Family Hike Along the HRP

In July 2007, my wife and I and our 2 teenage daughters spent over a month in England and France. The highlight of the trip was the week we spent hiking part of the HRP. We hiked about 70 km over 8 days from Etsaut to Gavarnie; most of which was in the Pyrenees National Park. It was an excellent trip. The hiking was strenuous, with steep ascents and descents, and large elevation gains each day. Some trail sections were narrow and exposed to steep side slopes. Our mountain hiking experience in the Canadian Rocky Mountains was very helpful. The scenery was magnificent, with huge views of the mountains and close views of pastoral valleys with cows and horses grazing among alpine wild flowers. We spent each night in an alpine hut along the way. The huts made the trip possible to do with only a day pack holding the essentials. Since it was before the middle of July, the huts were not full, and it was not necessary to book beds in advance. Most of the hikers we met were French, so it was also a very good cultural experience for us, and challenged us to use our mediocre French from school in Canada.

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