LE CANIGOU EN 4X4
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The area offers an exceptional range of outdoor activities : hiking, horse rides, trekking with donkeys and use of electric bikes are amongst the many activities available in the Canigou area. Every year several thousand visitors climb Mount Canigou to reach its summit. If you are planning to climb to the summit, please ensure you are adequately prepared, informed and equipped.
Our mountain guides are very professional and passionate about nature, they offer a range of outdoor activities enabling one to discover this mystical mountain’s richenesses and curiosities, in all seasons. Discover local fauna, flora, heritage and traditions, whilst walking, hiking or trekking, the guides invite you to experience the Catalans’ sacred mountain through nature, geology, heritage and art.
To reach the peak, it takes 1 to 2 days depending on walking pace and weather conditions. The Canigó massif offers several guarded refuges that will allow you to sleep at altitude before continuing your ascent. Bivouacking is tolerated in the immediate vicinity of the refuges, within the Canigó’s classified site. Camps must be put up at sunset and dismantled at sunrise. Fires are permitted in the spaces provided for such purpose.
For greater comfort, you can choose to climb up to the peak in two days, with an approach on the first day and ascent of the peak on the second day. This option will allow you to immerse yourself in a high mountain refuge atmosphere, whether at the Chalet des Cortalets or the Refuge de Mariailles.
There are also several routes to reach Canigó’s Peak that can be done entirely on foot or partly by car. Two routes allow experienced hikers to reach the summit in one day.
The classic route starts at the Esquena d'Ase to reach the Chalet des Cortalets, then climb up to the peak. The climb will take you 4h30 to reach a 1300m elevation gain. Another even more exciting route ends with a stone staircase, called the Chimney, starting at the Refuge de Mariailles, which can be reached after a 45-minute walk from the Randé car park. Allow a 4h45 ascent for a 1300m elevation gain. All the itineraries and practical information are available in Conflent documentation regarding Canigou summit access.
Time indications on the signs are provided for information purposes only as they do not take into account breaks and individual walking pace.
Climbing to the top of Canigó requires mountaineering skills, you should be an experienced hiker and prepared to walk in the mountains, especially when there is snow on the summit. It is important to be aware of weather conditions before leaving (Météo France : 0899 71 02 66) and to remain attentive to changing weather conditions during the ascent.
Two webcams installed on the shelters allow you to visualize in real time the meteorological conditions on the massif:
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.
It is possible to be accompanied by donkeys. They can carry all the necessary equipment, as well as children, so that you can explore the different trails.
The mountain guides offer horseback riding and pack animal hikes.
It is possible to approach the Canigó by 4x4 up to the Cortalets or Mariailles refuges, thanks to professional transporters. They are at your disposal to take you as close as possible to the site, to give you advice and to share with you anecdotes and stories of the massif throughout the ascension.
Access to the tracks is regulated by prefectoral orders. We invite you to read them carefully to be aware of all the exact traffic conditions.
As from the 25th of May 2019 inclusive, and until a new prefectoral order is issued, motor vehicle traffic and parking are authorized for their entire sections that are located in Canigou’s public woodland, which is a private forest domain owned by the State, and subject to compliance with the provisions of this order, on the Llech forest track and Mariailles forest track.