Bréche du Mont-Saint-Martin via Sallagriffon

This circuit is ideal on sunny days and a surprising route thanks to the diversity and beauty of the valley, which is still wild. On the northern slope, you'll appreciate the quiet atmosphere of the pine forests and the oaks that dominate the verdant agricultural plain of Sallagriffon, with a panoramic view up to the foothills of the Mercantour mountain range. On the southern slope, you'll appreciate the magnificent mineral landscapes with tremendous views of deep clues carved out by the capricious course of the rivers.

Technical sheet
No. 4098557
A Sigale walk posted on 16/03/16 by djhoward. Update : 16/06/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h25[?]
Distance Distance : 11.41km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 747m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 748m
Highest point Highest point : 1150m
Lowest point Lowest point : 561m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Alps
Location Location : Sigale (06910)
Starting point Starting point : N 43.880355° / E 6.939924°
Download : -


(D/A) Park at the Clues de Sigale then walk up the road towards Sigale for 50 meters to marker 139. Take the small path down through middle of Scots pines and boxwood in undergrowth, very popular in summer for canyoning, up to an sign to Sallagriffon / GR510 (white and red markers).

(1) Pass an old bridge that crosses the river Riolan, a small climb will lead you to the DFCI fire-service track from Pin d'Anguiou (the GR510) which runs along the Gorges de l'Estrech, lined with old embankments where you'll find yourself back in a forest of Scots pines. Follow this track for 1.4km.

(2) Fork left at the bridge (spot height 651), and take another trail, the Route de la Caoude which is shaded and runs along the valley of the Matégeanes, and reach the Saint-Onorat oratory (Saint-.Antoine on the map)

(3) Leave the GR510 by the village of Sallagriffon (yellow markers), take the relatively steep paved road on the left before joining the cobbled streets of the village. Climb up to the village square where you'll find marker 78 (yellow), resume the road and walk 50m down to take another road rising slightly to the left.

(4) Join the markers 75 and 75a. Leave the tarmac road and take a small trail (yellow markers) that descends toward the Vallon des Ribes, spot height 729.

(5) Go in the direction of "Clue Canyon", marked yellow. When you reach a small rocky overhang, stay on the left to follow a path bordered on the right by a small rocky ridge in the form of lace, surrounded by green oaks and boxwood. Reach marker 75b at spot height 802.

(6) Follow the direction of Brèche du Mont-Saint-Martin / Aiglun. After a ledge it begins the climb up to the small Col Aire du Mont at marker 75c (approximately 40 minutes).
After passing the small col, descend for a few meters and continue flat to cross a forest of Scots pine, and reach marker 76.

(7) Take a return trip to the Brèche du Mont-Saint-Martin(8) 1150m marker 76a. Return to marker 76.

(7) Turn right in the direction Clue du Riolan (yellow marker), a path that slopes slightly downward and across in a westerly direction, the southerly slope is shaded by a few pines before you cross a forest of stunted junipers and then the path switches from the north-facing slope side. Descend a fairly steep path to join the Riolan bridge.

(9) Cross the river via the ford, join the GR510 at marker 77. Go back left to Sallagriffon until you reach a signpost.

(1) Turn right and walk up the D17 departmental road to reach the car park at marker 139 and to finish the loop (D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 651m
1 : km 0.27 - alt. 586m - Signpost
2 : km 1.98 - alt. 663m - Bridge
3 : km 3.07 - alt. 727m - View
4 : km 3.38 - alt. 760m - Left
5 : km 3.87 - alt. 733m - Signpost
6 : km 5.11 - alt. 783m - B-75b
7 : km 6.67 - alt. 1074m - B-76
8 : km 7.32 - alt. 1150m - B 76a Mont-Saint-Martin
9 : km 10.89 - alt. 563m - Ford
D/A : km 11.41 - alt. 650m

Useful Information

In the event of a flood at the ford (9), use the diversion trail, walk up the Vallon de l'Estrech for about 40m to cross it and via a passage for hunters, walk back up the Sallagriffon Sigale GR510 path, turn right to find the bridge and the D17 signpost.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

This walk will let you see the Esteron valley from one of its highest peaks.
If you go through the village of ''Sigale', opposite the exit to the west, you'll discover the Mont-Saint- Martin, also known locally as the Tête de la Sorcière ("Witch's Head") because from the direction of the village the shape of the rock actually looks like the head of a witch.
When you arrive at a car park by the side of the road, there's a table with a bench for a possible picnic.

After a short descent you'll discover the old, very well preserved bridge, which deserves your attention. It spans the Riolan Gorges with majestic limestone walls.
On the right-hand side at the beginning of this bridge, behind boxwood, engraved in the wall next to a hole, is Sardinian border marker No. 72.The old bridge served as the old border before 1860.
In good weather, when the water is a little warmer, you can even go down between the narrow walls, dive into the numerous pools and go under the bridge with the canyoning enthusiasts.

Sallagriffon, is a small old village perched on a hill in the middle of fields. The village is dominated by its fortified house which is an old restored château. On the main square you can also admire the church with twin steeples and the wash-fountain which you can use to refresh yourself. On the path before you begin the climb to reach the mountain area, you'll notice the deep grooves carved out by the capricious course of the Estéron river, through of thick layers of limestone dating from the Cretaceous period, very steep and arid, this Clue is known and very much appreciated by canyoning enthusiasts.

En route, as you climb, don't hesitate to turn around to admire the villages of the Esteron, with "Sallagriffon" in the foreground and from right to left "Ascros", " Rourebelle", "St Antonin","La Penne", "St Pierre", "La Rochette'', "La Mujouls", "Amirat" and a panoramic view of the foothills of the Mercantour mountain range with an altitude of over 2000m.

On the return trip to the Brèche du Mont-Saint-Martin, 1150m is, in my opinion, the minimum you need to reach to appreciate an interesting view of the Esteron valley in good weather. The succession of villages: "Sigale", " Roquesteron", "Pierrefeu," "Tourette-du-château " and to the south the Cheiron mountain range.
On the return path after the B-76, as you pass through a small valley that's usually dry, to your left you'll see a small cave filled with water hidden behind the boxwood.

On the descent before you cross the ford, don't hesitate to admire the Clue du Riolan and the Riolan Gorges, as well as the old bridge. If you have a clear view, you can see an oratory and a remnant of an old track in the rocky bar above the departmental road on the opposite slope.

Enjoy your walk.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 5/5
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 5/5
Routemap quality : 5/5
Walk interest : 5/5

on Mon 23 Apr 2018 13:22:25 CEST

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 05/04/18
Description quality : Very good
Easiness to follow the route : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

Really nice hike - especially the final 2/3 of the hike.

The beginning is extremely dramatic with the old roman bridge. Following it, the 2-3km transport road to the village (Sallagriffon) isn't too exciting. But from the village and back to the start point, this is a great hike with a tough climb, amazing views and a lot of shade.

We did this hike with three kids (the youngest of whom is 6), and although it was a bit tough, they really enjjoyed it.

Thanks for a great day of hiking!

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