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1 week in the Gorges du Verdon= 2 campsites to discover the richness of this incredible site

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Near by the Train des Pignes -Entrevaux

​The train des Pignes

Therefore, so-called railway of Provence (CFP). It must his nickname to the fact that once these locomotives heating wood emerged a soot as it resembled some peasant pot ass (pignata).
Linking Nice to Digne, this rail, survivor of the former "South-France" network, runs 150 km amount (without rack) up to 1000 m altitude (Gare de Thorame Haute). To his misfortune, the gauge is only 1 m, where the obligation to change station if you want to go beyond these two departmental capitals. While a standard track would have made a very profitable East-Mediterranean direct link, this "streetcar" has a deficit management and, each year, its survival depends on charity boards: General (04-06) regional (PACA) and municipal of Nice and Digne. to these subsidies, the State adds a tiny part. However, this line crosses one of the most charming regions of the Southern Alps, by passing the traveller of the French Riviera to the Alps in a setting that is almost not disturbed since the commissioning of this train.
What are these landscapes that the hikes of this first part will try to discover, specifying that some proposed races are only a tiny part of the hiking trails (on foot, ski or snowshoes) offered by this magnificent part of Haute-Provence.

Starting to Entrevaux

Door of France, on the edge of the Duchy of Savoy, the city fortified by Vauban deserves more than a visit. First, should climb to the Citadel by crossing some twenty successive posterns and up there, enjoy the glance at the Valley of the Var, whose characteristic shape "trough" reminds that this river still has an alpine configuration. Then, in its right bank spread plain, try to guess the Gallo-Roman city of Glandèves, the only remnant of this Christian paly bishopric is a section of wall where is now located the hospital. There are an infinite number of things to see in Entrevaux and many hikes to do all around. It is a final step of the GR 4 before this trail penetrates in the Alpes Maritimes.

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The crest of the Contents

This hike can complement a visit to the city of Entrevaux or be extended an hour thirty, with 75 m elevation gain, pushing until the peak of Chabran. It moves in a beautiful beech forest to the ubac and Mortisses after the climb through the garrigue of hotter.
Fits all, trail, starting altitude: 1060 m, highest Point: 1473 m, total elevation gain: 500 m, journey time: 2 h 55. Park in the hamlet of Laval, pont ravine of Garcin, in 9 km 300 southwest of Entrevaux.
•    Departure: Cross the bridge and go up right bank of Garcin Creek along the pre, direction northeast. Enter under the cover of pine trees and climbing, always in the same direction until the encounter of a well path trail that switchbacks through a wood of Oaks and pines.
•    The wireless relay it is possible along the ridge to the right, in return (time not counted here) and if you're not afraid of scrub, to reach the peak of Chabran (1541 m), otherwise, leave behind the construction of the relay and follow the line of ridges off-trail, North-West direction. Walking close to the line in a beautiful stand of beech trees. Coast 1473 is exceeded to reach down to
•    Side 1420. Take the trail that leaves left to cross the ridge and get around the top of the Content-oriented downhill North West face. Meeting with marked GR.4 white red that descends along a Rubin, go left on the GR. in gradient.
•    Oratory and Col St-Jean. Continue down along the shore of a southbound talweg.
•    After the GR. is distant from the thalweg and a nearly horizontal passage, go left at the fork. Leave a ruin on the right, then another left. The trail turns into a wide track and share right, stay on this southbound draille.
•    Junction, turn right, abandon the GR. right a little further and work around a beautiful ruin by the West.
•    Crossing the Fouent Creek Ford. D 10, back this direction is up to Laval. Starting point.
Note: When you arrive at the 10 D, it is possible before climbing back to Laval to go see the old chapel of Notre-Dame-de-la-Rivière, down the road westward around 250 m. The Chapel is right, a few steps from the road.

