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What is the height for a muule? Traveling by donkey.

Want to go on a family hike but your little ones are dragging their feet? We bet they will love this donkey route.

The Stevenson path - GR70 for short - is 272 kilometers through Velay, Gévaudan, Mont Lozère and the Cévennes. It is traditionally divided into twelve stages of around twenty kilometers.

The “Stevenson” magic recipe: wild valleys, fir forests, lakes, historic villages, granite plateaus, all sprinkled with red volcanic soil... Or how to feel like you're traveling the whole of France in twelve days.

Level difference, you travel between 700 and 1700 m altitude. The ideal is therefore to leave between May and October because with the altitude you can quickly get cold out of season. The difficulty of the path is intermediate even if it is more complicated on the second part due to a greater difference in altitude.

Dad, mom, when are we arriving?

In theory, it is said that a child can complete the entire Stevenson Path in twelve days from the age of 12. In practice, it all depends on whether your children are used to walking or not. Nothing stops you from going more slowly by dividing the steps. On the other hand, the advantage of doing this hike with a donkey is also to be able to transport a child in case of fatigue. Be careful, however: the donkey can carry a maximum weight of 40 kg on its back.

Want to walk light? Good to know: some agencies offer a transport service for your backpacks. I am thinking in particular of La Malle Postale, a service which can also transport people if necessary.

Hue dada!

You can rent a donkey at several stages thanks to the different providers offered on the GR70. In total, the path lists seven providers. The service ranges from half-day to itinerant hikes over several days, some even offer tailor-made services by taking the donkey to the starting point of your hike and picking it up at the arrival point.

Added to the “practical” dimension of the animal is its friendly character. It will delight young and old. The donkeys are previously trained by the service provider to be well-behaved (and not too stubborn) throughout the hike. Do we agree that our worst nightmare is to live the same experience as Antoinette in the film Antoinette in the Cévennes ? Good. So to avoid this, most service providers require a one-hour mini-training to brief you on your traveling companion before setting off. Just to limit the little hiccups that the animal can cause you. Other than that, it's just a joy.

Did you know ?

It was Robert Lewis Stevenson, founder of this GR, who launched the fashion for donkey rides. The story goes that he walked in the Cévennes accompanied by a donkey called “Modestine”. The beginnings with his donkey were difficult but he ended up becoming attached to this little creature who became the main role in his book Travel with a donkey in the Cévennes .

And what about sleeping in all this?

In terms of accommodation, you are served: there are many stopover lodges, campsites and hotels all along the way. Be careful, however, if you travel the route out of season, make sure that there are open accommodation and refreshment points. Also note that not all accommodation accepts donkeys. Ask carefully before booking anything.

And for an even more authentic experience, you can opt for bivouac . We have what you need to equip yourself with the best equipment. Tent , sleeping bag , stove , groundsheet , pillow, filter bottle … The icing on the cake: our brands are committed . Where is happiness, where is it?

Whatever accommodation option you choose, we can equip you for the entire hiking part: backpack , shoes , t-shirt , shorts , headgear , hygiene & care , nutrition ... We has everything you need. Delivered in 24 hours.

Tips to keep in mind (from muule): When you prepare your backpack, make sure that its weight never exceeds 15 to 20% of your own weight. In addition to the injury factor (tendonitis, sprains, falls, etc.), you risk enjoying your walk and the landscapes less. Do not hesitate to consult our guide to find out how to choose your hiking backpack .

Article written by Solenn de Muule on March 20, 2024.

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