In the valley of Améscoa is the Natural Park of Urbasa and Andia which houses in its interior, among other attractions, the Source of the Urederra in the municipality of Baquedano. This privileged place is chosen by the aquifer formed by the river to escape from the karstic massif of Urbasa, whose vertical walls of more than 900 m find the starting point of this river that offers an attractive and colorful route. The environment that surrounds it, together with the flora and fauna that inhabit it, together with the capricious waterfalls and the transparent waters that are dyed with striking colours, make this one of the most spectacular and visited spots in all of Navarre.
The 7,4 km hiking route takes us to the beautiful town of Baquenado, where we can see its parish church of San Juan Bautista from the 16th and 17th centuries or its hermitage of Santa Cruz from the 16th century. This locality surprises us with its noble and blazoned buildings and its well-kept fountain and washing place before giving way to the unique spot through which this route passes. The unmistakable silhouette of the Urbasa mountain range, carved for years by the action of the elements, is the exclusive amphitheatre chosen by the vultures, the hawks that inhabit these lands, giving us a small sample of the singular fauna that lives here. The route takes us through spectacular corners surrounded by a dense riverside forest accompanied by beech, oak and juniper trees, among many other species that contribute their grain of sand to this beautiful spot.
The river Urederra is in charge of leading us, allowing us to discover its hidden corners where its crystalline waters offer us a magnificent variety of blue tones that intermingle with the intense greens of the moss and the trees together with the ochres and reds of the autumnal leaves. The whimsical flow of the waters gives shape to a good number of singular jumps and waterfalls that together with the eroded stones that the water hits, contribute to make us an idea of the work carried out during thousands of years by the liquid element to form the landscape that we are crossing. At times we see ourselves walking along what appears to be the dry bed of a tongue of the river that allows us to gain height as we approach the impressive walls of Urbasa. Walls that let this aquifer escape, which is the source of the Urederra, and that are in charge of putting the point and followed to our route, walls in whose highest parts we find the slender flight of the vultures or the ghostly and beautiful fogs that seem to cling from time to time in their edges.
To get to Baquenado we have to take the NA-718 road that joins Estella, in the middle of the Camino dual carriageway, with Olazagutía and Alsasua on the A-1, being in the municipality of Zudaire where we will find the road that brings us to Baquenado, among other nearby towns. Once there, following the road that leads us to the park, we will leave a first car park for buses and will go to the next one where we will be able to leave our vehicle and acquire the pass that authorizes us to access the park if we no longer have it.
The route starts from the car park (0h 00min) next to the visitor's reception booth.
From here we begin an itinerary that will take us to cross Baquenado following the signs that indicate the Source of the Urederra. This street makes us gain height little by little taking us to the meeting of the church of the locality.
Here, a wide square awaits us, delimited by the fronton towards which we are heading. The route takes us to the outskirts of the town, with the first foothills of the wall that delimits the unmistakable Urbasa mountain range.
The signposting clearly indicates the path leading to the nature reserve of the source of the Urederra, a perfect track that allows us to enjoy the environment that surrounds us.
Soon we find a bifurcation where there is a pleasant recreational area that invites us to visit it later, at this junction we leave on our right the track that ascends to the mountains of Urbasa to continue the comfortable route.
Shortly after crossing a metal gate we will find a new bifurcation. If we look closely at the path on the right we can see the small barrier that indicates that this is not the way to follow, although in his day was an option more, today is cut due to the risk of landslides that has in its layout.
We continue straight ahead always with our eyes set on the impressive wall of the mountain range that the thick vegetation lets us see.
After a considerable descent that takes us down to the vicinity of the riverbed we reached the height of an information hut, normally open in summer. From here we can say that the real route begins following the course of the river Urederra.
For now the well-defined trail in good condition leads us smoothly through a gate that prevents the passage to chairs or other vehicles or animals.
This trail takes us to the first detour by which we can approach the river for the first time, where we await one of the many beautiful corners we can enjoy on this route.
The trail, already with some muddy and stark areas, continues to guide us from corner to corner through the leafy forest that covers this wide gorge.
Step by step we are gaining height with ease and without great demands, but with less comfort than in previous sections. There are quite a few small detours or lookouts that allow us to contemplate some waterfall or pool that the river saves as it flows towards the valley.
A wooden handrail is in charge of delimiting the route to follow as a driver between one place and another.
Some of the detours make us descend to the nearby river following a steep and slippery trail that is well worth visiting to enjoy the reward it offers.
The forest does not want to give way and delights us with beautiful stretches in which the dry leaves hide the path to follow, while we advance surrounded by trees, rocks and some small cave.
A large esplanade surprises us, giving us back part of the lost comfort, while to our left we can see the railing that indicates the proximity of the river and the lookouts to which we can approach to contemplate it.
We follow the line that marks this railing and that takes us to save a new porthole to find us with the end of the track that before and now we see cut by a trunk that impedes the passage. We follow our progress sometimes hindered by the state of the path or by the leaves that cover the trail, finding more beautiful corners to go to.
The railing continues to serve as a reference to follow in case of doubt, as we will find shortcuts or bifurcations of the trail that a little later come together again and that returning visitors use to avoid part of the path back. Almost without realizing it, we continue to gain height as we go up the course of an increasingly wild river.