The Col De St-Jeannet and the Hermitage of Saint John of the Desert

The Hermitage is a place of pilgrimage for the St-Jean. The brotherhood of the Saint-Jeanistes of Entrevaux, gives each year a particularly retained scale since ancient times.
5 h 40 easy walking, starting elevation: 478 m; Highest point: 1450 m, total elevation: 1000 m
Get out of the car park opposite the drawbridge from the West and take the D.106 in the direction of Bay, following the white red of GR.4 tags must be kept to the col de St-Jeannet.
•    In turn that describes the road, under the cemetery, embark on a path between a villa and cemetery, direction South-West. The trail cuts the meanders of the D.106 uphill southwest to electrical lines H.T.
•    Follow the power line on concrete poles. Cut the corners of a paved Lane, along a power line on poles wood in the Hamlet "Les Bayons".
•    Exceed the oratory St-Antoine. The coating shall cease. Take the direction Southwest trail to the tune of a metal pole H.T.
•    The path rises on the slopes of the mountain (southwest). Exceed a ruin left the calade. Leave even an oratory beside a House. A telephone line on wooden poles along the trail.
•    It passes between two ruins. The path separates the H.T. line and oblique slightly South. Lead on the road, after a few metres on it, follow direction change tags and go right to the telephone and electric lines.
•    Pass under the lines without leaving the GR. red white marks
•    Mount on the mountainside in the Northwest direction leaving the trail starting right to stay on the GR., under a canopy of oak trees. Keep the Southwest Cape in the patis and the terraces.
•    Join the road. After 100 m, the leave starting right on the road at the left corner of the House and who cashed, is still progressing southwest to the right leaving a buried tank.
•    Take the road towards the hamlet of "Bay" to bypass to the East and then North. Left to right the chapel of St Claude. Continue on the road. Height of a farm located on the right, take the Northwest right sinking Road lane.
•    Start on the left; Similarly, at the next junction. The trail enters a forest of beech trees (msh3al in Provençal) more and more. Come to a (side 1470) col not shown on the map, on the crest of the content. The path descends left Northwest in the beech forest.
•    Pines follow beeches. At the outlet on a cart path marking the COL de St - Jeannet with a massive oratory, start on the left to go to the Hermitage of Saint-Jean-du désert. Turn right at the fork after the oratory. Hermitage.
Backtrack back to the Col de St - Jeannet
•    Abandon the GR. and go northeast down the cart path. This way is the former course of the GR.4 which, previously, it was borrowing to reach Entrevaux. (Do not be surprised if old white red tags remain).
•    At the fork go right. Similarly to the next. Do not miss to take the trail to the right direction northeast by abandoning the cart path. Exceed the St-Joseph Oratory and keep Northeast Cape trail descends right bank of a ravine.
•    Exceed successively 3 small streams to Ford (dry summer). New oratory. At the crossroads, take direction northeast, in front, by neglecting the other directions.
•    Coming out of the wood the path descends towards the hamlet of "La Colle". In the hollow of the small Valley pass left of cultures and, on the restanque, straighten the direction northwards to arrive at the ruins in which an oratory was built in a section of wall.
•    Trail is bordered on the right by a power on metal studs line and left by a telephone line on wooden poles. The farm under renovation, take the cart path down switchbacks. Height of a ruin between two Linden trees, avoid the left path and down right to the St. John Valley. New oratory.
•    Exceed a basin located on the left on entering a built-up. Cross the St. John Valley Ford and pass right bank.
At the crossroads leave the paved road from left to take the Causeway right. At the oratory, veer direction is on the paved road to reach N 202. From right on the national to join, 1 km 800 thence Entrevaux.

