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To Gorbeia from Murua along the Path of Egillolarra

The mythical summit of the Gorbea gives its name to the Gorbea Natural Park, a protected natural area that extends between the Basque provinces of Biscay and Alava. Lush forests full of life, slender mountains of rounded shapes that contrast with the tight silhouettes of their nearby sisters in white limestone, in short a great diversity and not only natural, but also landscape that characterizes this unique place. The Alava side of the park is a clear example of this, and climbing from Murua to Gorbeia along the Path of Egillolarra allows us to immerse ourselves in this wonderful labyrinth of different paths and landscapes.

Gorbeia from Murua along the Path of Egillolarra

The route with its 12.6 km starts from the Quarry of Murua, a place recovered from the old industry that carved its walls and that today has become a natural space prepared for enjoyment and recreation. Leaving behind the quarry and the reservoir of Murua we begin a climb that takes us through a beech forest, dotted with some spectacular oak. The old coalmen who worked here have left for our delight the singular trunks of trees that we find. The Cave of Mairuelegorreta tempts us with its charms, inviting us to make a detour to visit it. As we ascend, we gradually leave the forest behind us until we reach the Egillolarra huts, which mark the end and the beginning of the final stretch of the ascent to the grassy summit of Gorbea. The Path of Murua and the Path of Zarate join us as we imagine ourselves travelling along the steep spur of Igiñiger.​

Cross of the Gorbeia

The Cross of the Gorbeia, of great bearing, is approaching with each step we take until it welcomes us to the summit of this great Basque mountain. After treading on its summit and identifying the summits of the Aldamin, the Miruhen Haitza, the Lekandao and the Axkorrigan, among others, we dare to vary the return route. We set out for the Aldamiñoste pass from where we can enjoy an unbeatable view of the Campas of Arraba, to leave it behind us and start a rapid descent down the Dulao stream ravine. A route that runs marked by the wild silhouette of the mountains that surround it, passing by the path that leads to the summit of the Azero, from where we will begin the final descent that will lead us to the quarries of Murua, surrounded by imposing beech trees.

Hut of Egillolarra

The Trick

The Gorbeia Natural Park is crossed by countless paths and tracks that usually connect with each other allowing us to design an itinerary to our liking. We can for example visit the cave of Mairuelegorreta and then take the route without having to return on our steps. However, it is important to know or have available the necessary information in order to know which path we should follow at each moment.

How to get to Murua

To get to the town of Murua we have to follow the road that connects Vitoria - Gasteiz with the port of Altube and the AP-68. Once on this stretch of road we have to take the detour that leads to Gopegi and from there follow the road to Murua. Once there, after crossing the town, we will find the badly damaged track that leads to the quarry of Murua where we will have to decide in which of the different zones enabled for the parking, we will park.

Pet area, mountain with my dog

We are in a natural park whose regulations require our dog to always accompany us tied up. For the rest and except for specific limitations we will only have to enjoy the route with our friend.

We are in front of a demanding route in which we must control the impetus of our friend so that he does not waste energy without necessity. It is important to bring him water and some food as he will need it.

It is not strange to meet the cattle even at the summit of the Gorbea, as well as many other pets.

Description of the route to Gorbeia from Murua along the Path of Egillolarra

From the quarry of Murua to the Gorbea 6 Km

The Quarries of Murua (0h 00min) are the starting point for our route as well as for many other routes that cross the Gorbeia Natural Park.

We began to travel the road that brought us to the quarries of Murua

Along the road that leads to them we find the different car parks from where we will leave, returning along the road that brought us here to meet the beginning of the route.

We are looking for the beginning of the Path of Egillolarra

Our route following the course of the road will be more or less long depending on where we park.

We left the road

On our right is the path where we must continue to say goodbye to the asphalt.

We started to climb

At the moment we begin to gain height while we follow a wide track that climbs to the top of the quarry of Murua, from where we will enjoy magnificent views of this place.

We continue on the left

After this break we continue our route and quickly turn left at a crossroads, leaving behind the one that would take us to the cave of Mairuelegorreta.

The slope is remarkable

This part of the route still forces us to make an effort to overcome the different ramps that come our way. Luckily, we have a few resting places that allow us to catch our breath.

The path changes direction

Soon the road begins to wind, to make us gain height with greater comfort. There will be several junctions that we will leave behind.

We continue to ascend towards the Gorbea

Crossroads that on more than one occasion make it clear that they offer us the opportunity to smooth out somewhat the slope to be overcome.

We're leaving behind a few crossroads

Even so, given the large number of trails and paths that run through this area, it is not advisable to venture out without having a clear idea of the direction we are taking, a direction that continues to make us gain height with every step.

We follow a stony path

The path as it gains in inclination loses its relative good grip. As if he wanted to warn us of the tough climb ahead.

We get a few breaks

Luckily this area of the route runs under the protection of the leafy forest that populates this hillside of the Gorbeia.

We pass another new crossroads

To our right we leave a new path, which rushes down the hillside, while we continue to climb.

