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The Ubaye : col of Longet to hamlets Bells

In away a bit of Castellane, Digne direction, you will discover the gorges of the Ubaye, they too, are worth a visit.

The grandes Alpes to the Provence

Between the old village of Maljasset, at the bottom of the upper Ubaye Valley and Gréoux-les-Bains, pretty little town nestling under the Valensole plateau, what singular contrast! Wonderful area, who knows how to combine the charms of Provence and those of the Alpe. More than an alliance, should rather speak of a subtle passage, a delicate transition to the true Alpe in the haute Provence, which is a little to our knowledge in the valleys of the white and the Bes and the upper Valley of the Bléone.
Digne, mountains, the colours, the climate, everything indicates that we are at the limit of the Provence. And if we earn Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, at the entrance to the gorges du Verdon, what amazement through the Valensole plateau and its immense fields of lavender. Further to the North, in the valleys, ubaye and the high Verdon, Barcelonnette or Colmars-les-Alpes no doubt we are at the heart of the mountain. For the experienced Walker, access to the surrounding peaks presents no special difficulties. It is the ideal place for skiing and walking, long and beautiful hikes and for nice climbs, like on the quartzite of the Pierre-André needle. The Verdon takes its source above La Foux d'Allos. At this point, it is a small nice torrent, in the clear, green waters, but whose anger can be terrible.
Halfway between these authentic mountain valleys and Provence, the White Mountains and the foothills of Digne reserve some surprises. Col Maure necked Falk, and up to the ridge of the larch, move in almost Hill terrain, rich grasslands with scattered wood, but also a few beautiful forests. On each important promontory, the view is panoramic, North on the Dauphiné and the Vercors, West on the Dévoluy and Lure and the Luberon massif south on the Digne basin. The white string delimits East the "country of Seyne", that is sometimes nicknamed the "little Switzerland of haute Provence". Head Estrop, flanked from le Puy of the cuttlefish and the peak of the three Bishoprics, built an imposing barrier between the valleys of Ubaye and the Bléone.
At the foot of the Valley of the high Verdon, Saint-andre-les-alpes is one of the doors for access to the gorges du Verdon, it is also the obliged passage from Digne to visit the country of Annot-Entrevaux. The Citadel of Entrevaux is a remarkable and historic Lookout, beyond which one enters in the Alpes-Maritimes. Going up the Valley of the Vairy, on view of beautiful villages of character, loads of history. Sandstone cliffs and forests of chestnut trees give this country a quite particular charm.
The justly famous Provencal high region is that of the gorges of the Verdon, between Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie. Tourists from all over the world come to visit the grand canyon, by car, on foot, bicycle, motorcycle, aircraft, pedal boat, kayak... the ultimate, it seems, to 'live the Verdon', it's down leaving float on the back...
It emerges from this unique landscape in Europe a great force and all what you can do there is large and beautiful. The descent of the Verdon kayak is one of the best-rated European and the walls of limestone cliff of l ' Escalès attract the best climbers in Europe and America. The paths of the Verdon are traversed by a crowd of hikers, contemplative and sports. The Verdon lakes are sites of boating hiking. And riders feel in the Far West in offering new rides.

An inlay of the haute Provence in Hautes-Alpes

Tributary of the Durance, Ubaye, big torrent of 70 km long, is the scene of a natural hesitation between the implacable Mediterranean midday sun and the cold harshness of the Alpine arc. Visitors wishing to discover the Ubaye was likely to achieve this by the downstream from its mouth on Lake Serre-Poliçait. This is du Lauzet is beginning to reassemble the deep gorges of the Ubaye guarded by the glacial lock of the pitch from the Tower, between the impressive South façade of the pic de Morgon and the wooded slopes of the massif de Dormillouse.
Lauzet is overlooked by the imposing massif of the Séolanes, whose snow-capped until June shelter Pra Loup ski station. The road snakes up the River, impetuous torrent when the snow melts. Past a second ice lock (to Meolans) and the village of the Thuiles, suddenly the valley widens. Only larch at hand recall the altitude. The sky is deep blue, the mountains depart. Fields, villages, flowers and orchards: a less austere campaign would suddenly believe in output. We are however already more than thousand meters of altitude. Here reigns Barcelonnette, "small town without shadow", small Queen of the Valley to the pleasantly allocated houses around a village with fresh and lively streets. The road continues to pursue the River, is tirelessly ejecta never to climb, always slopes down to Jausiers first, very judiciously nestled at the foot of the beautiful mountain of sarangi (3,031 m)... and well beyond, to other glacial locks, doors strategic the high ubaye off here and there of military forts, to the hamlets of Maurin: La Barge, Maljasset and Combremontroof heavily protected slate.
South of Barcelonnette, the Bachelard Valley, guarded by narrow gorges, leads to the gates of the national park of Mercantour, after having crossed the remotest villages: ovens, Villards of Abas, Bayasse... to finally climb to the col de la Cayolle. The col d'Allos Meanwhile connects in summer the ubaye Valley and the high Verdon by road... until the first snow.

Special Offers

Chalet on campsite at Castellane Mobile-home
Starting from 301 €/Week

Mobile-home at Castellane Chalet
Starting from 350 €/Week

Camping pitches at Castellane Gorges du Verdon Pitches Gorges du Verdon
Starting from 18 €/Night

A geological poetry

The Ubaye mountains were formed, first under the sea, by successive and very important deposits: these detrital rocks outcrop in the hollow of the ubaye Valley in the form of muck, themselves covered by thousands of meters of these flysch of the Embrunnais main constituent of the Parpaillon massif: folded, raised, crushed and transported by the great Alpine folding (the 1959 earthquake is there to remind us that this is not finished), these layers are of huge thrust sheets piled up during high school, and that such an enormous treadmill more carried away from large kidneys "solid" Alpine and subalpine training original: the limestone antecimes Grande Séolane, Sugar Loaf or the windshield are not Islands, but skiffs swept away by the tide of the thrust of tens of kilometres from their point of departurefloating on a carpet of flysch layers of today fossilized vases are strange footsteps of creep of a hypothetical unknown gastropod (helminthoides Shales). During the last glaciation, as throughout the Alps, huge glaciers dug these sheets to allow that huge shoulders, brittle and fragile which parent each side of 300 to 600 meters above the bottom of the Valley. Unstable, subject to erosion reinforced by the violence of the Mediterranean precipitation, these "shoulders" slide on their substrate, such SOAP wet, forming either a great landslide (the site of Valletta between Pons and Barcelonnette: a million m3 under constant surveillance), either historically famous ravines to their glacial mudslides (Riou Jesse, Les Sanières(, Bérard, etc.). Marbles, serpentines, schists, locks, rock glaciers, dead ice, chasms, faults, moraines and postglacial Lakes, windows... all a geological poetry to discover...

