Mont Lozere

 

Mont Lozere is in the Lozere department, northern Languedoc-Roussillon. To the north is the valley of the Lot River, and to the south the valley of the Tarn.

The road across the mountain runs from the village of le Bleymard, heading south for about 30 kilometres to eventually reach the town of le Pont-de-Montvert. Leaving le Bleymard you at first enter a verdant tree lined valley. The road climbs rapidly and the landscape changes, and within a few kilometres you are in pine forest.

After passing through the Mont Lozere ski station you leave trees behind and enter a more barren landscape of open moorland where a few trees battle for survival against the wind and winter cold.

The road continues to climb, reaching 1541 metres above sea level at the highest point. The footpath to the highest point of the mountain (1699 metres) is a 5.4 kilometres round trip, a pleasant walk in fine weather but to be avoided when there is rain or fog, unless you are an experienced hiker. The walk is partly in forest.

Continuing south past the summet you pass through the large forest called the Foret Dominiale de Mont Lozere, then emerge into the gorse and boulder landscapes that are most characteristic of the mountain.

We crossed the mountain at the end of May when all the gorse was in bright yellow flower, and it was very beautiful. If possible I recommend this time of year to visit. The boulders are often stacked one upon the other making the landscape constantly fascinating.

Eventually you leave this countryside, pass through the small hamlet of Finiels, and re-enter the deciduous woodlands of the lower valleys. Soon the very pretty town of Pont-du-Montvert appears before you and the crossing of Mont Lozere is complete.

Neolithic Mont Lozere

There are various traces of prehistoric life on the mountain, including dolmen (standing stones). The Cham des Bondons on the south-western side of the mountain features no less than 154 of these standing stones, making it the largest formation in France outside Carnac in Brittany. The stones are accessed via Runes, east of Pont-du-Monvert, or via the Col de Montmirat on the Florac to Mende road. (See also the waterfall ‘cascade de Runes’ while here.)