|Height|| ||694 metres (2277 feet)|
|Vertical Elevation|| ||6 metres (stairs)|
|Location|| ||Hautes Fagnes' Natural Park|
|Nearest town|| ||Limbourg|
|Climbing time|| ||<1 minute|
|Distance|| ||<2 metres|
|Grade|| ||1/5 Drive|
|Other peaks|| ||None|
When the start of this climb sits at the back of a restaurant, surrounded by trash cans and empty crates of bottles, you know the Belgians do not place significant importance on climbing mountains. When the climb itself involves climbing no more than two dozen stairs, you realise why.
While the Belgian government have jazzed up the experience by building a six metre staircase (taking the highpoint from 694 metres to 700 metres), the highest point in Belgium has the distinct feeling that it is on the way to something else. Nevertheless, this mountain is in a nice part of Belgium surrounded by a Nature Reserve and walking trails.
In the 1930's a viewing tower was built on the site, encompassing a cafe/restaurant and tourist office (all were closed on the day we arrived - Sunday).
You can visit Signal de Botrange all year round. During winter, this area is the starting point for many cross-country ski races.
Signal de Botrange is on the southern side of the Rue de Botrange, 20km or 20 minutes south-east of Limbourg. From Limbourg take the N620 (Rue de la Gileppe) toward Jalhay. At Jalhay turn left onto the N672 (Rue de la Fagne). After 7km, turn right onto the N68 (E421) Baraque Michel. After 4km (3minutes) the road forks left/right. Take the left had fork (N676) onto Rue de Botrange. Signal de Botrange is about 1.5km up this road on the right hand side. There is a viewing tower visible above the trees.
There is really very little I can write about this climb. You can drive your car to literally 1 metre away from the bottom of the stairs (which is at the back and behind the restaurant). Climb the mound and you are at 694 metres. Climb the stairs and you are at 700 metres.
There aren't really alternative ways up the mountain, as the entire area is a plateau and hence pretty flat in all directions.
The viewing tower probably provides better views of the surrounding area, although was closed when we arrived (Sunday).
View Signal de Botrange in a larger map
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