This series of guides will take you to the Mercantour French National Park through a 30 mile trek that loops in one of the most preserved area of the park. Each segment roughly corresponds to a one day hike.
Looping from the Gordolasque Valley, this trek visits the ancient engravings of the "Vallee des Merveilles", encounters a multitude of turquoise-blue lakes and will bring you to 5 2500m+ summits. Whether you sleep in refuges or bring your own tent, you will appreciate the calm remoteness of this preserved and scenic national park.
Most of the trail is situated above 2,000m and the highest point reaches 3,045 m at the Mount Clapier summit. Overall, the 5500m gross elevation gain makes this scenic hike relatively difficult. Count 3-4 days to hike it from end to end.
How to get there:
- By car: From Nice, drive on Route Nationale 202 until Plan du Var, on your right drive up the Valley of the Vésubie to Roquebillière. Follow then the Valley of the Gordolasque for 12 kilometers in the direction of Saint Grat and stop near the "Relais des Merveilles".
- By Bus:
TRAM Nice - Roquebilière; Phone: +33 4 93 85 92 22
When to go: June to October (preferably July-Aug to climb Mount Clapier)
What to bring:
- Map IGN 3741 OT "Vallee de la Vesubie" (buy it from:
- Cold weather & rain clothes
- Tent (optional); bivouac is allowed in the park from 7pm to 9am if you are at 1hr or more from the park boundaries.
- Water: ~2L/person (there are water points along the way)
- Meals (optional, they can be bought from the refuges)
Food is available at Refuges of Merveille, Nice and Madonne de Fenestre
Animals you might see: Ibex, Mouflons, Chamois, Marmots, Black Grouse, Wolves (very rarely)