On the east side of the Causse de l'Hortus

Circuit on the eastern slopes of the Causse de l'Hortus visiting its sites of interest: Lafous mill, Embruscalles lake, Mas Neuf, the archaeological site of the Causse rock with a view of the entire Gard plains and the pre-Alps beyond, Mont Lozère, Aigoual and more...

Technical sheet
No. 4098707
A Lauret walk posted on 11/02/15 by LB_Neil. Update : 03/03/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h45[?]
Distance Distance : 8.06mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1171ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1158ft
Highest point Highest point : 1283ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 545ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Massif central
Location Location : Lauret (34270)
Starting point Starting point : N 43.836676° / E 3.881932°
Map IGN Map (Click to buy) : Ref. 2742ET
Download : -


Start at the cemetery car park. Follow road D107E3 to the north-west uphill.
(1) At the first hairpin turn right (alt. 204), do not take the first wide left path but the next that starts due north. Follow the blue-marked trail. At the first junction with another path coming from the left, head right.
About 50 m further on (2) turn left on a more marked trail and continue to the old Lafous mill (3). Pass by the mill if the water level allows. Head down along the river. At point (4), turn left (north) on the blue-marked trail. At the intersection continue straight ahead.
At the next junction (5), stay on the footpath to the right above the Gratet ravine. Arrive at a vineyard, leave the trail to walk along with the vines to the left. After the vineyard, take a small ridge trail down (due north) to the barrier of the hill reservoir.
(6) Go to the left. At a fork, turn left and go follow the blue and/or pale yellow markings. At the cairn, climb up to the south-west. Reach and take a more consistent path to the right, which is almost flat.
Follow the thalweg along its rocky bottom that rises to a small pass (7). Turn right on a balcony path that ends between a rock fault, climb using your hands. Arrive at the plateau (8), head along the ridge for about fifty metres and turn left to the crossroads (9) along the yellow marked path.
Turn due north on the rightmost path to Mare de l’Espinas (10). Then do a U-turn on the left and head back by the yellow-marked path to the crossroads (9). Then turn right (south) on the yellow-marked path.
Then reach the Mas Neuf (11). Following the yellow signs make a detour to the archaeological site of the Oppidum of the Causse rock (12).
(11) Back at Mas Neuf, follow the yellow-marked path to emerge, after some rocky ravines and a steep path, (13) onto a carriage road which you will follow down past a few bends to point (1). Then take the road to the right to reach the cemetery.

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 545ft
1 : mi 0.29 - alt. 679ft - Leave the road
2 : mi 0.64 - alt. 620ft
3 : mi 1.01 - alt. 692ft - La Fous mill
4 : mi 1.15 - alt. 679ft
5 : mi 1.92 - alt. 906ft
6 : mi 2.67 - alt. 627ft - The Embruscalles hill reservois
7 : mi 3.51 - alt. 997ft
8 : mi 3.71 - alt. 1060ft
9 : mi 4.44 - alt. 1066ft - Mare de l'Espinas
10 : mi 5.71 - alt. 1158ft - Mas Neuf (property of the department)
11 : mi 6.16 - alt. 1227ft - Archaeological site of the Causses Rock
12 : mi 7.19 - alt. 1014ft
D/A : mi 8.06 - alt. 545ft

Useful Information

A map or full IGN map: the trails are not always marked. Wear good shoes (rocky paths).
Water refill point above the mill (the spring runs very clear but not necessarily safe!).
Avoid extreme heat.
Mas Neuf shelters.

(3) If the water level prevents you from going around the mill, return by the same path as far as the road that we then take to the left, and after crossing the stream take a path on the left to arrive at point (4), and continue straight ahead.

(9) 2 km circuit.

We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 2742ET.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Ruins of the Fous mill with its old millstones.
Retenue des Ambruscalles
Mare de l’Espinas and the Bergeries du Mas Neauf are ideal places for picnic.
Archaeological site of the Oppidum of Causse Rock with a 360° view, orientation table and wind rose compass.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.