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Enchanted forest of Urbasa a hidden magical world

 

The Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía, in Navarre, treasures countless hiking trails that lead us to discover great natural landscapes of incalculable value and not only landscape, but also ecological. One of these routes crosses the interior of the well-known enchanted Forest of Urbasa, a chaotic one, to the pair of beautiful corner, of this privileged land.

Bear's head in the enchanted forest of Urbasa

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The route along its 7 km takes us, from the information center of the park, to this majestic place that makes just reference to its adjective of enchanted. As it could not be otherwise, on our way we will meet some of the paths that cross the Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía, itineraries such as that of the Mountaineers that ascends to the mythical peaks that mark the forest we are going to travel. In our way we will be able to know part of the old activities that were given here, charcoal burners and shepherds, among other characters, left their mark in these places. After saying goodbye to the Montañeros path, we will enter a world of fantasy where countless shapes and figures capriciously carved by nature await us. An enormous txapela, a simply spectacular boletus or a natural arch that reminds us of those built by the Romans, are just some of the surprises that await us. We walk through this labyrinth of rocks seeking to make our way while different shapes and figures assault us.​

Submarine in the enchanted forest of Urbasa

We ascend leaving behind us the remains of an old sailboat, careful not to fall into the chasms that characterize these karstic terrains. As we ascend we discover the silhouettes that hide the stones that surround us, a submarine in the middle of a forest, the head of a big bear, a solitary duck several meters high or the elongated neck of a diplodocus are just some of the treasures that this enchanted forest has in store for us. Without a doubt, letting our imagination fly will make us discover many more forms. But for those who want to take advantage of the day we can still continue climbing up to the abrupt crest by which we will go to crown the summit of Bargagain, from where we can enjoy the magnificent panoramic views that this mountain Navarre offers before returning to the car park that was our starting point.  

The duck in the enchanted forest of Urbasa

The Legend

 

Legend has it that many years ago in the area lived some giants who had terrorized the inhabitants of neighboring villages. Although this family of giants did not do any evil and were dedicated to live in harmony with nature, the locals attributed to them everything bad that happened there. Until one day a furious mob was made to the mountain to try to finish off those giant monsters. The father trying to save his little son from the enraged pack that was thrown on them took him deep into the forest to hide it, asking him not to move from his hiding place. When everything happened and the father returned to his little one's hiding place, he had disappeared and it was never known again. Since then his father, hoping to find him, or at least not alone, takes him each year a toy to the forest where his little one is still lost today, being the first thing he left his txapela because the little giant used to put it on as soon as his father got lost.

 

 

How to get to

 

 

 

To get to the Urbasa and Andía Natural Park information booth, from where this route starts, follow the road that links the towns of Estella, in the middle of the Camino dual carriageway between Logroño and Pamplona, and Olazagutía on the A-1. Once there we will have several areas fitted out for parking vehicles from which we can access the enchanted forest.

 

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Pet area, hiking with my dog

Sendimascota​​

Nice route for our friend who should not require great efforts to make it. We must take into account the regulations of the park that, in addition to asking us to take it under control at all times, asks us to have the necessary documentation regarding health issues.

We will not have points where our partner can drink, so it is essential to bring some water.

Cattle usually graze in the area, usually not in the forest, so taking our friend controlled if we also add how easy it is to get lost in the labyrinth we are going to be in is a very good idea.

 

 

 

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This route has been carried out on the spot by SENDITUR on 20-12-2.018. The route can vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of others and the evolution suffered by the natural environment where it is located. SENDITUR is not responsible for any misuse or improper use of the comprehensive guides of its routes and/or publications, nor for any variations for the aforementioned reasons in their descriptions and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. Likewise, we invite you to document yourself with books and specialized guides to complement the information described. All times are approximate and take an indicative character, we have not taken into account the stops no matter how small they are. For any suggestion, SENDITUR invites you to send an email to

Route description of the enchanted forest of Urbasa

 

We begin the tour next to the house that houses the information point (0h 00min) of the Natural Park of Urbasa and Andía.​

We start the route next to the information centre

Luckily we can avoid walking along the road thanks to the trail that runs parallel to it.

We're parallel to the road.

We left behind another of the parking areas we have available in this area of the park. The marks of the Path of the Mountaineers, with which we will coincide in part of our route, serve us as reference to follow.

