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The forest of Saou

  • Author: TrailExplorer

Forest of Saou

Hike through one of the most beautiful forests of the Drôme, the forest of Saou. The route follows part of the mule track built for pack animals, which winds gently over the south slope.

Distance: 10 km.

Time: 3h00.

Grade: Moderate.

Type: Circular.

Gps Track: Yes.

Route description: Yes.

Wheelchair: Not suitable.

Dog: Allowed.

Height gain: 311 meters.

Trail: 99% unpaved.

Marking: See PDF route description.

Hiking shoes recommended.


In the footsteps of mule drivers.

The walk starts along a path in the valley and then ascends slightly to the ruins of the Ferme Fuoc. At the Virage de Raillon, the route follows the wide dirt road formerly used by mule drivers. High above the Auberge Des Dauphins you start a steep descent over a stony path. At the pont de Beton you cross the Vèbre and along the north slope it goes back to the starting point. This nature reserve is said to be the most beautiful high altitude syncline in Europe. In any case, this is a good example of an inverted relief due to the action of erosion.

Forest of Saou

Download PDf for route description.

Please refer to the information panel at the departure point during the hunting season.

Map & Poi's.

POI 1 - Auberge des Dauphins.

Maurice Burrus was from a family of industrialists who had made a fortune from tobacco. He bought the Saoû forest in 1924 wanting to keep it for hunting and to raise Shetland sheep. However, he quickly changed his mind and decided to convert the forest to green tourism. He launched a conversion plan with a replanting programme and also adding picnic tables and creating a passable track that circled the massif, but the creation of the inn was the programme’s crowning achievement.

Auberge des Dauphins.