Tearing apart one of the pre-Pyrenean valleys of Navarre, between the towns of Lumbier and Liédena, is the Foz de Lumbier, dug for thousands of years by the river Irati. A natural space protected for years by its narrow entrance and exit corridors that have served as a natural barrier thus preserving, almost unaltered, its privileged ecosystem, habitat for many species of animals and plants. In the Gorge of Lumbier we will be able to enjoy its exuberant vegetation going through the home of the griffon vultures, the swifts and the grajillas among others. The river, indisputable protagonist next to the vertical walls that surround it, is the ideal place for trout, gobies and chipas, always with the permission of the illustrious inhabitant that now has returned to these waters, the otter.
The route through the Foz de Lumbier with just 3.6 km starts from the car park we reached from nearby Lumbier and runs along the old route followed by the first electric train in Spain, El Irati, which was active until the end of 1955. We began the route in the recreation area next to the car park, to cross a small trench that warns us of the spectacular route that awaits us, and reach the entrance to the mouth of Foz de Lumbier. From there we will be able to contemplate part of the narrow course that follows the river. In this place a tunnel serves us to cross the rock giving us definitively entrance to the interior of the gorge. As soon as we come out of the tunnel, on our right, we will find a small backwater of the river where a peculiar pebble beach has been formed, which we can access by descending a cobbled path.
The route continues allowing us to contemplate in detail the vertical walls that surround us in search of the cliffs inhabited by the griffon vultures that surely already fly over our heads. The limestone walls seem to fall on us as we pass through the stretches in which the train's route dug into them to gain some ground at the narrow pass. The next tunnel soon appears before us not without first allowing us to contemplate the narrow exit that the river has drawn in the rock to escape from it. In the background you can sense part of the rest of the Devil's Bridge that closed this area of the Foz de Lumbier. Before crossing the tunnel that will take us to the final point of the gorge, a sinuous path offers us the possibility of descending again to the bank of the river to contemplate closely the forms that this one has created in the rock, as if of a sculptor and his chisel it was.
At our exit from the second tunnel, the greenway on which we are going continues its course towards Liédena, while on our right we will see the rugged path that takes us to the ruins of Puente del Diablo, a trail quite area and slippery. From here, if we do not follow any of these two options, we can only return by following our steps and discovering new corners or perspectives that we had previously overlooked, until we get back to the car park where we started the journey.
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Legend has it that in the vicinity of the river Irati lived a noble lady suffering from multiple ailments. In order to help heal her, a slave offered to bring her a pitcher full of water from a nearby fountain famous for its healing properties. The girl had to cross the river to get to her but a strong flood prevented it, in it the Devil appeared offering her a deal, he would build her a bridge to cross in exchange for her soul. The girl made it a condition that it be finished before six o'clock in the morning, accepting the deal. The Devil was busy in the construction of it finishing the work later than the agreed time, leaving the girl free of any debt. That is why the bridge has been called Bridge of the Devil or Jesus to have delayed the Devil in his task.
We can reach Lumbier following the A-21 that joins Pamplona with Jaca, approximately 40 km from Pamplona in the direction of Jaca we will find exit 35, from here we only have to follow the NA-150 that will take us directly to Lumbier. This same road, but on the other side, also comes from Pamplona through Egües and Artieda. Another access road is the NA-178 that starts from Ezcároz towards Lumbier giving the possibility of joining Roncesvalles or the Irati Forest with the Foz de Lumbier. Once there, just at the entrance to the locality as we arrive from Pamplona by the highway, we will find the sign that indicates the detour that we must follow to our right. Shortly after crossing the Salazar River we will have to leave the road we are going along to continue to our right along an asphalt track that will take us to the car park where the route begins and where we can leave our vehicle for a cost of 2 € for cars.
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Nice and simple route without complications in which we must take into account the regulations of protected natural areas, taking our pet tied and respecting the fauna and flora of the place.
Next to the car park we will find a rest area that has a water point where we can replenish the water if we need it and just before entering the first trench of the train we will find another small rest area and a fountain next to it. It is not too much to carry a small flashlight or frontal for the tunnels, especially if we have a fearful companion with the darkness. Before going down one of the paths that go down to the river, we have to assess and inform ourselves of the conditions of the channel that sometimes goes down with force and increases its flow quickly.
Normally the visitors comply with the rules of the park and it is only the curious vultures that observe us from the heights, the animals that inhabit this paradise that are most visible.
