Bras-Rouge waterfall

Walking/pedestrian at Cilaos

11.3 km
Round-trip
Walking/pedestrian
4h 35min
Medium
Cascade Bras-Rouge-19.jpgLa rue des Thermes permet d'accéder au grand parking
Cascade Bras-Rouge-18.jpgUne case de Cilaos
Cascade Bras-Rouge-17.jpgLe parking et le début du sentier en contrebas
Cascade Bras-Rouge-16.jpgLe Grand Bénare est tout au fond
Cascade Bras-Rouge-15.jpgL'immence oratoire en bas du sentier des Porteurs
Cascade Bras-Rouge-14.jpgLes anciens thermes
Cascade Bras-Rouge-13.jpgLe départ du sentier
Cascade Bras-Rouge-12.jpgPassage sous la roche
Cascade Bras-Rouge-10.jpgCascade Bras Rouge
Cascade Bras-Rouge-11.jpgCascade Bras Rouge
Cascade Bras-Rouge-9.jpgLa montée très raide après la cascade et en plein soleil
Cascade Bras-Rouge-8.jpgAu fond au centre c'est Cilaos vu du sentier après la cascade Bras Rouge
Cascade Bras-Rouge-7.jpgPiton de Sucre au dessus de nos têtes
Cascade Bras-Rouge-6.jpgLa vallée du Bras Rouge, rivière sortant du Rond du Piton des Neiges
Cascade Bras-Rouge-5.jpgPassage délicat sur des gravillons
Cascade Bras-Rouge-4.jpgDernière partie du sentier
Cascade Bras-Rouge-3.jpgPassage de ravine vers la fin du sentier
Cascade Bras-Rouge-2.jpgIntersection Bassin Bleu
Cascade Bras-Rouge-12.jpgPresque arrivé à la D242
Cascade Bras-Rouge-20.jpgParking de la D242, au départ du sentier du Col du Taïbit
  • It was once a vital path for the scattered inhabitants around Marla to reach the village of Cilaos before the commissioning of the departmental D242 road in 1973. Today, it remains an important trail for hikers, for some great mountain races such as the Grand Raid, and for all those who make the grand traverse of Reunion Island. The Bras-Rouge waterfall bears the marks of very hard and polished lava identical to Trois Roches. The site is dangerous because the slab is very smooth and slippery and it’s unwise to go near the edge. The last fatal accident here was in April 2010.
  • Difference in height
    800.97 m
  • Equipment
    Raincoat, Hiking shoes, Warm clothing, Energy food, Sunscreen, Flashlight, Bandages, Water bottle, Detailed maps, Hat.
  • Quality standards
  • Documentation
    GPX / KML files allow you to export the trail of your hike to your GPS (or other navigation tool)
How to reach the start
First, head towards Saint Louis, then Cilaos by the RN 5 road. Arriving in Cilaos, pass through the village, then once you’re in front of the church, go three-quarters of the way around the roundabout and take the car park exit where you can park your vehicle.
0 km : Cascade Bras Rouge 0,3 km : Cascade Bras Rouge 0,6 km : Cascade Bras Rouge 0,7 km : Cascade Bras Rouge 0,9 km : Cascade Bras Rouge 1,4 km : Cascade Bras Rouge 2,4 km : Cascade Bras Rouge 2,4 km : Cascade Bras Rouge 2,6 km : Cascade Bras Rouge 2,8 km : Cascade Bras Rouge 3,0 km : Cascade Bras Rouge 3,5 km : Cascade Bras Rouge 4,3 km : Cascade Bras Rouge 4,4 km : Cascade Bras Rouge 4,5 km : Cascade Bras Rouge
Steps
0 km - Leave the car park (panel 1) and go down the Sentier des Porteurs (Porters’ Trail).

0.4 km - After a few hairpin bends, you arrive at the bottom of this trail and pass in front of a huge oratory. A few metres further on, you reach the D242 road.

0.6 km - Take the D242 to the left. A wide path on the left lets you visit the old thermal baths (panel 2). Continue to climb along this departmental road for 200 metres and you’ll arrive at the start of the trail (panel 3).

0.8 km - The trail descends gently, then reaches a section where there are still a few remaining cryptomerias (panel 4). The trail now heads off to the right and runs along Bras des Etangs

1.3 km – Progress is easy under a nice covering of vegetation (panel 5).

1.8 km - Still overhanging and following Bras des Etangs, you descend gently (panel 6).

2.8 km - Pass a small dry ravine, then start to hear in the distance the sound of the waterfall. As you emerge from the filaos, you reach the waterfall. Go first to the left where a rocky slab lets you admire the waterfall safely as long as you don’t get too close to the edge (panel 7). Return to the trail and continue to the bed of Bras Rouge (panel 8). Ford Bras Rouge and continue on the trail that heads off to the left.

3.0 km - The climb is steep and under full sunlight (panels 9 and 10).

3.5 km – It’s the end of this very steep climb (250 metres of vertical climb over a distance of 500 metres), but the view of the circuit of Bras Rouge (surrounded by Gros Morne, Salazes and Piton des Neiges) is extraordinary (panel 11). Further to the right, in the distance you can see Cilaos.

4.0 km - Now there’s a careful passage along the wall on a narrow path covered with gravel, so don’t rush it. Follow a few dry ravine crossings (panel 12).

4.8 km – Another steep climb awaits, followed by a dry ravine crossing. You are now on a slight incline where the junction with the Bassin Bleu trail (panel 13) is located. The trail on the right is the Bassin Bleu trail which can take you up to Cilaos. Turn left, you’re not very far from the D242 road.

5.0 km - This is the last steep climb (panel 14).

5.2 km - One last effort, and you’re at the side of the D242 departmental road (panel 15). If your destination is the Col du Taïbit, have a good rest before setting off. If you’re going back to Cilaos, this is a good place to stop, otherwise wait for the shuttle bus.
801 meters of difference in height
  • Start altitude : 1203 m
  • End altitude : 1202 m
  • Maximum altitude : 1251 m
  • Minimum altitude : 926 m
  • Total positive elevation : 801 m
  • Total negative elevation : -802 m
  • Max positive elevation : 246 m
  • Min positive elevation : -244 m