TÊTE DU BARN
Contributed by David Sellars
Location: Maritime Alps
Round trip: 7 km
Start elevation: 2050 m
Final Elevation: 2529 m
Map: Map IGN 1:25,000 Vallee de la Vesubie 3741 OT
A narrow paved road swithbacks up the mountain north of St Dalmas to a parking lot.
PARTIAL PLANT LIST
This is an outstanding flower hike with very good access to a high starting elevation. From Col St Martin west of St Martin Vesubie head west towards St Dalmas. Where the road takes a sharp bend, turn off on to a narrow paved road that continues west at first and then zig zags up a steep slope to the parking lot at 2050 m. Saponaria ocymoides decorates the rock walls on the way up and Cicerbita plumieri can also be found in the grass verges.
Walk over meadows covered with orchids and head north on a trail to Col de Veillos on a rocky ridge. Saxifraga diapensiodes is reported to be found here. Take the higher trail, which contours up towards Lac Long and then up to Col du Barn at 2452 m passing shimmering fields of Ranunculus pyrenaeus and the occasional Primula latifolia in the scree. The ridge north to Tete du Barn has no trail but is an easy walk and the views from the summit towards the main ridge of the Maritime Alps and the highest peak Argentera, are magnificent. There are fine specimens of Saxifraga retusa on the summit ridge.