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PASS VERDON
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Verdon: from Sestriere to Saint-André-les-Alpes

​A torrent, from the Alps to the Provence

The high Verdon from its sources in the Valley of Sestriere until St-André les Alpes small mountains rolls its clear waters on a 40 km. The Valley is narrow. Its tributaries torrents are short and often crossed by waterfalls and gorges. In glacial cirques, many lakes are competing colors with larches.
Its sources, at about 2,500 meters of altitude, up to Colmars, its left bank is flanked by the massif of Mont Pelat (3051 m). Its mountain ridges, drawing an arc West and South from the col d'Allos fields pass, form the line of the watershed with the Ubaye.
Facing, on the right bank, the massif of the Trois-Évêchés (2,819 m) houses the station of La lice d'Allos. Located on a long linear North-South Ridge, the massif aligns the great Séolane and the gentle curves of the mountain of Chamatte overlooking the villages of Thorame, 20 km more to the South. This ridge essentially defines the line of the watershed with the Bléone River in the pre-Alps of Digne, tributary it also of the Durance. The Valley of hunting away from this Autapie (2,426 rn) mountain ridge line, sheltering in its station Seignus d'Allos ubac. To the South of the fields, only traffic issue to the Var, the torrent of the Lance hollow a circus dominated by the last '2,500-metre plus' Valley (Summit Femma, 2 747 m, Grand Coyer, 2,693 m, top of the Carton 2 614 m). The col d'Allos remains a beautiful path from the North, but it is closed more than six months per year.
Further South still, height of the Thorames and up to St-André, the "Grandes Alpes" is dwindling again a little more rounded tops, taking an air of Provencal hills, exacerbated by changing vegetation. The Issole, behind the neck of the Thorames, will join the Verdon in St-André.
The Verdon descends very gradually to the South: the average height of the peaks decreases as one moves towards the great Gorge. Torrent little by little wiser its character as to make good figure before its entry in the provencal hinterland...

Water to snow

Small torrents which gully the southeastern flank of the head of Sestriere meet around 2,000 meters, the shack of the same name. SIP water by infiltration of the melting of the abundant winter snow cover, the mountain "drips" until the month of August.
The Verdon is then in its low flow, small blade of course water is disturbed by the lower roller... The hiker's passage on its shores perhaps does not realize that in October its average flow will be thirteen times as important
"Green River" is powered by a snow enough therefore, due to favourable orientation wet maritime entries, and the "cul de sac" of Sestriere and the col d'Allos further increasing rainfall on this slope where the veterans were in the spring "smoke" snow with Earth to accelerate melting, to save the crops to rot...
Tributary streams are very short: an average of 8 km, and almost all on the left bank: Boucher and Chadoulin around the mont Pelat. the Eyssanet under the Encombrette; the Lance, the longest of them, under the Grand Coyer, the ivory under the Rent Puy, and the torrent of hunting, behind the Autapie, about the only tributary of the Verdon in right bank up to St-André!
Water rest in some post-glacial lakes in the surroundings of the Pelat, the Encombrette and the Coyer: the Valonnet, the Garrets and the Encombrette lakes appear to form a guard of honour, in the territory of national park, to the most beautiful of them, Allos Lake. It is the largest natural lake in Europe at this altitude (2,220 m).

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A maritime air

By funnelling effect, the Valley of the Verdon top trap maritime mild, moist air rising. Each year, forty-five thunderstorms erupt on average on steep slopes and too often gully of the summits of the high Verdon. Snow moved sometimes for long months to Allos "good winter", and no one will be surprised that the Valley is the wettest of the Department...
But precipitation, short and violent, begin in no way exceptional sunshine in the whole region, and despite all the impression of dryness dominates.
Here, "the Mediterranean climate feels the winter and the summer, while the good climate of mountain reinvigorated you the summer and winter", will tell an inhabitant of the cru, pleased that this sophism pleasantly reflected the reality. Beware however of the false tranquility offered by the Mediterranean climate and avoid that a beautiful walk on the side of mont Pelat is transformed into ice and electrical mishap because you have not monitored the sky...

