The cirque of Boutières


Les Boutières, a jewel in Ardèche

Spreading out from the foot of the Mont Mézenc, the cirque of Boutières is a precious part of nature in Ardèche. Easily accessible and offering a spectacular panoramic view, the cirque de Boutières is a site not to miss. Young and old will admire the astonishing scenery which unfolds before their eyes.

The region of Boutières is composed of sucs, steep slopes, and valleys. Rising up above these volcanic lands, the cirque de Boutières offers  an exceptional panoramic view over the Ardèche  and the Alpine summits in all seasons.

From the car park at the Croix de Boutières, it is easy to reach the large display board which explains the panoramic landscapes. You will be surprised by the atmosphere which seems to radiate from the cirque and which changes during the day and over the seasons.

The cliff of the cirque de Boutières represents the only remaining part of an ancient volcanic crater, ruined at a later period by glacial erosion which carved out a vast amphitheatre.

To see the total area of the site, we recommend that you go on a short walk. Start off from the cross at Boutières and follow the GR Massif Mézenc Gerbier path over a short distance( 1km return). On the ridge of the volcano, you will find yourselves  above the cirque and be able to admire the spectacular view. This walk towards the cirque des Boutières will enable you to discover the form of the ancient volcano which occupied the site.

In this magnificent cirque, the steep slopes of The Rocher de Cuzet harbors rare plants, typical of this mountain in Ardèche and Auvergne:  rockcress, monk’s hood,  martagnon lily, colt’sfoot. You can also see  marmots, introduced with success nearly 40 years ago. Erosion has created a lot of rock scree providing ideal burrows where the young can be reared. Last but not least, birds of prey hover around above the rock faces in the company of  paragliders who also enjoy a grandiose  view over the Boutières, the Mont Mézenc (article Mont Mézenc) and the Gerbier de Jonc in the distance.

« Starting from the cross at Boutières by car, take the tourist route at the foot of the Mézenc which goes through the cirque. Open wide your eyes and appreciate the remnants of this volcano”