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A Day Trip Itinerary...print this out   print the content item
Ravin des Arcs: Challenging 2-Hour Hike
A few minutes south of the breathtaking Grotte des Demoiselles is a challenging but rewarding short hike into a ravine, to a natural bridge and out again: the Ravin des Arcs.

On a boiling hot day in July we tramped down and up the ravine's steep paths, a worthwhile lesson in "be prepared." We consumed every drop of water and gave even our well-conditioned 20-somethings an exhausting workout. Heard several time, the complaint: "But it looked like a short hike on the map!" The bottom of the ravine is definitely worth a visit, though. There you'll find a photogenic natural bridge, a huge cave to explore, and natural pools that on a hot summer are SO inviting.

Time to destination: 1 hour. Time for hike: 2 hours.
Directions: Take the N9 to Pézenas. Continue on the A75 toward Clermont-l'Hérault. Turn off onto the N109 (Montpellier). There was a new road being built in 2005, so if in doubt, head for Gignac. Then head for Aniane on the D32. Then head for St. Martin-de-Londres. You'll notice Pic St. Loup on your right: it's the big spine of rock. At St. Martin, turn at "autres directions" onto the D986, toward St-Bauzille-de-Putois and Ganges. Just before you cross a bridge, there are parking lots on both sides for the ravine walk. Facing north, you'll pick up the GR60 (a national hiking trail) on the left. Look for the red-and-white blazes. Stay alert; it's easy to follow a goat path and wander off the trail. At the bottom of the ravine, you'll cross the river (dry in July except for pools). Look for the GR60A, which loops back to the highway and parking lots.
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