A walk in the Alpilles on good paths, mostly through forest. This circuit goes through several gaudres (small valleys that channel rain-water): La Pistolle, Valmouriane, Bovis and Marchandon. You can also see one of the waterfalls of the Canal des Alpines.
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.
Access: From Saint-Rémy-de-Provence go in the direction of Tarascon on the D99 then Les Baux (by the speed camera) via the small road on the left (D27) - At the 2nd signposted junction, turn right (Moulin de Calanquet) - Continue for 1.5km then turn left (after Calanquet and just after the Mas de Bovis), the small road that leads to the waterfalls (see the inscription on a stone) - After the bridge over the Canal des Alpines, there are several places to park by the side of the road.
(D) With your back to the canal, turn right along the track (DFCI) that curves quickly to the left and which takes you along the Gaudre de la Pistolle for a large part of the climb. (1) Ignore the first path to your right opposite a Provençal farmhouse to your left (Mas de Chabert on the map). Then take the track adjacent to the vineyards. When you're almost at the end of these vines, ignore the second path on your right. Continue on this good track the edges with very clear edges.
On the right you'll make out the Gaudre which is much shallower that at the beginning. Further on, ignore a third path to the right and approximately 150m after, a track to the left. The main track curves to the right. Keep passing all paths on the right-hand side (keep left). After another very pronounced right turn, cross the Gaudre(2).
Here you can hardly see it. Until now it was on your right and fairly distant from the track, but now it will be on your left.
Ignore a track to the right and then another on a bend. The climb steepens.
Further on there is a left-hand hairpin.
The Gaudre de la Pistolle begins here.
Ignore the path going to the right.
You'll come to another turn, this time a hairpin to the right. Pass a track on the left and you'll then arrive at a junction of paths.
GR white and red and PR route markers
Descend on the track to the left (GR653D).
Ignore a track to the left and then another to the right on a bend. After bending to the left a little more acutely, leave the GR (Gaudre de Valmouriane) and take the track leading off to the left(4).
The trail climbs gradually (on a bend, stopping at the view point) and then descends. Ignore the track to the left(5) and continue downward (Gaudre de Bovis).
Cross a barrier. It leads to a Y-shaped track.
(6) Continue on the left-hand track. Further on, take note of a tower on the right (an old dovecote?). On a slight rise, keep to the main track and ignore a path off to the right.
After a short flat section it begins to descend, takes a hairpin bend (Gaudre de Marchandon) and regularly descends down to the Canal des Alpines after having passed a property to the right (don't be startled by several German Shepherd dogs.
They are behind the fence but make a lot of noise). At the canal, turn left (7) to get back to the car park.
D/A : km 0 - alt. 59m
1 : km 0.25 - alt. 61m - Ignore the 1st track on the right
2 : km 2.04 - alt. 142m - Cross the Gaudre
3 : km 3.53 - alt. 224m - Descend on the left
4 : km 4.2 - alt. 175m - Turn left
5 : km 5.82 - alt. 150m - Ignore the left-hand track
6 : km 6.4 - alt. 116m - At the "Y" track, continue left
7 : km 8.18 - alt. 66m - At the canal des Alpines, turn left
D/A : km 8.5 - alt. 59m
Gaudre: a term specific to the Alpilles. It's a small valley that channels rain water.
DFCI track: Used by the Défense de la Forêt Contre les Incendies (forest fire service).
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Canal des Alpines.
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