Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet

Walking/pedestrian at Salazie

4.1 km
4h 30min
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-1.jpgdépart ou arrivée sur la route de Mare à Martin. Sur la route vers Mare à Martin, le sentier débute ou arrive juste à hauteur des panneaux
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-2.jpgpassage d'une petite ravine à flanc de paroi proche de la fin de la descente
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-3.jpgla route de Mare à Martin est touche proche
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-4.jpgla muraille séparant la rivière des Pluies et le cirque de Salazie, entre Piton Bénoune et Piton Plaine des Fougères
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-5.jpgle sentier proche de la fin de la descente
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-6.jpgles nombreux points de vues sur le cirque de Salazie depuis le sentier
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-7.jpgle sentier Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-8.jpgle sentier Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-9.jpgun des nombreux passages étroits
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-10.jpgun faux plat du sentier
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-11.jpgle Piton des Neiges vu du sentier Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-12.jpgla muraille séparant la rivière des Pluies et le cirque de Salazie avec Piton Bénoune en gros plan et Mare à Martin en contrebas
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-13.jpgle cirque de Salazie vu du haut du rempart
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-14.jpgle début de la descente vertigineuse
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-15.jpgla gorge de la rivière des Pluies à gauche et le cirque de Salazie à droite
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-16.jpgla bifurcation à droite pour se rendre en haut du rempart avant la descente vers Grand Ilet
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-17.jpgLa Roche Ecrite, départ de cette descente vertigineuse
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-18.jpgla route betonnée vers Mare à Martin
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-19.jpgvue du haut du rempart
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-20.jpgLongue ligne droite pour atteindre le bord du rempart
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-21.jpgLongue ligne droite pour atteindre le bord du rempart
Roche Ecrite - Grand-Ilet-22.jpgLongue ligne droite pour atteindre le bord du rempart
  • Few trails are both as high (not far from 1000 metres of height difference over a length of less than 2500 metres), vertical and vertiginous. The trails of Cap Anglais, the block (at the Piton des Neiges gîte) or Col du Taïbit are much easier, and you need to remember that the climb from Grand-Ilet or the descent coming from Roche Ecrite make it one of the most difficult routes in Reunion Island. Moreover, the panel set up by the ONF at the top and bottom of this path is very explicit: 'Difficult footpath, reserved for experienced walkers, access not advised in bad weather'. This trail is narrow in places with long handrails of steel cable to help you avoid falls because sheer drops are close by. The steps are sometimes tall and difficult on this path cut into the rock with hardly any flat sections. Despite all the precautions taken by the ONF to make this trail safe, it’s marked by the tragic accident of Guus Smit during the 10th edition of the Grand Raid in the upper part of the trail, and a memorial pays tribute to him. This reminds us that despite all the precautions taken, mountain trails are dangerous and you must always be careful and well trained before tackling paths considered difficult.
  • Difference in height
    67.21 m
  • Equipment
    Raincoat, hiking shoes, warm clothes, energy food, sunscreen, flashlight, bandages, hat, detailed, maps, gourd.
  • 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
In the direction of its descent, this path lets you reach Grand-Ilet from Roche Ecrite. In the ascent direction, you need to go to Salazie by the D48, then one kilometre after the village of Salazie, and at the junction shortly after the Voile de la Mariée waterfall, turn right towards Grand-Ilet. Cross Mare à Vieille Place, then Grand-Ilet towards Mare à Martin. The road to Mare à Martin descends to the right towards the end of Grand-Ilet. Continue to follow the Mare à Martin signs under the ramparts of Roche Ecrite and park your car in the car park on the left of the road shortly after the start of the trail, just before the sign indicating the Ravine Blanche waterfall.
0 km : Roche Ecrite - Grand Ilet 0 km : Roche Ecrite - Grand Ilet 1,0 km : Roche Ecrite - Grand Ilet 1,7 km : Roche Ecrite - Grand Ilet 1,7 km : Roche Ecrite - Grand Ilet 1,7 km : Roche Ecrite - Grand Ilet 2,5 km : Roche Ecrite - Grand Ilet 4,0 km : Roche Ecrite - Grand Ilet
0 km – Descend from Roche Ecrite by the same path taken to reach it.

1 km - Three directions are indicated at this junction in addition to that of Roche Ecrite behind you. The path on the left goes back to the Roche Ecrite gîte. The path that goes straight down makes a detour via Caverne Soldats before returning to Roche Ecrite gîte. Take the path that goes up right towards Grand Ilet.

1.2 km - At the end of this very short climb, you’ll see in front of you the end of the plateau of Roche Ecrite.

1.6 km - After a long straight, you’re at the edge of the rampart that dominates Grand-Ilet. In fine weather, the view overlooks the Rivière des Pluies all the way to the village of Rivière des Pluies at bottom left. Just below, you can see the thin rocky barrier that separates Cirque of Salazie from the Rivière des Pluies, dominated further on by Piton Plaine des Fougères. Below and to the left of this piton you can see Mare à Martin. Further left beneath your feet is Grand Ilet and the north-east part of Cirque of Salazie. Take a few moments to admire the scenery before you start down the first steps of the trail.

1.7 km - After the first steps, the trail is at first on a gentle slope and turns to the right. Very quickly, the descent becomes steep on a fairly narrow path.

2.2 km - You lose altitude very quickly and the first steel cables are there to help you get down this very narrow dangerous section. Slightly hidden by vegetation, the void is never very far away.

2.3 km - Pass the Guus Smit Memorial. Take your time and admire the magnificent views on offer.

2.8 km - You’ve completed half the descent of this rampart and the most dangerous section of the trail is behind you. The vegetation has become denser with more shady sections.

3.2 km - The descent is still very steep but the Mare à Martin route is now much closer down below.

3.3 km - The trail is crossed by a few small dry gullies and small pools of stagnant water.

3.4 km - A small rein announces the end of the descent getting close, then a protective barrier prevents you from falling into the void.

3.6 km - The slope becomes more gentle and the first concrete steps follow one after the other until the end of the trail. You can now clearly see the Mare à Martin road 100 metres below.

3.8 km - Here is a last ravine crossing at the side of the wall.

3.9 km - A few more concrete steps and you’re on the Mare à Martin road. What a descent! Look back up at the starting point of your descent at the top of this impressive vertical wall.
67 meters of difference in height
  • Start altitude : 2240 m
  • End altitude : 1136 m
  • Maximum altitude : 2262 m
  • Minimum altitude : 1134 m
  • Total positive elevation : 67 m
  • Total negative elevation : -1172 m
  • Max positive elevation : 14 m
  • Min positive elevation : -248 m