Hike through La Chemin de la Mature

7 miles 2500 ft gain  - Loop Trail

Added by Gabi Robledo

Walk along the awesome 4,000 foot long ledge carved into the steep rock face. Plus, experience a perfectly "Pyrenees" hike through forests and meadows with views of dramatic mountains and the French countryside.

This hike begins at a trailhead on the side of the road just south of Etsaut at Pont de Cebers. Start by taking the famous, long-distance, Pyrenees route, the GR10.  You'll see a sign a yellow sign with distances throughout the hike.  The route you'll be taking is one that says "Col d'Arras par La Mature."  To kick off the adventure you'll first walk along the cool tube-like ledge, the Chemin de la Mature. Along with the path, there are beautiful views of an ancient fortress with a steep switchbacking road leading up to it with an amazing mountain backdrop. The ledge takes only about 20 minutes to pass through so savor the experience of walking in a sheer rock face. As you walk up you may notice all the bolts in the wall for sport climbing (I'd recommend to any climbers visiting to give the area a shot). As you hike up the valley and exit the Chemin section you get amazing views of a huge granite rock face to the right and dozens of mountains behind it. Here you can choose to turn around and backtrack to the parking lot (but where's the fun in that). Here the trail enters forest. Stay left at all the trail signs staying toward Col d'Arras and Etsaut, making a u-turn and heading up. The rest of the hike goes back and forth between beautiful forest and amazing views of the Pyrenees mountain range. Throughout, follow signs toward Col d'Arras and Etsaut. Toward the last third of the hike, the trail opens up to a wide dirt road where there will be awesome views of a steep peak across the valley. When you come across a trail sign on a switchback you'll begin back on a foot trail, that last descent. You'll get one more perfect "Pyrenees" view of the valley to the north with cottages and lines of windy roads painting the hillsides. The hike finishes just 2 km north of the parking lot in the small town of Etsaut so you'll have to hike 20-30 minutes back on the old road. In the parking lot of Etsaut where the trail comes out go left down Rue d'Enhaut. Hike back to your car via Arrie road that runs along the highway (there's only one road, you can't miss it).  

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly
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An excellent way

I do a part of this and it's an amazing hike in Pyrénées. Landscapes are wondeful. You can find photos in my website http://www.randozone.com

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