A rich, varied and fragile flora

The flora of the high Verdon is rich and varied, but fragile, on a shallow soil, quickly eroded by the heavy rainfall on steep slopes. The vegetation of the high Verdon is a storied vegetation. Larch, spruce, firs and pines mingle with ash, maple, the mountain ash. In these environments, it must try to discover clumps of Clematis from the Alps to the blue bells and large wild peonies. The clearings are the domain of the lilies, such as Lilium lancifolium, Lily Pompom and saffron, transplanted Lily in the gardens of the inhabitants of the Valley,
In the rocks overlooking the torrents, one can see many sedums or fleece as well as blue Primroses. In the scree and the prairies of altitude, we find famous genepi, glacier white and pink Ranunculus, curious ferns, orchids, and adonis...
Under the larch trees are many fungi, including the famous "milk mushroom", the Saffron milk white if enjoyed by the inhabitants of the Valley...
Valley floor are Scots pine trees and some Oaks. Well sunny slopes, towards the Thorames, pubescent oak and boxwood mingle with the alouchier and the Guernsey forming thickets.
This vegetation was partly destroyed by humans for the cultivation of lavender which abandoned and become wild plants complete this inventory, recalling the proximity of Provence which imposes its plan up to 1,500 m in well exposed sites.
The cliffs also grow thuriferous Juniper, the Asphodel, or iris. On the slopes exposed to the North is Scots pine, introduced by humans in many reforestation.
The upper mountain floor, there are hardwoods as nannyberry, mountain ash, birch, and pine and black pine of Austria, witnesses of the "human footprint" on the natural environment. To 1 700 m appear some beech woods at the edge of the first lawns where to graze sheep and cattle. To Fontgaillarde, the Colle-Saint-Michel, and higher yet, it is the domain of the tree as well as towards Colle Baudet or Ondres. At the level of the subalpine, Seignus or the neck of the fields, the melezins alongside pastures.
A few cembran pine, pine with hooks to Villars-Colmars or of Allos and the spruce Lake accompany larch and fir trees in the forest. Around 2,300 meters, subalpine lawns gradually spend Prairie formations and essentially mineral scenery (peaks and rock faces) dotted with herbaceous vegetation in the shelters.
It comes to rhododendrons, the Primroses, the Buttercup glacier and the dwarf campions which form multi-coloured carpets while genepi, coveted, the tiny purple linear in the orange heart, and the saxifrage alongside the legendary edelweiss.

Wildlife

The diversity of sites leads to diversity of species. At the edge of watercourses, taking advantage of the particular wetland vegetation, many birds live and breed. Some of them can be more easily observed and recognized: Dipper, the Wagtail (or hoche-queue)...
In coniferous forests, are observed at the same time as (seven species) chickadees, thrushes drained, the venturons, nuthatches, the bullfinches, Crossbills, species less common and more specific alpine environments: the black grouse, the black woodpecker, the Lesser Whitethroat, Nutcracker, etc.
In the rocks and prairies of altitude, there is craves, the Chough, the Ravens, the swallows of rocks and above in the sky, hover Eagles and short-toed eagle Jean-Leblanc-eating reptiles. The meeting at the bend of a gorge of the wallcreeper, this little "bird-Butterfly" red and grey that iterates through the cliffs of his jerky jumps, is a pleasure each time renewed. Winter, he attended the ruins and (strong of Colmars) OWL.
In the gardens of the Valley, one can see sparrows soulcies, of many Shrikes flayers (Valley of Thorame especially), the Rufous Wryneck and even the Nightingale, which there takes its maximum altitude.
In the spring, small groups of bee-eaters (Hunter in Africa) were seen in the larches at 1,800 metres above sea level.

Go into the high Verdon

By car
•    coming from the South: motorway until Peyruis, then Digne (Nos. 96 and 85), Barrême (No. 202), St-André-les-Alpes (D 955 and 908) to the villages of the high Verdon (direction Allos, Colmars, col d'Allos).
•    coming from the North: from Paris via Grenoble (840 km): towards Sisteron, Digne, then direction Nice until Barrême then direction St-André, col d'Allos. From Paris via Avignon (880 km): direction Apt, Forcalquier, Digne. Direction of Nice until Barrême Digne, then direction St-André, col d'Allos.
By car from Marseille
•    departure from Marseille Saint-Charles. Correspondence in Digne.
Nature recreation

Hiking

The Valley refreshed by the Verdon, in glacial cirques and immense forests of mountain hamlets in sheepfolds of altitude, on the edges to the sweet curves in the immense desert clapiers, around the lakes or near the waterfalls, hike!
Stroll circuit interpretation of discovery and understanding of the site of Allos Lake.
Discover the forest with the national Office of forests (exits Wednesday. Information to the office of tourism of Colmars).
If you do not know the mountain, consider an exit bordered by an attendant on average mountain.

MOUNTAIN BIKING

Circuits marked lives often borrow GR and GRP: wooden with initials panels you allow a change depending on whether the symbol is barred or not. However, already note that mountain biking is forbidden in the national park of Mercantour. Allos has been one of the first national centres of mountain biking. The site of cross-country skiing of the Colle-St-Michel and Colmars-Ratery many cross-country tracks are usable mountain bike trails in summer. Some, like the black trail of Ratery, or the track of the Coulets to the Colle-St-Michel, are signposted at all times for two practices.

