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Hiking the Mercantour French National Park: Segment 2 of 3

Refuge de Nice - Mont Clapier - Pas du Mont Colomb - Col de Fenestre - Refuge de la Madonne de Fenestre
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Length: 11.93 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  *Day 2/3* Positive Elevation: 2200m; Length: 19km

This is the second of a series of guides to hike the Mercantour French National... more »

Tips:  How to get there:
- By car: From Nice, drive on Route Nationale 202 until Plan du Var, on your right drive up the Valley of the... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Ibex Site

With few flat patches of grass, the upper lake is ideal to set up a tent. It is also frequent to encounter ibexes on these natural pasturages at the end of the afternoon, when most of the hikers are gone.

2. Refuge de Nice

This recently renovated refuge can provide you with dinners and beds. Make sure to book in advance. It is also a good place to leave your heavy gear if you plan to hike Mount Clapier.

3. Mont Clapier

Elevation: 3,045m.
This 10,000 ft summit is very accessible if arriving from the southern slope (snow most time of the year). Avoid the north west ridge (aerial) shown on the map.
Enjoy the breathtaking view at the summit!

4. Pas du Mont Colomb

Pay attention not to miss the junction up to the "Pas du Mont Colomb" when going down from the "refuge de Nice". The way up to the pass is very steep at the end. Once you have reached the pass, follow the trail down to the "Refuge de la Madonne de Fenestre".

5. Refuge de la Madonne de Fenestre

This refuge is relatively crowded in the summertime as it is close to the road and is a start for numerous hikes in the Mercantour National Park. Make sure to book in advance if you want to spend the night there.
Tip: leave you bag at the refuge if you want to hike up to the Fenestre Lake/Pass. Don't forget to take water and a warm piece of... More

6. Lacs de Fenestre

Very accessible, these gorgeous lakes offer a view on the entire valley. Numerous chamois are present in the area.

7. Pas de Fenestre

This pass is located at the border between France and Italy and offers a very scenic view. Chamois and inoxes are commonly seen in the area.

8. Pas des Ladres

Reaching this pass will provide you with an alternative to go down to the "Refuge de la Madonne de Fenestre".