Weather contrasts

The Valley, because of its East-West orientation, its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea and the Po basin, is the seat of a multitude of microclimates. Characteristic of the mountain continental trend and the Mediterranean climate climate, this pretty dry Valley (900 mm of water per year) has weather contrasts even more amplified by the belt of peaks of more than 3,000 meters, which surrounds it, ubacs, icy winter and temperate with a large opposition between faces South - adept - hyper-ensoleillees the summer.
Short, warm and dry summers are interspersed from time to time of thunderstorms of convection occurring timely early evening. Narrowings sudden and successive Valley (upstream and downstream Barcelonnette) promote the establishment of a breeze from the beginning of the afternoon, too strong for a few hours for paragliders, but so nice for earthlings and gliding pilots... In autumn, all is quiet, while the peaks are sometimes powdered since August 15.
The fall, very short and flamboyant, wither from the second half of October: systematic Frost settled for long months (up to 190 days per year including 100 with frosts lower than-5 ° C) and snow then appears at the bottom of Valley, irregularly, just before the installation of the December high, active participating in the "300 days of sunshine per year", during which the imperturbably blue sky promotes freezing... and the conservation of the snow! "Back East" from Piedmont and the Gulf of Genoa load more frontier sector of the high Ubaye, allowing the development of large cross-country skiing and hiking areas, while oceanic disturbance from the West, already tired of their earthly journey, lose the almost all of their activity on the western slopes of the Alps, which precede the Valley (foehn effect). Perpendicular and in conjunction with the axis of the mistral, the Valley escape cold and violent winds. Only disturbances from the South can last more than a day and have a remarkable activity, the weather can be so sweet and very snowy.
Spring finally shows up with his small retinue of rains that are slowly disappearing snow in preparing an explosive flowering from May onwards, in a crystalline air immediately got rid of its moisture.

Forests and grasslands

The forest, which covers the slopes up to an average altitude of 2,000 meters, has beautifully reconstructed between 1870 and 1914, in particular to combat the torrential floods of the Ubaye. It consists largely of coniferous: larch (40%), only resinous French gasoline deciduous, so remarkable by the tenderness of its spring Greens and its merge to fall; the Arolla pine, which can reach thousand years, and hook; in drier areas pine, Scots pine trunk tortuous and orange; in the most, FIR and spruce that form the dark forests where grow raspberries, Lily of the Valley and mushrooms. Finally the last set, of foreign origin, the black pine of Austria, also used for reforestation.
Despite its importance, the forest covers only one-quarter of the territory ubayen: vast spaces of pastures, rocks and scree are home to an incredible multitude of flowering plants. Late spring, a profusion of precious and multicoloured nestles in the smallest crevices of rock, spreads in pastel tablecloths on the curves of the pastures, and allows itself to be lulled by the breeze in forage grassland valleys funds. Orange arnicas, Scarlet jourbarbes, silver edelweiss, gentian blue, golden yellow troll, daisies, forget-me-nots, rhododendrons, and a few hundred others live up in the mountains: they will make you lose the desire to pick them, they will make you lose the urge to back down...

Rural habitat

Aside from some settlements of the average Valley - Barcelonnette, Meolans, Pons, Falcon - which resemble an urbanized so habitat type grouped, the ubaye Valley is characterized by the dispersion of its habitat. Is that the Valleian is before any peasant. It is better, given the vertical drop, reside nearest possible of the fields working.But it must also regroup to face the rigours of winter and snow. This is why there are so many schools and hamlets in Ubaye while the capitals are often little important.Revel, at the end of the 19th century, there were 35 schools and 26 hamlets while the village itself had little as fifteen inhabitants.
Generally located on des adrets, on sloping ground, House ubayenne is always men and beasts under one roof. It is an economic unit where we can live without leaving home during the long winter months. Always built in local materials (wood and stone), the House is a sort of small openings pierced massive parallelepiped. One enters through a larch wood portal that gives a kind of hall (the Court); right is the kitchen which is the main room of the House and left the stables in sheep. A staircase gives access to the rooms on the first floor and then the barn on the upper floor. Inside, the walls are passed to the lime, the kitchen floor is paved, the furniture, locally made, are in larch, all is simple and functional.
Within furniture, trouble has particular importance. Until the beginning of the century, the bread was exclusively Petri dishes at home by the man's family and then was baked communal every five or six weeks.
Rural habitat is always perfectly adapted to its environment, also note a beautiful architectural variety. On the shelf of Lans or Jausiers, the terroir is vast, rich enough, often irrigated. The houses are imposing as their roofs with four slopes covered with slates, today replaced too frequently plates. Fouillouse, always oriented to lunchtime, they have long balconies on the first floor. Ovens, in the "Valley of the Giants" isolated and cold, the walls are thicker, the cement is replaced by a local clay or by lime, the roofs are covered with larch shingles.
Maurin, all buildings are designed to withstand heavy snow snowfall. The covered slate roofs come from col du Longet career and are supported by powerful structures made of larch. The walls are reinforced at the base, the stables, on the ground floor, are vaulted. A powerful pillar masonry in the centre of the building rises up the ridge to support the lateral walls.
Residential areas are all on the first floor, caught in a Vice between the stable and the granary and thereby perfectly isolated. Often peasants of the ovens Valley met at the Vigil, not in the kitchen but in the stables to save firewood. Men and beasts lived in close proximity.

