From the American West to the Provençal Colorado
In the heart of the Luberon’s ochre cliffs
The Colorado of Rustrel – the American West in Provence
Always dreamed of visiting the American Far West? Come to the Colorado of Rustrel.
This site is a unique mix between the Bryce Canyon and Zion Park. Formerly a semi-natural ochre quarry, this “hill of a thousand colours” can be found only 15 minutes from Apt… not far!
de 5€ to 12€
- Formerly a semi-natural ochre quarry, the French Colorado exposes a stretch of mountainous area in thousands of colours
- This place is home to the wildest ochres – the ideal American West setting for playing cowboys and indians!
- Magical and unusual all at once, it is often used for film sets
Ochre as far as the eye can see!
As soon as you’ve parked under the shade of the pine forest, you will be blown away by the breathtaking view of the orange cliffs which rise up in a majestic backdrop. The site displays magnificent shades of ochre colours – brown-red and white – and attracts children like a magnet.
Try not to rush with excitement as you walk through the little pine-scented forest. When you reach the end of the path, 30 hectares of open air and beautiful scenery opens ahead of you! The incredible beauty of this American West countryside is shown through the mountainous area: hoodoos, rocky peaks…
In just a moment you could see Coyote and the Road Runner bursting into view!
Bring a hat, sun cream, water, and comfortable shoes. Avoid wearing white clothes – the ochre pigments don’t wash out easily!
A real life 360° cinema
This festival of ochre is magical and extraordinary.
The children will immediately launch themselves into the middle of the dunes. In this American West setting, you’ll feel rather small in comparison to the hoodoos which loom above!
Facing these columns of weathered rock in every direction, you can climb on the crests and learn about the history of this space. And while you’re up there, the scenery is so amazing that you’ll want to take a photo whichever direction you turn! No wonder that this site serves as a film set – it is a must-see all on its own!
For the majority of visitors, there are no film cameras, but no doubt you’ll take a series of snapshots so you can recall the distant horizons. If you want to go up there, the view from the summit is irresistible and spectacular!
Waterfall effect on the hoodoo paths – the perfect opportunity for photos!
RE-ENACT THE FAR WEST WITH YOUR FAMILY!
Time to play cowboys and indians?
After seeing these mind-boggling views, the children will abandon the climbing to seek a break in the shade. The groves and openings in the smaller cliffs are ideal hiding places for little cowboys to lie in ambush…
Here, chase the ‘little eye of the buffalo’ up to the White Desert where all the tribe stops, speechless at the immense white rock before them. Wooooowwww!! (and here we are – the cry of the coyote!)
There are 2 easily accessible signposted trails (bikes and animals also permitted). The Sahara trail takes 40 minutes and the trail featuring the Cirque de Barriès and white desert takes 1 hour 45 minutes.
The history of ochre
Ochre in Vaucluse is precious, just like gold in the Far West!
Discover all the ochre-related gems of the area
ON THE (ALMOST) HIDDEN TREASURE TRAIL
Many remnants of the industrial era are scattered across the Provençal Colorado. You’ll be taken back in time to nearly half a century ago and see pipes, settling tanks, brick huts, and the engines of pumps that were used to wash the ochre – all handcrafted by workers at the time.
On the way back, take your time to admire the little aqueduct that carries water captured in the ochre towards a fountain in the village.
A good idea
Enjoy lunch at a picnic table under the palm trees – you’ll be eating between two Indian hunting parties!
Access by car from Apt via the D22, 11 km, 15 minutes
Parking (at the entry to the site under the pine forest): €5
Several bus lines available departing from Apt: N° 16 and 16S1, N°109 and N° 24L1