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The Jump of the Nervión, a walk on the edge of the abyss

In the limits of the provinces of Burgos, Vizcaya and Álava, as if it were a natural border, is the Natural Monument of Mount Santiago and part of it awaits us the Jump of the Nervión. This place of leafy forests, vertical limestone cuttings and karstic formations, added to its unique climate mix, gives us a wide variety of habitats that house countless species both plants and animals. There are not a few routes that will take us through this area as if it were a large theme park, each with its own peculiarities, being one of them the one that will lead us to the Jump of the Nervión, located in the Alava part of the park.

Jump of the Nervión

The 6.7 Km route starts from the House of the Park, which serves as a centre for welcoming visitors and interpreting the environment. Next to it we can find the ruins of the old medieval monastery of Sancti Iacobi de Langriez that was located here and of which we can still observe the remains of the different buildings that composed it. Also in this same place is the Fountain of Santiago that serves as a practical example to understand the complex karstic system that exists in the subsoil of the park. In this fountain the water comes out of the darkness of the subterranean world by a few meters to quickly drain through the sinkhole that a little later returns it to the depths, where according to what is said after crossing a complex network of galleries and chasms it comes back to light in Ojo Lecea, just in the vertical walls of the Nervión Canyon.

Lagoons of the Fountain of Santiago

From here a comfortable track transports us through the spectacular forest that served as home to the wolves, to the place known as the Lobera, where shepherds using ancient hunting arts forced the wolves to fall to hunt them. This Lobera is characterized for being the only one in Spain formed by two holes or wells separated one from the other and there are studies that also affirm that its antiquity goes back to the Neolithic. With luck, if the jump carries water and we can sense the rumor of it in its precipitous fall because not much distance separates us from the imposing cut. The Jump of the Nervión, surprises us by unexpected appearance, when transiting by a plateau of friendly forms that is cut without previous warning by the highest jump of water of Spain with almost 300 m of fall. The singularity of the subsoil that we tread conditions the possibility of finding us this impressive spectacle in full apogee. The natural drains that the water looks for are located something below, besides in the walls that this cut forms, reason why it is necessary the confluence of intense rains or the thaw, so that these do not give enough in its drainage and make that the water rises of level looking for other exits that find uphill.


Even so, the beauty and spectacularity of the place invite you to enjoy walking the trail of the cut that takes us from the lookout point of the jump of the Nervión to the lookout point of the Esquina Rubén, allowing us to contemplate how the narrow gorge is gaining width. This part of the route also allows us to contemplate in detail the fauna that lives here and the gradual evolution between the plant species belonging to the Mediterranean climate and those of the Atlantic climate. From the corner of Rubén we return to enter the leafy beech forest offered by his company until we reach the House of the Park again, where most of the routes that run in this area converge.

The Trick

The vast majority of the guides suggest that the proposed route be carried out clockwise, i.e. the reverse of what is described here. But the impression that the visitor has of finding the waterfall without waiting for it is much higher than the impression that we get to it following the trail of the cut. Since this one is putting us in situation on what we are going to find later. In addition the perspective of the valley, next to the places that we will find from where we will be able to look back to contemplate the Canyon of Delika is another added.

How to get to Nervión Jump

The access point to the Natural Monument of Mount Santiago is in the section of road BU-556 that communicates the towns of Berberana and Orduña, in the limits of the provinces of Burgos and Vizcaya, more concretely in the Burgos slope of the pass of Orduña. Both towns are well communicated with the respective cities closest to them, such as Miranda de Ebro and Bilbao respectively, as well as with Vitoria. Once we arrive at the car park that is on the edge of the road we will find the track that will take us undoubtedly to the interpretation center that is located in the House of the Park. We have not only this first car park but also a couple more, one of them more or less halfway and the third in the vicinity of the House, where the track ends enabled for the transit of vehicles.

​​Pet area, hiking with my dog

We are in a natural park so it is necessary to inform us before the regulations in force for the period in which we make the visit. The route is ideal for our friend to enjoy a pleasant day, although generally tend to be more prudent than some people who make the journey is not too, to avoid unnecessary scares, that in the stretch of the trail of the cut we take it with the strap on, provided that current regulations allow release at some point.

We must take some water with us, especially in summer, as we will not find any water point along the route and the Santiago Fountain is a place of special ecological value and is protected, so in no case can we allow our companion to move his choice here.

The wolves are no longer a headache for the shepherds, but we will certainly find the goats of this area that do not usually like to be bothered. In addition it is probable that some illustrious inhabitant of the zone, like the marbled newt, also is let see.

Description of the route of the Jump of the Nervión

From the car park to the Viewpoint of Jump of the Nervión 2,3 Km

After leaving our vehicle in one of the car parks set up for this purpose, we head towards the House of the Park, where the route begins.