Scaffarels in St. John's-desert

This hike can very well end with a descent to Entrevaux with return by the "train des Pignes" (for information on schedules in advance) or by using two vehicles, one being parked at Entrevaux before departure.
The site crossed, today desert, was still inhabited after the last war, only the hamlet of Jaussiers reveals a human presence in this valley of St-Jean once so active.
Interestingly there are and share of the Hermitage, two small valleys bearing the name of St-Jean and that should not be confused.
Easy hike, elevation departure: 655 Mr. top Point: 1430 m. total elevation gain: 775 Mr. duration: 3 h 45 or 5 h if we opt to return by ENTREVAUX.
•    Right leave the D.908 for Annot and take the N.202 amount until the pont St-Joseph. Abandon the N 202 and onto the cart path marked yellow red (G.T.P.A) and bordered by a power line on wooden poles.
•    In a lace of the road a sign "walk back for vehicles" is planted right. Take the climbing trail to the left towards Ourges and ST-JEAN, leaving the road at the point where it begins the descent towards Jaussiers.
•    After walking along the cliff that overlooks left, avoiding the trail that plunges right to stay on the path towards is. Height of an oratory take right towards the Ourges Chapel located right front. Chapel and hamlet of Ourges. Down to ruins leaving right after the chapel.
•    Pass the hamlet and move to Ford a small stream, followed by a second a bit lower. Climbing South on the opposite bank of the latter. Overlooking 5 or 6 m the riverbed, the path climbs South-East through limestone beds.
•    After a gentle descent through fording a tributary of the torrent and climb between two thalwegs rump.
•    Avoid the left-hand path. The climb switchbacks is pretty steep. Hermitage of Saint - John of the desert.
From here you must choose: either back along the same path as the go to, or continue on Entrevaux.
•    In this case: pass the East side of the Church. Bypass the nascent ravine to reach a cart path, GR 4 (white red tags). Go East, direction Entrevaux on this dirt road. Pass an oratory, then a rich source in the middle of a beautiful beech forest.
•    St Jeannet collar with left a beautiful oratory. Take to the Southeast, on the right, signposted path white red (GR 4) amount under the beech leaving left 2 lanes which descend directly to Entrevaux by 'The Plan' in.In a sling in the beech forest GR arrives at a decline. Dive by GR branch Southeast on the sunny side of the mountain amidst Oaks who succeed at the Beeches.
•    Avoid successive trails descending to the right to stay on the GR. leave right a farm and lead to a road paved to take down. Hamlet of Bay.
•    Stay on the road above the Chapel St-Claude so bottom of the hamlet and continue on the road. To the exit in engaging left on the trail that runs along the restanques parallel to the road.
•    Neglecting entries in the boards to keep the tags and Cape Town E.NORD-EST, slightly downhill. Leave on the left the fold of the Martine and resume the paved road. Abandon the road to take the wide dirt road that goes to a power line 3 wire on poles wood. Do not follow roads primers that depart from each side, keep the white red tags.
•    Enter in the woods of oak, the direction bends Northeast. Ignoring the forest track that climbs left stay on trail to the right still low down. Fork. Turn right following the GR East.
•    In the bare space, go to the double post of the power line. Pass under it. Along the crest of the small bar that overlooks the road to reach a little further. Then leave this path to follow the electric cable on poles wood.
•    New exit on the road. 100 m GR split starting at left. Iron under the power line 3 wire. Cross the dry stream bed. The path follows a restanque, then follows a cable on poles wood. Leave it a ruin on the right and pass between an oratory and a House.
Hamlet of Bayons. Oratoire St-Antoine. Paved road, after the 2nd villa down right by the path which retracts the bends. Cemetery along West side.

The crest of the Lette

Gueydan bridge - Entrevaux

This hike is a linear, it assumes a shift of Entrevaux in the Gueydan bridge either by train, or by car, the point of departure being the Gueydan bridge.
Climbing along the letter, this golf course brings back at the point of departure of Entrevaux, the left bank of the Var.
Easy hike. Departure altitude: 537 m. Point at the top: 1385 m. total elevation gain: 900 m. duration: 4 h 55
The Gueydan Bridge station, cross the N 202 then the bridge on the VAR and the East abutment. Engage on the trail that leaves from the old road tunnel and attack the climb winding direction northeast hillside North of the mountain. Arriving on the ridge line follow the Northeast uphill. Lead to a cart path.
•    Start on the left and go under the ruins of the hamlet the COE. Continue North on the dirt road. After a gentle descent, the road comes to Bas Sumaré, sheepfold and forest shelter. Mount left to go up to the crest of the letter by the road to D.F.C.I.
•    Crete, point of view on the Valley of VAR. return by the same route to bottom Sumaré.
•    Work around the buildings to the East and follow the trail cashed heading southwest roughly horizontal on a hillside North of the mountain of the Brec (not designated on the map).
•    Exceed the small oratory, naively consisting of a cairn topped by a rustic Cross and dedicated to St-Pierre.
•    The trail reaches the rump and descends in short laces first and then to southern flank of the mountain a little slower Southeast direction. After crossing a Rubin somewhat impressive, but safe, heading south towards the "Castle", ruin crowning a small mound. Take before the ruins the road switchbacks down Chapel St-Pierre in the district "Brec", and then to the Var, direction S.SUD-EST follow the paved road left bank East of Var.
After a small bridge, the road loses its coating and leads to Entrevaux.

Saint-Pancrace - Digne
Bléone Valley - Digne

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