Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Puy des Goules

On Sunday, we woke up with the itch to enjoy fresh air and see a place we hadn’t yet been. With les volcans such a short distance away, we found a map that showed a good central parking area for several trails. We packed up the baby backpack and headed west. Puy de Dôme is perhaps the most famous of the puys, but this also guarantees a crowd on days with nice weather on the paved/gravel trail leading to the summit. The climb is also very strenuous; our last ascent there were three of us sharing Lauris’s weight and none of us was preggers. Therefore our destination was the parking area for Puy des Goules, a few puys north of Puy de Dôme. We had decided to have a look around the trailhead, see how long/difficult the various hikes were rated, and take it from there.

Lunch at the grotte

The parking area is just west of Orcines. Lots of parking, great picnic places, and there are well-marked trailheads for three different hikes (these trails also connect up to the longer trail networks). The circuit for Puy de Pariou was marked as a 3 hour, 6 km circuit (219 m elevation change), and with the slight chance of rain we opted instead for the 3 km (80 m elevation change) Grotte de Sarcoui hike. The route was the same for the summit hike for Puy des Goules, which left us the option of continuing on later.

After eating lunch at the grotte we decided to climb the additional 80 meters to the summit, and were rewarded with lovely views of the Chaîne des Puys, despite the clouds. This hike was described as 4km there and back and instructed to allow two hours to complete. It did take us a little longer because we stopped for lunch and a short break at the top and because the last half a kilometer is a doozy! On the other hand, the wide trail allowed for safe hiking pour moi, and the trails crisscrossing the crater at the summit were much more interesting than the summit trails of Puy de Dôme.

On the way down I wondered out loud how many puys there are in the chain, with the question of how many weekends it would take to climb them all. But maybe this is one project better left until after the baby is born.

I could have used a backpack carrier for my trip down...


  1. Hahaha - Lauris, that cutie...

    Es neticu, ka tu vēl visu šo dari kaut arī gaidi otro! Tu gan esi inspirācija!

  2. That's such a beautiful part of the country. My mother-in-law lives in the region and I love visiting and getting out and about exploring :-)


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