The reason for the construction was the project for the use of water power and winter rain. This included a canal into which part of the water flows through a ravine that leads to Garganta del Chorro, connecting two dams. The Caminito was built to transport the building material and to maintain the facility in the extremely rough terrain along the Desfiladeros de los Gaitanes. In 1901 the work began. The entire project with concrete and iron reinforcements was inaugurated in 1921. From then on, the inhabitants of the neighboring villages used the path on a daily basis: the children as a way to school, the men to the workplace, the women in shopping. The path leads in about 100 meters of altitude along steep walls through two up to 200 meters deep narrow gorges.
Due to weather conditions and because of the soft sandstone the path deterioated over the years, and there were numerous sections where part or all of the concrete top had collapsed. The result was large open-air gaps bridged only by narrow steel beams or other supports. It was banned and described in the press as the most dangerous path in the world.
In 2014, work began on a new secure hiking trail above the old path. It opened in March 2015 and has enjoyed great popularity ever since.
At 8 o’clock in the morning it is still dark in Spain. Fortunately, I have a flashlight with me as I march through the pitch-dark tunnel to the north entrance of Caminito del Rey. At the box office, I am about No.30 and there are more and more people coming. At 9.30 the first group (with reservation) and 25 persons are admitted by our snake. At the next push I’m with it. All get a safety helmet and a “cap” (most likely for hygenic reasons). Since only 50 people are allowed to make their way at the same time, the whole crowd spreads very quickly and never was never a crush. The trail is 5km long and it takes about 2 hours to walk. I am free of vertigo, so I can enjoy the breathtaking views up and down – even if the vultures are flying high above the gorge.
On the other side of the ravines there is a railway line that runs through tunnels through the massif.