We continue along the adapted path

The trail takes us without loss to the meeting of the adapted itinerary that begins in the nearby car park next to which we are passing.

We follow the marks of the Path of the Mountaineers

This circular route serves as a guide in this part of our route. The posts of the route of the Mountaineers continue marking us the way to follow in the different crosses that we are finding.

We left the road adapted

We soon reached the moment of abandoning the adapted path and entering the leafy forest. Almost at the moment we will see ourselves crossing a wide clearing of the forest.

We follow the way

On the other side, a kind of track covered by grass brings us back into the forest. This track, together with the marks we are following, leads us to our destination without major complications.

We follow the green marks

Soon we'll see ourselves passing by an old coalman's txabola, almost at the same time that we left to our right the GR that was accompanying us until the moment.

For the moment without complications

From now on, and not for long, it will be the green marks of the Path of the Mountaineers that will continue to guide us.

Attentive to brands

Once again the track is diluted again under the green tapestry that covers it, forcing us to be attentive to the posts that indicate the direction to follow.

We left the way

Almost without realizing it, we arrive at the point where we must say goodbye to the track we had been following in order to begin to gain height along the trail that begins here.

We left the Path of the Mountaineers

A trail that immediately disappears under the leaf litter that covers it. Without time to get used to this new environment that surrounds us the Path of the Mountaineers that we were following turns to the left while we continue straight into the enchanted Forest of Urbasa.

We approach the txapela

From now on we will not enjoy any sign or a footpath that serves as a reference and we will have to guide us by other means to find the different sculptures that await us, such as the Txapela that welcomes us to this spectacular labyrinth.

We enter the labyrinth of the enchanted forest of Urbasa

After visiting the Txapela a couple of stones like colossal columns will call our attention inviting us to look for the way to cross them.

We arrive at the Great Arch

On the other side we head towards the apparent exit of the rocky cliffs that surround us, where another of the monuments of the Enchanted Forest of Urbasa, the Great Arch, awaits us.

We cross the arch

A low arch that we will cross for nothing more than to make it turn to the right and to continue in search of the following surprise that keeps us this forest.

We are approaching the Great Boletus

Without a defined layout we will have to look for the best way to advance through this labyrinth of stones, roots and trees. Luckily we have the GPS that helps us to find the Gran Boletus, which hides in this forest.

There is no defined path

Getting from one point to the other is a fun task through this spectacular spot. Each stone that we leave behind evokes us different silhouettes according to the perspective that we adopt, even we arrive to find us with a slender Sailboat.

It's very easy to get lost

We came out of this wonderful chaos to begin to gain altitude, as could not be otherwise without anything to guide us, except the GPS.

We gain height quickly

After passing by another pile of stones we face the slope of the mountain looking for the best way to save the slope more comfortably.

No footpath or signposted path

It is a cross-country ascent in which we sometimes come across a tree marked by signs that do not belong to our route.

We meet again with the Path of the Mountaineers

After a while, in front of us emerges a fence and the path that ascends the itinerary of the Mountaineers with which we reconcile.

We follow the path

We continue along this path, gaining height without much effort and with the invaluable help of the brands that guide us again.

We crossed the wire fence

But much faster than we would have liked we must say goodbye to the path and its signs to cross the fence thanks to a step it has.

We go up to the cave

Here we have the possibility of ascending straight, leaving the fence behind us, to approach a small cave located not far away.

We return to our route

After visiting it, we must return to the enclosure to take up our route, which seems to make us return down the road, a path that led us to pass, surely without realizing it, next to an old submarine stranded in this charming forest of Urbasa.

Chaos again

After approaching to visit it we take up again our route that makes us separate little by little from the fence.

Be careful not to get into the wrong place.

Once again we are immersed in the chaos of enormous stones and deceptive chasms that characterize this forest looking for the best way to continue.

We went out on some kind of path

If we look closely, to the left of this labyrinth runs a kind of path that borders it facing the new ascent ahead. Already in it it becomes much easier to continue with our route.

We passed by the Bear's Head

A route that takes us past the enormous Head of a Bear. And shortly after, next to a solitary Duck of surprising dimensions.

We return to a trail that is hardly intuitive

The route begins to meander and in order to make our work easier, the typical stone milestones that mark it begin to appear.

