GTM - Stage 15 : Refuge des Merveilles - Camp d'Argent
Grande Traversée du Mercantour
GTM - Stage 15 : Refuge des Merveilles - Camp d'Argent

15. GTM - Stage 15 : Refuge des Merveilles - Camp d'Argent

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A transitional stage between the high mountains and the medium-sized mountains of La Bévéra, with less rugged landscapes as you head towards the sea.
From the Napoleonic wars to the Second World War, the site of Authion is a reminder, thanks to its many ruined forts, of the exceptional military architecture which can be found in the mountains.

1 point of interest

  • History and historical trail

    Redoute des Trois Communes

    La Redoute des Trois Communes is a French fort which was built in 1898, in the Authion mountain chain under the command of Général Séré de Rivières.

    In the 1870s, relations between France and Italy were conflictual. When the Comté de Nice became part of France (24th March 1860), it made Authion even more important as it had become a border chain, the keystone of defending the Maritime Alps. Huge fortification works began to make any possibility of the Italians breaking through impossible. Access to the chain was facilitated by several strategic roads being opened, leading to La Redoute des Trois Communes (1898) and to the forts of La Forca (1883-1890) and Mille Fourches (1883-1890).


From the refuge (m92), head upwards via GR52 towards Lac Fourca, which you will head around via the right bank, then continue, passing between the Lac du Trem and the left bank of Lac de la Muta. Continue towards the west towards the smaller Lacs du Diable (m404) which can dry up during the summer months; do not take the path towards Pas du Trem and and La Cime du Diable and you will quickly reach Le Pas du Diable (m405 - 2436m). 

Head downhill on the southern slope, above some splendid moraines, before crossing the valley below Le Capelet Supérieur and reaching the path along the rock face of La Baisse Cavaline. Go west around La Cime de Raus and the Vésubie slopes to reach Col de Raus (m406 - 1999m), from where you can reach Belvédère en Vésubie or Fontan dans la Roya. 

Continue the descent towards Baisse de St Véran (m409 - 1836m) via the eastern flank of Cime de Tuor. Head uphill along the western slopes of Crête de l’Ortiguier until you reach the Pointe des 3 Communes (m410), the highlight of this stage thanks to its magnificent panoramic views. 

Continue to the west along the horizontal ridge which overlooks the former barracks, running perpendicular to the Authion road circuit before heading downhill along Baisse de Tueis (m244 - 1888m), an information point for the Mercantour National Park in summer. Walk along the D68 for few hundred metres before going slightly uphill then following the Alpine ski slopes downhill and ending up at Camp d’Argent, a small family winter sports station. 

Depending on the hotel reservations you have made, you can continue the walk until you reach Col de Turini via a shortcut below the level of the road (m31 and m30).
  • Departure : Les Merveilles refuge
  • Arrival : Camp d'Argent
  • Towns crossed : Tende, Saorge, Belvédère, La Bollène-Vésubie, Breil-sur-Roya, and Moulinet

Altimetric profile


Before heading off on a hike, ensure that you have studied the safety advice. If you are setting off on this hike in the early part of the season, you will need to take particular care as patches of snow can still be present in higher areas.
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.

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