Hiking in Lozere

a top rated book
I came across this little book while in Mende in the summer of 2016. The bookstore owner told me he knows one of the authors, who has apparently lived all his life in the Lozere and spent lots of time on the hiking trails. These authors provide their selection of the prettiest one day hikes in the Lozere department.

So with our hiking club we decided to try a few of them out. There are several hikes in the Florac area, on Mount Lozere, and in the Tarn Gorges. These hikes are close enough to the iron cross in Gattigues that we could get there and back in a day including hiking time. The hike from St Enimie along the Tarn Gorges to a spot above St-Chely-du-Tarn is spectacular, as was the hike to the top of the Puecheral, described elsewhere on this site. The hike around the Eschino d’Aze and the 2 Bondon hillocks (as pictured on the cover of the book to the left) is also outstanding. Continue reading “Hiking in Lozere”

On the Puecheral

Hiking distance : 15 km ; Hiking time : 05:00
Issenges manor house
Issenges manor house

Near Florac in the Cévennes Causse region on the southwest flanc of Mount Lozère, one peak – the Puecheral – stands out from the others. On this day, the hike starts from Bedouès. In thick fog we set out for the summit at a modest 1000 m altitude. Fifteen kilometres in the fog can be very demotivating, but we hope for the best.

Ninety minutes out, the fog lifts, or rather the fog ceiling drops and we are suddenly in brilliant sunlight. Emerging from the gloom, we witness a spectacle of nature experienced only by those who take time to hike in the mountains. Valley floors of the Tarn, the Tarnon and tributaries covered in white fog, but peaks and plateaus in such intense light the eyes almost hurt. This is wintertime, so the low angle midday sun provides sidelit contrasts that are only visible a few months of the year. Continue reading “On the Puecheral”