Nacimiento del Rio Ason

Ramales de la Victoria / Parque Natural de los Collados del Ason, Cantabria, Spain

About Nacimiento del Rio Ason


Hiking Distance: roadside (view); < 1km round trip (to base)
Suggested Time: 15-30 minutes (to base)

Date first visited: 2015-06-14
Date last visited: 2015-06-14

Waterfall Latitude: 43.20487
Waterfall Longitude: -3.58837

The Nacimiento del Rio Ason (or more accurately el Nacimiento del Río Asón with the accents) was a dramatic waterfall attraction where an impressively tall waterfall framed the Asón Valley. It was probably one of the most beautifully-situated waterfalls in Spain, as far as we were concerned. And even given the subdued flow upon our visit (apparently we came too late in the season to see this waterfall gush), it was still a dramatic sight. The amazing thing about this waterfall was that this was literally where the Asón river began as its name would suggest (nacimiento means “birth” in Spanish). The river was said to empty out into the Cantabrican Sea (Mar Cantábrico) near the town of Colindres. Anyways, we would’ve given this waterfall a substantially higher score with better flow, but I guess that gives us hope that we might return one day to see this place under better conditions.

We were able to experience this falls in a couple of ways. The first method was the obvious way, which was to view the valley and the Nacimiento del Rio Ason from the mirador (lookout) at the end of one of the hairpin turns on the CA-265 road. From this vantage point, we were able to see the waterfall and the valley below, but for more direct valley shots with the falls off to the side (including a red-roofed farm which was a nice photo subject in this landscape), we needed to walk up or down the road towards the center of the length of the switchback (provided the trees didn’t get in the way).

The second method was to get right down to the base of the waterfall. We were able to do this by hiking from one of the switchbacks on the CA-265 road (see directions below) towards a driveway leading down from the main road itself (ultimately leading to the farm at the bottom of the valley). There were small brown arrow signs pointing the way to help guide us down the right path. A short distance down this driveway, we then followed another arrowed sign pointing right into heavily vegetated terrain. This trail involved a short creek crossing before hugging the base of the cliffs supporting the Nacimiento del Rio Ason. The trail was a little on the rough and rocky side, but it was pretty well-defined and short enough for me to ease up on the difficulty rating. Once at the bottom of the falls, the waterflow looked more substantial from close up than it did from further away at the mirador during our visit in June 2015.

It appeared the trail kept going along the valley, which suggested that there might have been even more ways to experience this falls, but I was pretty content with my view as I headed back up to the car. Like with the other waterfalls we had seen in this part of Northern Spain, it seemed like its best waterflow was during the Winter and early Spring months. That said, we also might have been a little unlucky with the lack of rainfall for much of the Spring season prior to our visit.

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We visited the Nacimiento del Rio Ason shortly after visiting the Cascadas del Rio Gandara. For directions on getting to the Cascadas del Río Gándara, see that page’s directions. This was part of a long loop drive that began and ended in Bilbao.

From the Cascada del Río Gándara, we continued driving on the CA-256 road due south (then curving west to north as it became CA-265) for 3km to a mirador at the head of the valley. The road then descended a series of switchbacks, where at about 2km beyond the first mirador, we reached the third switchback, where there was the Mirador del Nacimiento del Río Asón. There didn’t seem to be any official spots to park the car here, but the switchback was wide enough that we parked on the shoulder as much as we could to stay out of the way of traffic.

Continuing another 330m, we encountered the next switchback (the last one). Here, we once again parked the car as much off the flow of traffic as we could. There didn’t seem to be an officially sanctioned place to leave the car. Once we left the car, we then walked downhill for a few paces to get onto the driveway that would ultimately lead us to the trail for the base of the Nacimiento del Río Asón.

Note that if you’re going in the reverse direction from what I’m describing (i.e. via Ramales de la Victoria, then south on the CA-265), the first switchback would be the closest one to access the base of the falls. And the next switchback would be where the signposted mirador would be.

Finally, for some geographical context, Bilbao was 101km (over an hour drive) west of San Sebastián, 159km (over 1.5 hours drive) northeast of Burgos, 336km (over 3 hours drive) east of León, and 402km (4 hours drive) north of Madrid.

Checking out the falls and picturesque valley from three different vantage points including the mirador itself


Examining the falls from its base

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Tagged with: ramales, victoria, collados del ason, parque natural, natural park, cantabria, spain, bilbao, burgos, waterfall, ason

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