Nature recreation


In the summer season, which begins in may, Queen activity remains hiking. While the last beautiful races of snow on "skins" are still achievable, well deneiges adrets offer a multitude of possibilities. Average altitude, mountain peaks, rocky ridges, mixed races of snow, ice and rock, there is something for everyone. Join the valleys over the passes, the Brec de Chambeyron Tower, collecting the Lakes... Later, in the middle of the summer, some ubacs remain "fresh" all day, to hang out in middle of the day without worrying about the Sun that makes so torrid too exposed slopes. The ubaye Valley and the high Ubaye however shall derogate from the laws of the high mountain: be up-to-date weather forecasts, put you well, protect your eyes, your head, your skin... Fight dehydration, high altitude, and never hesitate to make a u-turn. Finally, be aware that past 2 500 m altitude, summer is sometimes its place in the winter, for a few hours, but always brutally... Go early, nothing is more pleasant than the sunrise in the high mountains.
Cycling and mountain biking
Mountain bike course, and the "petite reine" especially: the Tour de France is passed in 1993 by the col de Vars, the col de Restefond and Jausiers. Every summer hundreds of cyclists get the famous "patent of 7 passes" issued by the offices of tourism, while climbing the mountain passes of Vars, Restefond, La Cayolle, Larche, Allos, Pontis, St-Jean. The road slope does not miss if you want to get legs.


The massif of the high Ubaye offers a beautiful range of high mountain races: the sites are well away from the "mobbing" found in Oisans or Mont-Blanc! Yet the weather is more reliable that everywhere else, to consider famous bivouacs.


The Ubaye is the Mecca of the whitewater sports: Paul at the mouth, 40-50 km are passable, kayaking, canoeing, Rafting or hydrospeed.
Summer is here to learn smoothly the impetuous spring with melting snow (April/June) causes the formation of impressive Rapids - the foundations of water abound between Barcelonnette and le Lauzet, and it is very easy to "throw in the water".

Air sports

Who, in the flying world, doesn't know the Aerological qualities of the Southern Alps? From the four corners of Europe, and often further afield, glider pilots, paraglider, and pilots don't hesitate to stay in Ubaye. The centre of gliding of the Valley of the ubaye Valley, located at the aerodrome of Saint-Pons (Barcelonnette), ends more to sow gliders in the sky ubayen, between the Mountie hat and Grande Epervière.
The thermal activity allows to "hold" and even go into cross throughout the summer season. Take-offs to the soft, grassy, slopes from high altitudes, allow beautiful flights purposes above Barcelonnette and Jausiers Enchastrayes paragliders. Notice to walkers-paragliders: Ubaye is a paradise for those who fear the tedious redescentes that hurt the knees. It must however leave very early to have time to take off before the high mountain breezes...

Alpine skiing

Pra-Loup, Sauze Super Sauze, Ste-Anne, the three stations of the ski area of the Ubaye, each have their characteristics: Pra-Loup is known for the beauty of its landscapes, the variety and the length of its tracks, the quality of its snow (very well maintained through the snow cannons) and for his association with the area of La Foux d'Allos, in the nearby Verdon top. Le Sauze - Super Sauze, "homeland" of Carole Merle, is appreciated for its proximity with Barcelonnette, its warm atmosphere, its lifts to a ski adapted both to the family and fans of winter sports (surfing, wakeboarding, telemark,...). Sainte-Anne (1 800 m 2 400 m) Finally, plays the family side, away from the crowds, and very early sunny.

Cross-country skiing

The Lauzannier, St. Paul, Maurin: these three valleys are perfectly maintained and plotted by centres, well organized and welcoming, Larche and St. Paul, where 45 miles of trails allow as many daytrips that hiking or intensive training.
Nothing prevents however also in the beautiful valley Parpaillon or the Lavercq, in the Virgin snow... or along the Ubaye average if winter is generous!


To exit stations and know the mountains in winter, Snowshoes are an indispensable tool for progress in the snow. In any convenience, it goes in search of traces of animals: hares, foxes and chamois and birds, foraging leave in snow imprints of their stealth passage. Snowshoes allow adventure in the poorly known winter environment, amazing by its landscapes.


They are numerous in the gorges of the Bachelard. As of November, seeps on the rock are transformed into huge ice candles, although shelter in this very deep valley.A specialist, Christophe Garrigues, mountain guide, has written a topo on icefalls of the Valley of Ubaye, published by House of the Valley and available in the tourist offices in the Valley.

Go in Ubaye

By car

No other choice than an entry by the impressive parade of the walk from the Tower, at the mouth of the Lake of Serre-Ponçon, or by one of the five road passes which encircle the Valley... Col of Vars (2,111 m) coming from Guillestre; pass of Larche (1,991 m) to come to Italy; Restefond - La Bonette to Nice by the highest road in Europe (2,860 m!); the col de la Cayolle (2,327 m) to follow the southern flank of the Mercantour Park, and finally the col d'Allos (2,240 m) to reach the Valley of the high Verdon and Saint-andre-les-alpes. The views are fantastic, but these bushings are especially possible in summer; Restefond, Cayolle and col Alios remain closed more than six months per year...

By train and bus

Gap is in direct connection with Paris, Valencia, Marseille, Grenoble and Briançon. The Ubaye is served by a bus service from this station (daily lines between Marseille, Gap, Briançon and worthy match for Nice).

The col de Longet

Spring in Haute-Provence evokes rather the mildness of the climate and the scent of lavender as the backcountry. But in the "Alps" of Haute-Provence, and in particular in the high valleys of Ubaye, the winter is long and rigorous and ski touring is easily practiced until the end of the month of May. The hike described here is precisely one of those that can be carried out late in the season. The col de Longet is an easy but long route towards the Italy. A route pleasant at the bottom of Valley, under the collar, the sources of the Ubaye.
•    A ski: leave at dawn to enjoy good downhill snow conditions. Exit at East of the hamlet of Maljasset, pass in front of the Church of the 13th century and later the hamlet of Combe Bremond. Follow the bottom of the Valley in the direction of the Parouart plan, former Lake filled by floods at the beginning of the century. It happens that found the snow from the Parouart plan.
•    At the level of this flat area, along the right bank of the ubaye Valley, crossing the River at the bottom on a wooden footbridge.
•    The Valley which leads to the pass sailed Northeast. Avoid the ravine of the Salcette, amount of about 200 m on the left bank (so on your right in amount).Cross slopes a short time (delicate passage by bad snow) then down to a flat area, site of a former quarry of marble.
•    Continue in the main Valley, shore right, still northeasterly up to 2 500 m. altitude several dry stone huts can shelter.
•    Then the Valley turns due East. There's the col de Longet on the Italian border. We pass next to the Lakes of the Longet where the Ubaye rises. Above the neck, the head of Toillies to 3 175 m is impressive. In front rises the majestic Monviso climaxing 3 841 m above sea level.
•    The descent is via the route of ascent.
•    Do more: from Maljasset, smaller and beautiful steep descents of Col Tronchet and col Girardin. Heights, and loops in the Valley of Mary. Ask the guardians of shelters.
Living otherwise
The summer hiking route to see the plan of Parouart with the location of the packed Lake, the ancient quarries of green marble, "oules" potholes formed by the torrent in the Lakes of the Longet. The Valley of the Longet remains one of the large pastures which welcome the sheep summer; evidenced by the many huts scattered throughout pastures.

