The hike of colours - Le Cians and Daluis circuit
Still so many mysteries...
Much mystery still surrounds these pelites…when you visit this site in May, you will notice the one plant seems to particularly enjoy growing on these unpromising areas with these rocks: saxifrage icequeen (Saxifraga callosa).This plant which grows in rocky areas decorates the red cliffs in spring with its delightful clusters of flowers, whereas its leaves have a rough or even sharp edge. Looked at through a magnifying glass, the edge of the leaves really looks like a small saw: the plant gets rid of its excess minerals via the edge of its leaves much like glasswort does with salt.
A very compact cliff!
On the other bank of the Berthéou valley, it is possible to see a light-coloured, almost white, cliff: it is made of quartzites from the Triassic period, resting directly on top of the recognisable red pelite of the Paermian era.
This extremely compact rock was used on site to build the beautiful Berthéou viaduct, constructed at the beginning of the 20th century for the steam tramway which ran to Guillaumes.Quartzites can mainly be found in the “giant’s cauldrons” in the Berthéou valley, where they played an essential abrasive role. These natural swimming pools are a delight for fans of canyoning.
This itinerary takes place along high-valley Alpine paths.
The accommodation sites listed are the only ones which are available along this route.
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.In summer, make sure that you have enough water before setting off on these paths which are exposed to the sun. Avoid days when the temperature is extremely high.
Be aware that part of the itinerary crosses through the Daluis Gorges Regional Nature Reserve (RNR). Make sure that you respect the applicable regulations.
Access and parking
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Maison du Parc National du Mercantour de Valberg - Hautes vallées du Var et du Cians