LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY, 1 OUT OF 5: 3
Towering 2,640 feet above sea level, Gros Piton is the tallest of the two pitons and second highest peak in St. Lucia. Located just south of Soufriere in the community of Fond Gens Libre, or “Valley of the Free People,” the mountain is sanctioned by the Government of St. Lucia and requires a guide and fee. Tourists are charged upwards of $25US, so make sure to stress your Peace Corps affiliation and demand the local price of $35EC. There is little way around this, as the interpretive center where you make your payments is adjacent to the path that leads to the trail itself.
The trail and community lay decently far from the main road, so private transport is your best bet. There are no public buses that take you any closer than the gap along the main road with a sign pointing in the direction of the mountain.
The ascent to the top of Gros takes approximately 2 hours. The trail is very well traveled and maintained. Your guide will help you when needed, but there are no portions of the trail that require much, if any, assistance. Be prepared for a constant and very steady hike to the top. There are several benches along the path that provide great views and a place for rest and relaxation. Be sure to stop at both lookout points at the top, as guides normally stop at the main lookout but skip the secondary lookout, allowing you a wonderful view of Petit Piton.
Cell phone coverage throughout the hike.
PEACE CORPS PROCEDURE:
-Call your APCD to inform them of your hike, and again upon returning safely to the bottom.
-ALWAYS hike with at least one partner, preferably two.
AARON DOLL, EC76
I’m a smoker, so this hike was a tough one. With some persistency and plenty of time though, I made it to the top. What a great accomplishment and views I’ll never forget.
LEO KLEJNOT, EC76
Much easier than Petit Piton. Never any point along the trail where I felt uneasy or with thoughts of turning back. Not a fan of the $35EC to hike the darn thing, but it’s certainly worth doing at least once while in St. Lucia. Be sure and bring a Piton with you so that you can drink one at the top!!
night. Very entertaining and a MUST for any St. Lucian PCV!!