Pierre André: The way Agresti (S-S-E)

The needle Pierre André (2,850 m above sea level) is a piece of choice for climbers.
This beautiful form of canine needle owes its name to Mr. Pierre André, Shepherd from the village of Maurin, which has increased it at the end of the XIX"century by its Northwest face, from the col de Pierre André. This is the original way which remains the normal route (small easy climbing used the descent).
Currently, the climbing routes are facing South and Southeast. There are 4 major tracks recently equipped or re-equipped (been 93). The presence of this isolated needle is unusual. The quartzite in the colours orange, harder than granite block, next to the needles of Chambeyron (3,412 m) is really an invitation to mountain climbing.

Directions to the track

From the parking lot of the Church of Maurin, down the road that crosses the river Ubaye on a wooden bridge. Continue the path uphill in the Valley of Mary. After a first lock, leave on a wide flat area the path to the ancient quarries of green marble on the left.
A trail continues climbing vallon in the pastures above the forest. Prior to joining the lower fold of Mary, take the path that goes right uphill pretty steep. Reach needle Pierre André.

Track Agresti

The relays are symbolized by 'R '.
•    Classic itinerary: spot at the foot of the South face a very pronounced dihedral crack. Access by a short slab hilly and climb the crack. R1 is located in a deep stack. Exiting right of R1 in a followed by cracked slab of a dihedral angle, and then win a flat part up to R2. Climb the wall in its centre (slab) to R3. Cross a vertical wedge cracked. No V +. Then by an easy left hand turns, reach R4. Reassemble a large dihedral leaving variant right (useful nuts). On bute under an overhang. Cross right and recover on a scale. R5. Climb an easy length, large fireplace and little inclined slab then all right a fireplace cracked, reach R6. R6 to R7, climb a vertical yellow wall, cross a grassy ledge, and then crossing a slab and an overhang on the right. Exit at the Summit in a few meters without difficulties above R7.
•    Variant: R4, crossed up right in the slab and then on the (air) of the wire. We get to R5'. Then join the classic route via a traverse to the left (easy vire).
•    Do more: three other routes also access the Summit: "Old goats new look", "Les marmottes frosted" and "Back to basics". New routes were also open on cliffs on the South face of the Mountie hat (limestone, height 300 m) above Barcelonnette and the head of wild boar (quartzite, height 400 m) on the right bank on the road to Maljasset.
•    To do less: an initiation climbing school is located in the same area. It is Rocky and well-equipped slabs just before the ascent into the Mary Valley on the right, 10 minutes from the parking lot of the Church of Maurin.
Benchmark: 700 m of ascent, rising 1.30, for good walkers. Starting point: Church of Maurin (parking) upstream of the hamlet of Maljasset 13 km from Saint-Paul-sur-Ubaye. Provide water and food, warm clothes, good shoes and cards IGN TOP 25 3538 and needle de Chambeyron (pli A8) IGN TOP 25 3637 OT Mont Viso (pli L1)
Climbing: Track Agresti or Southeast varied climbing (slabs. cracks, dihedral), excellent rock, athletic passages. Very difficult. 220 m of height difference. Duration: 3 h
Downhill: in two recalls 20 m (non-compulsory) by the opposite Northwest normal route
Special equipment: useful nuts, mandatory 45 m rope for the Variant.

The upper lakes of the Marinet

Output in the mountains with a part of fishing in a Lake of altitude: the pleasure of hiking associated with a traditional sport of relaxation. Under the glacier Marine!, one of the last of the Southern Alps, several lakes reflect the peaks of the massif of the Chambeyron. These glacial lakes are attractive by their fish and their charm. Two good reasons for lounging near their calm waters. Hiking is in itself a first goal and is very suitable for non anglers: crossing of the Mary Valley pastures where sheep were stationed the summer, its marmots...
From the parking lot of the Church of Maurin, down the road that crosses the river Ubaye on a wooden bridge.
Continue the path uphill in the Valley of Mary. After a first lock, leave on a wide flat area the path to the ancient quarries of green marble on the left.
A trail continues climbing vallon in the pastures above the forest. Join Mary sheepfolds. Away from the trail that leaves right before the first fold.
The second fold, right take a path that climbs in left bank to the Lakes of the Marinet. Pass under the first Lake, large. At the foot of the moraine of the glacier, to the Lake of Milky color, setting up West to the pass of the needle off. Above the Rocky bars are the upper lakes.
Other more or less sport fishing possibilities exist:
•    River Ubaye and torrent annexes (except reserves);
•    Lake of Serre-Ponçon (Northern Pike, Lake Trout);
•    Lake Lauzet (rainbow trout, Brook trout, carp, Pike), rental of equipment.
Fish: brown trout and salmon trout.
Landmark: Start: Church of Maurin (parking) upstream of the hamlet of Maljasset 13 km from Saint-Paul-sur-Ubaye. Difference in altitude: + 800 m /-800 m. length: 3 hours climb. For good walkers
Material: provide water and food, warm clothes, good shoes.
CAdES: IGN TOP 25 3538 and Chambeyron needle (pli A9), IGN TOP 25 3637 OT Mont Viso (pli L1).

