The route of the Desfiladero de los Arrudos is, perhaps, the most attractive of all the Natural Park of Networks. A fascinating path that crosses beautiful beech trees, pastoral sheepfolds and that brings us closer to one of the great natural wonders of this park: Lake Ubales, the only accessible from Networks. Located at the foot of the Cascayón peak (1954 m.), It is located in a fairy tale setting, in one of the most beautiful landscapes of Asturias and still unknown to many.
Where is Lake Ubales? A route with two alternatives
It is a route that presents several route options within the trail PR-AS-61. We can undertake a round trip excursion: Caleao - La Fontona, about 22 kilometers in total, of a low difficulty, or opt for continue from Fontona towards Lake Ubales and the village of Infiesta. This last option presents a greater difficulty: the route is longer and is not suitable for young children. The first of the alternatives faces a drop of about 400 meters and the second exceeds 1.000. In both cases, the demand and danger increases with bad weather, so we must do it from mid-spring to mid-autumn.
Ubales Lake Route
Lake Ubales, of glacial origin, is located at 1.690 m. altitude at the foot of Pico Cascayón. It is…
Route to La Fontona
The march begins shortly before the town of Caleao, taking a track that starts from the left bank of the road. After passing by the hermitage of San Antonio (where the parking lot is located), the path is delimited by walls that surround the meadows. The first section is flat and runs between meadows on the banks of the river. We soon discovered the colors of the beech woods and the typical riparian and mid-mountain forest: birch, hazel, beech, chestnut, occasional oak and abundant ash trees on the banks of the river. After crossing the stream several times and once left behind the cabins of Agualmayu, you reach a wooden bridge. From here the stream forms small waterfalls.
Soon we arrived at the Prendeoriu's cabin, where the track becomes a road. We continue moving closer to the impressive gorge that we can glimpse in the distance. We reach the hanging bridge of La Calabaza, where the ascent begins (an approximate hour of ascent). At this point begins the authentic gorge of the Arrudos, which owes its name to a traditional utensil formed by a holly stick about 2.5 meters high in which several crossed stakes were placed as rungs to facilitate the climb in the most difficult points of the route. To overcome the narrowness and unevenness of the gorge, the road sometimes appears carved into the rock, forming authentic steps in points of the route (some believe that it was a Roman road).
We are contemplating the spectacle of the gorge, totally embedded between mountains and that we cross by the only existing access. After a steep slope we reach El Collaín, a small plain from where you can see a large part of the Roxecu Valley. Following the main road and leaving the river on the left, you will soon reach La Fontona, a magnificent place to rest by the river and starting point of the pipes that lead the water destined to the supply of Gijón. This is the point of return to Caleao for those less used to walking. It is advisable to return quietly. The descent by Los Arrudos requires some caution if the slabs are wet. It is also advisable to stop often to contemplate nature, since this contemplation is the most rewarding part of the excursion. Among many other things, we can see in the chamois in the high rocks.
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.
To get to Caleao, take the AS-17 road in the direction of Pola de Laviana; after passing Rioseco, at the end of the Tanes reservoir, take the deviation to the right that indicates Coballes and a few meters away we turn to the left to go in the direction of Caleao. At the entrance to the town, there is a branch to the left for which (although the signaling can lead to a misunderstanding) access to a car park, the hermitage of San Antonio and a recreational area from where we started the route. Caleao - La Fontona Distance: 11 kms (round trip) Duration: 4 hours Difference in altitude: 360 mts. Difficulty: low Caleao- Lake Ubales - La Infiesta Distance: 22 km Duration: 8 hours Slope: 1000 mts. Difficulty: medium-high Note: support car is necessary for the pick-up at La Infiesta. Transportation Taxis of Caso: 654 387 760 Reception and Interpretation Center: Campo de Caso. Telephone: 985 608 022.Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com
Maximum height: 1056 m
Minimum height: 658 m
Ascent slope: 533 m
Descent slope: -163 m