Tour of the Pic Saint Loup
The Pic of saint Loup, 658m, is the highest top of this southermost region of the french Massif Cental.
Local people call it "Montagne des Montpelliérains" as it is close to the large city of Montpellier, and makes the usual target for week ends.
This trail is going all around the mountain, crossing various areas, mostly in rough terrain with dwarf and harsh vegetation.
It uses a lot of pedestrian trails, very bumpy, with a lot of technical skills required, and finally, a good endurance to make it all, dealing all the way long with these difficulties.
If you arrive by the main road D17 from Montpellier, the most simple is to park near Tréviers, north from the town, few meters after the roundabout, where is a junction with few tracks and parking spaces.
This trail is better made with a GPS loaded with the waypoints, or with the usual 1/25000 french topo map set on your bike.
The beginning of the trail consists in crossing some fields with wineyards and small forest until the neighbourhood of "Mas de Pont", without reaching the road.
Later, we need to cross the road D189 (ValFlaunès) to reach the hamlet of Labau and start a gruelling ascent to the slopes of the mountain of L'Hortus, this long cliff which faces the Pic de Saint Loup, and in the middle of which a land rover trail goes along, at mid-height. During this stage, there are good chances that you need to push the bike...
On the track of L'Hortus, very comfortable ride on horizontal flat terrain for several kilometers, followed by a slight descent. Fine views to Pic de Saint Loup here and there between the trees.
Later, vertically north from Le Terrieu, we get back to the road that crosses a pass over the mountain of L'Hortus, some hundred of meters further.
From now, we follow the pedestrial trail marked in red, which is the GR60. The terrain is very difficult and very bumpy in some places, with technical sections.
Vertically south from the pond near Mas-de-Londres, take the junction going south in the direction of Cazevielle.
Follow now the tracks going south east near the D986, through the Plaine de Seuilles, in the direction of Les Matelles.
Cross the village and follow the tracks located few hundred of meters west from the tiny road going to Les Cazarels and Saint Jean de Cucules.
At Saint Jean de Cucules, come back to Tréviers and the car, either by the road of with a last offtrails crossing the Plaine de la Salade (near the identically named hamlet)
This trail is described in the well known MB french website Utagawavtt :
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