The death of a glacier

The ice group of Marinet/Chauvet, at the Northern foot of the Chambeyron needles, is the southernmost of the French Alps, with its 50 hectares; an area which no end is reduced since the beginning of the 1920s. After a loss of thickness of 20cm per year from 1964 to 1984, the 80-90 Decade seemed to be read giving the coup de grace in provocative, by its warm summers (+ 1 °), and the winter drought, an annual loss of one metre thick. At certain points the Marinet glacier has lost more than 7 m thick. The glacier from the tip of Chauvet, it remains more than a plate of snow 10 m thick. In 1927 at the same place stood still blue seracs... Since 1989, cracks contribute to heat the deep ice and make it slippery. In 1991, an avalanche of ice and rocks resulting from the breakdown of a subglacial water pocket, sank up to the Blachiere, 1400 m below... Only the Western the Marinet glacier has much chance of long-term survival.

The Tower of the Chambeyron Brec

A great classic of the Ubaye for winter hiking on skis. The round of Brec du Chambeyron, characteristic mountain peak 3 389 m above sea level, can be done in the day. It is more pleasant to carry out this race in two days, what we offer you.
•    Day 1: up to the refuge of the Chambeyron, exit East of the hamlet of Fouillouse and go in the direction of the col du Vallonnet, that one leaves on the left along the foot of the western edge of the FRP. Proceed to the step of the Couletta. Then descend on the conspicuous refuge.
•    Day 2: refuge, climb in the direction of the neck of the Gypiere over the Lake from nine colors. It passes under the cross Bujon, which lies between the needles of Chambeyron (highest point of the massif to 3,410 m) and the Brec. The atmosphere here is very high mountain. The Gypiere pass, down to southern Italian side to the foot of the Monte Baueria. It passes near the bivouac Barenghi (unattended). At the foot of Monte Baueria, replace the skins and back up to the col de Stroppia, first clear passage on the border Ridge South of the FRP. The col de Stroppia, beautiful, fairly steep descent start, sometimes snow lasts. Join Fouillouse by Plate Lombard Valley.
•    Do more: the neck of the Gypiere, it is advisable to climb from Frema (3,151 m) head. Count 45 minutes to 224 m of ascent. The course borrows the ridge to the Summit, it can be difficult depending on snow conditions. Very nice panoramic view. From the refuge de Chambeyron downstream tip and the pitch of the stopover are also accessible. In the massif of the Chambeyron, other races to skis start villages Saint-Ours, Larche to the South, and Maurin North.
•    Living otherwise: A foot: summer, lakes of altitude of the Chambeyron undergo hiking day in a grandiose setting. Mountaineering races: the needles crossing and ascent of the FRP.

The great Cascade of the Reyssole

Benchmarks: Difference in altitude: 70 m. Duration 1 h, difficult (the fix is more related to the ice conditions than to the simple stiffness of the slope). Beginning altitude: 1430 m
Departure: The Reyssole not, route the col de Vars downstream of St. Paul. The start is located at the level of the bridge on the ubaye Valley, between the two tunnels.Park 600 m lower, at the roadside at the level of the cabin of Angelin. Material: climbing equipment, a reminder of 90 m, ice, ice axes, crampons, pin straps, helmet and clothing high mountain.
Waterfall ice climbing is a winter activity very in vogue in recent years, and the surroundings of Barcelonnette are an excellent training field for this form of mountaineering.
Icefalls are actually often from the streams, even small seeps sometimes barely perceptible summer, but which, at the time of the freeze, will increase volume to create in the austere ravines of columns and curtains of all beauty. It was a fantastic, unreal, a little magic show!
Ubaye, the framework and the low attendance create sites intimate, likely to bring a taste of adventure.
The Pont sur Ubaye, the waterfall is clearly visible on the left bank. Cross slopes on this side (depending on snow conditions, crampons are sometimes already required), and directly reach the foot of the waterfall. It's a nice waterfall initiation consisting of two jumps to 75 °. It climbs in two lengths.
Be careful if the snow is not stable, the ravine of this cascade serves as a corridor of avalanches. After the second jump, the relay of the output is made up on a tree right.
Descent: Cross and down the slopes at the edge of the waterfall on the right. Easily reach the starting point.
•    Do more: A waterfall named "Diabolo ice" nearby offers a more technical climb. Can be reached by continuing the crossing after the above cascade. It joined its top a wooded hill from where one takes a reminder. The fix (2/5) this beautiful column, although fairly short (40 m high), requires a good experience. Other sectors benefit from a multitude of waterfalls. Thus, in the Valley of Bachelard towards the col de la Cayolle, 28 various waterfalls have been identified.
•    To do less: in the Bachelard, the sector "Craqui-down" introduced easy stunts from 25 to 40 m, accessible from the road to the Cayolle. This site is favourable to learning of this discipline. To learn more

The wood of the Melezen

Benchmark: Departure: gateway of wood on the Riou Mounal. Access: follow the road to the col de Vars during 3km upstream of St. Paul. After the Muratieres bridge, take a dirt road which descends to the left. Leave a path to the right, to miss out on a large farm and arrive at the gateway. Before parking. Difference in altitude: + 500 m /-500 m. Duration 5 h, easy enough.
Between the Parpaillon massif and the col de Vars, several high valleys in color opens at the Walker. After the dazzling snow occur light tones of the young shoots, the vivid colours of the flowers scattered in large pastures and the warm tones of late summer. It's a treat to see then amber herbs fussing with the wind on the slopes of the Paneyron. In the fall, red larch flare up the sector before casts a new and long winter.
•    The circuit shown is for the quiet Wayfarer. Totally shaded, it meanders in the woods of the Melezen, the name of many trees that grow there. Among them are living woodpeckers and Jays. The highest point of the ride, the old farm of Vallon Claous, offers an excellent belvedere on Saint-Paul-sur-Ubaye, the Châtelet bridge (110 m above a narrow gorge) and the Chambeyron Brec. The battery at the end of the 19th century is a forward position of the fort at Tournoux. It protected the opportunities of the col de Vars and those of the border passes. Cross the bridge by taking a path that climbs on the right-hand side, steep switchbacks on silver fir and larches. You will be on the forest road to the rail. The turn right passing in front of a source built in stone. After 500 m from dish, in turn leaving the hamlet of the Melezen, stands a NFB channel. Pass it and cast on 20 STS after left onto a narrow path. It enlarges further and joined another trail winding among Woods trailed. Follow this trail to the left into the corner of a new runway. Starting on the right, arrive at a crossroads, continue to the left slightly uphill path to the battery. Work around the fort (private property) from below. The trail splits under outside barracks; take down the PR marked out in yellow sloping long towards St. Paul. When it reaches a forest road, leave the yellow markup and leave on the left going slightly up on a runway. 400 m further right turn downhill. This trail is inconspicuous, it is materialized by wooden stakes. Cross a short landslide by above and continue in the same direction on the way back.
•    Do more: arrived at the battery of Vallon Claous, tens of minutes are sufficient to achieve three optical positions. They were office means of communication between the various forts of the Valley, with light signals. The Summit of Vallon Claous, reserved for very experienced hikers, is accessible in 2 h 30.
•    To do less: the hamlet of Melezen, dominated by the road to the col de Vars, deserves a trip to enjoy its sundials.
•    To see nearby, Demoiselles Coiffées, curiosities of erosion.


