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A visit to the grandparents of the forest

The Natural Park of the Black Lagoon and the Glacial Cirques of Urbión offers us great corners full of magic, a true paradise where nature gives us mythical summits surrounded by spectacular lagoons and leafy forests that hide unique places. From Covaleda a conditioned track ascends the mountain passing by several refuges before leaving us at the foot of the forest where the Path of the Grandparents of the Forest runs.

Path of the Grandparents of the Forest

A simple hiking route that in just 2 km allows us to surprise ourselves by admiring the unique specimens of wild pine that grow in this part of the mountain. A simple route that starts quietly, first following the track that leads to the base of the Muela del Urbión and the place known as the Fountains of the Duero, where this well-known river is born, and then going into the interior of the leafy forest and visiting one after another the colossal pines that rise in search of the sky.

Path of the Grandparents of the Forest

We will see ourselves advancing from pine to pine, each one more spectacular, until we reach the feet of the King Pine, the famous specimen that crowns this entertaining trekking route, ideal to enjoy it with the children. Most of the wild pines that grow here have surprising dimensions and shapes that together with the history that accompanies them make them so special. This place is undoubtedly one of the jewels that this natural park treasures.

Path of the Grandparents of the Forest

The Legend

Legend has it that in the past there was a group of bandits in the region whose leader was known for his bravery and command skills, attributes that came from his time as a soldier of the king. These bandits terrorized all the inhabitants of the region, and no matter how much they tried to capture them with the help of the sheriffs, they always ended up in a bad way. One day, after one of these clashes, the bandits threatened to steal the most precious thing for the inhabitants of the region, the figure of their Virgin. Said and done, the next night and after killing those who protected the carving, the bandits took the figure of the Virgin and fled with her to the mountains. The next morning, when the whole village became aware of this fact, they were quick to look for it and what was their surprise when at the top of the mountain, where there used to be a clearing in the leafy forest, they now found some enormous pines that were rising up to the sky, but even greater was their astonishment when at the foot of the largest pine tree they found the figure of the Virgin in perfect condition. The years passed and the carving was never stolen again, and likewise, nothing was ever heard of the band of bandits again.

How to get to grandparents of the forest path

We reach the town of Covaleda by following the road that connects it on one side with Molinos de Duero and Abejar, the latter on the N-234 between Soria and Burgos. And on the other hand it communicates it with Duruelo de la Sierra and Salas de los Infantes among others. Once in Covaleda, in the Cabañeros industrial estate on the stretch of road between Covaleda and Duruelo de la Sierra, we will find the start of the track that goes up the mountain. A track that is marked by the Pico de Urbión sign. We will have to continue ascending on this asphalted track without leaving it at any time. Its route takes us past the El Becedo refuge and the Bocal Prado refuge. From this refuge, the dirt track starts, which will take us to the crossing where the route starts. There, we will have a small area where we can park our vehicle.

Pet area, hiking with my dog

Simple route ideal to get used both our friend and us to make hiking routes together.

Although it is not a long route, it is not too much to bring him some water, especially if it is summer.

We are in a natural park that has its own rules which we must know and respect.

Description of the Path of the Grandparents of the Forest

On the same track that brought us to this spot in the Natural Park of the Black Lagoon and the Urbión Glacier Cirques we find, next to the information sign of the route, the beginning of this simple but very interesting trekking route.

From the same parking lot begins the Path of the Grandparents of the Forest

The route leaves the main track and follows the upward course of the path that leads to the High Three Fountains refuge and the Duero River source.

We're gaining height

This wide track makes us gain height gently with each step, surrounded by large pine trees. Pines that already let us go making us an idea of the peculiar specimens that wait for us inside the forest.

We left the path

Almost without realizing it, we reach a clearing in the forest, in the middle of a curve, where we must abandon the dirt road to go into the forest.

We follow the little posts

From now on we will see ourselves walking through the leafy forest surrounded by peculiar specimens of wild pine while following the indications of the small posts nailed to the ground.

Watch out for detours

From now on, we must be attentive to the indications of these posts since there is no clearly trodden trail to serve as a reference.

