El Tojo Mountain-biking trail

  • Trail name
  • Activity
    MTB – Mountain-biking
  • Type of trail
    This is an MTB trail that follows much of the route of the half-marathon version of the Barakaldo Pulmón de Acero mountain-biking event. It does not require extreme levels of fitness, but the second half has enough technical difficulties to give it a personality all of its own. Endurance fans will thoroughly enjoy the descent from El Tojo to El Regato.
  • Technical difficulty rating
    Moderate, with some more difficult stretches
  • Fitness rating
  • Length
    39.5 km
  • Altitude gain/loss
    1335 m/d+
  • Estimated completion time
    Running: 3 h 45 min.
  • Weather & observations
    Can be used all year round, though in winter and after heavy rain there will be muddy terrain on the descent from El Tojo.

Description & sights of interest

The circuit starts and finishes at the Gorostiza municipal sports centre.
– Barakaldo. Start by riding around the Gorostiza sports centre and taking the path up to La Siebe in the Cruces-Gurutzeta district. Then head towards the district of Santa Águeda on the asphalt, taking in some sharp climbs. Before reaching Santa Águeda, take the woodland track on the right to begin the first stage of the climb up Mount Eretza. The highlights of this stretch are Peñas Blancas and the district of Saratxo. From the top of the mid-section of the Eretza fire-break, the track heads down towards the Eretza mountain refuge. This is a provisioning point on the popular local MTB event, where residents of the Gurutzeta district give riders a tasty, sausage-and-bacon-based welcome.

From Eretza take the track down to the start of the next climb, up Pico La Cruz. From there the trail continues towards El Sauco and the Ezkerraldea biotope. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty, but it is also the place where the industrial history of Bizkaia began, as its mines produced some of the best iron in Europe.

Beyond El Sauco, head for Peña Pastores and take the track around the edge of Mount Picomayor as far as the La Arena crossroads. From there, tracks to various districts branch off. Take the only one that slopes upwards. Just a few metres along it, turn left onto the track that runs around Mount Picomayor towards Mount Gazterantz. Before you reach Gazterantz, turn left again onto a downward-sloping track. This point should look familiar because you have already been through here. It is a good option for a shorter route. Just a few metres down this track, turn right onto the path towards Burtzako and then head down towards El Regato. When you reach the streets of this district, why not take a pit stop to get your strength back at the bars and restaurants there. Then carry on down the main road until you reach the Gorostiza sports centre again.

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