Until the spread of watchmaking, at the end of the 19th century, was that the Sundial to know the time. In Ubaye, the climate allows a remarkable sunshine throughout the year, also many sundials were painted on the facades of churches and homes almost always on South or West. The oldest, at a house in Barcelonnette, dated 1732.They are often adorned with and carry all the currency, a Karen for example, reads in latin: on a float high and covered with light, I just adjust your step and finish the career. "The annuity of Enchastrayes Provençal registration means"is not Sauri who wants", the Church of Faucon precise altitude, latitude, longitude, the declination and the advance on Paris.

The Valley of the Orrenaye and the col de Ruburent

Benchmarks: Recommended period: spring according to the snow conditions. Being on the stability of the snowpack. Elevation + 550 m /-550 m. Duration: 4 h round-trip, fix average. Leave early and not getting too late in the morning. Departure: jumper, at the edge of the D900, at 1 km downstream of the col de Larche (parking).
Equipment: equipment adapted to the high mountain, skis rides and sealskin, snow knives, shovel snow and Avalanche Transceiver.
•    An easy route to get to ski touring, without forgetting safety measures to the snowy mountain. The Valley, little steep as a whole, is very open between two mountains, the head of Moses and the Blaves Ridge overlooking the other side pass of. Larche. Du Vallon, one reaches easily the col de Ruburent, beautiful views of the Valle Stura in Italy, or a bit higher pitch and the head of Vauclave, panorama on the different Alpine massifs (Argentera, Viso, Ecrins, mont Blanc and Monte Rosa...).
•    Park the vehicle on a small location on the edge of the road to the col de Larche. Above is built in a sheepfold. Fit left or right bank of the torrent of the Orrenaye. After 300 m climb, moving right to the Southeast, in the Valley which widens. Follow during the change of direction the bottom of the thalweg, then continue in the Valley on the left, at the bottom of the southwest side. Do not rise. The covered Orrenaye of snow Lake is more than a large flat area. Continue in the same direction and join point the lowest on the border Ridge: the col de Ruburent. Below, in Italy, is a large lake in the form of bean, Ruburent Lake. The little steep descent is via the route of ascent.
•    Do more: A more technical course to better observe the landscape. Add an hour to the normal route for 300 m of difference in altitude and more. When one arrives above the Orronaye Lake, mount in a full Valley is. Remain at the bottom of the Valley. We pass under the head of Moses and the col de Fernando. The Valley ends in steep slope. Make a few turns in the slope to access the pas de Vauclave. The more adventurous can climb the head of Vauclave by the edge either on foot or skis (very good skiers) with good snow conditions. Return by the same route for the descent.
•    Living otherwise: Larche sector provides a space of cross-country skiing in the Sun: 30 km of slopes between 1 700 puts 2,000 m above sea level, prepared for the two techniques, traditional and skating. A stage of initiation and a track on the theme of the nature of winter are passable at the start of the tracks and a new nice cross-country ski centre opens its doors all winter.

The via Ferrata in Saint-Ours

The sensations of climbing in the scope of the climbers. Of Italian origin, the via ferrata or "tracks" are routes, fully secured by cables and metal markets. It is in the massif of the Dolomites that this practice has been consistently developed by the year. The aim was to open shorter routes crossing the mountains. To facilitate the passage of troops and equipment on a route statement and steep, these routes had been built by ropes and ladders.
The Brenta, Sella, Catinaccio massifs, Tofane, as many names famous for lovers of "trails of Vertigo" Dolomites, can browse in Ubaye safely provided they follow a few basic rules... and to have the mountain foot!
Sensations of climbs which however require an experience of the mountain.
Starting point of pathways: from the hamlet of Saint-Ours, 2.5 km from the road to the col de Larche upstream Meyronnes, mount 1.2 miles by car parking.
On the parking lot at the foot of the tract, an explanatory panel describes the various routes.

No. 1: "the Pooh"

•    Type: discovered.
•    Access to the route: follow the trail to the right of the car park, 5 min walk.
•    Climb: to clip to the cable and follow him on a series of more or less rocky vires. A succession of small cliffs leads to some air passages. Take left at the single junction in amount. The path ends by Wired grassy slopes. Join the top route No. 2.
This route can descend at any time by the same route.
•    Downhill: at the end of the via ferrata, starting on the left in grassy slopes, follow a path well traced to the intersection of the path of the needle Luce and the way back. Take the path that climbs about 100 m of difference in altitude (point highest 2,260 m). By laces, it moves to the right towards the combe. Down in the combe by a series of cables. Pass on the opposite slope, the path is very air. Then down along the cliff by a series of small chimneys. The rock is brittle, the helmet is highly recommended, especially if there are world. In this part of the route there is no market in iron, it is almost of climbing. - or go down the route of ascent (faster and better equipped, but more air).

No. 2: "needle Luce"

•    Type: very air sports.
•    Access to the route: follow the trail upstream of the car park, 5 min walk.
•    Climb: to clip to the cable and follow up on the cliff. Before leaving for the Summit on a grassy platform, via the errata is divided into two small portions: the right is more technical than the lair. Join the route No. 1 at the top.
•    Descent: by joining the descent of the Pooh or by route No. 1 to the foot of the via ferrata (unique junction of the cables in the descent, take down). Or by a series of reminders of the Summit of the aiguille of Luce (5 recalls including the longest is 45 m, 90 m rope required).
•    Living otherwise: the village of St-Ours, follow the right track (PR on IGN map) which leads to the plateau of Mallemort. 210 m of height difference, 1 h 30 go.Take-off below St-Ours at the fort area. Turn left at the village, an "almost" paved lane. Landing near Meyronnes (to identify before the flight).

