around Puentes Colgantes on the weekend because the foot traffic was quite heavy and you had to pay (cash) to enter the park. However, during the week, it was relatively empty and peaceful.