There are marks every little distance

The Path of the Grandparents of the Forest leads us from specimen to specimen to each more spectacular. Luckily, the posts follow each other every little distance, making the task easier.

You have to pay attention to the indications

Later on, the trail we are following does seem to emerge for a moment, but it quickly dissolves again.

We're starting to lose altitude

Soon we will begin to lose some of the height gained on our journey along the Tres Fuentes path. This is a much more obvious descent than the track we climbed.

We continue to descend

The route continues to surprise us with the pines that populate this area of the mountain. Little by little we are losing height as we get closer to the true lord of the forest's grandparents.

The Scots pine specimens are spectacular

But we still have a long way to go before we reach it.

We are approaching the King Pine

The descent seems to come to an end when we reach a small clearing in the forest, here there are several posts that we will meet. Some of them take us to the famous King Pine (0h 30min).​

We say goodbye to the King Pine

From here and once we contemplated this colossus we began to climb part of the lost height.

We ascend to the road

The posts continue to mark the way, a route that brings us closer to the track from which we started.

We went out on the road

We quickly come across the track by which we must continue to climb towards the car park from which we started.

We arrived at the parking lot

A parking lot (0h 40min) that emerges before us almost without time to say goodbye to the spectacular forest we have just visited.

Technical data sheet of the route

ico-distancia-totalDistance. 2Km

The detours we take into the forest to visit forest dwellers should not significantly increase this figure.

ico-tiempo-totalTime. 0:40h

We are sure that there will be many stops along the way that will significantly extend the time it will take us to cover the route.

ico-calendarioTime of year

The snow and ice that covers much of the winter in this area of the mountain limits access when they are present. The rest of the year we can visit the forest and enjoy it to the fullest.

ico-materialRequired equipment

The ease of access and the apparent simplicity of the tour cannot serve as an excuse for not fitting our clothes. Hiking footwear and clothing suitable for this type of activity and for the weather conditions we encounter is essential. Undoubtedly, the photo camera will be a good companion. Consult our list of material and equipment for hiking. Read more.

ico-dificultadDifficulty. Low


Neither the slope nor the distance should put us in difficulty, even if our physical condition is not excellent.

Severity of the environment

The interior of the forest can be a bit slippery so we'll have to watch where we step. It is not a good idea to climb up the ladders that are in several of the pines of the forest as they are not in very good condition and even if they are, they are high enough to do so safely.


Well signposted, as long as the poles are still in the good condition they are in, paying attention we should not have problems. It should be borne in mind that it is quite easy to become disoriented inside the forest as, apart from these posts, there are no other useful references.

Important places to pass through
1-Parking 0:00h 1790m 0Km 30T 514255 4646295
2-King Pine 0:35h 1770m 1.7Km 30T 514282 4646527
3-Parking 0:40h 1790m 2Km 30T 514255 4646295

Coordinates UTM Datum WGS84

Profile of the route

Profile of the Path of the Grandparents of the Forest

ico-desnivel-acumuladoSlope: 130m

ico-desnivel-positivoSlope +: 65m

ico-desnivel-negativoSlope -: 65m

ico-altitud-maximaMaximum altitude: 1828m

ico-altitud-minima​Minimum altitude: 1770m

Cartography, maps and tracks

Map of the Path of the Grandparents of the Forest

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 of the Path of the Grandparents of the Forest


This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 317-1, 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.

Great Spotted Woodpeckers Nest
King Pine in the Path of the Grandparents of the Forest
Path of the Grandparents of the Forest
Path of the Grandparents of the Forest
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Listado de experiencias
Fernando Vazquez
Created the 16-03-2019

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¿Did you know that...

Through the rings that can be seen on the trunks of the trees we can get to know not only their age, but also such important data as the weather conditions of each period, possible diseases suffered by the tree, fires and a good number of other data.

Don't miss out...

The information available on the posters along the route will give you a better idea of the peculiarities and the history that accompanies this forest and these grandparents.


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Respect the Path Keep it clean

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 17-10-2018. 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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