The head of Viraysse

The village of St-Ours, follow the right track (PR on IGN map) which leads to the plateau of Mallemort. After the sheepfold, the track became trail and turned East.Join the GR 5-56 (marked red and white) and take it towards the North, in amount. Already the head of Viraysse appears, wearing of the fort. GR 5-56 meanders to the col de Mallemort. Then it overlooks the Viraysse barracks, former barracks for the battery. Col, leave the GR and take on the right the old military road, degraded, arriving at the Viraysse head (marked in yellow PR).
Down by the same route to the col de Mallemort, then resume North GR 5-56 passing in front of the barracks of Viraysse. Developed side 2 361, not to pursue the GR 5-56 but take left to join the Valley of Riou du Pinet to runway it had borrowed to go and brings back to St Ours passing year walk from fort St-Ours. This walk represents 6 h of walk for good hikers; There must be water and food, warm clothes and good shoes.

The forts of the Ubaye, yesterday, tomorrow tourist

A mountainside between 1500 m and 2000 m above sea level, a dozen fortified sets reflect the strategic importance of the Valley in the past centuries. Recall that the Ubaye becomes definitely French in 1713. Therefore Royal engineers interested vivemet to the border Valley, but only a few redoubts were built, such as Gleizolles. In 1843 the fort de Tournoux work begins, ambitious book, which includes several floors of casemates mostly hewn. The construction of the fort lasted for nearly 20 years. After 1870, under the leadership of general Veré of rivers, strongholds are multiplying: battery greenhouse--Tue and the Viraysse Clos des Caurres and Mallemont, Valley of le Claux, batteries of le Châtelard and the tower...
In the following century, a new plan of fortifications is implemented by André Maginot upon his appointment to the position of Minister of the armies. Date from the interwar period fort rock la - Croix works Saint-Ours, those of flat-Lombare to Fouillouse, Restefond and the Moutiere and many other outposts.
The construction of the forts of the Ubaye was very difficult, the sites often located at + 2000 m of altitude were supplied with materials by mule and sometimes even men back. In recent years, the army has withdrawn strongholds. An association is created in an attempt to enhance this little-known heritage.

The Parpaillon-Mountainbiking

Benchmarks: Altitude + 900 m /-900 Mr. total Distance: 20 km. Duration: 4 to 7 h round trip, good sports level.
Departure: Sainte-Anne Chapel (parking), 6 km from La Condamine, after the hamlet of the Pras. Material: provide water and food, warm clothes. Mountain bike repair kit. Helmet. Flashlight for the passage of the tunnel. Water: initially at the Sainte-Anne Chapel.
Map: IGN TOP 25 3538 and Chombeyron needle (folds B2/C3/C4).
Drawn by the year as early as 1693 between the high Ubaye and the Embrunais, the road to the Parpaillon allowed troops to cross the mountains by the heights. It was also a way to supply and retreat to the place of Tournoux, from 1891 to 1897, the military engineering built the tunnel to avoid the pass.
Since the beginning of this century, many off-road cyclists have marked the route of the Parpaillot: notched tire. For lovers of the great passes, to the Parpaillon is legend. Never paved, the road is little borrowed, goes up to 2,637 m and passes under the collar in a long tunnel of 500 m.
Today, mountain bikes have replaced the Mule and return their footsteps with greater ease.
The first ascent date from 1901. A guestbook in a hostel Créma (side Durance) certifies many passages for decades. The tradition is respected as a third registry is available at Crévoux at the Raidie restaurant and bar.
The Chapel, take the dirt road that dates back to the Valley of the Parpaillon. Bérard bridge, the path climbs quietly. Observe the Terminal. After a ramp in laces, you reach Grand Parpaillon huts. The bottom of the Valley, you see the vast 'the Parpaillon plan'. Win the tunnel by road which continues to climb across mountain pastures for sheep areas. Back down the same route.
•    Do more: climb the pass from the bottom of the Valley is more athletic and more meritorious with more than 1,450 m total climb and a 32 km loop. La Condamine, climb to the hamlet of le Châtelard with a track that goes downstream from the village. Le Châtelard, to reach Sainte-Anne road as it climbs by tar.Take 500 m more far a track that climbs on the left. It rejoined the Sainte-Anne road, downstream of the station. Station, then take the forest trail at the bottom of the large parking lot. After approximately 900 m track, get off on the right by a path which joins the road to the Parpaillon (negative altitude 100 m). Climb to the tunnel. The descent is done by the hamlet of the Pras, and then by the path of ascent or by road to La Condamine.
•    Do less: can simply climb to the huts of the Parpaillon (altitude: 2 050 m), the landscape is worth. The round trip is 10 km, easy route.

The Lake of Sagnes in mountain biking

Benchmark: Altitude: + 450 m /-450 m for a distance of 20 km and a duration of 2 h 30. Easy. Departure to the hamlet of Lans 4 km from Jausiers on the road to the col de la Bonnette-Restefond. Parking under the vvillage so do not interfere with access to the properties.
This easy exit provides access to a place very Alpine, renowned for its landscapes: the Valley and the Lake of Sagnes.
Stuck between the sides of Abriès, real rock bar, and the wooded slopes of Grand Bois, the Valley is cashed, but opens widely to the level of the Lake. The latter is dominated by the majestic Tower of Sagnes. The Valley then divides into two branches, grass Valley and the Granges communes.
Formerly, Jausiers peasants grew the prairies of altitude as well as their gardens, which gave these places a strange look, mixing of men and the wild atmosphere of nature work.
•    The circuit passes through several hamlets ruined, often reconquered by the forest, which bear witness to the pastoral past life. At a place called Le Villard, in the hamlet of Lans, Southeast of Jausiers, take a path northward on a hillside which leaves at the foot of a wooden cross. 1.4 miles later, it joined Ubac (ruined hamlet) road in the land of the Lake of Sagnes. Continue to the Lake, located at kilometre 10.7. The back is marked in yellow (PR). Return by the same runway a short time. At the first intersection, continue straight on a horizontal path, leaving on the right the route of ascent. At the intersection of four tracks (km 15.5), continue right down. The descent is fast, do not be surprised by a branch where you leave the main track and take above a smaller track oriented in the same direction. Follow the signposting, leave a trail that descends in a turn right. It then arrives on the plateau overlooking Lans and its various hamlets. Take to the track to homes, join by tar the starting point.
•    Do more: Jausiers can be the starting point of the ride. Mount with the path of the bushes, find Lans described above Lake circuit. Back, exiting via the old road towards the Restefond, forking South to the Chalanette and join the forest road of Bois Noir which goes down to Jausiers by La fresh.
•    To do less: always starting from Lans, by the ruined hamlet of the Ubac, one can reach in valley bottom old slate quarries, ex-ploitees to build roofs. The journey in return, consisting of small descents and climbs 6 km is done in 45 minutes.
•    Living otherwise: A sledding or background (backcountry) skis, it is interesting to use the forest track which crosses the plateau of the operating and which joins route ATV described above (no tracers). Mount drive as high as possible on the road to the col de Restefond: during the winter, the road is not plowed to the pass. The trail starts upstream of the road, about 1 km after the hamlet of Chalanette.

