Sunday, October 18, 2009

Cascades Du Herisson hike

(l'Eventail falls in all its glory - a glory we didn't see. I grabbed this picture off the internet.)

Today we hiked the Cascades du Herisson in France. Roughly translated, the waterfalls on the Herisson river. Lac de Bonlieu is the source for the river at 805 m (2641 ft.) and drops 280 m (920 ft.) in only 3 km (2 miles) by cutting through narrow gorges and forming four pretty cool waterfalls; Saut Girard (35 m / 115 ft.), Le Saut de la Forge, Le Grand Saut (60 m / 197 ft.) and finally l'Eventail (65 m / 213 ft.). In between these falls are numerous cascades.

It was best to start downstream and hike up. The first fall - l'Eventail - wasn't far and the path there was wide and smooth. The river's water flow wasn't real strong, but good enough to impress. Seeing these with winter snow melt would be really cool. From here the trail got steeper, but it was well maintained and wasn't difficult. Steps were either man-made, roots of trees or carved from rock. (Left: l'Eventail from below and from above.)

The next fall - Le Grand Saut - we could only view from on top. The trail leading to its base was closed. The trail actually led you behind the waterfall, but the trail had been eroded away. Too bad, it would have been neat to walk behind the falls. By the time we reached the top we needed a break and there was a nice place for us to rest and have lunch.

(The next three pictures: on the way to Le Grand Saut.)
(The next two pictures: atop Le Grand Saut - looking upstream and looking back downstream.)

Upstream from Le Grand Saut was a smaller fall called La Gour Bleu. It wasn't real tall; maybe three or four times my height.

After La Gour Bleu was Château Garnier. It was a weird looking fall, but its pool was deep.

We halted our hike at Le Saut de la Forge. We didn't go all the way to Saut Girard. Parker likes hiking too, but after 2 hours buckled in the car and another couple of hours in the kid carrier, he was getting a little cranky. Springtime will be a good time to see this place again. We'll catch that last fall then.

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