Climbing and mountaineering

Except for a few races in rock well franc, in high mountain on the side of great Séolane (South pillar), climbing in high Verdon is expressed mainly on four sites between Villars-Colmars, Colmars, the Colle St-Michel and the needle above La Foux. The high Verdon is therefore part of the huge playground of climbing of the Department;some 2,500 equipped routes listed in the Alpes de Haute-Provence surely give you the opportunity of a detour in this high Valley. All sites are limestone, some of abrasive type. Pay attention to wear of the strings!

Vives and boating waters

The whitewater playground is open on the Verdon, ter March to 30 September from 10 h to 18 h. Tributaries torrents hunting and Lance are protected and prohibited.
Canoeing, kayaking, Rafting, hot dog, open water swimming vive... All these activities are practised much better on a Verdon swelled by melting snow in the spring; but after a big storm summer visitors can certainly taste more thrill... Finally, there are four water bodies of leisure, to Colmars, Allos, Beauvezer and Thorame Haute.

Air sports

The cashing of the valleys and mountain character of the North of the area is not as favourable as cuestas of the South and the gentle slopes around the neck of the Thorames. Petit Cordeil and the Chalvet landscaped sites are proof. Ask before you take the first time the high Verdon, because meteorology is tough and many microclimates. Many experienced drivers are left here to meet worthy... passing through Briançon! Beginners, pilots casual or coming of quieter areas, attention!Summer afternoon air here is a minefield, and the cumulonimbus of St-André, a real bomb atomic... That fly morning or evening after 18 or 19 hours!

Cross-country skiing and snowshoeing

The oldest and largest centre is unquestionably one of the Colle-St-Michel. On the slopes, the atmosphere is "Scandinavian", especially on the side of the plateaus of Champlatte. No roads, no cities on the horizon, you benefit from a Nordic authentic and preserved.
The home of cross-country skiing of Colmars-Ratery is a little "gem" of wooden Chalet, in the forest of larch.
The resort of Allos has managed to take skiing seriously, and tracks are quite well plotted. The stroll along the Verdon on the trail of Premins is a little rough, but extremely pleasant. Earlier, departing from the top Seignus, the forest track by the Valdemars lets a ride of any beauty above the Valley. However, it requires a good level of skiing.

The great Séolane

Benchmark: departure from the station Foux d'Allos (1873 m), duration 7 hours starting early in the morning because the hike is sparsely treed, 1100 m of altitude difference, altitude of the Summit 2809 m, period: from July to September. IGN West Barcelonnette 3539 blue series maps. And IGN TOP 25 3540 and.
The great Séolane rears its rocky head at 2 909 m altitude and presents itself as a pivot at the junction of the white, the haut Verdon and Ubaye valleys. From its top, can thus benefit from a magnificent panorama over the surrounding: forests of the Laverq, Ginette and Bachelard, the haut Verdon Valley.
Access: allos, continue the 908 D which is the main road of the Valley. At the entrance of La Foux d'Allos coming from Allos follow signs to "Col d'Allos". After the last buildings on the left, Park and take the path that starts at the level of the first link of the pass road. A wooden fence prevents access to a track that goes to the source of the Verdon, in the Valley of Sestriere.
The start of the hike is on the alpine lawn, next to the torrent of the Verdon. At the bottom of the Valley lies the hut pastoral Sestriere, occupied in summer by shepherds. Next, continue the hike by a small trail that switchbacks up to the Sestriere pass. Leaving on the Ridge you can see the first houses of the Ubaye Valley all the way down. Follow the ridge to the North-West towards the head of Sestriere. Take almost immediately after a little marked trail which goes down to the foot of the Séolane to pass the Thuiles, Northeast.
The trail disappears Thuiles-necked. Only remains yellow markup toward the West on large blocks of rock. From there he must follow the signposting and make a path through a landslide, from where one can see two cavities in the rock. To the right of the second corridor there's a "Constable", the passage between the cavity and Constable. The start and finish to the Summit are quite delicate. We recommend that you have some knowledge of mountaineering. You then come on the plateau of the great Séolane, which allows the top to the right. The Summit offers the wonderful view on the ubaye Valley and the Laverq Valley. The descent is by the same route or by GR 56 until the col d'Allos where one can wait by another car.
•    Living otherwise: A touring skis, great Séolane is done in 6 hours approximately. The itinerary is identical to that of hiking. Departure from the station of La Foux d'Allos, first the road to the col d'Allos lace. 1 100 m of height difference. This beautiful hike is to be undertaken only by very beautiful clear weather, great snow, and very early. Reserved for very good skiers mountaineers: significant risk of avalanches, fatal fall in the uppermost part.
•    Climbing: seen from La Foux d'Allos, Grande Séolane presents itself as a proud limestone needle, to the beautiful grey walls. Some nice routes, in an atmosphere already very 'mountain'. Access trail to the Sestriere pass, and then to view towards the foot of the walls, starting I h 30-2 h material: tracks equipped, including the relays to allow a descent in callback. Provide a few nuts. Rock: limestone of generally good strength. Tracks: ten in all, 300 m. The highest rating: 6 (b).
•    Ice: There face Northwest a beautiful ice chute. It's a real high mountain race necessarily winter to find good conditions, and therefore reserved for very good practitioners.
Then consider this hike as a small race, reserved for hikers accustomed to walking off trails, and do not have Vertigo. This is not mountaineering but this is certainly not the ride. Not recommended for children under 14 years. Very dangerous by of a thunderstorm. Do not do by thick fog. Pay close attention to falling rocks.

