The southern slope of Le Petit Luberon

On the southern slope of Le Petit Luberon, this trail is for experienced hikers due to two steep rises and randomly waymarked trails.

Technical sheet
No. 4098843
A Mérindol walk posted on 20/02/16 by Tamtraductions. Update : 06/04/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 6h05[?]
Distance Distance : 15.19km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 612m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 607m
Highest point Highest point : 721m
Lowest point Lowest point : 155m
Very difficult Difficulty : Very difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Luberon
Location Location : Mérindol (84360)
Starting point Starting point : N 43.758791° / E 5.235669°
Download : -


Car park above Les Borrys hamlet, under pine trees at the edge of Chemin du Degoutaou.

Orange + Yellow Waymarks
(S/F) With your back to the garbage containers, go right on Chemin du Degoutaou, then after a few metres, steer left. Continue on the large path which gently heads up through olive trees. After the last house, ignore two trails heading off to the right, continuing straight ahead towards La Reveyrolle waymark.

Red-White Waymark
Let the GR97 head off to the left and keeping to the same path for 50 m towards La Tapi.

(1) Leave the path, taking a trail to the right going through holm oak and box trees. Once the wood becomes less dense, one after the other, two trails join up with the waymarks from the right (only one is present on the map) and join up with a path.

Red-White + Orange + Yellow Waymarks
(2) Keep heading right, along the flat path ignoring a trail to the right just before a bend. The path then tilts towards the north then heads downhill over a few hectometres before joining up with another path. Keep heading in the same direction, reaching La Tapi crossing and its closed down shelter.

Orange + Yellow Waymarks
(3) Take the trail to the left leading to the small valley of La Tapi and 700 m later, just after a path heading off to the left, you'll reach the waymark of the same name.

No Waymarks
(4) Leave the path, locating a small trail heading off to the left (due north) behind the sign post. The path pushes through vegetation and at times you'll need to hunch down to advance through the grassy tunnel.
Go past a tiny water source and continue. A bit further up, the beginning of a trail to the left is marked by a cairn (not present on the map), just ignore it and keep heading straight on the same trail.

The trail heads uphill reaching a 5 to 6 metre rocky rise, bolt up-right with average grip: it will be the most difficult to climb and there's no way of avoiding it. Once the obstacle defeated, keep heading on the trail, going past a large rock shelter and a short scree path reaching a second tricky spot.

Slightly higher than the first one, this rise will be slightly easier to overcome thanks to easier grips. You'll see pitons, proving that the area must have been equipped at some point. At the top, take an immediate right towards a small platform as the trail is hard to see. Keep heading uphill going past a small scree, ignoring a trail, hardly noticeable go off in the scree. Keep going, leaving another, more obvious trail to the left and head right towards the foot of the cliff.

Blue Waymarks (non-official)
(5) Slightly before the cliff, take a right on a footpath along the bottom of the cliff, bypassing it then heading up. The waymarks are hard to see at times and a bit faded so keep your eyes open. At a fork, take the trail on the left (not present on the map) rapidly reaching another fork.

(6) Head left, completing the climb, at times with the help of your hands, reaching the plateau. A stunning view to the left over the rocky ridge of la Roque des Bancs with cedars above it. Continue on the footpath that rises to the right (north-east), at times hard to see through the vegetation, and regain a path.

No Waymarks
(7) Turn off to the right on the path reaching cistern n° 41 at the edge of "route de la Forêt des Cèdres".

Yellow + Green Waymarks
Keep going straight ahead along the tarmac road, ignore a path heading off to the left arriving at Pré de Roustan junction.

Yellow Waymarks
(8) Take a left, on a path heading through cedar trees. 600 m further, ignore a path on the left (wooden waymark) and keep going straight along a path marked with a Yellow cross. The waymarks will be Yellow dots. The trails ends up at an outstanding view point over Val de Durance.

(9) Make a quick round trip along the cliff over a hundred or so metres to see "l'Arche du Portalas", a natural arch further below.
Go back to the view point, passing the viewpoint indicator and head opposite following the Yellow dots. Once the trail starts heading downhill, follow the Yellow waymarks coming from the left. Keep heading straight until Les Portalas waymark.

(10) Take the path to the right, which heads down gently at first, then gets a bit steeper on a stoney and slippery terrain. You'll reach "Aire de Bosse" waymark next to a cistern.

Red-White Waymarks
(11) Take the path to the right, then immediately the one heading uphill to the left (GR97).
Continue on the GR route, which will head up towards a path coming in from the right and continue opposite. Ignore all the trails heading off here and there keeping to the main path. Start a smooth hike down to begin with, then over hollow paths in the heart of a shaded valley.

Once you've past the valley, you'll reach a forest trail, head along it to the right-hand side reaching La Tapi.

Orange + Yellow Waymarks
(3) After the remains of a house, continue on the trail leading to Les Borrys. 700 m further, leave the path which heads off to the left continuing on the same trail. Take a right, ignore the path heading off in the bend and continue on the trail for roughly 300 m.

Red-White + Orange + Yellow Waymarks
(2) At the crossing, leave the trail and head left on the path. Keep to the GR waymarks ignoring all the trailheads. You'll end up on a new trail.

(1) Take a left on this one. Once you get to La Reveyrolle sign post keep heading straight towards Les Borrys hamlet. Let the GR97 head off to the right and continue following Orange and Yellow waymarks.
800 m further, you'll regain a tarmac road.

Turn right to regain the car park (S/F).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 155m
1 : km 0.94 - alt. 200m - Leave the trail, turn right
2 : km 1.68 - alt. 257m - Right, on the trail
3 : km 3.06 - alt. 277m - La Tapi, turn left
4 : km 3.87 - alt. 306m - La Tapi valley waymark
5 : km 5.58 - alt. 544m - Bleu waymarks at the foot of the cliff
6 : km 6.11 - alt. 650m - Second fork, left
7 : km 6.36 - alt. 664m - Right, on the path
8 : km 7.35 - alt. 719m - Le Pré de Roustan waymark
9 : km 8.19 - alt. 679m - Viewpoint indicator
10 : km 8.87 - alt. 657m - Les Portalas waymark
11 : km 9.57 - alt. 568m - Aire des Bosses waymark
12 : km 11.56 - alt. 338m - Right, on the trail
D/A : km 15.19 - alt. 155m

Useful Information

N.b: Two steep rises requiring rock climbing over several metres.
Children should be secured by rope and dogs will not be able to pass these obstacle alone.

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

L'Arche du Portalas, a magnificent natural Arche.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.