In front of us is the area with the highest slope, which coincides with the area with the greatest complications. We ascend calmly, separating ourselves from the river and then approaching it again until we are forced to cross it.
Now we have an entertaining and simple climb next to a beautiful waterfall that runs next to us. We continue guided by the wooden railing that prevents us from losing the path while we continue to gain height not without effort.
The river is divided into several streams that run down the mountain and that accompany us on our journey closer than we could imagine. The hidden lookouts or corners do not cease to surprise us, leaving at our own pace from time to time, making us leave the path to discover what they can offer us.
The terrain continues to hinder us as if it did not want to share with us that which hides uphill.
A narrow wooden footbridge allows us to cross the river bed again, making way for the final stretch of the route.
In front a short ascent that will bring us closer to the foothills of the vertical wall of Urbasa from where the Urederra flows.
The end of the route is marked by the waterfall that falls down the wall of the mountain, a wall that on the other hand prevents us from advancing indicating that we have reached the source of the Urederra (1h 15min), point where we must, after contemplating the landscape that surrounds us, turn around.
The return itinerary, except for the shortcuts we can take, follows the same route that brought us here, taking us back to the car park (2h 00min) in Baquenado.
This figure will change depending on the car park where you park your vehicle.
This is the approximate time that we will need to make the whole route, to which we will undoubtedly have to add a lot of minutes dedicated to enjoy each corner through which we will pass.
Autumn could be considered the best time of the year, where the usual colours of the river are added to the reddish and ochre colours that characterise this season, although we also have the possibility of finding ourselves with little water flow depending on the rainfall that has fallen in previous months. Spring, on the other hand, almost guarantees a spectacular river full of water surrounded by exuberant vegetation, but the more water the river carries, the less vivid will be the colours it gives us. Summer, one of the seasons with the largest number of people, almost guarantees good weather and not finding too much mud on the route, while winter, although it allows us to enjoy a unique landscape with snow in many cases as the protagonist, also limits it to a more experienced public.
A comfortable shoe or trekking is appropriate for this tour, not being a bad idea to wear replacement shoes if we bring them full of mud. The camera will surely have a lot of work and for the most amateurs the tripod will be a great ally to take spectacular snapshots. In the backpack we can not miss some water and food, being the recreational area that we will find in the route, one of the best places to take a break. The canes can be of help in some stretches to people less accustomed to this type of land, apparently slippery and somewhat steep. Consult our list of material and equipment for hiking. Read more.
The distance and the slope to overcome should not be a problem for a person accustomed to hiking routes, we are only going to find a couple of ramps where the less accustomed is better to take it easy, since almost all the slope is concentrated in them and these are relatively long and constant in their profile. In addition the route gives us the possibility to enjoy it with calm, investing the time that we need to cross it, as long as we are given the necessary margin.
Severity of the environment
Initially, the route runs along comfortable tracks and wide trails, but we must bear in mind that we are entering a wide canyon going up the course of the river, so we will find some decomposed sections, areas in which we will see ourselves making fun and simple climbs, to call them in some way, and above all muddy steps in which we will have to progress carefully. The route does not have great complications as long as we do not abandon it, the detours that bring us closer to the different corners of the river are clearly delimited to avoid exposed areas, although some of its accesses will not make it easy to reach them. Another factor to take into account are the occasional landslides in the surrounding area, which made it necessary to cut the track that used to run halfway up the slope, linking the recreation area with half of the route. The darkness of many areas of the route and the particular time of the area contribute to preserving humidity for a long time so the mud, along with the stones and roots that we will find will leave us slippery areas where we must take extreme precautions to avoid falls or slips.
The initial part of the route, which passes through the locality, is perfectly signposted. Once on the track you will come across a couple of crossroads where the markings of the paths that run through the area in the first and the somewhat hidden barrier that prevents us from passing in the second may make us doubt, although logic tells us that we should follow the course we were following. Once inside the forest we will find a well marked path that at times disappears hidden by the fallen leaves of the trees, this, added to the shortcuts that visitors draw on their return to avoid deviating to the viewpoints or corners previously visited, may lead us to doubt the path to follow and even to think that we have already reached the end of the journey, especially the outward journey, in which case the wooden balustrade that delimits a large part of the itinerary may serve as a reference to recognize where the path to follow continues. It is important not to leave the route, both to avoid damaging the environment around us and to avoid taking unnecessary risks or even getting lost.
|1-Parking||0:00h||592m||0Km||30T 571820 4737129|
|2-Source of the Urederra||1:15h||711m||3.7Km||30T 570744 4739490|
|3-Parking||2:00h||592m||7.4Km||30T 571820 4737129|
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 140-1 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.
Una verdadera maravilla, merece la pena conocerlo
¿Did you know that...
In the houses of the Navarrese Pyrenees it is very typical to find on their doors, as an ornament, dried flowers of Eguzkilore, the flower of the wild thistle, also known as the Flower of the Sun. These flowers represent the sun that is believed to drive away evil spirits, witches and storms. In short, a symbol of protection that surely if we look calmly we will find in more doors of the houses of Baquedano.
Don't miss out...
A visit to nearby Estella, known as the Toledo of the north, treasures imposing architectural works that tell us about the important history of this locality, churches, palaces and ancient monasteries that along the Way of Saint James have been impassible witnesses of the fate of the people who passed through them.
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 29-11-2018. 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.
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