Mont-Gerbier de Jonc

Discover the source of the Loire

Longest river in France, the Loire begins with three unassuming springs named Authentic, True and Geographic.  The climb to the summit of Mont Gerbier de Jonc, most famous peak in Ardeche, does not look very challenging but you still need to be physically fit and wear suitable shoes to reach the summit, 1551m above sea level.  But it is well worth the effort for the breathtaking 360° panorama over the volcanic scenery.  For the ultimate spectacle, climb the peak in time to watch sunrise.

Gerbier de Jonc through the seasons

The distinctive colours of the four seasons mean that walkers enjoy changing views throughout the year.

Keep on climbing

The effort required to reach the top is more than worth it for the breathtaking 360° panorama over the volcanic scenery, a majestic natural spectacle that you will never forget. 

©A.Renaud-Goud-ADT07

Did you know?

France’s longest river starts here on its 1020km journey to the Atlantic Ocean.

Reward your effort

When you get back from the summit, refuel at one of two mountain restaurants or, a bit further on, treat yourself to something sweet at the tempting boutique of the Sainte-Eulalie chocolate maker.

A volcanic environment 

From Gerbier de Jonc, you can see the silhouette of Mont Mezenc, an unmistakeable pyramid rising to more than 1754 metres on the watershed line.  Another example of the area’s volcanic scenery is the Ray Pic waterfall that tumbles over basalt ‘organ pipes’ not far from Mont Gerbier.  It is one of the longest lava flows in France, but remember that swimming here is forbidden.  Look out too for Issarles lake that sits in an ancient volcanic crater.

Mont-gerbier-de-Jonc, in spring
©M.Dupont-ADT07

Exceptional wild flowers

Amongst the magnificent scenery of volcanic peaks, plateaus, peat bogs and mountain hollows, the plants of the high altitude meadows lend a specific flavour to the famous local beef, Fin Gras du MézencAt the heart of the Ardechois plateau, Mont Gerbier de Jonc forms part of an area designated amongst the department’s Sensitive Nature Areas and is home to both Alpine wildlife and plantsLook out too for other ancient basalt cones that dot the horizon.

Prepare and book my stay around the Mont-Gerbier de Jonc 

How high is Mont Gerbier de Jonc?

The summit is 1551m above sea level.

What special kit is required to climb Mont Gerbier de Jonc?

You will need sturdy closed shoes, but you will find ropes beside any particularly tricky sections to help you going up or down. 

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