Hikes and discoveries

The sun-drenched mountain ranges and valleys of Sanguinière, Garets, Estrop and the Grande Cayolle... are a heaven for wildlife and a true paradise for hikers and walkers, both experienced and inexperienced. Rest assured that Robert and Fan will provide you with the kind of information and advice (hiking safety tips, best routes, up-to-date weather information…) that is best suited to your personal needs/goals and activity level.

In the summer, the Mercantour range and the enchanting setting of its National Park just beckon you to hit the hiking trails. Walking along the paths, you will discover the unsuspected, undreamt-of beauty and richness of many spots.

  • With some luck, you may furtively encounter some of the mountain’s local inhabitants such as chamois, ibexes, marmots, golden eagles, bearded vultures… and if you are blessed, wolves!
  • Enjoy the natural charm and grandeur of the peaks and lush valleys, the serenity and majesty of mountain lakes (Lake Allos), the vast alpine meadows, the beautiful hardwood and softwood species…
  • Enjoy the brightness and abundance of different species of flora…

And also the incredible joy of taking a lunch break and then a good nap in the great outdoors!

To make your choice easier, check out our list of superb day hikes and multi- day hikes in the aera. Please note that the following list is for informational purposes only. We shall not be responsible for any problem which may occur. There are of course many other hiking opportunities in the area. We will be more than happy to help you discover them and find suitable hikes for yourself and your family according to your fitness, hiking experience, needs and expectations. If you have your own car, note that many hiking trails depart from the villages of Bayasse and Estenc (just 10 minutes’drive from the refuge).

If you are a typical sports-crazy person or an outdoor activities fanatic, the awesome climbing site of Estenc, only 6 km away from the refuge, is the place for you. It offers climbing for all ages and skill levels.

MTB lovers, will hurtle all the way down the valley trails from Estenc to Entraunes (please keep in mind that this activity is not allowed inside the Park). They will also relish a less demanding family bike ride on the purpose-built “nordic” trail in Estenc.

Various watersports activities are available for all: canyoning; river-walking; rafting. Want to give it a go? All you have to do is call the highly trained and qualified professionals based in Guillaumes, Barcelonette or Valberg.


Starting point: refuge La Cayolle :

  • Plan to arrive in the late afternoon to stay at the refuge for the night (a parking lot is available behind the refuge)
  • Morning departure. Head out to Col de la Boucharde, then descend back towards Estenc to arrive at refuge La Coquille (www.la coquille1732).
  • Morning departure towards the Pas du Lausson via the beautiful Col de la Petite Cayolle, and finally hike back down to refuge La Cayolle.
  • La Cayolle if you decide to climb up Mont Pelat (3000m) on the next day or just want to take a good rest.