We continue to gain altitude

The slope is evident and the route to follow although more obvious than in previous sections is still difficult to find.

Following the route is not easy at all

We remain obliged to guide ourselves by our own means in order to find the right path. A big ball and what looks like the head and part of the neck of a diplodocus are the following characters of the forest that greet us at our pace.

We go in search of the neck of diplodocus

At this point those who consider it so can return on their steps and thus avoid the final ascent and the crest to the top of the Bargagain.

We begin the final part of the ascent

The rest of us will continue immersed in full ascent through the labyrinthine forest that we are crossing.

We must be attentive to find the route to follow

We still have nothing marked the itinerary to follow but between the GPS and the trail that seems to be intuitive we advance without too many complications.

We passed some demanding ramp

The proximity of the crest towards which we are heading is noticeable on the ramps we have to face.

We passed a wire fence

Once again we see ourselves crossing a battered fence that warns us of the near end of this stretch of ascent.

We reached the crest

We approach the crestero, which we must follow, although another chaotic stretch is still waiting for us to do so.

There is no clear tracing

An area in which once again we must be attentive to cross it as best as possible.

This area is complex to find the trail to follow

Once up we will find the marks of the path that runs along the cresterío, in truth we will have the possibility of doing it either by the south slope, or by the north.

At last we find the north path

We decided to follow the path of the northern slope although it is not easy to find the passage that allows us to access it safely. Already on the other side the trail is clear and without major complications.

The route is now much clearer

After a small serpentine that allows us to lose some height, we definitively join the path that runs under the ridge that we have crossed.

We ascend to leave the forest

A trail that except for the usual mud that characterizes it does not present many more difficulties. Soon we reach the point where we will walk again to the top of the ridge.

We're approaching Bargagain.

After doing so, a much more amiable terrain opens up before us from which we can already sense the nearby summit towards which we are heading.

We crown the Bargagain

But to crown the Bargagain (2h 05min) we still have some slippery step or another in which we will have to take extreme precautions.

Opposite side of Bargagain

After enjoying the marvellous views offered by this Navarrese mountain, we continue our route dabbling in a simple rocky stretch. Those who are not seen with the security or agility necessary to do so can follow the path that borders the southern slope of the same.

We undertake the return

We continue crossing this beautiful and already simple crest in search of the path that will return us to our starting point.

The real descent begins

This trail is marked by a battered landmark that indicates the beginning of the descent.

We lose altitude quickly

On this occasion the leaves do not completely hide the wide and steep path we are following. We lose height quickly and advance cautiously to avoid slips.

We crossed a new fence

After a while we'll be forced to cross another fence again, this time thanks to a wooden bridge.

The slope is softened

The descent practically reaches its end when we come across one of the singular trees of this forest, delimited by its corresponding wall.

We leave the enchanted forest of Urbasa

A couple of stones seem to serve as a gateway or exit to the forest we have traveled.

We go in search of the adapted itinerary

After crossing them, to our left we will see the ramp that will return us to civilization. The adapted itinerary that we follow at the beginning of the route awaits us there.

We return to the car park along the same route as at the beginning.

All that remains is for us to return on our steps to the car park (2h 45min) from where we leave at the beginning of this route through the enchanted forest of Urbasa.

 


All the information related to the route, texts, images, videos, maps, diagrams, tracks, towns and places of tourist interest are published as a guide and may not coincide with the current state of each place. Before carrying out any activity, value your technical knowledge, your physical form, inform yourself about the meteorology and the variations that the route could have suffered, equípate correctly, be prudent and responsible at all times, not surpassing your capacities. From the commitment of SENDITUR with Nature and the respect to the balance of the environment, SENDITUR urges you to travel in a responsible way, with low environmental impact and respecting at all times the Natural, Cultural and Social environment wherever you go. For any suggestion, SENDITUR invites you to send an email to

Technical data sheet of the route

 

Senditur Senderista

Total distance. 7 Km

 

Total time. 2h 45min

This figure in this occasion is practically symbolic since it will be very affected by the itinerary that each one follows and by the time that must be used to find the route to follow, without counting on the multiple stops that without a doubt will make.