Winter hiking around the Bayasse

Benchmark: Depending on the season, the departure of Bayasse is Snowshoeing at the foot otherwise a short walk is required.
Departure: refuge of Bayasse, 21 km from Barcelonnette. Map: IGN blue series Jausiers 3539 is
•    Ride No. 1: cabin the Moulière, altitude difference: + 350 m / 350 m. Distance: 5 km round trip. Duration: 3 h, easy enough, with a minimum technique for this type of move.
•    Ride No. 2: circuit of the Bachelard. Difference in altitude: + 150 m / 150 m Distance: 4 km loop. Duration: 2 h 30. Easy fix.
Made famous by the trappers of the far North, snowshoeing has been eclipsed in the appearance of the ski. She returned in vogue currently and has more followers. It is accessible to as many leisure; It is as well for the beginner seeking to peacefully explore beautiful landscapes snowy to the sport attracted more tormented sites.Departing from the hamlet of Bayasse, at an altitude of 1,800 m are proposed two small fairly easy walks. This allows try this original means of locomotion in family while observing some animal tracks in fresh snow.
Located in the Valley of ovens before the col de la Cayolle, Bayasse is the last hamlet plowed winter. It is at the edge of the Mercantour national park. Wildlife in the surrounding area is protected and randomly the ride, you might have the chance to see eagles twirl in the sky, the chamois and ibex hung on the steep slopes of the slopes, or small Wildlife: Hare or white partridges.
Access: Bayasse is located 22 miles from Barcelonnette: after Uvernet-Fours, take the road to the col de la Cayolle. It is cleared, but the equipment is recommended.

Ride No. 1

Head north of Bayasse and follow the forest road to the Valley of the Moutiere (to the northeast). After twice two switchbacks, the trail follows the bottom of the Valley on the right bank to the hut at the entrance to the national park of Mercantour.

Ride No. 2

From the refuge towards the South and engage in the Valley that leads to the col de la Cayolle. The route runs along the torrent of the Bachelard on the right bank.After a hilly route, we arrive on a flat expanse. The cross to borrow on the Bachelard wooden footbridge. From a wooden cross, go backward traversal (on the left bank), passing near ruins. Join the pass road which the trace readily guess under the snow. Return to Bayasse is via this road down, it is sometimes marked by wooden barriers.
•    Do more: each year, the association of the Gais furnaces organizes in March a snowshoe race. Multiple loops 4 to 12 miles are offered to athletes. A loop "discovery" with a questionnaire and orchestrated by the guards of the Mercantour national park is aimed at families.
•    Living otherwise: the Valley of the Moutiere travels in Nordic walking to col de Restefond. Bayasse is a departure point for major races in touring skis to prestigious summits: Pelat and Cimet mountains over 3,000 meters above sea level. Summer, the col de la Cayolle is also open on the side of Nice. Refuge de Bayasse is the starting point for beautiful hikes: the Moutiere valleys, of Sanguiniere, the Esbeliousses pass... More difficult (up to 3,500 m) excursions departing from the col de la Cayolle.
The guardian of the refuge is good advice.

The hamlets of Bell

Benchmark: Departure: Villard of Abas, route the col de la Cayolle, 8 km from Uvernet. Park in a turn near the garage's equipment. The back trail leads on the road a little further down. Difference in altitude: + 450 m /-450 m. duration: 4 h, easy enough.
Markup: no own markup.
Maps: IGN series blue West 3539 Barcelonnette and Jausiers 3539 is.
The circuit around the hamlets of Bell is located in the gorges of the Bachelard, under Chapeau de Gendarme and Pain de Sucre summits.
It will appeal to all lovers of the mountain heritage, since the houses of the three hamlets (Bell, little Bell and balm lanyard), totally emptied of their populations, are admirable remnants of ancient life.
In the corner where it is parked, a trail rises to Bell. It is clearly marked and indicated by signs. After 45 minutes of ascent, one enters the hamlet. The chapel has been renovated. Follow the trail which climbs up to a cross, overtake and join a flat grassy area at the col de Bell between the houses.
Continue 300 m Northwest upon entering the forest. Leave the trail for a less light in the high grass in the direction of the Southwest, on the left (not to continue North, to another crossroads). The forest trail descends to Balsam Loin from which extends a beautiful panorama on the great Séolane, the col d'Allos, and overlooking the gorges of the Bachelard. Houses, exiting towards Villars of Abas. The route, at level initially, down slightly. The trail passes a source then crosses numerous steep ravines under beautiful Rocky bars. Shortly before the arrival we pass next to the Gîte d ' étape.
•    Do more: extend in the direction of the neck of the Alaris from Bell pass: an additional loop follows the western slopes of Sugarloaf and Chapeau de Gendarme at nearly 2,000 m altitude. We return by the collar and the forest home of the Alaris. This journey requires 2:30 more for 250 m climb. The beautiful late afternoon lighting highlights all of this heavily wooded area.
•    To do less: the return to the hamlet of Bell is in itself a purpose. For 1 h 30 walk, the Walker finds himself confused in this place conquered by man and turned to his advantage. It is a sharp contrast with the peaks, like inaccessible but nearby.

Saint-Pancrace - Digne
Bléone Valley - Digne

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