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Total distance. 3,6 Km
Total time. 1h 00min
It is what will take us to make the tour taking some time to enjoy the environment, although this time can be extended considerably due to the many corners and curiosities that will surely call our attention.
Time of year. Any time of the year
In periods of flooding it is important to be informed before the state of the route because it is a floodable area, otherwise the route can be enjoyed at any time of year, each giving us their special nuances that invite us to visit more than once in different periods of the year.
Required equipment. Nothing special
Clothes and sports shoes or comfortable, binoculars to observe the large family of vultures, alimoches or piquirrojas, also the camera is all we need initially. The sunscreen we can not forget the summer days, it is also advisable to carry a flashlight for the two short tunnels that we must pass. Consult our list of material and equipment for hiking. Read more.
Slope acumulate. 30 m Slope positive. 15 m Slope negative. 15 m
This is a short route whose slope is practically inappreciable, as long as we do not leave the route marked by the old railway line. The greatest demand can be the heat in summer, when the thermal sensation is increased when we see ourselves between rocky walls, the tunnel sections being a place with an added charm.
Severity of the environment
Perfectly conditioned throughout the route, with firm pressing that allows the passage of chairs and carts, the route even has explanatory panels in Braille next to the car park. It is important to bear in mind that in certain parts of the route there is a risk of landslides, so it is advisable to exercise extreme caution. The paths that descend towards the river do not form part of the route, being stony, slippery and sometimes, like the one that leads to the Puente del Diablo, dangerous, not being advisable to do it with children or for people who suffer from vertigo.
Without any confusion, the route is clearly delimited by the route of the greenway that leads to Liédena, also has explanatory signs. We will also be able to see the green and white signs of the circular path that starts from the car park and returns to the inside of the Gorge, as well as the typical yellow marks of the Pilgrim's Way to Santiago as this is a historic route for pilgrims coming from Somport.
|1-Parking||0h 00min||430 m||0 Km||30T 638755 4722036|
|2-Devil's Bridge||0h 30min||415 m||1,8 Km||30T 639276 4720583|
|3-Parking||1h 00min||430 m||3,6 Km||30T 638755 4722036|
Coordenadas UTM Datum WGS84
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.
This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 174-2 1:25.000"
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.
This route has been carried out on the ground by SENDITUR on 16-05-2016. The route can vary a lot depending on the time of year, the weather conditions and the terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered by the natural environment where it is located. SENDITUR is not responsible for any misuse or inadequate use of the comprehensive guides of its routes and/or publications, nor for the variations for the above-mentioned reasons that could exist in their descriptions and recommends that each person be responsible and prudent in the realization of the activity. Likewise, we invite you to get information from books and specialized guides to complement the information described. All times are approximate and are for guidance only. Stops, however small, have not been taken into account. 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, equip correctly, be prudent and responsible at all times, not surpassing your capacities. SENDITUR encourages you to use the new technologies within your reach, using them as support and consultation in your activity, not basing the realization and orientation of the same only and exclusively on them, since they may see their functioning altered by very diverse causes, not functioning correctly and their indications may not be precise. SENDITUR is not responsible for any misuse and/or operation of its electronic guides and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in its descriptions are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions that SENDITUR encountered on the specific day of the performance of the tour, referring to that specific day and always taking as reference trained and experienced people, with a high level of both physical and technical preparation, as well as correctly equipped, therefore all opinions, assessments and/or advice are for guidance only. 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.
Este ha sido uno de los paseos más agradables que hemos hecho en familia, pese al tiempo disfrutamos del paseo y del lugar. El sendero es recomendable también para personas con movilidad reducida, aunque conviene llevar linterna para atravesar los túneles. No pudimos disfrutar del almuerzo en las mesas de madera al comienzo del recorrido, pero otra vez será. Un lugar increible para observar buitres y deleitarse con la fuerza del río Irati. No olvidar hacer una visita a la cercana villla romana de Liédena, da una perspectiva interesante sobre el río y la foz.
Precioso recorrido, ideal para hacer con los niños, súper entretenido
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¿Did you know that...
In Navarre, gorges or defiles formed over the years by the erosive action of a river creating narrow passages between rock walls, causing vertical rocky cliffs, are known as Foces or Foz. Making them valuable places only accessible for years to a privileged few.
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The archaeological remains of the nearby Roman villa of Liédena, which had more than 50 rooms around a central courtyard such as a pond, olive grove, wine press and thermal baths, being an example of self-sufficiency. The numerous finds made in this town, mosaics, amphorae and various objects are conserved in the museum of Navarre in Pamplona.
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