Idea for a walk between the French Riviera and the Barcelonnette valley by taking the highest tarmac road in France (2802 meters above sea level) then climbing some 58 meters of vertical drop to reach a panorama of exception at the top. Subject sensitive to vertigo, you must abstain!
The road to the Bonette-Restefond pass
A real gateway between the Mercantour and the rest of the Southern Alps, the route de la Bonette winds its way through the peaks of the Mercantour National Park after Saint-Etienne de Tinée (Auron ski resort) from Nice. Allow about two hours from the shores of the big blue. The road that leads to the Alpes de Haute Provence (Vallée de Jausier and Barcelonnette) and the Hautes Alpes (Briançon, Guillestre and La Vallouise) is not lacking in character. It is inaccessible in winter because of the still very abundant snow at these altitudes. Beware of stormy situations which can make this accident-prone route even more dangerous than usual due to the risk of slippery roads. The more athletic will climb the slopes by bike and will cross the many motorcycles that roam the pass.
From the pass (2715 m), continue straight ahead and try as best you can to find a place to park your vehicle (2802 m). The place attracts many tourists during the holidays. A stele, unfortunately riddled with stickers, recalls the history of the place. A small, steep path leads to the summit (2860 m on the IGN maps and 2862 m on the orientation table). Which is topped with a beautiful orientation table as well as panels explaining the geology of the place. Looking up you will surely see vultures in search of fresh carcasses and looking at the ground, you will surely be amazed to see the "Force of living" ;-) of flowering plant species, blooming among the rocks at this altitude.
To the north, the Ecrins National Park offers a glimpse of the peaks of Pelvoux and Ailefroides. Towards the north-east, the Italian Mount Viso sits above Queyras, Piedmont and the fertile Po plain. Towards the west, the Basses Alpes, sorry, the Alpes de Hautes Provence, stand out against the sky. While facing south, the azure pre-Alps and the majestic Mercantour invite you to gaze ...
Photos of the Bonette summit
Video captures of the top of the Bonette
For a better rendering : choose the maximum definition by clicking on the small gear serrated .