The Lombards trail via the ridge

A ridge walk starting off the beaten track, with views over the south of the Alpilles. A climb through an almost untouched valley to join the ridge trail, offering panoramic views of the north.

Technical sheet
No. 4098596
A Saint-Rémy-de-Provence walk posted on 15/02/16 by djhoward. Update : 02/06/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h40[?]
Distance Distance : 4.71mi
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 584ft
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 597ft
Highest point Highest point : 955ft
Lowest point Lowest point : 463ft
Average Difficulty : Average
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Alpilles
Location Location : Saint-Rémy-de-Provence (13210)
Starting point Starting point : N 43.756769° / E 4.834074°
Download : -
Descent to the Piste des Lombards

Description

Access

From Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, go in the direction of Baux-de-Provence on the D5 and, at the pass, park in the large car park to the left (called the La Caume car park, but not signposted).

PR route markers (Yellow)

(D/A) From the car park entrance, cross the D5 and walk up the small hill opposite on a passage blocked by stacks of wood. Continue on the track that runs between the pines. Ignore the one to the right coming from the road. Just after, pass another track (the GR6) which descends to the right (signpost).

GR route markers (white/red)

(1) Continue straight on this main track ignoring a path to the right about one hundred meters further on, then any trails that may appear here and there. The track climbs slightly with several turns. Above the hillside, on a very tight turn, you'll discover a trail that climbs to the left up a steep hill. You can't get it wrong, it's the first big climb that you encounter on the left.

Not marked

(2) This is where our ridge trail begins. After the peak, the trail drops steeply (see the group photo). Follow this well-marked trail and be careful because you shouldn't go to the end of the ridge. At the third high-point (including the first), a small cairn tells you where you need to go down to the right to join the good track located below ("Piste de Lombards"). The descent is quite steep and the trail is quite rutted, with both shrub oaks and other garrigue vegetation.

PR route markers (Yellow)

(3) Turn left on the track and, after several turns going downhill, you'll reach the bottom of the valley. Ignore a trail to the right, cross a concrete passage and then a barrier and come out onto good track from the D5 to the left.

(4) Turn right. Shortly after, ignore a path to the left, walk through the olive groves on both sides and then past an old sand quarry to your right and reach an intersection of tracks.

Not marked

(5) Turn right. Ignore the track that curves to the left and continue straight ahead to the one that starts to descend before climbing sharply. Further on, in the valley, note a ruin on your left. Continue to climb up the valley. Pass a large hairpin bend with a poorly-marked trail to the right, which you ignore. On a second, very pronounced turn, ignore the track coming from the left and continue to the right in the direction of the watchtower that you'll see to the northwest. Reach an intersection of tracks.

GR route markers (white/red)

(6) Ignore the climb up to the watchtower and the track that descends almost opposite. Take the right-most track. Remain on this track. Further on, ignore the one that descends to the right (Piste des Lombards - signpost) and continue until you reach a junction.

(7) Ignore the track that goes off to the left (AL112), carved in the rock. Continue straight ahead and stay on this track to complete circuit where it meets trail (2), this time to the right. Ignore the tracks and trails that are now on the left.

PR route markers (Yellow)

Return to point(1) and continue on the track opposite to join the D5. Cross it and find the car park (D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 794ft
1 : mi 0.15 - alt. 794ft - Ignore the track that descends to the right
2 : mi 0.47 - alt. 856ft - Trail to the left climbing the hill
3 : mi 0.77 - alt. 653ft - On the track, turn left
4 : mi 1.27 - alt. 495ft - Track junction, turn right
5 : mi 1.81 - alt. 479ft - Intersection of tracks, turn right
6 : mi 3.25 - alt. 915ft - The intersection, take the right-most track
7 : mi 3.7 - alt. 869ft - Fork, ignore the track (AL112) to the left
D/A : mi 4.71 - alt. 794ft

Useful Information

Take care when crossing the D5, visibility is poor.

AL112: this is the number of the DFCI track (forest-fire department) and not the altitude (just to clarify because some people think it is).
See this link, for a few explanations of DFCI tracks.

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

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