Route of the Three Refugees Practical information

Once you get to any of the beginnings of the Route of the Three Refugees, you will feel crazy to extend your trip, not having to be aware of the time, to enjoy these landscapes to the fullest. The first step you take takes you to contemplate green valleys, steep peaks, and an infinite sky both day and night.

route of the three refuges practical information

The Route of the Three Refugees runs through the Natural Park of Posets-Maladeta in the Aragonese Pyrenees and goes around the Massif of the Posets. This journey explores trails in the valleys at 1,300 m and overhangs rocky hills at 2,964 m, takes you to glacial lakes and fording rivers, resting your eyes on the peaks and birds in the air. Although it requires a good physical form and a minimum of experience in the high mountains, this itinerary is quite affordable. In addition, it is very comfortable, since it is perfectly marked and with shelters kept at a very bearable distance from each other.

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We made the Tres Refugios route in August, and both the direction of the march and the starting point were conditioned by the availability in the shelters. However, you can start at any other point, go in the opposite direction, link with the Trans-Pyrenees Route or stay longer in the area doing ascents or small excursions. In the next post, we will detail each stage of our route and offer several options to stay more days in the area.

In this post we give you the practical information, we share our impressions and, of course, we show pictures of the three-day journey through the Aragonese Pyrenees.

Route of the Three Refugees Practical information

Ruta de Los tres Refugios is a circular route through the Aragonese Pyrenees for a minimum of 3 days. The three refuges through which this passage passes are: the refuge of Estos, the refuge of Biadós and the refuge of Ángel Orus (or Forcau). In my opinion, it is one of the routes of the high mountain of the Pyrenees easier to organize and carry out.

Accesses of the route of the three Refuges

It has three entrances: from the Estos car park, the Espigantosa car park or from the Viados car park.

Parking of Viados

It has the capacity for approx. 20-30 cars, scattered on the track, some better parked and others, in rather precarious conditions. You arrive by car to the shelter (at 1,700m). You have to travel 10 km of dirt track, partially paved, from Gistain (there is a sign for Refugio de Viados, the detour marked on our map.The track does not appear in Google Maps, it can only be seen in the Earth version ). If there are no seats available at all, you should turn around and go down until you find a space. We leave the car in front of Camping de Forcallo (1,574m, 1 km below the shelter). It took approx. 20 min. In arriving at the refuge from the campsite.

Parking of the Espigantosa (La pleta d’Estallo)

It is 1,550m high at about 5 km along the forest track of the town of Eriste and 6.3 km from the shelter Argel Orus (or Forcau) , at 2,100m high. According to MIDE, the duration of the route between the parking and the shelter is about 2 hours, + 595m. It passes through the waterfall of the Espigantosa.

From July 1 to September 12, the track between Eriste and the parking lot is closed, but there is a shuttle from Eriste (there is a parking lot next to the municipal swimming pools where you can leave your car). You can also take this shuttle in Sahun. Look at the photo to know the prices and schedules.

Schedule and departures of the shuttle bus to the parking lot to reach the refuge of Angel Orus If you prefer, you can walk; Between Eriste and the Espigantosa parking, there is approx. 1.45 hr for PR-HU 36.

Parking Estos

The Estos car park is 1,300 m, and it would have to be + 605m to reach the Estos refuge, 1,890m high. The route is less than 9 km, and it takes approx. 2.5 hrs. The road is perfectly marked as GR11 (white and red).

Where to sleep during the route of the three shelters

The classic way is to make use of the three shelters: Estos, Viados, Angel Orus. The easiest way to make the reservation is to go to the Hostels and shelters of Aragón page and make the multiple reservations. On the web, on the left side, you will see the box with shelters, shelters and other establishments. In shelters, we choose where we would spend the first night, and the system will guide you. You will have to pay a bond that is lost if you do not show up. The rest is paid in each shelter. In Estos only cash, in Angel Orus they accept credit cards.

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To know how much each refuge costs (they have different prices), you have to choose the refuge and go to the ” prices ” section. In the reservation, you will not see the final price, only the deposit. This website has links to all the shelters, where you can see more detailed information: what services they offer, how to get there, etc.

To sleep in the shelter, the use of a sleeping bag or saco-sabana is mandatory.

The Children and Federated have discounts.


Another option is to carry a tent. According to the rules of the park, you can camp at dusk and lift the tent at dawn. It is recommended to ask the guards for the most suitable places to camp.


One way to save night shelters (which leave approx € 16 / person), is to stay the first night in one of the campsites. We spend the night in El Forcallo (in Viados access). € 13 / both and shop. We left the car parked outside at night, and so we did not have to worry about doing it as early as possible, as the cars begin to arrive and look for parking from 7:00. This camping has hot water, bathrooms, a small restaurant where you can order lunch/dinner/ breakfast. The environment is very beautiful and quiet, as long as you get as far as possible from the generator that produces noise and nauseating smells from 9.00 until 23.00.

