Rando Echelles Cinglegros Aventure 14 Gorges Du Tarn Laetitia Raisin RobertRando Echelles Cinglegros Aventure 14 Gorges Du Tarn Laetitia Raisin Robert
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Top 3 hikes with ladders in the Gorges du Tarn

From the ledges of the Grands Causses, magical places await you…. these hikes offer views of rare beauty but are only accessible with ladders.

So here’s my Top 3 hikes with ladders. It’s up to you to complete the list!

On a scale of beauty,

10/10 for Gorges du Tarn, de la Jonte, de la Dourbie

The Gorges du Tarn, de la Dourbie et de la Jonte are a hiking paradise. Breathtaking views from the ledges of the Grands Causses, trails along the water’s edge, crossing phantasmagorical rocky chaos, discovering characterful hamlets and villages, following in the footsteps of transhumant shepherds and flocks of sheep… the sights are numerous and of rare beauty.

In these landscapes, some magical places are only accessible with ladders fixed directly into the rock. These are often rocky pitons, detached from the cliffs of the Gorges du Tarn et de la Jonte. The perfect opportunity for micro-adventures along a hiking trail.

Millau is at the gateway to the “Causses and Cévennes”, a UNESCO World Heritage site for agropastoralism. Here, shepherds and flocks of sheep have shaped the landscape, tamed the climate and built “useful” structures in the limestone of the Grands Causses.

1/ Saint-Michel Hermitage

Above the Gorges de la Jonte, on the ledges of the Causse Noir, stands the Ermitage St-Michel… or rather its remains.

First reaction at the sight of this rocky piton: what on earth have men been building something over there?!

The piton is made up of 4 boulders on which we find vestiges: low walls, an old chapel, a troglodytic cistern… Ladders, handrails, steps in the rock, you really get the impression of launching an assault from the moat to the top of a castle keep!”

To access the 2nd boulder, you have to bypass the main piton via a very narrow (and very cool in summer!) fault.

The 4th boulder is the most impressive. The access ladder to the top of this tabular mushroom is not vertical and fixed in the rock, but resting firmly on the top of the rock. Feet in the air!

At the top of this platform, a breathtaking 360° panorama over the Jonte Gorges as far as the confluence with the Tarn Gorges.

Ideal vantage point for observing the flight of griffon vultures just a few (centi)meters from our heads. In spring, with good binoculars, griffon vulture nests on the cliffs of the Causse Méjean reveal the year’s baby vultures.

Discover the history of the Hermitage Saint-Michel ➡️ here

2/ Cinglegros

Temporarily closed

Temporarily closed
The Rocher de Cinglegros is a must-see when hiking in the Gorges du Tarn. Subjects sensitive to vertigo: refrain.

Situated on the ledges of the Causse Méjean, this rock impresses with its size and mass. It faces the troglodytic villages of Eglazines and Saint-Marcellin… which seem very tiny in front of this behemoth.

First step, cross the breach that separates us from Cinglegros via the Pas des Trois Fondus. This passage is a nice warm-up: rungs anchored in the rock and 3 small metal ladders resting on boulders. It looks like a via-ferrata!

There's nothing more beautiful than Cinglegros!

Once the breach has been crossed, it’s time to climb the Cinglegros. A dozen straight ladders and metal staircases follow one another, separated by a few aerial passages and steps cut directly into the rock. The climb is vertiginous… but not dangerous.

At the summit, the panorama of the Gorges du Tarn is incredible. The Rocher de Cinglegros is detached enough from the Causse Méjean to give the illusion of being in the middle of the Tarn! A giant cutting through the river! Have you seen the color of the water? Emerald and so crystalline.

A truly unique view of the Gorges du Tarn.


Thermals are powerful here. Be patient and watch out for the vultures as they glide around the Rocher to gain altitude. A high-flying spectacle!

3/ Capluc rock

The Rocher de Capluc is the prow of the Causse Méjean, marking the confluence of the Tarn and Jonte rivers.

This rock formation resembling a ruined castle is divided into 2 parts: the ramparts and in the center the keep!”

Assaulting the ramparts (the first part of the Rocher) is fairly straightforward: handrails and a few steps carved into the rock. Arriving on the first platform, it’s possible to go all the way around the donjon – central rock and admire the first views of the Jonte Gorges, Peyreleau, the Tarn Gorges and the FrancBouteille and Enclume rocks, on the ledges of the Causse Méjean.

The ascent to the donjon-rock is via a succession of straight ladders fixed directly into the rock.

The summit is narrow, but the 360° view is fantastic.

It very often blows a light breeze amplifying this impression of hovering above the Gorges.

Bizarrely, the white steel cross that surmounts the Rocher de Capluc looks much bigger to me from the summit than from Le Rozier!


Prepare a brunch, snack or aperitif (without alcohol ^^)

[Aveyron brunch adventure at Capluc]

In practice,

before you leave...

  • Is it accessible?

    All these ladders are accessible by following the hikes linked on this page, or by round-trip from the point nearest you.

    Note Capluc sector: 100% private sector.

    Thank you for your discretion and respect.

  • When to go?

    Preferably in the morning or at the end of the day (sunset) for the best light and the presence of vultures. (and depending on the season, more favorable temperatures).

  • What to expect?

    Bring closed shoes, a hat depending on the season and, of course, water.

Tip: if you’ve planned to visit the Caves fromagères de Roquefort, allow a little more time to discover the Sentier des Echelles.

Continue the adventure