We follow the track to the House of the Park

If we can park in the last car park (0h 00min) we will have to go back a few meters along the track that brought us here to find the beginning of the route.

To the right we will see the House of the Park

Next to the House of the Park, center of interpretation of the same one, begins a wide track of earth that takes us up to the viewpoint. But first, if we visit the interpretation centre, we find next to it the stairs that take us to the nearby Santiago Fountain (0h 05min).​

Tour over the drainage of the Santiago Fountain

The short route through this beautiful spot takes us back to the track we left waiting for us before, joining it a few metres further on, next to the remains of the church of the old monastery that used to be here.

The wide track will guide us to the lookout.

Already in the wide and conditioned track the itinerary transports us through an impressive forest. There are quite a few trails that go out to meet us, practically all of them signposted and that in many cases communicate both sides of this route.

To our right the footpath that leads to the nearby Lobera

Continuing without deviating the track, just where the thick forest seems to leave us, is The Lobera (0h 25min). To contemplate this curious place we have to turn a few meters to our right, following a path that takes us to the well. Returning to the course of the route we cross a wall that marks the limits of the forest, to go out to a wide plain.

The route turns to the left

The track, perfectly defined and prepared, turns to the left leaving behind a path that gets lost in the meadow. Almost without realizing it and after a soft descent barely imperceptible, we see in front of us the Viewpoint of the Jump of the Nervión (0h 30min).​

End point of the track, from the front we go towards the beginning of the path of the cut.

So far the route is perfectly adapted for chairs and trolleys.

From the Viewpoint of the Jump of the Nervión to the Viewpoint of the Corner Rubén 2,9 Km

Once we have enjoyed the impressive views that this place offers, it is time to start the trail that, bordering the cut airways, takes us to the next lookout.

We're heading into the woods

To the left of the esplanade where the track ends, a solitary post marks the beginning of the path. The route at first not very marked brings us closer to the edge of the forest.

We follow the trail

When reaching its height we find the possibility of following what looks like a footpath that goes into the forest or to its right a path that borders it. Although both a few meters later come together again is preferable to follow the path to begin to enjoy the magnificent panoramic views offered by this route. Just where the two options come together again, this time definitely.

Continue along the trail to the right

The route leaves on the left the beech forest trail that crosses the interior of the forest, to follow the path that borders the vertical cliffs that face the Nervión valley.

A good stretch of path awaits us with privileged views

This path, not in very bad condition but with the characteristics of a mountain trail somewhat decomposed in some stretches, takes us marked on one side by the vertiginous void and on the other by the lush forest.

The valley

The route allows us to contemplate at each step how the valley widens little by little, without being able to stop looking back surprising us with the profiled silhouette that marks the final point of the plain.

To the right we go to a bend of the cut with magnificent views

Sometimes the path separates from the cut allowing us to leave it for an instant to get closer to the lookouts that the route offers us.

The terrain becomes more uneven

The relative comfort of the itinerary comes to an end and a marked ascent and descent begins that will make us gain height with a short but demanding ramp. This part of the route runs under the protection of the forest, which partly hides the valley we have at our feet.

It's our turn to take the climb calmly.

After a strong ascent we find one of the trails that cross the forest, which we leave to our left to follow the direction marked by the cliffs along our path.

Go straight on leaving on our left a trail that comes from the forest

Step by step we are gaining height and little by little the slope is losing intensity, soon the forest returns to abandon us letting us intuit the next lookout.

We arrive at the next lookout

All we have to do is walk along the plateau the distance that separates us from the Viewpoint Esquina de Rubén (1h 30min), from where we will have another perspective of the valley.

From Viewpoint Corner of Rubén to Car Park 1,5 Km

Right in the lookout point and perpendicular to it begins the track that takes us to the car park.

Just at the height of the lookout begins the track

This part of the route is again perfectly conditioned and except for the slope that overcomes, allows the passage to chairs and carts.

We return to the interior of the forest

The track takes us back to the limits of the forest, leaving behind us the viewpoint and the top of Mount Arando on which it stands.

We don't have to leave the trail at any time.

A quick descent through the interior of the forest awaits us, in which we meet again with a good number of signs that mark the trails we come across.

To get to the Park House follow the track leaving behind the car park

Almost without realizing it we lose the height gained to arrive until the viewpoint finding us of front with the barrier that impedes the passage to the vehicles and with the Parking (1h 50min) where in the case of having been able to leave here our vehicle finishes this route. If this is not the case, we will only have to follow this track, which after passing by the detour that leads to the Park House will take us to the other car parks before reaching it.

