From L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre to the Sisca dam

This is an easy day hike. Starting from a small village in the Ariège called l'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre, which, as its name suggests, is not far from Andorra, you'll discover some absolutely fantastic Pyrenean scenery !

Hiking guide​

  • Medium difficulty​
  • 4 hours round trip​
  • 630 m / 2067 ft ascent​
  • 7.6 km / 4,72  mi round trip​

The hike starts from the village of l'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre, where there is parking for hikers after the church. The first difficulty is crossing the road to reach the start of the trail, which has no pedestrian crossing. The path climbs steeply from the start, passing through a magnificent deciduous forest. You then leave the forest to reach the start of the valley that climbs up to the Pic d'Escobes, on the Andorran border. From here, the landscape opens up and you are treated to magnificent views of birch trees and granite chaotic rocks.​

After crossing a small stone bridge, you will come to a crossroads with two options: the Estanh de Pedorrés or the Etang du Siscar. Take the path that branches off to the left (towards the Etang del Siscar, which is above the Sisca dam). From here, the path climbs much less steeply to the Saut du taureau. After a final climb, you arrive directly opposite the dam. I recommend that you continue along it and stop on the north bank to enjoy the lake and the ridge that separates Ariège from Andorra. In fact, just before the Saut du taureau, a path leads off towards Coll dels Clots to join Andorra.​

You can stop the walk here and retrace your steps after enjoying the lake, or choose to make a loop by continuing to the étang du Siscar, joining the porteille du Siscar to pass behind the Pic du Nérassol and join the Estanh de Pedorrés. This is also a day hike, but you need to be a very good hiker as the climb up to the porteille is steep. Due to lack of time, I wasn't able to do it in its entirety, but I'll give you the topo when I've done it !​ 

I highly recommend doing this hike in autumn to enjoy the incredibly colourful landscape, the golden birch trees and, of course, the peace and quiet. The few hikers we came across were going as far as Estanh de Pedorrés, but we didn't come across a single hiker on our side. It was absolute silence. Given the conditions (little wind, no one, authorised zone within the 50 metre altitude limit), I took the opportunity to fly the drone and observe the dam from higher up. Mission accomplished: this lake is a jewel in the crown of the Nérassol massif ! But I had to be careful not to disturb any wildlife and I checked beforehand whether the area was authorised for flying on the map available on "Cartes IGN" (French application).

Trail (visible in red).​
From L'Hospitalet-près-l'Andorre to the Sisca dam
Capra Pyrenaica 2 January 2024
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