The descent of Prénier with mountain bike

Benchmark: departure to the col d'Allos, arrived at the hamlet of Maryam high or Allos. approximately 2 hours, 610 m of vertical drop, not too many difficulties, IGN maps series blue Allos 3540 West, D'entraunes 3540 is, Barcelonnette West 3539.
This route to mountain biking is now a classic in Val d'Allos. Composed solely of a very nice downhill, it links the col d'Allos in Allos village by an ancestral trail.
This trail in balcony above the Valley of the Bouchier crosses varied landscapes. It is a shortcut between pastures and formerly cultivated land between wildlife and herds, between mineral universe and traditional farms. This creation of modernism that is mountain biking is here used in the discovery of the nature and the past.
The starting point of this hike to mountain biking is the Summit of the col d'Allos. The ideal is to get into a car at the Summit and from there. At the Summit of the pass, before the hut, take on the right down after the sign of the cervix. The trail passes through meadows generally occupied in summer by beautiful cows. The Shepherd you will be grateful do not yell and follow the route of the trail sometimes a little muddy. The trail ascends slightly until the first drop. There you can admire the view over the Valley of I'Ubaye. Attention, a barbed wire fence bar trail. The pass and down to the bottom of the Valley. The trail follows the boundary of the national park of Mercantour and winds into the "carpet" formed by the alpine lawn. Gradually the larches are increasing as it loses altitude. Achieve a first intersection with a sign indicating the Grand Cheval de Bois and heel by the 56 GR. Continue the path on which it stands before meeting again with this same trail to heel and Allos Lake.Continue down through a beautiful forest of larches to achieve forest cabin Prénier.
Continuing, the trail starts always taking in a beautiful stand of conifers where forest cover maintains a comfortable temperature. The entire forest is crossed in the direction of La Goulette is reforestation. This passage through the forest is very pleasant and without great altitude. The next part goes on drier slopes, and we should be careful because there are a few peaks impressive (30 m). In addition the trail passes through marls, slippery if it rained the previous days. In the background, you can see the stark slopes of Grand horse of wood to the tormented relief, alternation of bars, scree slopes and lawns, which provide an environment conducive to the sheep that have been introduced, and which thrive in these places. The trail descends gently to meadows, formerly cultivated by a population who lived several hamlets until after the 1950s. Today this landscape keeps track of the crops but human footprint unfortunately tends to disappear to make room for thorny or even to the forest.The last part of the trail descends a little more to get to a wooden cross. The narrow path turns into a farm path that leads to the first houses of the Maryam high.Thence down a track field to Allos. Before the first lace-up, admire the view on the village of Allos and opposite the Autapie mountain. The arrival in Allos is by road from the resort of Rochecline.
This hiking to mountain biking to discover quietly or more sporty way if one wants to the left of the Verdon River Bank and is accessible to all means as distinguished sportsmen "bikers".
•    To do less: the arrival, to get search drive from Allos to the hamlet of La Maryam Haute (4 km).
•    Do more: from the station of La Foux d'Allos and climb mountain bike to the top of the pass (7 km). Things to do in the morning early because summer traffic is large enough and the nonexistent shadow on this side of the pass. To the arrival of the Maryam high, do not go back down towards the village of Allos, but go to the first intersection of the Causeway Road on the left towards the hamlet of Bouchier (3 km). From there take the wooden footbridge and cross the stream. On the left bank take the path which rises towards the Vacheresse forest and farm Woods. This part contains a short but steep climb. On the other hand, once arrived on the plateau of Vacheresse, the forest trail slalom between larch and the vertical drop is almost non-existent. This ride is superb in autumn where the larch stain of orange and yellow. In summer the bois de Vacheresse welcomes beautiful herds of cows. It is therefore recommended to stay on the track. The latter descends gradually toward the Super-Allos and is wheeled to an end (get off bike). We arrive at the top of the subdivision; Super-Allos, then in Allos (1.5 km) from here, follow the paved road.
This route extends the first of approximately 1 h 30 and is ideal if you want to leave a little day and picnic in superb Vacheresse wood near the beautiful farm of wood (source).
•    Do more: If we want to further extend the day or if we want to go back to La Foux d'Allos avoiding a transfer by car, two solutions are available but they are reserved only for very experienced "bikers":-from the high Maryam, down on Allos to the amusement park. Cross the Verdon River by the bridge and join the cross-country ski track that goes to the place called La Valau (1 km, right bank of the Verdon). This track joins a much nicer stony track which follows the small hamlets between Allos and La Foux. After the hamlet of Premin, it must cross the ravine of Valdemars and go up to the hut of the Mable. From cabin is mounted and crossing the ravine of Valboyere to follow down to the edge of the Verdon is crossed by a footbridge to the hamlet of Gays on the road (D 908) that goes to the station of La Foux d'Allos.
•    It takes two hours to the departure of Allos (about 9 km). The Maryam Haute down Allos and back by road to the station le Seignus and the hamlet of upwards Seignus. From there take the forest track that climbs up to the beautiful cabin forest and pastoral of Valdemars (source). This route is much more enjoyable than the previous since it is done virtually everything in the understory. The only mounted important is done on this stretch between Allos and the cabin where, on the other hand, it rises constantly. After the Valdemars hut route is virtually flat, or even slightly downhill. After the abandoned hut of Rougnouse continues to the Lake of frogs and to the Labrau bridge at the entrance of La Foux d'Allos. It takes approximately between 3 h and 4 h on the departure of Allos. If the difference is not very important this trip is nevertheless very long and has a more sporty than the main route, a fortiori if it is grouped with him.
•    Living otherwise: all these routes are also very pleasant hiking. For those who want to enjoy more of the landscape and put the sporting side a little muted.

