Hiking on foot


Fauna and flora
History and culture
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This trail takes you from the arid Causses plateau to the foothills at Le Puech Pounchut, and lets you discover the upper Jonte valley with all its contrasts.

3 points of interest


Throughout the climb, you will see abandoned former crop terraces. A few grapevines have persisted since local wine-growing came to an end. They bear witness to the fact that the slopes around these hamlets and villages were once cultivated and planted with fruit trees and vines. Terraces like these were the only way for the valley's inhabitants to have flat areas with deep soil suitable for growing.

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From Pauparelle, there is a nice view of the village of Ayres. This hamlet came into being in the 11th century around a Benedictine priory, founded by the Abbey Saint-Victor-de-Marseille on the current site of the castle. The latter, laid out in the 16th century on the ruins of the monastery, was pillaged and burned to the ground by the Camisards in 1703. Rebuilt in 1710, it is now a renowned hotel. Pauparelle is a private property that is not open to visits. Its name means “estate of the poor”. The farm buildings and living quarters date from the 17th and 19th centuries. Until 1850, the property belonged to the Charity Office of the town of Meyrueis, which, at that time, had about 5,000 inhabitants. (Jérôme Reversat)

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Jonte valley

The two valley sides contrast greatly. On the south-facing side (adret), the limestone slopes present sparse vegetation. You will find box, shadbush (Juneberry) and common juniper – species belonging to the plants associated with downy-oak groves and Scots pine forests. These slopes, which are mostly covered by short-grass prairie, serve as sheep pastures. You will also see orchids in a thousand different colours and shapes. On the north side (ubac), on the foothills of Le Puech Pounchu, the ground is chalky and forms an island that has been detached from the Causse Méjean by the active erosion of the river Jonte in contact with siliceous soils. This side has been reforested with black pines, a species that is well-adapted to the poor dry soil. It had originally been wooded before the replanting, but over-exploitation of the forest and over-grazing suppressed those woods in the 19th century. 

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From the carpark, take the D 996 on the right until you reach a small park with a stone cross. Take the path on the left running alongside a high wall. Go uphill to join up with the D 986, then take the path opposite. This is steep for 150 m and joins up with a former road. Turn left onto this and walk to the road leading to Pauparelle. Turn right onto this road and walk to Pauparelle. Do not enter the hamlet (on your left), but go uphill on the path and, after about 100 m, fork right to start a very steep ascent. After 200 m, a track runs alongside the cliffs: take this and walk alongside the small road without crossing it. Turn right towards Salvinsac, go downhill into the gully and end up on the D 996 at Salvinsac. Cross the road to go down into the hamlet and cross the river Jonte. After the bridge, go uphill into a forest of conifers after a forestry track. After two hairpin bends, go right and slightly downhill at the pass. At the first crossroads, continue straight on the track until you reach a large crossroads. Here, go towards Meyrueis to reach the village vacances (holiday village). Cross the bridge over the river Brèze and walk alongside the public swimming-pool to get to Meyrueis. Turn right and cross the bridge to return to the carpark.

Departure : Meyrueis
Arrival : Meyrueis
Towns crossed : Meyrueis

Altimetric profile


Make sure your equipment is appropriate for the day's weather conditions. Remember that the weather changes quickly in the mountains. Take enough water, wear good shoes and put on a hat. Please close all gates and barriers after yourself.

Is in the midst of the park
The national park is an unrestricted natural area but subjected to regulations which must be known by all visitors.

Information desks

Tourism'house and national Parc at Florac

Place de l'ancienne gare, N106, 48400 Florac-trois-rivières

04 66 45 01 14

This office is part of the National Park's associated tourist-information network, whose mission is to provide information on, and raise awareness of, the sites and events as well as the rules that must be observed in the National Park's central zone.

On site:  exhibitions, video projections, events and shop Open year-round

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Access and parking

Meyrueis via the D 996 and the Jonte gorges

Parking :

Carpark behind the Crédit Agricole


CC Gorges Causses Cévennes
Parc national des Cévennes

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