From Valleraugue, the famous trail of the 4,000 Steps up to the Mont Aigoual observatory.
To make this route into a loop, follow the GR6 on the long descent to the forest towards Aire de Côte, before finally crossing the chestnut groves above the village of Berthezène.
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.
(S) Start from the small car park above the Valleraugue stadium. With your back to the stadium, take the path to the right that intersects the Rue du Stade and joins the Chemin du Magnel. Continue to the lookout point of the 4,000 Steps that has a beautiful view of the village.
(1) At the 4,000 Steps lookout point, take the steep trail north-west. This marked trail passes through various levels of vegetation: scrubland, "steppe" on the ridge, beeches, conifers... After a forest path reach a ridge with a few scrambles that require you to use your hands but without any major difficulties apart from the change in altitude. Once past the peak, cross La Fageole and head back up Le Valat of the same name on the right bank. Then cross the stream again at a stone wall to arrive at a track close to Hort de Dieu a few minutes later.
(2) After a few metres leave the path and turn right into the trail through the underwood headed north.
(3) When the trail reaches a bend along the RD 269, cross the road to get to the top (observatory) and admire the 360° view from the viewpoint.
(4) Start descending by the north slope of the mountainside path towards the east. Find the RD 269 in the same bend as the hill on the way up. Cross the road, take a few steps on the track and take the path on the right. It heads around the small summit (marker 1536) by the south.
(5) Follow the trail that descends on the right heading north and then turn to the south-east.
(6) After 2 loops, leave the path and go right on a wide path downhill, eastbound.
(7) In a hairpin bend, turn right towards the south-east on the marked trail.
(8) Pass by the path on the left and continue straight ahead to reach the path leading to Aire de Côte still heading north-east.
(9) At Aire de Côte, take the road RD10d right to the south-east for about 1.2 km.
(10) Leave the road and follow the GR6 on the right.
(11) Under the Col du Pas, heading right downhill to the south-west.
(12) Arrive on a road, cross it and head onto a concrete track for a few metres then turn right in a hairpin bend onto another path.
(13) After 3 loops you will reach the hamlet of Berthezène; cross it along a small road.
(14) Cross the bridge over the Clarou to reach the RD10 and head south-east to Valleraugue.
(15). At Valleraugue, pass by the church and take the stairs that go back to the lookout point above the village. Head back down on the left to reach the stadium car park.
D/A : km 0 - alt. 369m - Hérault (fleuve)
1 : km 0.2 - alt. 380m - The lookout point of the 4,000 Steps
2 : km 6.67 - alt. 1340m - Path on the right, through the undergrowth
3 : km 7.62 - alt. 1495m - Junction with the RD269
4 : km 8.53 - alt. 1551m - Mount Aigoual (observatory and viewpoint) - Mont Aigoual
5 : km 9.76 - alt. 1482m - Trépaloup
6 : km 10.83 - alt. 1389m - trail to the right
7 : km 11.71 - alt. 1290m - trail headed south-east
8 : km 13.66 - alt. 1066m - Junction with a horse riding trail
9 : km 16.08 - alt. 1090m - Aire de Côte D10d - Tarnon (rivière)
10 : km 17.51 - alt. 998m - GR6, turn right
11 : km 19.14 - alt. 851m - Turn right towards the south-west
12 : km 21.29 - alt. 598m - Cross the D10
13 : km 23.02 - alt. 431m - Berthezène
14 : km 23.48 - alt. 408m - Bridge
15 : km 25.05 - alt. 361m - Valleraugue
D/A : km 25.37 - alt. 369m
Allow for about 2.5 to 3 hours to reach the top from the 4,000 steps’ lookout point.
Warning, it can get very cold and very windy at the top... even if it was very hot during the climb. Small tap with fresh water at the foot of the observatory in a small cabin.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Panoramic 360° view at the summit (old viewpoint).
Changing landscapes throughout the day...
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.