The slope here is considerable

The steep slope we are facing alternates with some slightly more comfortable areas, but soon it gains degrees of inclination again.

We come to a fork in the road

Not far from the end of this ramp we find a new detour, here we will have to decide, we will be able to extend a little more the ascent following the way of our left, or to face a steep trail.

The slope on this route is much less

The path, even if it is a little longer, notably softens the slope we are facing.

The two options come together.

Both options are joined again a little later, with hardly any slope. This area of relative rest allows us to recover strength for the hard stretch ahead.

This area is the most complex

We arrived at a somewhat chaotic area where there are numerous trails drawn on the steep hillside that we have to overcome.

We lengthened the route a bit

In our case we look for the blurred trail that draws a long curve allowing us to overcome this area with a little more ease.

The inclination is considerable

Even so, the slope is considerable and if it were wet, the terrain would be somewhat difficult.

The slope is smoothed out

The trail we are following turns radically to recover the correct orientation and continue to ascend.

We arrived at the area of the huts

We soon reached the limits of the forest we were walking through, where we could approach some huts to take a well-deserved rest or continue our route towards the Gorbea.

We left the forest behind

An itinerary that continues to force us to strive to move forward. The landscape around us has changed completely, the forest has disappeared allowing us to contemplate clearly the itinerary to follow.

We continue to gain height

A route that, although still clearly uphill, is not as demanding as on previous occasions. Little by little we are getting closer to our objective, which is already visible in front of us.

Recovering strength for the final ascent to Gorbeia

This area of the pass between the Arroriano and the Gorbea, allows us to enjoy magnificent views as we prepare for the final part of the ascent.

We start the final stretch

A final part that we will do in the company of those who followed the Path of Murua or the path of Zarate that we joined. The final stretch of the ascent to Gorbeia is longer than it seems at first sight.

The summit of the Gorbea is reluctant to let us crown it

However, the slope to be overcome, although evident, does not represent a greater demand than the accumulated tiredness we have at this point of the route.

We reached the summit of the Gorbeia

The famous Cross of the Gorbeia (2h 30min) welcomes us to the summit of this mythical Basque Mountain.

From Gorbea to the quarries of Murua by the Path of Azero 6,6 Km

Once enjoyed the landscape with which the Gorbeia gives us we undertake the return to the quarries of Murua, we can do it following the same route by which we climbed or through the Path of Murua, but we embark on a return journey perhaps less crowded than the previous ones.

We start the descent of the Gorbea

To do this we start to descend towards the Bizkaia side of the mountain following the famous route that goes up from Pagomakurre.

We lose height quickly

A descent with much more slope than the one we have overcome to reach the summit of Gorbeia, while the steep Aldamin serves as a reference to follow while contemplating the spectacular landscape around us.

We arrived at the pass of Aldamiñoste

When we reach the pass of Aldamiñoste we say goodbye to the Path of Pagomakurre and head to our right in search of a solitary rain gauge.

We resume the descent

The rain gauge serves as a reference to find the beginning of the trail we must follow. A trail that makes us lose height quickly and sometimes gets lost under the green mantle that covers it.

The trail is not too heavily trodden in some areas

Even so, the route to be followed does not make it too difficult for us to follow it. We advance embedded between the steep walls of the mountains that mark the ravine through which we are descending.

We leave the marked trail and continue to descend

We must be vigilant, as we will soon have to leave the trail that follows its course to Dulau, to continue into the ravine.

Watch out in this area

This return route in some of its sections is not as clear and marked as other routes in the park.

The trail is visible again

But these loser areas soon end up leaving us with a trodden trail to follow.

We follow the trail on the left

The problem is that there will be several trails that we will encounter and that will force us to be clear about which one we should follow.

We went into the woods

Once again, the forest reclaims its protagonism, enveloping us with its freshness. For now, the trail we are following only has a few lonely milestones that confirm that we are on the right track.

Again we follow the path of the left

Milestones that we pass at the crossroads are not much help in deciding which way to go.

We went out on a bad road

Luckily we soon find ourselves on a bad road that makes our job a little easier.

The path will guide us from now on

A path that runs next to a wire fence that separates the different hillsides of the mountain. From now on we will see ourselves following this old path that runs along the hill of the mountain towards which we are heading.

Even without marks the route in this section does not have many complications

This part of the route allows us to look back and contemplate the beautiful picture of the mountains we have travelled.

We left a mountain hut on our right

To our right we leave a shelter, and the road that gives access to it, to continue in search of the Azero. The green mantle sometimes almost hides the path we are following.

We're not changing course at the moment.

A path that leads us without loss to crown the modest summit of the Azero (3h 15min). Without delay we follow the itinerary that will take us to the quarry of Murua.

We left behind the Azero's peak

We started to lose height again quickly surrounded by lush trees. The path leaves no room for doubt, allowing us to advance quickly.

The forest around us is a wonder

The beech trees are a spectacle that undoubtedly beautifies this part of the descent.

The ramps have their slope.

As usual, our path draws a few curves to avoid a major slope. Although almost hidden, we will continue to leave behind some trails that we have to leave behind.

