Coordinates: 37°03′12″N 3°18′41″W / 37.05333°N 3.31139°W / 37.05333; -3.31139
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Highest point
Elevation3,482 m (11,424 ft)[1]
Prominence3,285 m (10,778 ft)[2]
Ranked 64th
Isolation529 km (329 mi) Edit this on Wikidata
Coordinates37°03′12″N 3°18′41″W / 37.05333°N 3.31139°W / 37.05333; -3.31139[1]
Mulhacén is located in Spain
Location in Spain
Mulhacén is located in Andalusia
Mulhacén (Andalusia)
Parent rangeSierra Nevada
First ascentUnknown (before 1500)[3]
Easiest routeHike

Mulhacén ([mulaˈθen]), with an elevation of 3,482 metres (11,424 ft), is the highest mountain in peninsular Spain and in all of the Iberian Peninsula. It is part of the Sierra Nevada range in the Penibaetic System. It is named after Abu'l-Hasan Ali, known as Muley Hacén in Spanish, the penultimate Muslim ruler of Granada in the 15th century who, according to legend, was buried on the summit of the mountain.

Mulhacén is the highest peak in Western Europe[note 1] outside of the Alps. It is also the third-most prominent peak in Western Europe, after Mont Blanc and Mount Etna, and is ranked 64th in the world by prominence.[2] The peak is not exceptionally dramatic in terms of steepness or local relief. The south flank of the mountain is gentle and presents no technical challenge, as is the case for the long west ridge. The shorter, somewhat steeper northeast ridge is slightly more technical. The north face of the mountain is much steeper and offers several routes involving moderately steep climbing on snow and ice (up to French grade AD) in the winter.[3]

Mulhacén can be climbed in a single day from the villages of either Capileira or Trevélez, but it is more common to spend a night at the mountain refuge at Poqueira, or in the bare shelter at Caldera to the west. Those making the ascent from Trevélez can also bivouac at the tarns to the northeast of the peak.


On 5 March 2006, three British climbers from Teesside died on the mountain from suspected hypothermia. Initial reports quoting the Spanish Civil Guard stated that the three were ill-equipped for the extreme conditions. This claim was subsequently disputed both by the family and a colleague of one of the climbers, and by one of the rescuers.[4][5] A plaque dedicated to them has been placed at the summit.[6]


  1. ^ a b Document supplied by Spanish National Mapping Agency. The coordinates given here have been converted from ED50 to WGS84.
  2. ^ a b "European ultra-prominent peaks". Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b Griffin, Lindsay (1998). "Mulhacén". In Salkeld, Audrey (ed.). World Mountaineering. Bulfinch Press. ISBN 0-8212-2502-2.
  4. ^ "Climbers die despite rescue bid". BBC News. 7 March 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  5. ^ "Three British climbers die on Spanish mountain after son's rescue bid fails". The Guardian. 7 March 2006. Retrieved 24 January 2015.
  6. ^ Photograph of the plaque at the summit dedicated to the British climbers
  1. ^ The Canary Islands and Greenland, which are politically attached to Europe, but which are geographically part of Africa and North America respectively, have higher peaks.

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