Spain. Iberian System, Ascension to the Urbión Peak in spring


He Urbion Peak It is located in one of the highest mountain ranges of the Iberian System, specifically the Sierra de Urbión to which it gives its name. It is the third highest peak in the System behind the Moncayo and the San Lorenzo, but it is one of the most visited due to the famous Black Lagoon,sometimes confused with the Black Lagoon of Neila.

Near the top

Ascent to Urbión Peak

The route is done in a single day, not being too hard. We, being a weekend visit, depart from the city of Madrid on a Friday to arrive at the parking lot at night. Black Lagoon, located very close to the town ofVinuesa. Driving at night through these places requires some caution, since there are many deer that cross the forests near the lagoon.

Arrived at the parking lot, we decided to sleep in therefuge located at the foot of the beginning of the road. It is an open shelter, without a guard, so the first one who arrives stays with him. It is also important to know that access to the parking lot of the Laguna Negra usually closes after certain hours due to overcrowding, so it is convenient to get up early. After all, most people only come to visit the Laguna.

Shelter in Urbión

Early, we headed to Urbion Peak. From the parking lot, located at 1600m altitude, there is no more than 30/45 minutes to the base of the Lake at 1750m, which is surrounded by the southern strip by a path made of wood. At the end of this, there is an esplanade that is usually used to eat or rest on one of the large rocks to get a good view of the lagoon.

Black Lagoon

Just in that esplanade, there is a great waterfall At the end that runs a stream on our left side. In winter you have to be careful, since there is plenty of water and snow usually covers certain pieces. The waterfall will be drawn on the same side, a fairly slippery and steep road.


Once the ascent to the waterfall is finished, we will reach a large valley composed of several lagoons, among which is the Laguna Frost, located at an altitude of 2000m. For the next 30 minutes, it will be endless leaps between streams, puddles, so wear boots with waterproof membrane.

Taking the view to the right side, we will not be able to see the top of the Pico de Urbion, since it is at a certain distance and the difference in altitude is not very high.

Icy Lagoon

We took the snowy hill, following the tracks left by groups that had gone up the previous days. The road is boring and long, but with little inclination. It is curious, as every time we climbed a slope and thought we would see the Urbión, we were a new hill to cross.

Urbion Peaks

As expected, we finally saw the top of the Urbión, surrounded by rocks, unlike the peaks located around it. As you can see in photography, there are many ways to get around these rocks, which does not imply difficulty. A note is the proximity of the birth of Rio Duero just 1 kilometer. Too bad it's not as important as his name.

Delicate areas

We begin to get around the rocks and we find many forms, in the style of the Enchanted City of Cuenca.

Hole in the rock

We reach the top, with a very high temperature, about 15 degrees or so, it is what it has to be in mid-spring. Another note is that the summit borders the communities of La Rioja and Castilla León.

Urbion Peaks

From here we can observe the entire path taken and if you look at the right side of the last photograph, you will see a snowy track. Yes, it is what it seems, it is a dirt road used by foresters, which accommodates a mountain climb to this mountain. Another day will be :-).

Practical data

When to go?

It is an ideal destination to go at any time of the year. However, we must take appropriate precautions if we want to go in winter or spring, due to the accumulation of snow and ice.

How to get?

From the province of Soria we take the road in the direction of Burgos and we turn off in Bee, just up to Reservoir of the Rope of the Well. From here we turn to the population of Vinuesa. In this place there are indications to the Laguna Negra.

What to wear

Everything will depend on the season we choose. InSummer-Fall, it will be enough to wear trekking boots, plenty of water, sunscreen, sunglasses, warm clothes and food.

InWinter spring We must have many more precautions. The essential thing would be to take some crampons and ice axes, although most people do without it. Do not forget, waterproof clothing, gloves, in addition to what is indicated in Summer / Autumn.

Where to sleep?

We have several options. One is the refuge on foot of the parking of the Black Lagoon and another one is the populations near the Lagoon like Vinuesa, that count on numerous hotels and some camping.

We can take our tent, as long as it is installed at the foot of the shelters and we pick it up at dawn. In other places, under your account and risk of being fined.