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Following the tracks of dinosaurs along the GR 93

This long section of the GR 93 from the Upper Cidacos Valley to the Linares Valley offers a host of surprises along the way. This arid landscape, which barely provides any shade along the route, hides the famous dinosaur footprints or Icnites, archaeological sites of great importance dating back to the Cretaceous era. The GR 93 section 8 Enciso-Cornago also allows us to visit the old villages that are now beginning to see life revive in their streets.

Itinerary of the GR 93 section 8 Enciso-Cornago

From Enciso to El Villar de Poyales 3.1 Km

The waymarks of the GR 93 in Enciso (0h 00min) lead us to the road, which we follow in the direction of Soria. Before leaving Enciso we say goodbye to the road to cross to the other side of the river Cidacos and head towards the hermitage of Santa Bárbara. Once there we will have to descend to the Vacirbe stream to cross it. Soon we start to gain height, the path takes us halfway up the slope, parallel to the ravine we have just crossed, with Enciso behind us. The route then starts to go up the Fuente de Abajo ravine, coming across the streams that flow into it. We must be attentive so as not to miss any details of the landscape and the dinosaur footprints that we come across. After a while the path takes you to the first houses of El Villar de Poyales (0h 55min), leading you to the road that you have to follow.

From El Villar de Poyales to Navalsaz 3.7 Km

This section forces us to follow the course of the road that continues up the ravine that has accompanied us since Enciso. In return, we will be able to visit more Ichnite archaeological sites. We leave the village behind to approach the junction with the road to Poyales, where we leave the asphalt for a moment to visit the Cristo del Valle hermitage, or at least what remains of it. After taking a break in the pleasant rest area, we return to the road and head towards our next destination. Shortly before reaching the next village, we leave the road again to follow the path that climbs towards the town. The route passes by the ruins of the old church of Santiago to enter Navalsaz (1h 55min) in search of its main square.

From Navalsaz to Ambasaguas 4.4 Km

As the GR 93 passes through this town, it tries to avoid the road as much as possible, so when we reach the church it makes us take a short detour. We leave the village and take a path that leads us, leaving Navalsaz behind, once again to the road. We continue ascending along the road, although luckily we will soon say goodbye to its company again and follow a path that leads to an interesting viewpoint. We will pass under this viewpoint, as the GR 93 takes us down the ravine on our right. This descent takes us to the bed of a stream that we will have to ford. We will quickly come across a wire fence which we will cross through a gate to continue descending the ravine we have just crossed on our right. This area also has dinosaur footprints that make the route more pleasant. After a while and without further complications we reach the village of Ambasaguas (3h 15min).

From Ambasaguas to Valdeperillo 8.6 Km

The route takes us through the town to descend to meet the river. We will not cross the river, as the GR 93 markings will take us to some livestock buildings from where we will go up to the access road to Ambasaguas. Before reaching the Cristo hermitage, we leave the path that leads to Muro de Aguas to descend in search of the Vallaroso stream that runs through the ravine we have been following for some time. This part of the route runs parallel to the stream, leading us to the place where we will cross it. After a while we cross the stream and begin to ascend through the holm oaks that populate the area. The path continues to lead us upwards as it crosses the typical ravines that plunge towards our old travelling companion. After a while we come out onto a wide track that will guide us on this part of the route. We will not have to leave this wide path until shortly after leaving a crossroads behind us.

Specifically, when we reach a wide, sharp bend, where we leave the path to descend a steep slope of earth.

After doing so, we will recover part of the lost height as we approach another road. When we reach its height we radically change direction to continue along it for a few metres in search of the col of Portillo de Valcardera. Now we change sides and start to descend the steep slope ahead of us. The route zigzags continuously, leading us to cross a ravine and pass next to some old corrals. After crossing it, we change direction and begin to follow the course marked by the ravine. After a steep and rocky descent we will have to cross the ravine again. Now with the ravine on the opposite side we continue with the cumbersome descent. Not much further on our ravine ends when it meets the Linares river, whose course we follow halfway down the slope. The vegetable gardens and the irrigation ditches that water them accompany us on this part of the GR 93. We have to cross one of these ditches to descend to the river, cross the bridge and come out on the road to Valdeperillo (5h 50min).

From Valdeperillo to Cornago 2.7 Km

Once there, the GR 93 barely lets us enjoy the town, forcing us to follow the road towards Cornago. After a long stretch on the road, shortly after crossing a bridge and just before reaching a crossroads, we leave the road to continue along the path that ascends towards the town. Under the watchful eye of Cornago Castle (6h 25min) we enter the town following the GR 93 markings to conclude this interesting stage.

Waypoints of the route
1-Enciso 0:00h 790m 0km 30T 560430 4666536
2-El Villar de Poyales 0:55h 850m 3.1Km 30T 562621 4665265
3-Navalzaz 1:55h 1006m 6.8Km 30T 565444 4663621
4-Ambasaguas 3:15h 870m 11.2Km 30T 568999 4663610
5-Valdeperillo 5:50h 690m 19.8Km 30T 573597 4658819
6-Cornago 6:25h 730m 22.5Km 30T 574897 4657408

Coordinates UTM Datúm WGS84

Profile of the route

Profile of the Route GR 93  Section 8 Enciso-Cornago

ico-distancia-totalDistance: 22.5Km

ico-tiempo-totalTime: 6:25h

ico-dificultadDifficulty: Moderate

ico-desnivel-acumuladoSlope: 1390m

ico-desnivel-positivoSlope +: 665m

ico-desnivel-negativoSlope -: 725m

ico-altitud-maximaMaximum altitude: 1048m

ico-altitud-minimaMinimum altitude: 670m


Topographical map of the GR 93 section Enciso-Cornago

ico IGN

This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 280-2, 280-4, 281-1 y 281-3 1:25.000".

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¿Did you know that...

In the municipality of Enciso alone there are more than 1400 dinosaur footprints catalogued and even today more Ichnite archaeological sites are still being discovered.

Don't miss out...

A visit to the castle of Cornago, of great importance in medieval times and which forms an urban ensemble of great beauty together with the well-kept streets and houses of the town.



Go to The best hiking routes in La Rioja

Go to Hiking equipment What to bring?


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Route information updated on 24-08-2020. 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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