Within the Gorbea Natural Park there are numerous routes that ascend to the top of the mountain that gives its name. But if there is an ascent to the Gorbeia that can be considered as the classic route to crown its summit, this one is in the slope belonging to Biscay. The recreational area of Pagomakurre is the meeting point for many of the mountaineers and hikers who visit this natural space daily.
The route of ascent to the Gorbeia from Pagomakurre with its 12.2 km total, allows us to climb this Basque mountain not without effort. The route leaves from the cosy Pagomakurre, to be gaining height with calm, following the track that connects it with the fields of Arraba. Throughout this part of the route we can enjoy the silhouette of the mysterious massif of Itixina and the landscape that forms the valley that extends below us. In the pastures of Arraba, in addition to the two refuges there, a magnificent panorama awaits us, inviting us to take a break to enjoy it.
We save the steep passage that extends under the Gatzarrieta rock to put course towards another of the refuges that populate the natural park of the Gorbea, the refuge of Egiriñao and next to him the small hermitage of the Virgin of the Snows. From there the real ascent to Gorbeia awaits us, which takes us to the Aldamiñoste pass under the watchful eye of the steep Aldamin. From there, we only have to overcome the last slope that separates us from the summit of the Gorbeia, where its unmistakable cross and a spectacular panoramic view awaits us, which compensates the effort made to crown its summit.
To get to Pagomakurre we must first go to the town of Areatza, which we will find on the old N-240 road linking Bilbao and Vitoria, or to the town of Orozko. And it is in the highway that unites these two populations where we will find the beginning of the asphalted track that ascends until Pagomakurre. Once there we will have several zones where we will be able to park our vehicle to begin with the route.
The zone of parkings of the recreational area of Pagomakurre (0h 00min), in the Natural Park of the Gorbea is the departure point for many of the routes that cross it.
We will have to cross the parking to go in search of the track that ascends towards the fields of Arraba.
This wide path from the first moment warns us of the continuous unevenness that we have to save to reach our first objective.
We advance leaving on our right the vertical walls of the Itxina Massif. There will not be many paths or crossroads that we will encounter, and in none of the cases should we abandon the course of our path.
Little by little the slope begins to become more evident, forcing us to make an effort to keep moving forward.
In some of the curves that the path draws, we will come across trails that shorten the route in part, in exchange for a greater slope to overcome.
After a while the path seems to reach the end of this stretch of ascent, marking our arrival at the Campas of Arraba (0h 00min).
As soon as we arrived at the fields we came across the first crossroads.
We follow the path on our left which borders the boundaries of these pastures.
The conditioned walk allows us to enjoy the landscape around us and catch our breath.
Almost without realizing it, we find ourselves at another crossroads where once again it is the path to our left that we must follow.
We quickly start a new stretch of ascent that takes us to the hillside of the Gatzarrieta rock.
There are several possible paths or trails that we can follow to go around this rock. The new trail, much more comfortable, makes it a little lower than the rest of the trails, which are much more broken and slippery.
But in any case both options come together again somewhat later to continue towards the desired summit.
After crossing this craggy area of the route we will find wide pastures and a much more comfortable itinerary.
Soon we reach the height of another crossroads, which we will leave behind to continue our journey. A trail that quickly leads us to the beech forest that precedes the Egiriñao shelter.
A shelter that we will leave behind to begin the real ascent to the summit of Gorbea. From now on, the hardest and most demanding stretch of the entire route awaits us.
An authentic chaos of trails and stones that leads us in constant ascent towards the Aldamiñoste pass.
The trodden trail runs along the skirts of the steep Aldamin to lead us, not without effort, to the pass that separates it from the Gorbea.
Once on the pass and with our eyes on the unmistakable cross that crowns its summit, we changed direction to begin the final stretch of the ascent.
This area maintains the notable slope that we have been overcoming, although there is no longer a clear trail to guide us to the summit. A summit, that of the Gorbeia (1h 50min), that compensates with more than enough effort to conquer it.
Once we have enjoyed this Basque mountain, we only have to return, on our steps, to Pagomakurre (3h 15min) where we will put an end to this route.
A detour to one of the refuges close to the route will hardly increase the distance to be covered.
The different shortcuts that we can find along the route are not remarkable enough to affect the total time of the tour.
The beauty of the different landscapes through which the route passes makes it a recommendable route in any season. Of course, as long as we are technically and physically able to face the added difficulties of the winter periods. The weather in this area tends to change abruptly, turning a sunny and pleasant day into a stressful journey through the fog.
Of course we will have to adapt our equipment to the weather conditions and the route that we expect to find. It is advisable to take with us the GPS with the track of the route, we can not fail to carry the walking sticks that will be of great help. Even in summer it is advisable to take some clothes that will protect us from the wind and from a drop in temperature. Consult our list of material and equipment for hiking. Read more.
This is a relatively short route, compared to other routes up the Gorbea. Even so, the slope to be overcome together with the distance force us to be in good physical shape so as not to suffer more than necessary. On the other hand with the necessary calm and taking advantage of the rest areas that gives us the unevenness, we can make a journey much more affordable than if we obsessed with making summit as quickly as possible.
Severity of the environment
As long as the terrain and weather conditions are suitable, the route is not too complicated. It is only in the stretch that borders the Gatzarrieta rock and the first part of the ascent to the Aldamiñoste pass that we must take the most precautions given the broken terrain. Rain, mud and of course snow and ice radically change this assessment, increasing exposure to danger in some areas.
A large part of the tour will be done on wide tracks and footpaths. In addition, at the main crossroads we have signs that guide us perfectly. However, in the final stretch of the route the path becomes much less evident and if the fog comes into play we could have problems in getting our bearings. The same happens if we leave the official route under an intense fog, the most likely thing is that we will not have easy to retake the correct route.
|30T 516943 4769594
|2-Campas of Arraba
|30T 516762 4767572
|30T 517827 4764608
|4-Campas of Arraba
|30T 516762 4767572
|30T 516943 4769594
Coordinates 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 087-1 y 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.
Bonita y normalmente sencilla ascensión al Gorbea, unos paisajes increíbles, muy recomendable.
Find out what to see in...
¿Did you know that...
The Gorbea Natural Park was declared as such on 21 June 1994, given its high ecological value and the uniqueness of its rich natural heritage. The park is located between the provinces of Bizkaia and Araba.
Don't miss out...
The lookout point shortly after arriving at the Campas of Arraba. From it you can enjoy a wide panoramic view of the valley and the mountains of the nearby Urkiola Natural Park.
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 20-07-2019. 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.
Continue watching …