Canyon of Lobos river, a nature park with biological landscape
A limy canyon created by a former and intense river erosion of the Lobos river measuring 25 km travelling from Burgos to Soria in a splendid nature park in Spain.
This area was our (me and my girlfriend) second hiking day, our first day was the glacier lakes of Neila situated at the Neila Mountains. As you can guess, this time we hiked at the foot of the canyon.
One recommendation if you want also to do it, don’t forget your sun cream protection because july is not only hot but also very sunny in this area. Driving from our hotel, it is about 1h. Ohhh, you may not know where we started !!! Well, we had our base at the village Santo Domingo de Silos.
As the day before, we decided to do again a picnic so we drove until a small village called Santa Maria de las Hoyas. There is only one shop and canned foods so we bought something to drink, sardines and bread, very simple but enough.
In fact, there are different spots to start the hiking between the Hontoria del Pinar and Ucero villages. And from where we bought our foods, there is a road to go to Ucero but we chose to start at the middle called the bridge of the seven eyes (puente de los siete ojos), just at about 10 minutes from where we were.
After leaving our car at the parking area, we started our walk. During summer time, the river is dry and goes underground so if you want to see it, you will have to do it during winter time. Playing the adventurers, we went off-piste often, above all to escape to the sun and to look for a little shade.
The canyon is a deep ravine excavated in the mesozoic limestones of the river bank creating a high rock wall. This gorge is the effect of double erosion, one done by the river and the other, the rock dissolution by the water making the area a karst topography with many caves and pits.
The advantage that the river has no water on its surface, it is that we had plenty of spaces to walk and to cross it easier but in some sections, there are water and small rivers making the hike more entertaining.
We saw frogs, fishes, crawfishes and water lilies. In the air, birds, vultures, dragonflies and butterflies. On the ground, lizards, wall lizards, goats and grasshoppers. Of course, there are more animals and insects but those were hiding or too small to be spot like spiders, ants…
One of the funny insects was a blue dragonfly that liked to play the star meanwhile we took pictures. There are a lot of branches on the ground so I chose a long one to be able to move the water lilies in order to see some frogs but at the end, the dragonfly didn’t stop to come to my branch and I was been able to move it very close to the camera for a photo session.
After walking 2 hours, we stopped to a glade to lunch, near to a small river so we could cool our drinks into the water, although it didn’t work well. Once full, we continued our trip until the Saint Barthelemy chapel but before to reach it, we discovered 5 beehives made of hollow trunks of trees that were used by the monks to make honey.
In total, 8 km for about 4h. The chapel is closed on monday and to visit it, it costs 1 euro that something we didn’t do. Around it, there are a nice pool and by throwing stones in the water, the expansion waves are mirrored on the wall of the canyon, a dark cave not very deep and without light, we saw almost nothing.
There is a way to go to the top of the canyon if you don’t have vertigo but if you want to take a shortcut, you have to climb a little by the wall. It is very easy, even a child can do it. I did it meanwhile my girlfriend stayed near to the pool to rest.
After resting a while, we had to go back to our car but this time, without stopping to play with animals and playing adventurers, it took us only 2h30. It was also the end of our hiking weekend so time to go back home but before to close it, if you plan to do this itinerary, please, keep your trash because there are no garbage cans so you will have to throw it once you will reach a village.