Walks near Vernet-les-Bains and to Canigou


Canigou ('Crête Barbet') (description) map


4 hours;  climb: 750m

A fabulous circuit in the high mountains, starting from the "Chalet" at Cortalets. You arrive on the Pic du Canigou after climbing a spectacular rock staircase called “La Cheminée”.
(It should be noted that, in August 2022, an unforeseen landslide in the Canigou "cheminée" area occurred during a mountain race. Five runners were injured, one seriously. The "cheminée" has since been cleared. This type of event is rare in the Canigou massif, but following its occurrence this alert was issued by the "Secours en montagne 66 - CRS Pyrenees" service: "Don't forget that you are in the mountains where risks have been reinforced by the high temperatures we are experiencing. Even if access is not forbidden, please be especially careful and vigilant".)

1 - THE START (Chalet des Cortalets*). We follow the GR10 (signposted for: 'Prat Cabrera').

2 - Bifurcation. We leave the GR10 and we go to the right... The path climbs in zig-zags.

3 - Disused mine. We are now above the forest... The path continues to climb in zig-zags.

4 - We arrive at the Crête de Barbet. We follow the ridge, to the right.

5 - Minor col. We cross the col and we descend.

6 - Porteille de Valmanya (col). Straight ahead: the Cady valley... We descend a little more.

7 - Intersection. We join the path which comes from Mariailles. We go to the right... We cross a slope which is covered with scree... We pass the 'Brèche Durier' (on the right)... We arrive at the foot of the 'Cheminée'... We climb the Cheminée, a sloping rock face with wide natural 'steps'.

8 - The summit. Sublime, even if, on a fine day, the whole world (and their dogs) are there... We descend, on the path to Cortalets. The line of the path is clear, but it is fairly steep at first... After several zig-zags, we follow the ridge to the north.

9 - Pic Joffre. The path leaves the ridge and we descend, to the right.

10 - Intersection, with the GR10 (on the left). We go straight ahead... We return to the Chalet des Cortalets.

* - To reach the Chalet des Cortalets on foot, see the walk descriptions: Vernet - Bonne-Aigue - Canigou and Vernet - Cortalets - Canigou.
Cortalets is no longer accessible by jeep taxi or by other vehicles. For further information about access to Cortalets, see the information on the websites of the Conflent Canigó tourist office, and the Chalet des Cortalets (in French).