Back to top

Climbing the Mugarra by the classic route

The Urkiola Natural Park is home to some of the most important and well-known mountains in Euskadi and Bizkaia. Udalaitz, Anboto, Alluitz and Untzillaitz are just some of the giants that we can dare to climb if they and the goddess Mari allow us to do so. Not far from Durango stands one of these rugged mountains, the ascent of Mugarra from Mañaria by the classic route is one of those climbs that every self-respecting mountaineer would like to have on their CV. The lush forests and green meadows where cattle graze give way to the rocky crest that precedes this mythical Basque Mountain.

How to get to Mañaria

To get to Mañaria, follow the road that links the nearby town of Durango with Otxandio. Once in Mañaria you will find several parking areas where you can park your vehicle to start the route up to Mugarra.

Itinerary of the climb to Mugarra from Mañaria

From Mañaria to the summit of Mugarra 4.1 Km

Depending on the car park in Mañaria from which we leave, we will be more or less close to the asphalted road that we must follow. In any case, we must cross the river that runs parallel to the road along which we arrive, leaving on our right the quarry that is dismantling the mountain we are about to climb. We leave behind the park next to the car park to turn right and go in search of the street that comes from the church, where we will arrive if we have parked in the other car park next to it. At the next crossroads you will see the sign indicating the start of the route to ascent Mugarra from Mañaria. This first part of the route climbs along a narrow road that goes up the mountainside in search of the farmhouses that populate it. A little over 1 km further on, you will come to a turning that you must follow, leaving the tarmac track to continue along a cemented path that barely gives you a moment's respite.

Soon the cement disappears as we continue to climb the path without any further detours. The surrounding landscape is a marvellous sight and invites us to take the occasional break along the way to contemplate it and catch our breath.

After a while we reach the pass that separates the summits of Mugarra and Leungane and Artzetagan. Paying attention to the signs, we continue to our right, crossing the fields of Mugarrikolanda. The hard ascent leads us to the path that will take us to our objective, which requires us to cross a fence without major complications. The landscape has been transformed, giving way to the karstic labyrinth of rocks that precedes the summit of Mugarra. The well-defined path makes it easy to follow the correct route. Some stone milestones mark the place where we must change course and head for the final stretch of the ascent along the rocky ridge. In this section we have the possibility of following a path that runs a little lower down, thus avoiding the exposed part of walking along the upper part of the ridge. The summit of Mugarra (2h 25min) rewards us for the effort involved in reaching it with the magnificent views that can be enjoyed from it. A well-deserved rest before starting the return journey that will take us to Mañaria (3h 25min), along the same route we climbed.

Tips for do the route of ascent to Mugarra from Mañaria

1-The final leg is quite aerial, so don't take more risk than necessary and than you can manage, especially as there is a somewhat safer area to reach the top.

2-There is a considerable slope to overcome, and you will encounter some steep slopes that are best taken slowly.

3-The humidity can make the terrain quite slippery, especially on the final stretch of the ascent to Mugarra.

4-The weather in this area changes very quickly, so it is important to keep an eye on the weather at all times.

Waypoints of the route
1-Mañaria 0:00 185m 0Km 30T 527553 4776297
2-Mugarra 2:25 969m 4,1Km 30T 525972 4777683

Coordinates UTM Datúm WGS84

Profile of the route climbing up to Mugarra from Mañaria

Profile of the route climbing up to Mugarra from Mañaria

ico-distancia-totalDistance: 8,2Km

ico-tiempo-totalTime: 3:25h

ico-dificultadDifficulty: Moderate

ico-desnivel-acumuladoSlope: 1568m

ico-desnivel-positivoSlope +784m

ico-desnivel-negativoSlope -784m

ico-altitud-maximaMaximum altitude: 969m

ico-altitud-minimaMinimum altitude: 185m


Topographical map of the route climbing up to Mugarra from Mañaria

ico IGN

This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 87-1 y 87-2 1:25.000".

Share your experience

Maximum size 2MB

*.gpx, *.kmz, *.kml, *.plt

Sanctuary of Urkiola
Abadiño/Zelaieta, Vizcaya - Bizkaia
Sanctuary of Urkiola

Sanctuary of the Santos Antonios, one of the oldest and most venerated in Vizcaya

Necropolis of Argiñeta
Elorrio, Vizcaya - Bizkaia
Necropolis of Argiñeta

One of the most important funerary monuments of Euskadi


Find out what to see in...


¿Did you know that...

This area of Euskadi has historically been a crossing point for the routes that linked the Cantabrian coast with the plateau, an example of which is the GR 38 Wine and Fish Route that linked the Basque fishing ports with the fertile valley of La Rioja.

Don't miss out...

A visit to the nearby town of Durango, which has a rich historical and artistic heritage with regal buildings and well-kept streets.


Go to Hiking equipment What to bring?

Go to 32 Original gifts for hikers and mountaineers


Care for Nature Do Not Throw Trash

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.

Route information updated on 11-06-2021. 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.

Continue watching …

Copyright © 2024 SENDITUR