Mount Canigou resembles a crow’s nest dominating the Eastern Pyrenees, and climbing to its summit is an unforgettable experience! The area has an exceptional range of outdoor activities on offer: hiking, pony trekking, donkey riding and electric bikes are amongst the many activities available in the Canigou region. Every year several thousand visitors scale Mount Canigou to reach its summit. If attempting ascent to the summit, please ensure you are adequately prepared, informed and equipped.
Access to the Canigou summit, on foot
There are several routes to access the summit of Mt. Canigou, either on foot or, in part, by 4x4. The quickest route starts from Chalet des Cortalets which can be reached by 4x4: the most breathtaking route, ending with a stone staircase called the ‘Chimney’, starts from Mariailles. All routes and practical information are available on Conflent documentation regarding access to the Canigou summit.
Timing indications on the signs should only be used as a guide as they do not take breaks and individual pace into consideration.
As the ascent to the summit of Mt. Canigou requires mountaineering skills, you should be an experienced hiker and adequately prepared, especially when there is snow on the summit. It is important to consult weather conditions before leaving (Météo France: 00 33 (0)8 99 71 02 66) and be aware of weather conditions when climbing.
High, non-slip boots, altimeter, compass, windcheater, warm clothing, hat or helmet, food and drink, sun cream, first aid kit and the IGN 1:25,000 TOP 25 2349ET map, which is imperative and is not replaceable by the Canigou summit access document.
You can also book a professional, state-certified mountain guide to accompany you.
The Canigou range is accessible to all
In 2005, the Languedoc-Roussillon region and the Eastern-Pyrenees Departmental Council, with finance from the European LEADER programme, supported a project to train mountain guides for the Handisport qualification certificate and to buy three wheelchairs that can be pulled by donkeys. Joëlette training and rental is also under consideration.
Access to the mountain with donkeys
It is possible to climb the mountain accompanied by donkeys. They can carry all the necessary equipment, as well as children, so that you can explore the different trails in the mountains.
Access to the Canigou summit by car
Access to the Canigou summit is regulated and tracks leading to the Cortalet and Mariailles refuges are subject to prefectural orders. Some 4x4 transport companies are entitled to drive on the forest tracks during the day. The drivers, who know the area well, will show you the mountain safely and from a different perspective to that of a hiker. A bag-carrying service for hikers is also available.
To access the summit you should allow two to four days, depending on your pace, mode of transport and weather conditions. The Canigou massif has several refuges where you can spend the night on the mountain before carrying on the following day. Bivouacs are permitted at the specified Canigou site. The camp must be set up by nightfall and taken down at sunrise.
Fires are allowed in specified locations.
The Grand Site du Canigou is an exceptional natural setting; please help us to keep it this way and carry your rubbish down the mountain with you.