St. Lucia – Gros Piton Hike

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Distance: 3.5 Miles RT
Time: 4 hours (We had an excursion deadline).
Start: Beach, many excursions start at a road higher up.
Difficulty: Strenuous
Elevation Gain:  3340 ft (steep hike)

Who is crazy enough to pay to go on an excursion to hike up to the top of a huge mountain while on a cruise to the Caribbean?  The Gros Piton is actually only 100 ft taller than the Petit Piton (which is much narrower and steeper).  But at 3340 ft elevation gain and 3.5 miles round trip, this excursion including travel time would take us nearly the entire day.

We used Spencer Ambrose tours due to their very good rating on TripAdvisor.  The speed boat ride over to the hike was quick and direct.  They provided us with all the water we could carry – they don’t want anyone getting dehydrated.

My wife didn’t know if she would be able to make it and two women from our group dropped out before reaching the 1/4 mark.  The trail had many areas where you had to step over large boulders, step up stairs – sometimes naturally made from tree roots, and hold on to anything that was available.

The half-way point had a great view of the Petit Piton:

I’m happy to say that we both made it to the top for a great view of the island and ocean.

Our group actually split up as some members of our tour were fast hikers and wanted to spend some extra time at the beach.  Unfortunately this caused some issues for us, because when we arrived at the base, the other group had already been picked up and taken to a beach.  Our guide’s phone didn’t get cellphone coverage in this area so we had to use my phone (international calling is not cheap) and then wait for a boat to get back to us.  We probably waited 20-30 minutes in total.  When we got to the beach, they handed us some food and asked us to get back on the boat to head back.  It wasn’t ideal, but all in all we had a great day.

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