Between San Cristóbal and Mojón Alto mountains, in the heart of the Camero Nuevo region of La Rioja, a land with a splendid cattle-raising past, this path runs as a link between the two great routes that cross the mountains of La Rioja. The Link GR 93 GR 190 Ortigosa de Cameros Rock Hincada runs along the course of the Rioseco stream, surrounded by pines, groves and beech trees, crossing the wide valley that extends from the ancient González Lacasa reservoir to the rounded Pass of Canto Hincado.
The route consists of 5.6 km, the distance separating both GRs, in this case we start from the GR 93 as it passes through Ortigosa de Cameros, leaving behind us the spectacular panorama that can be seen from the vertiginous iron bridge that precedes the town. The chapel of Santa Lucía and the church of San Miguel mark out our route through this district of Ortigosa, giving rise to the slender new bridge over which we will bridge the chasm that separates the two districts into which the town is divided. The church of San Martín welcomes us to the other side, inviting us to go even further into the streets of Ortigosa de Cameros. First, Solano Street and then Ascent to the Castle Street prepare us for our farewell. Soon we will have to go up the valley and leave behind the silhouette of the town that saw us leave.
The wide track along which our route runs leads us without complications to the meeting of the trail that will take over. The luxuriant forest on the slopes of the mountain takes over the landscape, enveloping us completely. When the time comes, the itinerary leaves the comfortable path to embark on the final stretch of the journey, which will take us to the clear Pass of Peña Hincada, but not before allowing us to enjoy the freshness provided by the pine trees that surround us, the colorful landscape that the vegetation paints as we pass and the small clearings that open up before us. Once on the pass, the GR 190 or The Highs Valleys Iberian awaits us to lead us to Brieva de Cameros or, on the contrary, to set off in search of Villoslada de Cameros, although to reach the latter from Ortigosa de Cameros we have a more direct route between the two towns.
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The legend of the origin of Rock Hincada tells that, in the times of the powerful kingdoms of Pamplona and Castile, disputes over the border territories between the two kingdoms were frequent, in order to extend their domains. There were many skirmishes in this area of Los Cameros, with both kings seeking to extend their borders to the opposite valley, some trying to annex the valley of Brieva de Cameros and the others the valley of Ortigosa de Cameros. But there by the year 1016 it was agreed between both kings an equitable distribution of these lands, and in order to leave marked the borders it was decided to sink in the top of the mountain, along the line that separates both valleys, some enormous menhirs that indicated the border to respect.
Ortigosa de Cameros can be reached by following the LR-232, which connects the town on the one hand with Brieva de Cameros and with the LR-113 through Peña Hincada, the LR-113 which links the towns of Nájera and Salas de los Infantes, or on the other hand the LR-232 links it with the N-111 between Logroño and Soria, from where we can access it either by passing through El Rasillo or from the nearby Villanueva de Cameros. Ortigosa has a bus service from Monday to Saturday that covers the Logroño-Montenegro route. Once there, at the entrance to Ortigosa de Cameros, there are parking areas near the chapel of Santa Lucía, which is the point where the GR 93 enters the town and where this link begins.
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A beautiful route that by itself does not have a great physical demand for our friend, a fact that should not confuse us since it is usually part of a longer and more demanding route.
Except in Ortigosa we will not find water along the whole route, and neither will we easily find it in the possible extensions that we might consider.
Pay attention to the processionaries, most of which pass through a pine forest, the home of these stinging animals. Otherwise, cattle and a few dogs are all we have to find as a general rule, although the native fauna is more abundant than it might seem.
The hermitage of Santa Lucía, located just at the entrance to Ortigosa de Cameros (0h 00min) as we arrive at the town following the road that goes up from the nearby González Lacasa reservoir, is the starting point for this route.
We advance following the road that takes us into the town with every step, while leaving behind us the hermitage and the GR 93 that passes through here.
At this point we will come across the detour we must take to continue our journey through Ortigosa de Cameros, leaving behind the road that would take us to the Pass of Peña Hincada if we followed it.
The church of San Miguel is now in charge of guiding us on our journey, leading us to the vertiginous bridge we are about to cross.
A bridge that will allow us to bridge the chasm that separates the neighborhoods that make up the town.
The church of San Martín welcomes us on the opposite bank of the bridge, a church that we will once again border as we begin to gain height.
Without almost noticing it, we will find ourselves walking the narrow streets of Ortigosa. The small chapel of San Felices observes us from its privileged location as we go in search of the path we should follow.
The narrow and steep streets lead us straight to the outskirts of the town.
We will soon find ourselves climbing up the track that leads to Ortigosa on this side of the village.
Just outside the city begins the path that will serve us as an improvised guide.
