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.
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.
We can extend the route by following the route of the greenway.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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. 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.
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.
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.
Besides sharing with all of us your experience on the route we would be grateful if you could write to us to inform us of any erroneous or outdated information you may have found, or simply to let us know what you think at Thank you.
This route has been carried out in the field by SENDITUR on 16-05-2019. The route may vary greatly depending on the time of year, weather conditions and terrain, as well as the actions of third parties and the evolution suffered in the natural environment where it is located. All opinions, advice and/or assessments made by SENDITUR in their descriptions are for guidance only and are subject to and/or refer to the specific conditions of the specific day of the route, referring to that specific day, taken from trained people, with the appropriate experience and with a high level of physical and technical preparation as a reference, as well as correctly equipped.
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