Trail Run Project Logo

Piton des Neiges Trail



1.9 mile 3.1 kilometer point to point
55% Runnable


Ascent: 1,760' 537 m
Descent: -14' -4 m
High: 9,967' 3,038 m
Low: 8,206' 2,501 m


Avg Grade: 18% (10°)
Max Grade: 41% (22°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Karl W

The trail from the Refuge to the summit of Piton des Neiges. Enjoy amazing views the whole way up!

Karl W

Features Views

Need to Know

If you plan to stay in the Refuge you should reserve a bunk in advance. Despite being a tropical island you should expect temperatures to drop below freezing, especially at night.


There are three routes you can take to access this trail: the GRR1 & GRR2 from Cilaos; the GRR1 from Salazie; and the GRR2 from La Plaine des Cafres. All of these routes are longer and have more elevation gain than this summit trail. The three routes up and the beginning of this trail all meet at the Refuge de la Caverne Dufour (also called the Gite du Piton des Neiges) a staffed and heated hut that you should reserve in advance if you plan to spend the night. You can also buy dinner and breakfast there. Also beer.

From the west side of Refuge look for the clear trailhead sign. The trail has large white blazes, reminiscent of the AT. The blazes are every few feet/meters as many runners choose to depart from the Refuge before daylight to watch the sunrise from the summit. The frequent blazes help runners stay the trail in the rocky alpine terrain.

The trail is fairly easy going considering it's the summit trail and covers 2000 feet in less than 2 miles. You'll encounter some large rocks/steps that may require minimum hand-work to keep your balance, but no real scrambling of any type. It is very rocky most of the way though. The trail actually gets easier the higher you get, with the final stretch essentially becoming a gravel pathway.

The summit is very large and open so it can accommodate a good number of runners without feeling crowded. The views are incredible from the summit, but also good the whole way up and down as you're well above treeline. Keep that in mind should the weather change!

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes


Land Manager: Reunion National Park

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In



Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote


in Cilaos


  5.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Trail Rankings


in Cilaos


in Reunion


18 Views Last Month
270 Since Jul 12, 2018



Piton de la Fournaise in the distant early morning light as a hiker descends the summit of Piton des Neiges near cool volcanic rock formations.
Jul 11, 2018 near Cilaos, RE
Plenty of room on the summit of Piton Des Neiges to watch the sun come up.
Jul 11, 2018 near Cilaos, RE
The sun peaks above the clouds over the Indian Ocean as seen from the summit of Piton des Neiges
Jul 11, 2018 near Cilaos, RE
Some hikers enjoy sunrise on Piton des Neiges' sub-peak with Piton de la Fournaise in the far distance.
Jul 11, 2018 near Cilaos, RE
Enjoying the warming rays of the sun on a cold morning
Jul 11, 2018 near Cilaos, RE


Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running