We are joined by other paths

But under no circumstances will we have to abandon the broad path we are following. A path that is joined by other tracks to march together towards the quarries.

We go out to the main track

Soon we will meet again with the information posts and signs of the natural park that warn us of the proximity of our final destination.

If you wade the river, be careful because the ground skids

In this section we will be forced to wade the river several times, but if its flow is high we will have two bridges to facilitate the task.

You decide the way forward

Once on a perfect track we approach the quarry of Murua, not without first having to choose whether to follow the path or use the bridges on our left.

To ford the river again

The river can make it difficult for us to wade through it, forcing us to go back a long way, to use the bridge that takes us to the path that runs on the other side of the river.

We arrived at the first of the parking lots in the quarries of Murua

Once this obstacle has been overcome, all that remains is for us to continue to the car park where we began our journey.

We passed by the quarries of Murua

But we still have a new wading of the river that of course also has its corresponding bridge that avoids this section.​

We reached the end of this hiking route in the Gorbea Natural Park

As we mentioned at the beginning, the area of the Quarry of Murua (4h 10min) has several parking areas so the end of our route will be more or less close, and we will have to travel the stretch of road that separates us from it.

Technical data sheet of the route

ico-distancia-totalDistance. 12.6Km

If we return by the same route, the distance to be covered is hardly reduced.

ico-tiempo-totalTime. 4:10h

Going down the Gorbeia by the same path or doing it by the proposed route should not significantly alter the total time we will need to do the route.

ico-calendarioTime of year

Given the lush forest that we travel in much of the route, spring and especially autumn become the most suitable months to venture into this route to the Gorbea. This leafyness allows us to consider also the route in the heat of summer since the shade of the forest will be well received. In winter or better said with snow, ice, etc... it is a period reserved for people with the experience and preparation necessary to face winter mountain routes.

ico-materialRequired equipment

The paths of the Gorbeia Natural Park, by the own regulation of the park, do not have a signaling as exhaustive as other routes, type GR or PR. For that reason and although some of the footpaths are quite evident, it is not too much that we take the necessary to be able to follow the itinerary in case of doubt. At the top, the wind can considerably lower the wind chill, so it is interesting to take warm clothes and windbreaks with you. Wearing a trekking boot is not a bad idea either, we will be grateful when we come across mud or rocky grounds. Consult our list of material and equipment for hiking. Read more.

ico-dificultadDifficulty. Moderated


Distance and slope join forces to make the summit difficult for us. We will have to face some entity ramp or other along a constant ascent. It is true that we will have a few rests, but it is better to take it easy, especially if our physical form is not correct.

Severity of the environment

As long as we do not go off the marked trail and the terrain conditions are normal, i.e. no snow and ice, we should not have any complications. Mud and rocky sections are the factors that, initially, may cause us more problems, especially on the way down. We must also be careful when fording the river, not only because of its flow, but also because the ground skids. We must not forget that the asphalted section of the track coincides with the vehicles that pass through it and there is usually traffic on holidays and in summer.


Although the trails are usually well defined, trampled, the absence of clear marks along the route make it essential to be equipped with what is necessary to consult the route to be followed in case of doubt. We have information posts, but only at the main crossroads, the rest of the route has some landmarks that with old yellow points can serve as a reference, but do not differentiate one path from another.

Important places to pass through
1-Car Parks Murua 0:00h 691m 0Km 30T 521017 4761241
2-Gorbea 2:30h 1482m 6Km 30T 517827 4764608
3-Azero 3:15h 971m 9.1Km 30T 520124 4764151
4-Car Parks Murua 4:10h 691m 12.6Km 30T 521017 4761241

Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84

Profile of the route

Gorbeia profile from Murua along the Path of Egillolarra

ico-desnivel-acumuladoSlope: 1706m

ico-desnivel-positivoSlope +: 853m

ico-desnivel-negativoSlope -: 853m

ico-altitud-maximaMaximum altitude: 1482m

ico-altitud-minimaMinimum altitude: 691m

Cartography, maps and tracks

Map Gorbeia from Murua by the Path of Egillolarra

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.

Topographic map Gorbeia from Murua by the Path of Egillolarra


This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 087-3, 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. 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.

Murua Mill
Panoramic view from the path of the Azero
Quarries of Murua
Rain gauge of the Gorbea
Ridge of the Aldamin
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Listado de experiencias
Ana Sanz
Created the 21-04-2019

Para mí la ruta para ascender al Gorbea que más me gusta en la zona de Álava. Además desde las canteras de Murua podemos acercarnos a un montón de sitios chulos.

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¿Did you know that...

The Gorbea Cross was installed in 1901, currently this famous cross has a wingspan of 18 m, being the third cross that has been raised here, as the first of 33 m and the second of 23 m two storms destroyed them.

Don't miss out...

The Mairuelegorreta Cave is one of the best known caves in Alava, of great beauty and geological importance given its size and the network of galleries that form it.


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This route has been carried out in the field by SENDITUR on 30-03-2019. 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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