This lovely hike offers magnificent viewpoints over the Montmirail Dentelles, Mont Ventoux, the Baronnies, the Vercors, the Montagne Ardéchoise, the Coiron, the Necks of Sceautres, of Roche Chérie, of Roche, and a 360° panoramic view from the summit of Croix Juliau.
The superb medieval hamlet of Roche is well worth the detour.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D) From the large car park in the south of the village, follow the small road, which goes alongside the car park, in a westerly direction until you reach Chemin de Bradigous. Continue straight on for a few metres up to the crossroads.
(1) Turn left onto the path, passing between the pieces of lands until you reach a small tarmacked road which you must follow to the right, in a south-westerly direction, for about 250 m.
At the next crossroads, turn left. Cross over the small Bourdary river and then continue on this path upwards through extremely furrowed terrain. You will reach the Devois mast.
(2) Continue straight ahead opposite you, in the direction of Terre d'Aps, on the wide path going around the Bouches greenhouse; ignore the different paths heading off on the left.
(3) On reaching the Maison des Bouches, go alongside it and continue on the path, straight ahead, opposite you. The track goes downhill on the RD263. Turn right, go along the road for about 500 m, passing in front of a bus shelter.
(4) Take the small road on the left, which crosses over a small river and goes past the front of a house. Then a few metres further on, follow the path on the left. About 250 m further on, cross the Ruisseau de Chantebrun (small river) and then go along its right bank by following a path (not very well-maintained), until you reach a small lake which is a reservoir. Go along it on the left-hand side until you reach the small road in the hamlet of Saint-Philippe-le-Bas. Continue straight ahead opposite up to the crossroads.
(5) Turn right, follow the road up to the next crossroads: Croix de Saint-Philippe. Turn right onto the small road climbing upwards, which is then replaced by a path and then a track which joins a small tarmacked road.
(6) Cross over the road. Continue opposite on the path climbing up the side of the hill. Be sure to stay on this path.
At the next crow's foot junction, turn right in a north-north-west direction. Continue up to the next branching off.
(7) Épine Pass Mast: take the track on the right for a few metres, then take the track short cut on the right and continue in a north-north-east direction up to the next crossroads.
(8) Terre d'Aps Mast: to go up to the mast and back, take the track on the left for about 1.5 km up to the summit of Croix Juliau. At the next crossroads in the path, continue straight ahead opposite you up to the next crossroads.
(9) Take the path on the left for a few dozen metres then, at the mast, take the path up to the summit of Croix Juliau: geodesic marker, but no cross.
To return to point (8), you can take the short cut by continuing straight on opposite you, or take the same route back as you took to climb up to the summit. Return to point (8).
(8) Terre d'Aps: turn left and follow a steep path into the forest via well marked zigzags.
At the bottom, you will reach a plain and fields of vineyards. Follow the small tarmacked road, then the Auchier road, ignoring the different roads heading to the heart of the village of Alba.
(10) At the crossroads with Route de la Calade, turn right, passing in front of the post office and the Town Hall.
(11) Continue going along Route du Barry up to a large 90° turn.
(12) Turn right and follow Route du Jeu de Mail and, at the next crossroads, turn left onto RD236B for about 200 m.
(13) At the crossroads, turn left and head downhill into the hamlet of Roche (you can visit it freely).
Follow Rue du Vallat and turn left at the end, and then left again and follow along Rue de la Double. At the next junction, turn right and go around the neck of Saint-Jean rock via Rue du Four.
(14) Take a passageway on the right through the houses, and continue on the path going along the side of the Escoutay river.
(15) When you reach the remains of the pillars of a small bridge over the river, carried away by severe weather, turn left onto a pretty path climbing up to Place du Château. Go through the gate and you will reach a crossroads.
(16) Turn right. Continue in the direction of the chateau and go alongside it, continue on for several metres and then turn left and go down towards Rue de la Calade and the Town Hall.
(17) After the Town Hall, at the crossroads, turn right onto the small road which takes you back to the car park (D/A).
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 656ft
1 : mi 0.09 - alt. 653ft - Crossroads, turn left.
2 : mi 0.95 - alt. 810ft - Devois Mast, straight ahead opposite.
3 : mi 1.97 - alt. 820ft - Maison des Bouches, straight ahead opposite.
4 : mi 2.82 - alt. 702ft - Crossroads, turn left.
5 : mi 3.09 - alt. 738ft - Crossroads, turn right.
6 : mi 4.02 - alt. 1145ft - Crossroads, turn right.
7 : mi 4.89 - alt. 1535ft - Épine Pass: turn right, track.
8 : mi 6.05 - alt. 1644ft - Terre d'Aps Mast, turn left.
9 : mi 6.85 - alt. 1749ft - Turn left, then right.
10 : mi 9.77 - alt. 673ft - Crossroads with Route de la calade, turn right.
11 : mi 9.84 - alt. 682ft - Town Hall.
12 : mi 9.9 - alt. 686ft - Crossroads.
13 : mi 10.07 - alt. 627ft - Descent into the hamlet of Roche, turn left.
14 : mi 10.28 - alt. 591ft - Chemin des bords de l'Escoutay, turn left.
15 : mi 10.46 - alt. 597ft - Chemin du Mal Conseil, turn left.
D/A : mi 10.96 - alt. 656ft
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
- Hamlet of Roche
- Old village and Château d'Alba-la-Romaine
- Remains of Gallo-Roman city
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.