hikes in Mercantour National Park

Region in France
Mercantour trail map

hikes in Mercantour National Park

Home to seven great valleys and stunning peaks, Mercantour National Park is an amazing location to hike. As with any location in the Alps, you are guaranteed amazing views, alpine lakes, lovely flowers, mountain villages and Rifugios to provide respite. What makes hiking in Mercantour National Park so special is the historical magic in the Valley of Wonders. Cave paintings and etchings dating back to the Bronze Age can be found here. Come to Mercantour and try to interpret their meanings!

The Valley of Wonder is the most popular hike in Mercantour National Park, so of course you can’t miss that, but Mercantour is more than just that. The Authion is a historically important defensive position. The Col de Fenêtre is a remarkable site to see. Then you have a selection of beautiful alpine lakes and breathtaking valleys. This is a great hiking destination and you won’t want to miss these trails.

THE TOP 10 HIKES IN MERCANTOUR NATIONAL PARK, FRANCE

  1. Fontanalba – The Valley Of Wonder (13.2km, 705m, 4-5.5h): In the heart of the Mercantour National Park, “the valley of wonders” is an exceptional open archaeological site, where thousands of prehistoric engravings have been recorded. It is long, but it’s also an easier hike, where you will walk past some mountain lakes and chamois and ibex goats!
  2. The Authion (7.6km, 356m, 3.5-4h): This hike is an ideal walk for the history buff in your family. The Authion has been long considered the keystone of the defensive system for the Alpes–Maritimes: from 1388 all the way up to WW2. On your hike you can see an American tank from 1945 on display.
  3. The Col de Fenêtre (7.6km, 688m, 4.5-6h): This hike places you in the core of Mercantour National Park. The Fenêtre pass connects the Vésubie to the Italian Val Gesso. On this walk you’ll likely see ibex goats and some chamois too. We recommend extending this hike with the alternate route back.
  4. La Lac Nègre (12.7km, 823m, 5-6.5h): This hike is a classic. “La Lac Nègre” is yours to discover all 12ha of this magnificent lake surrounded by ochre granite cliffs. A well-marked and shaded trail – this walk presents no difficulties.
  5. Lac d’Allos (4.5km, 254m, 2-3h): One of the easiest and most beautiful hikes in Mercantour National Park. You’ll get superb views of the Lac d’Allos, the biggest high-mountain-lake in Europe with a size of 60ha. This is a walk you don’t want to miss.
  6. Sommets des Garrets (17.1km, 1982m, 6-9.5h): One of the most beautiful hikes in Mercantour National Park. You have a superb view on the Lac d’Allos, very panoramic. You’ll walk on limestone rocks, through larch forests and grassy slopes, and you can find rare plants and birds: jewels for connoisseurs. But, it comes at a price: a lot of altitude gain.
  7. Le Mont Mounier (17.2km, 1282m, 8-9.5h): Being one of the highest limestone massifs in the region, Le Mounier has some of the best scenery in the Southern Alps. Stunning views, a lunar landscape and a beautiful crest to climb, this walk has it all.
  8. Lacs de Vens (15.1km, 1169m, 5.5-7.5h): This superb hike of the Vens Lakes and the Collet de Tortisse has interesting, unique geological structures, like a limestone bridge. Vens Lakes are among the most beautiful lakes in this area and when you reach the lakes a nice mountain hut is waiting for you.
  9. Lac de Sagnes (19.2km, 1023m, 6-9h): Hiking to the beautiful Lac de Sagnes in the late afternoon exalts the beauty of this landscape. The Lac des Sagnes has exceptional scenery, where rocks, water and vegetation meet in harmony. It’s a gorgeous, meditative walk.
  10. Lauzanier (12.9km, 679m, 4-5h): A glacier carved the Lauzanier valley, so that ancient glacier is whom you’ll want to thank for this stunning landscape. Agriculture is popular here as well as raising sheep. You might notice them. There is said to be 7,000 sheep in this area. Your hiking companions on this walk might be four-legged and fluffy.
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The best hikes in Mercantour National Park

01. Fontanalba
Difficulty

13.2km 705m 4-5.5h

In the heart of the Mercantour National Park, “the valley of wonders” is an exceptional open archaeological site, where thousands… Read More

User Rating

9.6Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

02. The Authion
Difficulty

7.9km 356m 3-4.5h

This hike is an ideal walk for the history buff in your family. The Authion has been long considered the… Read More

User Rating

9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

03. The Col de Fenêtre
Difficulty

7.6km 688m 4.5-6h

This hike places you in the core of Mercantour National Park. The Fenêtre pass connects the Vésubie to the Italian… Read More

User Rating

10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

04. La Lac Nègre
Difficulty

12.7km 823m 5-6.5h

This hike is a classic. "La Lac Nègre" is yours to discover all 12 hectares of this magnificent lake surrounded… Read More

User Rating

9.3Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

05. Lac d’Allos
Difficulty

4.5km 254m 2-3h

One of the easiest and most beautiful hikes in Mercantour National Park. You’ll get superb views of the Lac d’Allos,… Read More

User Rating

10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

06. Sommets des Garrets
Difficulty

17.1km 1,982m 7-9.5h

One of the most beautiful hikes in Mercantour National Park. You have a superb view on the Lac d’Allos, very… Read More

User Rating

9.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

07. Le Mont Mounier
Difficulty

17.2km 1,282m 8-9.5h

Being one of the highest limestone massifs in the region, Le Mounier has some of the best scenery in the… Read More

User Rating

9.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

08. Lacs de Vens
Difficulty

15.1km 1,169m 5.5-7.5h

This superb hike of the Vens Lakes and the Collet de Tortisse has interesting, unique geological structures, like a limestone… Read More

User Rating

9.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

09. Lac de Sagnes
Difficulty

19.2km 1,023m 6-9h

Hiking to the beautiful Lac de Sagnes in the late afternoon exalts the beauty of this landscape. The Lac des… Read More

User Rating

10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

10. Lauzanier
Difficulty

12.9km 679m 4-5h

The wonderful hike to Lauzanier has a stunning landscape, which is courtesy of the glaciers that carved the Lauzanier valley.… Read More

User Rating

9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

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