Hike the L'Aileron Route to Mt. Pelée

Route de L Aileron, Martinique



1.2 miles

Elevation Gain

2000 ft

Route Type



Added by Abby Shepard

A trip to the island of Martinique isn't complete without a visit to Mt. Pelée, one of the deadliest volcanoes in the world! This steep, but incredibly scenic trail will take you up the east side of the volcano.

Due to the incredibly dense vegetation, Mt. Pelée can only be climbed on one of three established trails. The Aileron Route is a popular choice, and is a wonderful hike to the crater rim. Aileron refers to the fin-like pinnacle projecting out from the main body of Pelée.

The volcano is almost always engulfed in clouds. To avoid the clouds and to get the best views, many blogs recommend taking the trail before sunrise. However, we did this trail in the middle of the day, and still found incredible views while literally hiking through clouds. It was an amazing experience!

The trail is steep, with a mix of stairs and rock scrambling, and can be slick with condensation from the clouds. Wear study, preferably waterproof hiking shoes. The hike will take about 2 hours one way. 

To find the trailhead, Drive to the town of Le Morne-Rouge, which is about 15 minutes above/east of Saint-Pierre. Turn north on the N3 toward L'Ajoupa-Bouillon. Drive through the town center. After slightly less than two kilometers on the N3, you'll come to a traffic circle, where you go left on the D39 toward Pelée. After another two or three kilometers, the road will end in a large, unpaved parking area where you can park for free. 

Walk 100 yards up the steep track to the big radio mast above the parking area and you'll find the trailhead to the left. 

Bring your camera, a snack, and enjoy the climb! 

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