The most beautiful stretch of the Ruta del Alba arrives when the road passes precisely through the Foces de Llaímo, a mountain that also houses a relevant beech forest, habitat of deer, roe deer, chamois, wild boar, wolves or capercaillies. The river fauna is not far behind in this environment: otters, dippers, trout...
How many kilometers is the Ruta del Alba?
This short-distance route, the PR-AS 62, has some 7,1 kms of length.
Where is the Ruta del Alba?
Is registered within the limits of the Redes Natural Park, declared a Biosphere Reserve in 2001; one of the richest forest areas in the Principality. Ruta del Alba or Foces de Llaímo, are the two ways of calling one of the fashionable gorges in Asturias; one that stands out from the 300 gorges created by Asturian rivers when running between mountains.
How long does it take to do the Ruta del Alba?
The route is round trip along the same path. In the end we will have used assistance of our valuable time in a very healthy exercise for our senses. The route that we propose is a simple way, easy walking and little unevenness, suitable for the whole family.
Ruta del Alba: how to get there
To get to the starting point we must approach the village of Soto de Agües, where we can also visit the Water Museum - and it is that water will be one of the protagonists in our journey. We started walking near a laundry. From there, a wide forest track begins that takes us into the valley. The route is well signposted. After one kilometer you pass next to a trout fish farm. Later we will see the remains of the loading dock iron mine Carmen. A little further, in Las Brañas de La Vega, the track ends and we continue along a narrower path that goes parallel to the torrential river and that penetrates into the the sickles. From here begins the most spectacular section, sandwiched between vertical walls of rock, with dozens of cascades of different sizes in sight, tunnels and overhangs. After the foz widens, the path passes through a bridge over the river, perhaps the most colorful point of the route, since from there we observe a true explosion of water and rocks. The guides recommend facing this route in spring, summer and especially in autumn, because of the colorful vegetation. Walking in the rainy season is also recommended. The jumps and pools take on another dimension. In the thawing season, water is the absolute protagonist, as it falls impetuously, forming waterfalls and causing an erosive process that is ultimately responsible for the formation of the sickle or gorge.
Over our heads, on the steep walls of Mount Llaímo, defying gravity, we see hanging beech, of twisted trunk and long roots, that grow in the same rock. On both sides of the path grow, as they can, in fissures and landings, scattered examples of beech, yew, school, mustard, linden or willow. Lichens and mosses also abound, covering the rocks and completing the green landscape.
Along the way the road crosses two small bridges of half a point built in limestone that support their arches on the walls of the gorge: La Pontona, first, and La Resquiebra bridge, later. After crossing the river on these two occasions, you arrive at La Cruz de los Ríos, where next to two centenary trees there is a small refuge that indicates the end of the route. The landscape opens suddenly to a prairie landscape dominated by the lushness of the beech woods of Llaímo and the heights of El Retriñón (1.862 m), vertex of the councils of Aller, Caso and Sobrescobio.
The tour, which could have been done in just over two hours, has to retrace itself to return to the starting point: Soto de Agües.
Books «Asturadictos» and «Routes through the mountains and the roads of Asturias»
If you want to know first-hand hiking routes through Asturias, we recommend you buy these two books: the book «Asturadictos», written by Ana Paz Paredes, journalist and writer, specialist in rural issues of all kinds, gastronomy and tourist routes in the region; Y the book «Routes through the mountains and the roads of Asturias» by Ángel Fernández Ortega, with 31 routes, crossings and ascents.
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How to get to Soto de Agües
From Langreo take the AS-17, crossing Pola de Laviana to Rioseco (Sobrescobio). From this town a road starts, SC-2, which arrives at Soto de Agües.
Network Information and Interpretation Center. Tel. 985 60 81 10.
Tourist Office of Sobrescobio City Council. Tel. 985 60 90 05.
Water Museum, Soto de Agues. Tel. 985 60 90 99.
Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com
Maximum height: 787m
Minimum height: 436m
Ascent slope: 391m
Descent slope: -398 m
Time spent: 05:23:17
Itinerary: Round trip