Two-day Trek in the Mercantour National Park

Two-day trek in the mercantour national park

Advice for those who want to scale the heights: Jean-Louis shares his trekking experience with his Mont Pelat climb and amazing view over the Mercantour National Park!

A route shared with the marmots, antelopes and a good group of friends.

Do you miss sleeping under the stars?
Head to the Mercantour National Park, its lakes and its legendary 3,000: Mont Pelat.
Two days of athletic hikes with fellow trekkers.

Some information about this trek in the mercantour:

  • Mercantour trek duration


    2 days

  • Mercantour trek distance


    23 kilometres

  • Mercantour trek elevation


    1500 m D+
    Peak: Mont Pelat (3,051 m)

  • Mercantour trek for beginners


    Intermediate level

  • Mercantour Park bivouac


    Freedom (camp under the stars)

  • Mercantour trek elevation

    Best timing for this trek

    From May to September

Route jean-louis in the mercantour

(Trek completed in august 2020)

1. Depart Col de la Cayolle
2. Head to Col de la petite Cayolle for the night
3. Camp below the petite Cayolle lake
4. Climb Mont Pelat
5. Stop at the trou de l’aigle lake
6. Climb the Lausson plateau
7. Garet lake
8. Petite Cayolle lake
9. Descent to col de la Cayolle

Night climb to the petite cayolle lake

Rest the cramps after a hard day's work, it’s a steep climb!
Head to Col de la petite Cayolle for the night with a head torch. On arrival in Col de la petite Cayolle, time for a short break to look at the stars.

In the evening, we set up the camp to spend the night under the stars amongst the antelopes.
In the early hours (3 a.m.), a parade of head torches starts the Mont Pelat night climb.
The more adventurous climb at night to have the opportunity to see the sunrise at the summit.

Col de la petite cayolle Mercantour trek

Climb the legendary 3,000: mont pelat

In the early hours, a herd of antelopes and ibexes keeps us company during breakfast. They don't seem to be disturbed by our presence, quite the opposite.
We pack up the camp ready for the Mont Pelat climb.

A good near-vertical kilometre awaits us to reach the summit. Leaving camp early, we cross several people descending from the summit.
The view is magnificent with a 360° view over the Alps and an amazing panorama over the Allos lake.
The trou de l’aigle lake is accessible by taking a short detour on descent.

Mercantour trek climbing Mont Pelat
Mercantour trek view from the summit of Mont Pelat

The loop of the mercantour lakes
(allos, garet, petite cayolle)

From the small prairie at the foot of Mont Pelat, we climb the winding route to the Lausson plateau. Along the cliffside, we can see the magnificent Allos lake and its retreat down below.
Along the ridges, we reach Garet lake for a short, refreshing break among the antelopes.

The return descent is by the same trail as the previous day's climb.
On arrival, we take a well-deserved break in the Col de la Cayolle retreat, with a Mercantour beer* obviously!

Mercantour trek la petite cayolle lake
Mercantour trek Allos lake

As a bonus...

Mercantour trekking backpack
marmot in the Mercantour

Wildlife spotted

Antelope, Ibexes, Marmots, Griffon vulture, Eagle.

Mercantour antelope

My sustainable development tip

The Mercantour National Park is rich in flora and fauna so it's important to respect the marked trails as well as the living environments of the animals by being as discreet as possible when camping to avoid disturbing them.

Mont Pelat night climb

My trekking anecdote

The 3 a.m. head torch ballet. You wouldn’t think there would be so many people prepared to climb at night to see the sunrise!

Good advice for this trek

Leave at night with a head torch to attack Mont Pelat and see the sunrise at the 3,051 metres summit.

My highlight

Meeting a herd of antelope on the ridges at sunrise.

My mountain essential

My Forclaz Trek 900 backpack

Mercantour trek testimonial

Trek experience and write up by jean-louis

Hiking/trekking adviser at decathlon in manosque and global adventurer

His extra advice:
"Don't forget the refreshing break at Col de la Cayolle with the sublime local Mercantour beer* "

*Note from the Forclaz team: Alcohol abuse is dangerous for your health, drink in moderation and, when doing so, choose a local brand to discover all aspects of the region's heritage ;)

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