After recovering our breath thanks in part to the marked descent that precedes our departure from Ortigosa de Cameros, we will return to the ascending profile that characterizes this entire itinerary.
There will not be many junctions that we will encounter while we travel the few kilometers of monotonous road following the course of the Rioseco stream.
After a while our track changes its orientation abruptly, a change that marks the moment to abandon its comfortable layout to start the final ascent.
We will quickly come across a door that we will have to go through in order to continue on the footpath that awaits us.
A marked trail through the thick forest that populates the side of the mountain we are climbing. This section alternates with less demanding areas, with others where the slope becomes more noticeable.
After a while we will arrive at the usually dry riverbed of a small stream which we must cross. After doing so, our trail, somewhat blurred by the leaves, describes a zigzagging that helps us to save the lost slope to wade the stream.
This part of the route, although signposted, forces us to be attentive to follow the right path. We continue to gain height with each step as we walk through the lush forest of pines and beeches.
After a while we will arrive at a small clearing marked by a battered trough where our trodden footpath is hidden under the green grass.
Again we will have to sharpen our eyes to guide us from post to post of the GR, without going too far from the limits of the forest.
Soon our footpath is clearly shown again while leading us back into the vegetation around us.
The unevenness becomes even more evident, allowing us to sense the near end of the ascent. The trees give us small moments of respite allowing us to intuit the lower part of the valley from where we started.
Finally in front of us is the line that marks the boundaries of the forest and the next end. All that remains is to climb the short slope that separates us from the highest point of the Pass of Rock Hincada (1h 35min).
Once we are up and after crossing the road we will find, at the beginning of the track on the other side, the route of the GR 190 that, ascending from Brieva de Cameros through the valley in front of us, continues towards Villoslada de Cameros following the dirt track that starts here.
Total distance. 5,6 Km
Total time. 1h 35min
As it is logical, we will have to add the time corresponding to that of the route with which we twin this path of La Rioja. If we return to Ortigosa de Cameros again, we will have to add 55 minutes to 1 hour approximately.
Time of year. Most of the year
Although we are not facing significant altitudes, the area tends to accumulate quite a lot of snow and the road that crosses Peña Hincada is usually one of the usual ones that is cut off from traffic, so it is not very advisable to venture on the route if the snow covers this area of La Rioja. Otherwise, the landscape surrounding the route offers us a real spectacle of colour in autumn and spring, which will undoubtedly make our route a pleasant one.
Required equipment. Don't forget the water
Although, when it comes to material, whether it is a route of a few kilometers or many, there are a number of components that must always accompany us. The continuation that we give to ours will be the one that more conditions the equipment that we will have to take, next to the special circumstances of the moment of the year in which we make it. Except in Ortigosa we will not have water points, so it is important to carry enough water in the backpack. Don't forget the information corresponding to the route you intend to follow afterwards either. Consult our list of material and equipment for hiking. Read more.
Slope acumulate. 439 m Slope positive 382 m Slope negative. 57 m
Maximum altitude. 1412 m Minimum altitude. 1063 m
Since it is a route that serves as a link between two long-distance paths, we must take into account the continuation of the route we are going to follow or the route we would have taken before to reach it, since its peculiarities and requirements are added to those of this section itself. Likewise, if as is usually the case, our intention is to climb up to Peña Hincada and then return to Ortigosa, we will have to count on the return journey, which, even if it is a descent, would leave us with a considerable total mileage.
Severity of the environment
As a general rule and except for less common situations where snow or ice are the protagonists, we are faced with a route without major complications, which runs largely on a wide dirt track and in its stretch of footpath is where we can find greater complications, especially if the mud makes an act of presence.
Well marked in almost all of its layout, with the roads where it runs in good conditions and its path generally well trodden, we should have no problem following its course. However, we will have a couple of areas where we should be careful because in one of them the signs can make us doubt and in the other the path blurs under the grass and the posts can be seen wrapped by the surrounding vegetation.
|1-Ortigosa de Cameros||0h 00min||1063 m||0 Km||30T 524704 4669624|
|2-Peña Hincada||1h 35min||1412 m||5,6 Km||30T 520064 4667759|
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 241-3 y 279-1, 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.
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¿Did you know that...
Martín de Zurbano, one of the most famous guerrillas of the War of Independence, was captured in Ortigosa de Cameros after giving a massive speech in Nájera. It seems that he took refuge in the town and later headed for Portugal posing as a shepherd, taking advantage of the period of transhumance, but he was captured and shot in Logroño on January 21, 1845.
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The Caves of Ortigosa composed of the Caves of La Paz and La Viña, discovered during the exploitation of the quarry that served for the construction of the nearby reservoir. This is a marvel of nature with spectacular structures, in which archaeological remains from the Bronze Age have also been found.
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This route has been carried out in the field by SENDITUR on 18-04-2017. 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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