TOPO Hiking

Piton Cabris & Bras Patates, Les Makes

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Further south, above Saint-Louis, the road climbs the long slope that leads to Les Makes and then above it to Fenêtre des Makes, a balcony overlooking the cirque de Cilaos. From here, the hike descends to the south and climbs the Piton Cabris, with splendid views over Ilet à Corde, Cilaos and the cirque ramparts. The loop takes us through a magnificent Criptomeria forest before returning to the starting point via the Bras Patate valley. It's a great way to warm up without overexerting yourself.

Technical summary

Type ✦ Hiking

Location ✦ Les Makes

Region ✦ Saint-Louis

Country ✦ La Réunion

Length ✦ 5,5kms

Difference in altitude ✦ 475m

Difficulty ✦ F

Duration ✦ 2h30 to 3h

Interest ✦ ★

Access to the place

From Saint-Louis, climb up to follow the road to Les Makes. Once in the village, cross it and keep climbing until you reach the end of the road, which winds up to the Fenêtre des Makes at 1587m, where you can access the balcony and the panorama over Cilaos. Park here, the starting point of the trek.

Map & topo

Voir en plein écran

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 2'

Go to the bottom of the parking lot and, as the road continues, follow the paved path to the post indicating the start of the descent to Piton Cabris.

Course 2h30 à 3h

The loop starts at the bottom of the initial descent. No difficulty, although there are a few ladders to help you on the ascent to the piton Cabris. Save your energy for the final ascent. To avoid the final effort, you can head straight for the forest road parking lot at the junction with the Bras Patates valley (2nd vehicle required).

Part 1: Descent to the pass with Piton Cabris (30′)

An unusual downhill start. Winding switchbacks take us some 200m down through the undergrowth on a prepared trail to the small pass called "Sous Piton Cabris", at 1400m altitude. Some lovely views of the cirque en Cilaos on the way down.
Part 2: Ascent of Piton Cabris and Criptomeria forest (45′ to 1h)

Continue straight on from the pass. To the right is the return path via Bras Patates. The path climbs steeply, uncovered in places, and it's from here that you'll get the best views of the cirque and also of the Bras Cilaos valley floor. 2 or 3 short ladders without difficulty and you reach an almost summit, a wide flat with a wooden shelter that corresponds to the Piton Cabris.

Continuing straight on, you suddenly plunge into a gigantic Criptomeria forest. A long, gradual descent through undergrowth carpeted with Longose à Fleur Jaune and over the roots of the giants that litter the ground. At the very bottom, we reach the "Croisée Tapage" at 1200m, a fork with a sign indicating the return via Bras Patates on the right.
Part 3: Return via Bras Patates (1h to 1h30)

Follow this path, which turns again at the Plaine du Bois de Nèfles at 1230m to leave the forest and head back north. It twists and turns downhill, and after about 20 minutes from the Croisée Tapage, you'll find yourself at the entrance to the Bras Patates valley (1200m), which leads back to the pass (straight ahead, escape route to the forest road).

Count 30′ to climb gradually 200m up the Bras Patates to the pass. Count another 30′ of final ascent to regain the last 200m of ascent to the trail entrance at Fenêtre des Makes.

Back

From the top of the final rise, continue in the opposite direction to the approach to the parking lot.

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