The Pitons - Gros Piton and Petit Piton Mountains in St. Lucia
The Pitons are two volcanic plugs in a World Heritage Site in St. Lucia, linked by the Piton Mitan ridge. The two Piton Mountains are the most photographed landmark on the island. The larger of these two volcanic plugs is called the Gros Piton, while the other is the Petit Piton.
The Pitons are a famous tourist attractions for hikers and mountain climbers in St. Lucia. These mountains are located near the towns of Soufrière and Choiseul on the southwestern coast of St. Lucia. Located at the top of the Piton Mitan Ridge is the Ladera Hotel which offers a view over Piton bay.
The Gros Piton rises to a height of 786 m (2619 ft). It is the second highest peak on Saint Lucia, after Mount Gimie. In spite of being the higher of the two Pitons, it is easier to climb than the Petit Piton, with established tours that provide transportation to the “Interpretive center”, a small welcome center of sorts with descriptions and models of the local geography, geology, and plant life.
Hiking and Mountain Climbing at Gros Piton
Guides are required by the park service whenever visitors climb the Gros Piton. These tour guides are actually the park service employees. They are professional, informative, and fun to hike with. Spectacular views of St. Lucia and the Petit Piton await as a reward for the hikers and climbers who had made it to the summit within an average of 2 hour climb. Actually, the adventure is more considered as a hike, not a climb. And although strenuous, hiking at the Gros Piton does not require any special skills or present much exposure or danger.
Petit Piton lies towards the middle of the Soufrière bay, south of the town of Soufrière and north of the larger mountain, Gros Piton. Petit Piton rises to a height of 2461 ft (739 m).
Hiking and Mountain Climbing at Petit Piton
The Petit Piton has a steeper side compared to the Gros Piton, and is more challenging to climb and hike. It is even quite different in that there is no welcome center or even a marked trailhead for that matter. Even though there is no mandatory hiking guide for tourists when they climb on this peak, they would be well served finding a local that knows the hike route. The climb does have some primitive fixed ropes and does present some danger exposure. The summit is a much smaller area, but compared to the Gros Piton, it has even better views of St. Lucia and the Piton Bay.