Mont Bego

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Alpes Maritimes, France, Europe
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
9423 ft / 2872 m
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Mont Bego
Created On: Oct 8, 2010
Last Edited On: Oct 12, 2010


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From the Bronze Age Mount Bego was considered by the visitors of Valée des Merveilles sacred mountain. In old Indo-European language “be” would mean sacred mountain and bull god, whereas “go”means cow or earth goddess. Two adjacent valleys, Valée des Merveilles and Valée Fontanalba, are famous for the discovery of over 60,000 petroglyphs dating as long as 5000year. They represent three general categories of subjects. Many engravings show corniforms: animals with horns like cows. The second group demonstrates a variety of tools that they used including axes and halberds and weapons such as dagger. The last category includes various geometric shapes and rectangular and oval figures The subjects were studied in detail by archeologists from the beginning of the 19th century and are scientifically described in numerous books that elaborate on the reasoning of paintings. People travelled in relatively high altitude to the mountains in summer to be close to the sky and sun. It is possible to observe a correlation between placement of engravings and sun light during equinox and solstice.
Whether or not the ancient artists climbed Mont Bego we don’t know for sure. The climb belongs to relatively easy alpine hikes today and you can choose to access it from different locations.

Getting There

1/From Casterino
Drive to Casterino. Hike on trail to Refuge Fontanalba. It is possible to hike on interesting ridge from there.
2/From Lac des Mesches
Drive to Lac de Mesches via Saint Dalmas de Tende. From Lac De Mesches continue toward Casterino you can stop on any available parking. On forth switchback up from the lake there is intersection 84 and sign pointing to Valée des Merveilles. Even if the first half mile is on wide 4WD road, it is not possible to drive there except for authorized vehicles.
3/ You can arrive with public transportation to some places like Madonna de Fenêtre (TAM bus Then you follow the "grand ranonnee" trail GR52 all the way to Baisse Valmasque and airy ridge leads to the summit.

Red Tape

Petroglyph in Valee des Merveilles
Within the borders of the Maritime Alps Natural Park dogs generally are not allowed, except on a few trails. Off road Mountain biking is allowed. No fees applies to enter National Park.
Special rules need to be followed in Vallée des Merveilles.
No camping there, no off trail hiking, even hiking poles are prohibited.
It is possible to use guide to explore petroglyphs. Research it before is better but can also ask for information in Refuge Merveilles.

Huts and Camping

Gîte Neige et Merveilles, La Minière de Vallauria
Refuge Merveilles
Refuge Fontanalba
In Parc national du Mercantour, regulated bivouac is possible from 7pm to 9am. You should be more than one hour walk from the park boundaries or access road. People still use tent for bivouac.
No camping allowed to preserve the beauty of nature.
Special rules need to be followed in Vallée des Merveilles.
No camping there, no off trail hiking, even hiking poles are prohibited.

External Links


Mont Bego

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