|Puy Gros from Mont Dore
|Estimated net time||3½-4 hours|
|Drinking water||No reliable sources of drinking water.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (October 2009).|
|Parking||If starting in Mont Dore centre there are many car parks to choose from. If you drive to where the path starts then you might find a slot along the road, but the best place to park is probably almost down by the main road.|
|Start height||1040 metres|
|Vertical metres||575 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||10.8 km|
Approximate route up the mountain side to Puy Gros.
The starting point for this hike is the Grand Hotel in the centre of Mont Dore. From here walk north along the road Avenue Michel Bertrand down to the railway station (Place de la Gare). Turn right when you get to the railway station, and then left when you get to the main road heading north out of Mont Dore. Follow this road approximately 1.5 km, and then turn right (a few metres after having crossed a small bridge).
Follow this road uphill for approximately 850 metres. 30 metres after having walked through a sharp left bend you will see a sign pointing to the right, marked "Le Puy Gros". Follow this path through the forest for a little less than 400 metres until you get to a forest road. Turn right onto this forest road, and stay on this forest road for 400 metres until you see a sign for path "33B" pointing left into the forest. This path is almost non-existing as a path but is well marked with red paint on the trees. This path will take you through the forest.
When you get out of the forest the red paint stops, and soon the path you're now on fades away. Just continue uphill, turning a little to the left, and you will meet a well defined path that will take you all the way to the summit.
The descent is best done by reversing the ascent route.
03. October 2009
After my relatively long hike to Puy de Sancy earlier this Saturday I sat down in my hotel room and organised my photos from the hike. While doing this I kept looking out the window at the gorgeous weather and the fine mountains surrounding Mont Dore, and it wasn't long before I realised I had to do also an afternoon hike. But first I needed some energy, so after a quick shower I went out and got myself a pizza, which was consumed almost in seconds. Then back to the hotel to change into hiking gear.
I knew the hike to Puy Gros would involve a relatively long stretch of asphalt walking, but I didn't fancy spending time or money on a taxi, so decided to walk, and make sure I enjoyed the walk. Navigating shouldn't be a problem, and for most parts it didn't prove to be. However, for some strange reason I missed the start of the path, and ended up doing an extra zigzag on the road before heading into the forest. I had some problems finding the path from here, but a question and some pointing with the hands to a local produced the information I required. From here it was easy navigation all the way to the summit, but it was a bit unfortunate that some of the path was running through thick forest.
When I got close to the summit I met to ladies, and I took the opportunity to ask about the name of one of the mountains I had seen throughout most of my hiking today (Puy de Dome). I thanked for the information and headed up to the nice summit plateau.
On my descent down to the road I followed the path all the way to the starting point, and was a bit surprised that I had missed the signs to the path during my ascent. From here I had around 3 km of asphalt walking, and my feet were getting sore from the two hikes I had done today, but the thought of having had a fantastic day, and the prospect of a shower and a proper meal made me enjoy every minute of the walk.