 

Time of year. Not if it's raining or bad weather

The terrain on which we move is extremely slippery so if we increase the humidity that already has the result can get to complicate the route quite a bit. The landscape is undoubtedly spectacular all year round, but like any forest that prides itself is in spring and especially in autumn when it gives us all its splendor.

 

Required equipment. Preferably with boots

Not only because of the mud we can find, but also because of the hidden traps we will go through, like stones and holes, make it more than advisable to wear good hiking shoes that protect us and give us a better grip. Indispensable the GPS with the tracks of the loaded route, the canes also can serve us of aid and neither can lack us some water and food. Consult our list of material and equipment for hiking. Read more.

 

Slope acumulate. 660 m   Slope positive. 330 m   Slope negative. 330 m

 

Maximum altitude. 1.153 m   Minimum altitude. 886 m

 

Difficulty. Medium

 

Physical

Neither the distance nor the unevenness should be a great complication for someone accustomed to hiking and the mountains, although it is true that the type of terrain through which it runs and the lack of references to follow in the route, can and in fact increase the physical demand that this route would normally have.

 

Severity of the environment

This section, together with the orientation section, are the ones that bring practically all the difficulty to this route. Chasms and dolinas, stones and very slippery trails and a section of crest that, depending on where we face it, leaves us more exposed, make it advisable to take extreme precautions and not take the itinerary lightly.

 

Orientation

As it is not an official route in much of its layout, and run at will through the interior of the forest, we are faced with a route that requires some experience, in addition to taking with us the necessary means for navigation through the labyrinth that is the Enchanted Forest of Urbasa. In addition the different paths that we will find do not make it easy either, even more in the area of the crest, where the different trails are added to the convoluted terrain.

 

Important places to pass through

NAME PLACE OF PASS TIME TO HIM ALTITUDE DISTANCE COORDINATES UTM
1-Parking 0h 00min 886 m 0 Km 30T 567098 4745636
2-Txapela 0h 30min 927 m 2,2 Km 30T 569057 4746142
3-Big Arch 0h 40min 922 m 2,3 Km 30T 569147 4746125
4-Boletus 0h 45min 933 m 2,35 Km 30T 569165 4746146
5-Sailboat 0h 50min 935 m 2,4 Km 30T 569193 4746173
6-Cave 1h 00min 1.012 m 2,9 Km 30T 569374 4746505
7-Submarine 1h 05min 995 m 3 Km 30T 569347 4746415
8-Bear head 1h 20min 1.046 m 3,5 Km 30T 569155 4746606
9-Duck 1h 25min 1.052 m 3,55 Km 30T 569161 4746634
10-Big Ball 1h 35min 1.078 m 3,7 Km 30T 569087 4746722
11-Neck of Diplodocus 1h 40min 1.086 m 3,75 Km 30T 569028 4746747
12-Bargagain 2h 05min 1.153 m 4,6 Km 30T 568418 4746795
13-Parking 2h 45min 886 m 7 Km 30T 567098 4745636

Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84

 

Profile of the route

Profile of the route of the Enchanted Forest of Urbasa

 

Cartography, maps and tracks

Route map of the Enchanted Forest of Urbasa

This sketch of the route is not made to scale nor does it contain all the information relating to the area, it is merely indicative.

Topographical map of the route of the Enchanted Forest of Urbasa

IGN

 

This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional  "Cuadrante 114-3, 25.000"

 

Senditur has manipulated the tracks to correct the aberrant points that may exist, caused by problems with the reception of the GPS signal. In any case the tracks are always approximate.

 

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FILE AND TRACKS
Bargagain summit
Carboneros Cabin
La Txapela in the enchanted forest of Urbasa
The Diplodocus in the enchanted forest of Urbasa
The Great Arch in the Enchanted Forest of Urbasa
The mushroom in the enchanted forest of Urbasa
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Marta Castro
Created the 24-02-2019
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¿Did you know that...

 

Thanks to dolmens, tumuli, menhirs and other remains it is known that there were human settlements in the area since prehistoric, Palaeolithic lower and middle. Its inhabitants, initially hunters, learned to domesticate animals becoming shepherds, an activity that still occurs today in the area.

 

Don't miss out...

 

The different corners of the enchanted forest of Urbasa, it is worth wasting some time in going deeper into it because there are many secrets that it hides, but with care not to get lost and of course attentive to the dangerous chasms and dolines that populate the area.

​​

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