Anaga TF-7 trail – where has it disappeared?
While our family lived in Tenerife during, I finished a personal quest to do all official Anaga Rural Park trails. This and other articles on the topic of 'hiking in Tenerife' are based on my personal experience.
The Anaga Rural Park has official trails numbered from TF-1 to TF-12 (with some sub-sections like TF-2.1, TF-6.1, and similar), however, sharp-eyed hikers will notice that the TF-7 trail is nowhere to be found on official maps and the GPS navigation apps like Maps.me, Wikiloc and AllTrails.
Where is the missing TF-7 trail?
I enquired about the missing TF-7 trail at the excellent Anaga Rural Park Visitors Centre and this is what the guide there told me.
There used to be a TF-7 trail quite a long time ago in the exact location where currently there is the restricted access ‘El Pijaral’ trail.
This is a trail that you need a special free permit to access. Additionally, only 45 people are granted this permit every day. This creates an aura of exclusivity and gives the impression that the trail is something special.
Is the ‘El Pijaral’ trail worth hiking?
I asked exactly this question to one of the guides at the Anaga Rural Park Visitors Centre guide and below is his opinion:
There is little special about the trail unless you are a biologist or other type of scientist that specialises in insects or flora. The area around the trail is a special bioreserve with one of the highest concentrations of biodiversity (mostly insects and plants) not only in the Grand Canarias, but in the whole of Europe. However, to appreciate this, you really have to know what you’re seeing or looking for. 99,99% of hikers probably don’t fall into this category.
Most hikers will get a much better experience from simply doing the TF-8 or TF-6 trails.
If you want to get almost the same experience as on the El Pijaral trail, but don’t have the permit, you can just take the Las Vueltas section of the TF-8 trail from Casa Forestal (Forest Warden’s House) or the TF-4 trail from El Bailadero, both trail sections ending in the Taganana village.
Still want to do the ‘El Pijaral’ trail? Read below to find out where to get the permit.
Where to book the permit for ‘El Pijaral’ trail?
To book a hiking permit, visit the official Anaga Rural Park website booking page.
The permit is free, however, free slots are hard to get as these are often snatched up by tourist businesses and sold at a profit along with a transportation and guide service.
What if I decide to do the trail without the permit?
Better do not plan to do the hike without the permit as the administrative penalty is from 600.00 to 10,000.00 Euros. Visitors Centre staff told me that the upper limit would be applied for a serious violation, however, the 600 EUR fine is very real.
However, fear of financial penalty should not be the main reason why you would not do this trail without the permit. Not exceeding the number of visitors on the trail to more than 45 per day helps to preserve this unique tract of nature. This should be enough of a reason for all sensible hikers.