Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Maritime Alps

The TI lady in Cuneo also gave us a ton of useful information (in English too) about the nearby Maritime Alps National Park. We had been near the Maritime Alps on the French side several times, but had never ventured into them before. After our food over-indulgences of the last week, we decided a day or so of strenuous hiking might be a good thing, so we headed up the twisty climbing road into the park and to the end of the road, more or less, at Terme di Valdieri. Here, at about 4,000 feet, we found a visitor center, trailheads, a bar, religious shrines, and a free camper sosta just for us. The next day we had one of our best day hikes ever, to a beautiful high meadow and refuge. We vowed to get back to this park...perhaps earlier in September next time.
Our site at Terme di Valdieri

One of the shrines we parked next to

The chapel of San Giovanni

The trail up the highest parts of the Valle Gesso followed
this pretty creek and its many pools; "riserva da pesca"

The scenery pretty much like this, yes, with trees here and
there going yellow...

After a thousand feet and 3-4 miles, the trail opens up to a
big high beautiful meadow, and this, the king's former hunting
lodge, now a refuge, restaurant, and bar

A peek into one of the double rooms

The road to the refuge in the winter of 2008-2009; these
mountains are not very high, but they got a lot of moisture

We rested, had a cup of coffee, read the various historical
exhibits, and then headed back down the beautiful meadow
and the trail

More of the scenery...rock on all sides

Haze tricks

The sun peeks over 

Maritime and alpine are perhaps not the best
combination for aviation...a marker of crashes
in the Valle Gesso since 1943

1 comment:

Tawana said...

Glad you were driving and not flying! Beautiful area.