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Source of the river Borosa and the Cerrada de Elías

The Natural Park of the Mountain Ranges of Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas in all its wide extension is home to a large number of places of great beauty and natural value, which are crossed by countless hiking routes. One of the most popular hiking routes in this natural park is perhaps the Borosa River Route, which runs through the Cerrada de Elías and allows us to get close to the source of the Borosa River. The route can be divided into two distinct sections, the first takes us to visit the Cerrada de Elías, being the most frequented as it is only 10 km round trip. The second section is the one that takes us from the end of the narrow ravine of the Cerrada de Elías to the source of the river Borosa, a more demanding route both in terms of slope and total distance, but in exchange for the effort, it offers us some exceptional landscapes.

How to get to the start of the Borosa river route

The starting point of the Borosa river route is on the road between Cazorla and the Tranco Marsh. It is on this road, just before reaching the marsh, where we will find the turn-off that leads to the parking area next to the Borosa River Visitor Centre. Once there, there are several parking areas, the closest to the starting point of the route is also the smallest, barely 10 vehicles, so we will probably have to leave our vehicle in one of the large car parks previous and walk to the official starting of the Borosa river path, as it is also known.

Itinerary of the Borosa river route

From the visitor centre to the Cerrada de Elías 4.5 km

We leave the parking places and the visitor centre of the river Borosa behind us (0h 00min) to continue along the track that we came on and that borders the fish farm and crosses the river bed, leaving us at the small parking place where the route officially starts. This part of the route runs along a comfortable forest track that climbs calmly up the course of the river Borosa. Little by little we become aware of the special landscape we are entering. The stream of the Truchas is one of those places that invite us to take a short break to enjoy every corner that this natural spot has to offer.

We follow the track without crossing the river until we reach the bridge of the Caracolillos, where we change sides and we can contemplate the curious folds that have been exposed in the mountainside.

The track takes us to the Vado de Rosales, to then reach the point where we must take leave of the path to enter the most spectacular section of this part of the Borosa River route, the Cerrada de Elías. This area takes us along an old fishermen's path, which has now been fitted out with wooden walkways that take us suspended over the riverbed. The narrow ravine of the Cerrada de Elías (1h 30min) soon comes to an end, leaving us back on the forest track that we had left before and that leads us here alongbordering the Cerrada de Elías along the side of the mountain. Here many people put an end to the route, as the signpost at this point indicates, returning along the path that borders the ravine to the detour that leads to the beginning of this beautiful section, since the path through the Cerrada de Elías is one-way, at least generally speaking.

From the Cerrada de Elías to the source of the river Borosa 5.9 Km

The more adventurous and those who are more accustomed to long and demanding treks will surely not be able to resist and will continue up the course of the river in search of more spectacular scenery. This part of the route is the most physically demanding, as the gradient is much steeper and the terrain less comfortable, but the effort is more than compensated. The Huelga Nidillo spring allows us to regain our strength to continue our route. The track takes us to the hydroelectric power station from where another spectacular stretch of the route begins. From here onwards we follow a cobbled path that climbs up the mountainside taking us past magnificent waterfalls such as the Waterfall of Three Tails. If we are lucky we will be able to contemplate it in all its splendour, although if we are, we will not be able to avoid getting wet.

After this unique jump, the Waterfall of the Skull awaits us, and a little further on, the spectacular Jump of the Organs, set in a natural environment of great beauty.

After enjoying this place we head towards the entertaining stretch of tunnels and open galleries ahead of us. This part of the route follows the path that runs alongside the irrigation channel that channels the water. At the end of this section of the route, another landscape of great beauty awaits us, the one formed by the dam and the Black Water Lagoon, as it could not be otherwise since we have been following the Path of the Black Water Lagoon and Valdeazores for some time now. Here we leave the dam to one side to continue, without crossing it, in search of the nearby source of the river Borosa (3h 50min). Once we are satisfied with the scenery we retrace our steps, tempted to cross the of Black Waters dam and walk the kilometre and a half that separates us from the Lagoon of Valdeazores, knowing that we still have a long way to go to reach the parking lot from where we started, even more so if we are forced to follow the stretch of track that borders the Cerrada de Elías and that adds a little more distance to the distance we have already covered.

Tips for doing the Route of the Borosa River

1-The best time to do the Borosa River route is during the thawing season or after periods of rain, although these are also the times when we are going to encounter the most complications.

2-Although there are several sources of untreated water along the route, be sure to bring enough water and food for the route.

3-It is advisable to carry headlamps or torches to get through the tunnels more safely.

4-Measure your strength well, the beauty of the route invites you to keep going, but don't forget that you have to return along the same route.

Waypoints of the route
1-Visitor centre 0:00h 680m 0km 30S 511808 4207501
2-Cerrada de Elías 1:30h 820m 4,5Km 30S 514618 4205134
3-Source of the river Borosa 3:50h 1260m 10,4Km 30S 516334 4201748

Coordinates UTM Datúm WGS84

Profile of the Route of the Borosa River

Profile of the Route of the Borosa River

ico-distancia-totalDistance: 21.5Km

ico-tiempo-totalTime: 7:30h

ico-dificultadDifficulty: Moderate

ico-desnivel-acumuladoSlope: 1400m

ico-desnivel-positivoSlope +: 700m

ico-desnivel-negativoSlope -: 700m

ico-altitud-maximaMaximum altitude: 1260m

ico-altitud-minimaMinimum altitude: 680m


Topographical map of the Route of the Borosa River

ico IGN

This schematic with the path is approximate and has been created from the derived cartographic base © Instituto Geográfico Nacional "Cuadrante 907-4, 908-3, 928-2 y 929-1 1:25.000".

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¿Did you know that...

Along this route and especially in the Cerrada de Elías, there is the Pinguicula vallisneriifolia, a carnivorous plant species native to this area that grows on the rocks and feeds on the insects it catches.

Don't miss out...

The visitor centre, where, as well as providing information on the current state of the route, you can discover many of the special features that characterise this area of the Natural Park of the Mountain Ranges of Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas.


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Route information updated on 17-01-2021. 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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