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Route to the birth of the river Pisuerga in the Copper Cave

The birth of a river is usually accompanied by a natural landscape that generally adds to the beauty of stem from its waters. This fact is usually repeated in almost all the rivers we have visited, and is even more remarkable in rivers of the size of the Pisuerga. The Path of Copper, the birth of the Pisuerga, is a hiking route in the heart of the Mountain Palentina, in the Natural Park of Sources Carrionas and Source Copper that allows us to approach to the Cave of Copper, considered the point of birth of the river Pisuerga. A nice route through the beautiful landscapes of this area of the province of Palencia that gives us the opportunity to enter this cave, which is not really the true birthplace of the river, as it emerges a little further up the hillsides of Valdecebollas, near the col of Sel de la Fuente.


How to get to the start of the route of the birth of the Pisuerga river

To reach the starting point of the Path of the Source of the Copper, the route of the birth of the Pisuerga, we have to follow the road that links Cervera de Pisuerga with Potes and Puentenansa. Shortly after passing the Requejada reservoir, if you are coming from Cervera de Pisuerga you will find the turning that leads to Santa María de Redondo. Once there, we will cross the town, as shortly after leaving it on the right hand side we will see the path that leads to the nearby car park from where the Source of Copper path starts, the birth of the Pisuerga River.

Itinerary of the Path Source of the Copper the Birth of the Pisuerga River

From the parking lot to the Copper Cave 5.5 km

If we have managed to park our vehicle in the parking lot after crossing the village of Santa María de Redondo, the typical information sign of the route will mark the starting point of the route. This first part of the route runs with hardly any slope and is signposted at all times by the white and yellow marks of the PR P8. The river Pisuerga is the protagonist from the very beginning and we will have to cross it on several occasions.

After a while the Peñalba stream appears before us before it empties its waters into the Pisuerga. We continue to advance, seeing how the difference in slope starts to become more evident with each step we take.

Almost without noticing we reach a fork in the path where the markings advise us to follow the path to our right, leaving the left-hand path for the return journey. The thick forest of beech and oak trees enlivens this part of the route, where you will also come across the odd waterfall. The path, which we have been following for some time now, takes us straight to the mouth of Copper Cave (2h 15min). If the flow of the Pisuerga allows it and after overcoming the rocky projection at the entrance to the Copper Cave we can go a few metres into the interior of the cave.

From Copper Cave to parking lot 6.5 km

Once you have enjoyed this corner of the Mountain Palentina, it is time to return. To do so, you can either follow the same route you came along or, returning a few metres along the path to a small clearing you passed before arriving, follow the path that climbs up to the Col of the Copper, cutting into the side of the mountain. This other route offers magnificent views both of the surrounding mountains and of the valley through which we have climbed up to the cave. Once at the col we cross the field, leaving behind us the path that ascends in search of the crest that has accompanied us up to here, to begin the descent following the path that goes into the interior of an oak grove. This steep section of the route follows the typical zigzags of mountain routes, taking us to the bottom of the valley to meet up again with the river Pisuerga at the crossroads that we left behind some time ago. From here we only have to follow the downstream course of the river until we reach the parking area (4h 10min), from where we set off on this beautiful hiking route in the Natural Park of Sources Carrionas and Source Copper.


Advice on how to do the Path Source of the Copper the Birth of the Pisuerga River

1-The Cave of Source of the Copper is just over 8 km in size and is actually the exit of a large funnel that collects the waters of the streams in the upper part of the mountain, so it is not advisable to go beyond the entrance without the experience and equipment necessary for this type of activity.

2-The route does not initially present great difficulties unless ice and snow are the protagonists, even so do not underestimate it and equip yourself correctly for the activity.

3-Remember that you are in a natural park with specific regulations governing it.

4-Although water is part of the route there are no sources, so it is important that you carry enough water for the whole day.

Waypoints of the route
1-Parking 0:00h 1220m 0Km 30T 383573 4760870
2-Copper Cave 2:15h 1620m 5,5Km 30T 388075 4760294

Coordinates UTM Datúm WGS84

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Profile of the Path Source of the Copper the Birth of the Pisuerga River

Profile of the Path Source of the Copper the Birth of the Pisuerga River

ico-distancia-totalDistance: 12Km

ico-tiempo-totalTime: 4:10h

ico-dificultadDifficulty: Medium

ico-desnivel-acumuladoSlope: 960m

ico-desnivel-positivoSlope +480m

ico-desnivel-negativoSlope -480m

ico-altitud-maximaMaximum altitude: 1620m

ico-altitud-minimaMinimum altitude: 1220m


Topographical map of the Path Source of the Copper the Birth of the Pisuerga River

ico IGN

This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 82-3 y 107-1 1:25.000".

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¿Did you know that...

If the route is a little short, you can climb from the Copper Cave to the Col of Del Sel de la Fuente, where, as you know, the Pisuerga River really rises.

Don't miss out...

A visit to the village of Santa María de Redondo where you can discover and enjoy the typical architecture of the villages and hamlets of the Mountain Palentina.


Go to Hiking equipment What to bring?

Go to 32 Original gifts for hikers and mountaineers


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Route information updated on 04-06-2021. 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.

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