Technical data sheet of the route

ico-distancia-totalDistance. 6.7Km

En función del lugar donde nos veamos obligados a estacionar nuestro vehículo esta cifra puede aumentar bastante.

ico-tiempo-totalTime. 1:50h

This is the time it will take us to complete the tour if we leave from the car park closest to the House of the Park. If on the contrary we do it from some of the other car parks we will have to add the distance that separates them, being of approximately 6 kilometres round trip the furthest and of 3 kilometres the following one, reason why we will have to add 1h 15min and 0h 40min respectively to the total time.

ico-calendarioTime of year

In order to be able to find the Jump of the Nervión with water it must have given some specific conditions that make rise the level of the water that flows by the underground drains of the river. For that reason the periods of thaw or the following days to plentiful rains are the ideal ones to find us the water falling by the cut one. Even so, the rest of the year offers us a large number of attractions that invite us to visit the area, some of them being the spectacular surroundings, the leafy forests through which the route passes.

ico-materialRequired equipment

We must adapt our equipment according to the route we choose, while the section leading to the lookout points allows almost any clothing according to the time of year and weather conditions, the trail of the cut that joins both lookout points requires us for example a comfortable footwear hiking more in line with the type of terrain we will step. In any case we can not forget the camera and some water if we do the entire tour. As always we must also wear something to protect us from the sun such as sunglasses, sunscreen and cap or hat. Consult our list of material and equipment for hiking. Read more.

ico-dificultadDifficulty. Low


The route allows us to adapt it to our characteristics, giving us different sections or options that adapt to each profile. It is important to bear in mind that although we will not save a great difference in slope if we can be forced to travel a few extra kilometers depending on where we have to park our vehicle. Fact that without a doubt increases the physical effort of the same one. The slope we have to face is concentrated around the lookout point of the corner of Rubén, both in the trail of the cut and the track that joins it with the House of the Park.

Severity of the environment

A large part of the route runs along conditioned tracks that allow the transit of chairs and carts, although in the stretch between the corner of Rubén and the car park we find a steeper slope compared to the other stretch of track practically smooth. People with reduced mobility can also apply at the House of the Park for permission to access the lookout points by car. The cut trail runs far enough away from it so that it does not pose any problem as long as we maintain basic safety rules and do not abandon their itinerary by getting closer than necessary to the edge. Otherwise in case of slipping, made relatively easy given the type of terrain, we have a fall of 420 m to the bottom of the valley. For the rest the path except for the lascas and roots, that if they are humid they are a skate we should not have major problem.


At all times signposted and well-defined its layout, are the great variety of trails and their signs which if we do not have clear places where we are going to pass, we may doubt. Even so, in case of error, it is normal that we go out again to the route since these paths usually join both slopes through the beech forest. We also have to find the marks of the long-distance trails that cross this spot. Fogs are frequent in the area, so we will have to adapt our route to the visibility conditions and avoid the cut trails if the fog is thick.

Important places to pass through
1-Parking 0:00h 845m 0Km 30T 499996 4754427
2-Santiago Fountain 0:05h 840m 0.2Km 30T 499960 4754267
3-The Lobera 0:25h 829m 1.7Km 30T 501178 4753757
4-Viewpoint of Jump of the Nervión 0:30h 820m 2.3Km 30T 501564 4754107
5-Viewpoint of the Corner of Rubén 1:30h 936m 5.2Km 30T 499741 4755653
6-Parking 1:50h 845m 6.7Km 30T 499996 4754427

Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84

Profile of the route

Profile of the Jump of the Nervión route

ico-desnivel-acumuladoSlope: 350m

ico-desnivel-positivoSlope +: 175m

ico-desnivel-negativoSlope -: 175m

ico-altitud-maximaMaximum altitude: 936m

ico-altitud-minimaMinimum altitude: 810m

Cartography, maps and tracks

Jump of the Nervión Route Map

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 with the Jump of the Nervión route


This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 111-2 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.

A few feet of fall.
Beech Forest
Jump of the Nervión
Jump of the Nervión
Nervión River Valley
Panoramic view of the valley
Santiago Fountain
The Lobera
Viewpoint of Rubén
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Listado de experiencias
Created the 23-08-2017

Salto de agua más alto de España con 300 metros de caída libre. Nacimiento del río Nervión en tierras alavesas.

Cristina Sanz
Created the 06-11-2015

Una maravilla y el bosque en otoño totalmente recomendable

Alex López
Created the 30-05-2015

Me gusto mucho. Impresionante asomarte al mirador!! Muy recomendable visitarlo.

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This route has been carried out in the field by SENDITUR on 01-06-2018. 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.

All the times are approximate and take an orientative character, the stops have not been taken into account, no matter how small they are. 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 undertaking any activity, assess your technical knowledge, your physical condition, find out about the weather and the variations that the route may undergo, equip yourself correctly, be prudent and responsible at all times, and do not exceed your capabilities. SENDITUR is not responsible for any misuse or inappropriate use of the comprehensive guides of its routes and/or publications as well as its electronic guides, nor for any variations in their descriptions for the aforementioned reasons, and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. We also encourage you to read books and specialised guides to complement the information described above.

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