From Cap Noir to Roche Ecrite trek, La RéunionFrom Cap Noir to Roche Ecrite trek, La Réunion

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  • Off the path Explo
    78 %
    Off the path Explo rate
    3.9 / 5
    Yes, very singular trek, but famous in the region no Fritz?!
  • Article Quality
    78 %
    Article Quality rate
    • Score
      5 / 5
      Very good description!
    • Score
      2.5 / 5
      Yes, but no plan Fritz...
    • Score
      5 / 5
    • Score
      4 / 5
      Yep, seems ok
    • Score
      3 / 5
      Yep, but you describe many different spots in your article!
  • Explo Popularity

From Cap Noir to Roche Ecrite, a nice but intense trek overlooking the Mafate circus... You will enjoy 2 of the most spectacular belvedere of Réunion island, as well as a dense vegetation...

My experience, Explo description: 

The Mafate circus is a volcano huge collapse... The circus has a 10km long diameter. It is sometimes lined by 1km high cliffs ! You can walk around this circus, enjoying all the trip long wonderful sights of little hamlets standing 1km down...

1)When you leave the Port city, take the road RD 1 going through the "Rivière-des-Galets" then Sainte-Thérèse villages and that arrives at the "Dos d’Ane" hamlet. Then take (on the right) the RF road (Route Forestière) of the Cap Noir and leave your car at the parking (1143m).

2)After a 20mn flat walk, you will reach Cap Noir, enjoying an impressive view over Mafate... Then go further on the flat trail and, after having climbed up a few ladders, you will discover a curious stone, looking like a bottle and a glass : Roche Verre Bouteille (1239 m).

Be careful, this trail is sometimes not accessible due to landslides... Then, to have a secure trek, walk direct from the parking on the trail going to the crest, and reach Roche Verre Bouteille from the top.

3)Walk further (North-East) on the trail, going along the Mafate circus edge. At many places you will enjoy a wonderful view. From there, if can, try to see the little Orangers canal standing in the middle the opposite cliff. The construction of this vertiginous canal costed many lifes...

There in no real orientation problem. Just follow the edge of the circus for one hour. Then leave on your left the trail coming from "Ilet à Guillaume" and walk a bit away from the edge to access to the Chicots plain. There you will find the Chicots refuge (1830m).

4)After the refuge, the vegetation gets more and more clear. And particularly since a fire... The trail goes South East through the plain (La Plaine) : a flat and clear surface.

Then, you will pass along the Dufour cave (Caverne Dufour) and the Soldier cave (Caverne du Soldat). Then you will reach the "Roche Ecrite" summit (2277m) : this is an extraordinary viewpoint overlooking the Mafate and Salazie circuses.

When you come back, you can make a little extra to the "Mare aux Cerfs" (1996m).

5) Going to Cap Noir - Roche Ecrite and getting back is a long trek : from 9 to 11hours, with a 1600m height...

Thus, if you are not so courageous, you can :

  • sleep at the Chicots refuge (to go to the summit on the following day).
  • leave a second car at the Camp Mamode car park (see Highlights 2) : we think this might be the best solution !

From Camp Mamode, you can make a single day go & return trek to Roche Ecrite : only 1100m to climb (6-7 hours).

From Saint-Denis, join the Brulé village (D43 road) and drive up 4km more. Leave the car at the Mamode Camp car park.

The trail to Roche Ecrite goes South (GR42).

You can join the "Highlights 1" trek at the Chicots refuge.

My personal recommendations: 

Do not forget your to take your binoculars to better see the circus opposite cliffs and observe the birds in the forest.

A tip to sleep: 

Gite des Chicots
Booking is compulsory : 02 62 43 99 84 or call tourism offices.
There are only 36 beds.
14€ to sleep
15€ for the diner

Useful information: 
Access security: 

Beware, if the weather is rainy, the trails might be very muddy and slippery, particularly if you walk on tree roots...