Road trip guide: Conquering the Pas de Bellecombe
Pas de Bellecombe is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.361m (7,746ft) above the sea level located on the eastern side of Réunion island in the Indian Ocean.
The road to the caldera is called Route Forestière 5 du Volcan, also known as Volcano Road (Route du Volcan). It’s paved and pretty steep. Do not forget to protect yourselves: if the weather is beautiful you can get sunburned (because of the reverberation on the lava), bring a cap and a solar cream. If the weather goes bad, you can hardly see a thing and walking becomes riskier for that reason, always plan "wide" schedules. Due to its elevated position, the area receives considerable amounts of rainfall, especially during tropical storms.
The road to the summit is 22.6 km long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 743m. The average gradient is 3.28%. At the summit a parking lot and a snack bar are available to visitors. The summit offers a good point of view over the northeast part of the caldera. The last kilometers are on a good gravel road.