Happy hiker

Inspiring Local Hikes on your Doorstep

by Judy Churchill

One of the great joys of hiking the mountain trails in our area is that a) you don’t have to travel far to find a beautiful trail and b) your efforts are rewarded by the most amazing views.

Today’s hike is no exception and starts from one of our local beauty spots – the charming village of Gorbio. It is well worth making the effort to do this Happy Hiker red trail. The 750 m vertical gain will provide you with the kind of views you would only normally be able to see from a plane. From the Cime de Gariglian at 1108m The whole of the French and Italian Riviera opens up to you not to mention views of all the summits of the Mercantour.

This hike will take you around 5 hours to complete for 9.3 km of trail. 

Park your car in Gorbio and from the car park climb northwest up the Vallon du Rank. Cross over the DFCI track and carry on up the trail to meet the DFCI track again further up.

When you get to the source de Romin go up a narrow path and then through the forest and on until you come close to the Col de la Madone (910m). At this point, you completely change direction and go South until you reach the vast Plateau des Cabanelles. 

Climb to the top of the Cime de Galian and enjoy the breathtaking view. Start your descent heading South on the Baisse des Cabanelles and pick up the path that goes down the East face of the Crete des Cabanelles in the direction of the Col de la Coupière.

When you reach altitude point 600m on your map, take a sharp left turn which will take you North back to Gorbio along a concrete track (1km).

When walking, I advise taking hiking sticks, as they will help you with both the ascents and the way down. They also guarantee you get a full body work out. You’ll need a cap and sunglasses to keep the sun off your face (the sun is a lot stronger in the hills and mountains so don’t forget the sunscreen). Remember to take more water than you think you’ll need (at least a litre and a half per person) and enough protein bars for during and after the hike. I always have a high fibre, high protein breakfast before I set off which means that I don’t need to carry a large picnic with me as good protein bars are sufficient (always take a couple of extra ones). Purpose-made hiking boots/shoes, a roll-up rain jacket, first aid kit and a rucksack are a must and you will need lighter wear for the Spring/Summer season and heavier/warmer for Autumn and Winter. I have a Bogner zip-up, long-sleeved, light-weight golfing jacket from One Eagle Monaco which not only enables full range of movement but is also great for cooler Spring/Autumn walks as it keeps you at the perfect body temperature. In the winter months, you will need extra layers of clothing, gloves, a warm hat and thicker socks. Last but not least, you will need the IGN TOP 25 map n° 3742 OT map (Nice-Menton) to mark out your trail before you set off. 

If you are a French speaker you can also find the hike on this link: https://randoxygene.departement06.fr/pays-mentonnais/circuit-de-bausson-9259.htmlbut you will still need your IGN map as these online guides are only approximate. There are also hike specific apps such as Visorando, which have both free and purchasable versions and can be very useful guides and even have GPS options https://www.visorando.comhttps://www.visorando.comwhic. 

If you have Strava you can record your walk on this app and it will give you lots of fascinating statistics at the end as well as totalling up the number of km/altitude you do in any given year.

When you’re done, I strongly recommend a foot massage using Young Living Essential Foot Oil (a combo of Rosemary, Peppermint and Lavender) – your feet will thank you later!

Enjoy your hike and don’t forget your camera!

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