On the side of Estos, there are a couple of campsites where you can also stay the night of arrival and leave the car. We do not know them, but some Senderistas told us that we met along the way. In this case, it is not necessary to reach the Estos refuge if the route is made in the Angel Orus refuge direction. You can link with the GR 11.2 in the Ibonet de Bastisielles or past the Grande ibis de Bastisielles, passing through the Ibon de la Escarpinosa.

Where to eat during the route of the three shelters

In shelters or carrying food. The truth, we were surprised that 99% of the people who spend the night in the refuge order all the meals. We only went four people – us and a couple of French people – who used the kitchen.

Reflection: If they do not carry food, or bags, only sack-savannahs, nor climbing or mountaineering equipment, what will they bring in their 70 L backpacks? We, with our 30L and 35L, with food, cooking equipment, emergency kit, sacks!  and even thinking that we could have lightened the weight because there were things that we did not put (the ones in the case in ca

How to Build Emergency Shelters (Step by Step)

How to Build Emergency Shelters: In an emergency situation (night falls, bad weather, cold and other adversities) you may need to shelter yourself. The fact is that you are in the middle of the mountain and without a four-star hotel nearby. That’s why you have to know how to improvise a shelter. And it is that you will not always have the tent at hand.

How to Build Emergency Shelters (Step by Step)

All shelters consist of a structure and a cover, which can be natural or artificial. In general, it is more practical and ecological, except in an authentic emergency, to use artificial means. Except for construction time, in a cold emergency a refuge with natural resources is safer: if it is well covered and small, it will keep our heat better; For the rain, however, an artificial shelter is much better, plastic is more impermeable than hundreds of branches.

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The fastest and most practical to use as a cover is to carry in the good backpack a plastic of approximately 2×3 meters, with holes in the edges to pass ropes or wires (sold in almost any large area or hardware store). Passing ropes through these holes, we can tie it to trees or shrubs without the need for structure, although tent pegs (winds) come well to fix it to the ground.

How to Build Emergency Shelters

Also, a layer of water or thick aluminized blanket can serve as a cover, although it will be a bit small if we are more than one. And without an emergency, if the weather is rainy, a plastic will make life easier even if you have a store. I find it hard to think how it would have been to work with clients in rivers like the Yukon without a 4×6 plastic; not to mention the jungle, where it can rain in a few minutes.

The shape also conditions the construction of shelter : the most operative are shed with one or two slopes since the tippis (Indian tents) or other forms are more complicated to make unless you have material such as a parachute or a candle.

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The structure can be made with simple ropes or by a complicated construction of sticks. In general, the most operative thing is to build a kind of tent with sticks. It is easily constructed with two fork-shaped poles (Y) that act as lateral supports, and a pole supported on both forks along the main support of the roof. Behind this main structure, the cover (the plastic) can be raised with two other smaller forks.

And in the case of using a natural cover, you will have to tie or place more sticks to support it (as you can see in the image on the left). Do not forget to secure the plastic to the ground by placing some stones on shelters with natural resources always require a structure, and can be covered with branches, leaves, bundles of grass, moss, grass bricks or combinations of these materials; In general, the denser the structure, the easier it will be to place material on top, and the easier it becomes waterproof. The materials that form the cover are placed from top to bottom, mounting one layer on another as if they were tiles.

Although it is difficult to get the material, all practitioners of outdoor life should be able to raise a shelter with natural means with the least possible ecological impact: thrown sticks, grass or cut cereal leaves, pruning remains (branches with leaves they are quite useful), cut scrub (where it is very abundant) … although almost everything today is illegal. But remember that your life is worth more than an alteration in the environment; A storm can have much more impact and nature recovers. Be careful out there, especially in this case with the Civil Guard: what to do the Indian is increasingly difficult.

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Remember that in the extreme case, a fallen tree, a dense shrub (not thorny) or a small cave can be emergency shelters that can be improved with relatively little work; getting between dry leaves can save you from dying of hypothermia. Also, parts of your sports equipment (a paragliding sail, a kayak, and even a bike) will be used as building elements in an emergency !!


  • The location is also vital when making a shelter or camping: avoid risk areas such as floods of rivers or streams, falls of stones, areas of dense vegetation or near stagnant waters with possible “inhabitants” at less annoying
  • The temperature is important: the zones oriented between the East and the South will have more sun exposure, and the sun will shine from earlier.
  • In valleys or valleys avoid the bottom: it will be colder, and too high it is easy for the wind to affect your refuge.
  • If you are in an emergency if you can camp in visible areas.