Leaving from Garde Pass, a beautiful hike through the Croupatier massif.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Start at the Garde Pass (there is parking next to the big cistern). Access is from Toulon in the direction of Revest-les-Eaux then Broussan (D51). Be careful, the road is narrow.
(D/A) Take the road for a few metres and then head straight away to your left onto the wide path which goes downhill through the valley of the Garde Pass.
(1) Be careful not to miss the narrow path heading off (south-west direction) which will follow along the contour level.
(2) Turn sharply to the left along the small (dry) stream.
(3) Ignore the path heading off on the right and continue to climb. The path becomes more and more stony and steep. Go under an electricity line and ignore the paths heading off on both sides, instead continue uphill until you reach the GR®51.
(4) Take the GR®51 to the left and continue to climb, going back under the same electricity line until you reach a large cairn which indicates the branch to take to go down to the cave.
(5) Keep going up to the cliff and then take a very narrow and steep path which, in a few dozen metres, leads to the cave in the cliffs. Go back up to the last branch (cairn).
(5) Turn right onto the GR®51. Go in front of the ruins and, a bit further on, ignore the D262 path heading off to the right and instead continue on the GR® until you reach a crossroads with the D262 path.
(6) Turn left and then follow the GR®51 back downhill until you reach the car park (D/A).
D/A : km 0 - alt. 397m
1 : km 1.02 - alt. 330m - Small path on the left
2 : km 1.83 - alt. 282m - Take the left along the dry stream
3 : km 1.98 - alt. 288m - Take the path climbing up the right
4 : km 3.87 - alt. 375m - Turn left on the GR 51
5 : km 4.86 - alt. 468m - Behind a large cairn, path to the cave
6 : km 6.49 - alt. 502m - Follow the GR to the left for the return
D/A : km 7.5 - alt. 396m
No water on this relatively-short, but difficult route, due to the % of the gradient.
You need to wear good shoes due to the stones and rocks. It is essential to take a sufficient amount of water.
For BBQs in the cave, take paper and a light. There is a large area in the centre and BBQ grills. Collect dead wood on the path just before you get there.
Variation at point (6): Turn right and do a return loop (2km) to Bau de Quatre Auros (wonderful panoramic view), not described on this hike,
We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 3346OT.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Croupatier Cave: http://www.fichiertopo.fr/display.php?de...
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.