- Département: 06 Alpes-Maritimes
- Commune: SAINT-ETIENNE-DE-TINÉE
- Carte IGN: 3639 OT
- Coordonnées géographiques:
- GPS (UTM WGS84): 32T 338629 4903678
- Coordonnées GPS décimales: 44.268460 N / 6.978122 E
- Access: Parking at the St Etienne Park House in Tinée
Available in RandoBus: see the "Tourism Info" tab
- GPS (UTM WGS84): 32T 334300 4902611
- Coordonnées GPS décimales: 44.257887 N - 6.924260 E
Par la route
Transports en commun
The refuge et its site
Located on the edge of the Mercantour National Park, Rabuons refuge, perched on its rocky outcrop, dominates the large Rabuons lake. On its terrace, the visitor can enjoy the view over the Tinée valley, Auron, and the neighboring peaks.
The climb from Saint Etienne de Tinée is in itself a beautiful hike. We cross first the forest of broadleaves, then the melezin, and finally the alpine lawn, where one arrives on the famous "Chemin de l'Energie". This path, dug in the rock, is in balcony over the valley and leads us just below the refuge.
Numerous climbs to nearby summits exceeding 3000 meters of altitude are possible from the refuge.
You will be able in this wild site to discover a rich and varied mountain environment: fauna (ibex, chamois, mouflons, ...), flora, geology, ...
In the heart of the Alps, in the immediate vicinity of Italy and the Mediterranean, the valley of Rabuons and its many lakes is an exceptional place for all lovers of mountain and nature
Access to St Etienne la Tinée
From Ubaye valley
Take the Col de la Bonette and go down to Saint Etienne de Tinée.
From Nice :
Take direction Dignes-Vallée Vésubie-Tinée Valley, then follow the Tinée Valley to Saint Etienne de Tinée.
Take line 740 (Nice - Auron) from Nice SNCF railway station. Stop at Saint Etienne de Tinée.
For timetables, click here
Walking access to the refuge
From the car park of the Mercantour National Park of Saint Etienne de Tinée, cross the bridge (on the road) to arrive on the left bank of the Tinée.
The path leading to the Rabuons starts from the crossing just after the bridge, to the wooden beacon.
You enter a dense hardwood forest, on a beautiful paved trail, which runs between scattered houses. Then begins a long ascent, but the slope being regular, the altitude increases fairly quickly.
After the source (drinkable), the trail crosses a larch forest lighted and pleasantly cool, then the alpine lawn.
After about 3 hours of climbing from Saint Etienne de Tinée, you will arrive at the famous Chemin de l'Energie (beacon 103), built at the beginning of the 20th century to collect the waters of the different valleys of the site. This road is flat for about 2 km, until the EDF hut, where you have a last climb to reach the refuge (about 1 hour from the 103 beacon).