A Hike Through the Esterel

Image of map

On January 28, 2007, a magnificent winter Sunday, I went on a hike through the "Massif de l'Esterel", a coastal mountain range right around the corner from where we live. The hike began at the Col de Belle Barbe and involved just over six hours of trekking up and down countless ravines, gulches, and gullies, as well as climbing up to the summit of the Pic de l'Ours, or Bear's Peak. The journey yielded a large batch of photographs, some of which are displayed on this page. Clicking on the above map will open a larger version in a separate window. It is also possible to download a zipped PDF version (6.6 MBs) which can then be printed (the file is zipped to make sure it gets downloaded and not just displayed in a browser window). Either way, those interested in following the hike on the map can easily do so.

On the map, the itinerary is depicted as a highlighter-like yellow line. There are only two ambiguous parts: the first one is where the line splits, just north of the Lac de l'Ecureuil (Squirrel Lake). There, I took the left branch while heading out. The second ambiguity is at the Col Notre Dame. where I took the direct line to the summit of the Pic de l'Ours and the somewhat longer, winding road on the way down. Once back at the Col Notre Dame, I took the path that goes off to the southwest. From the Lac de l'Ecureuil on, the way back to the car is the same as the outbound journey. The images below are arranged in chronological order, so it should be easy to find the landmarks they refer to on the map.

On the other hand, it's not necessary to bother with the map at all; the pictures should convey a good enough impression of this place, and hopefully, they may even convince some visitors to explore this wonderful area on their own; it is definitely worth it. Happy trails!

Click on any of the small images below to see a larger version!



Starting out at the Col Belle Barbe

Heading towards the Ravin de Grenouillet

At the bottom

Starting out at the Col Belle Barbe

Towards the Ravin de Grenouillet

At the bottom



First rays of morning sun in the Ravin du Mal Infernet

Reflections in the Ravin du Mal Infernet

Little rivers like this abound

First ray of morning sun in the ravine

In the Ravin du Mal Infernet

Little rivers like this abound



Leaving the Ravin du Mal Infernet

Near the Ravin de l'Ecureuil

Quiet river

Leaving the ravine

Near the Ravin de l'Ecureuil

Quiet river



Lac de l'Ecureuil: Looking north

Walking along the lake

At the norhern end of the lake

Lac de l'Ecureuil: Looking north

Walking along the lake

At the norhern end of the lake



Lac de l'Ecureuil: Looking south

Leaving the lake behind

Towards the Ravin de la Couche de l'Ane

Lac de l'Ecureuil: Looking south

Leaving the lake behind

Towards the Couche de l'Ane



Climbing up the Ravin de la Couche de l'Ane

Looking to the east

Continuing to climb

Climbing up the Couche de l'Ane

Looking to the east...

...and continuing to climb



Near the Col des Replats

View from the Col de la Cadière

Park view

Near the Col des Replats

View from the Col de la Cadière

On the way to the Col Notre Dame



View from the Col Notre Dame

La dent de l'Ours: The Bear's Tooth

Climbing up to the Pic de l'Ours

View from the Col Notre Dame

La dent de l'Ours: The Bear's Tooth

Climbing up to the Pic de l'Ours



View from the Pic de l'Ours towards the Cap d'Antibes

Pic de l'Ours: the summit (closed to visitors)

Looking towards the Iles de Lérins: St. Honorat and Ste. Marguerite

View from the Pic de l'Ours

Pic de l'Ours: the summit

Looking towards the Iles de Lérins



Looking down to Trayas station

Picking up trail GR 51 to head down

Looking west

Looking down to Trayas station

Picking up trail GR 51 to head down

Looking west...



Heading down towards the lake

Still on trail GR 51

Near the Ravin de l'Ecureuil

...while descending towards the lake

Still on trail GR 51

Near the Ravin de l'Ecureuil



Towards the Ravin du Mal Infernet

In the Ravin du Mal Infernet

Tiny cascade

Towards the Ravin du Mal Infernet

In the Ravin du Mal Infernet

Tiny cascade





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This page was last modified on February 1, 2007
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