Pyrenees National Park is located in the departments (state or province like) of Hautes-Pyrenees and Pyrenees-Atlantiques. The national park is part of the larger Pyrenees mountain range which extends along the border and into the country of Spain.
Ordesa and Monte Perdido National Park is the complementary protected area of the Pyrenees in Spain. The plant life is similar in both parks and is made with scots pine, downy oak, silver birch, silver fir, willows, and common ash. Mountain pine takes over as the majority of the forest when elevations exceed 6,561 feet (2,000 m).
The flowering plants that occur in the meadows at elevations between 5,577 and 9,942 feet (1,700 and 3,000 m) include bellflower, Pyrenean violet, long-leafed butterwort, and of course the edelweiss which is used as one of the symbols for the park.
The Pyrenees feature glacial lakes, river ravines, cascading waterfalls, and a variety of flora and fauna to fulfill the nature lover's passions. It is both a UNESCO World Heritage site and a biosphere reserve.
Wildlife of the Pyrenees includes the chamois, boar, red squirrel, brown bear, marmot, badger, red fox, groundhog, and the weasel. The skies feature the Egyptian vulture, the bearded vulture, and the majestic golden eagle. The golden eagle is known to carry off prey larger than itself; it is a magnificent predator.
Pyrenees National Park is an escape to pristine nature. It provides visitors with amazing waterfalls, large granite rock faces, incredible mountain range views, and trails that abound.
Visitors can drive through the park taking in much of the surreal landscapes that exist, but nothing is better than taking in fresh air while hiking or trekking the trails.
Ax-les Thermes, Bagneres-de-Luchon, and Eaux-Chaudes are all hot springs found within the park. There are several mineral springs as well.
Trails in Pyrenees National Park
There are over 135 trails that meander through, about, and over the Pyrenees. This is a tremendous national park for those who are hikers and love nature and wilderness. Because of the altitude and elevation changes, many of the trails are rated as difficult.
Gaube Lake Trail: This is a moderate rated trail that follows through the heart of the Pyrenees via the Pont d'Espagne. The trail is 5 miles (8.0 km) out to Lake Gaube, locally known as Lac de Gaube.
Cascades du Pont d'Espagne Trail: This is another 5-mile (8.0 km) trail that meanders along a river. The trail gives access to six different waterfalls which include the exquisite Escane-Gat Waterfall, Pouey Bacou Waterfall, and the Ceriset Waterfall.
Pic d'Anie Trail: This is a challenging 8.7-mile (14 km) with an elevation gain of 3,822 feet (1.165 m). One of the highlight features of the trail is views of the near-perfect pyramid-shaped summit.
Cirque de Gavarnie: This is a hard 7.2-mile (11.6 km) trail that travels between massive mountains that will give you mesmerizing views and leave you speechless.
GR10: The Pyrenean Way Trail: This is an incredibly challenging endeavor that requires strong physically fit individuals to take on the adventure. The trail is 551.5 miles (887.55 km) of meandering up, down, around, and throughout the Pyrenees. It is a marked route that will provide you with one of the most inclusive Pyrenees experiences possible. You can truly say you know the Pyrenees after tackling this astounding but rewarding trek.
- Incredible waterfalls
- Serene landscapes
- Granite cliffs
- All Trails, Best Trails in Pyrenees National Park, https://www.alltrails.com/parks/france/occitanie/parc-national-des-pyrenees, retrieved June 2020.
- Britannica, Pyrenees, https://www.britannica.com/place/Pyrenees, retrieved August 2019.
- Embark, Pyrenees National Park, http://www.embark.org/france/adventures/pyrenees-national-park, retrieved August 2019.
- France, Pyrenees, https://ca.france.fr/en/pyrenees, retrieved August 2019.
- National Geographic, Pyrenees National Park, France, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/parks/pyrenees-france/, retrieved August 2019.
- Lonely Planet, Parc National des Pyrenees, https://www.lonelyplanet.com/france/parc-national-des-pyrenees, retrieved August 2019.
- UNESCO, Pyrenees – Mont Perdu, https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/773/, retrieved August 2019.