The ravine of Valdemars

Benchmark: 800 m length, 2 h, 161 m of ascent, in preference to practice in the heart of the summer, good equipment in place, provide one 50 m rope and a 20 m to the handrail. Map IGN series blue Allos 3540 West.
It takes a good dose of sports enthusiasm... or masochism to traverse the ravine of Valdemars to even torrent instead of quietly follow the edge by the charming path that runs along the left bank... Hurtling down mountains, the icy waters rush in a real gorge, majestic, mysterious and haunting, that will leave a lasting impression of humility.
Access: about 4 km after Allos, on the road to La Foux d'Allos (D 908), Park at the hamlet of La Baumelle. A trail descends on the edge of the Verdon River, which it crosses on a bridge of wood. Another gateway follows immediately, over the Creek by the Valdemars. A trail ascends steep switchbacks along the left bank ravine, saving an old bridge crossing the Creek, point of departure for the descent (20 to 30 minutes).
The full descent by the Valdemars ravine is a beautiful race, not very long, but engaged and above all very varied. This canyon presents meanders throughout the entire range of configurations and obstacles specific to this type of aquatic activity: watered reminders, jumps, slides, swimming, whitewater passages, etc.
For optimal security, it should be considered only with a low, far flow rainy periods or snowmelt. Under the bridge, some slippery steps lead at the top of the first cascade that can rappel off a tree or avoid in de-escalation by a shaft that pierces the threshold of the cascade. Access to the docking of the next waterfall is difficult in high water. A cascade of 7 m requires a handrail for access security to its Summit. Then, approaching a "narrow" very sustained and aquatic, including several successive recalls.
A widening announces the arrival to the great cascade of 23 m (superb). After a last close, a succession of small slides led to the bridge's output. This beautiful canyon is short but very strong. Many rope manoeuvres are necessary for the installation of handrails.
Out of the canyon, we found the gateway and the trail that goes back to the Cheryl Bandayanon (5 mn).
•    Do more: you can follow a long summer day, the descents of the ravines of Valdemars and Valboyere. Their similarities are many, including the length of rope needed reminder (50 m in both cases).
•    Living otherwise: due to its orientation (almost due north!) and its very vertical profile, this ravine is also a superb climbing on frozen waterfalls. The best time for this is the beginning of winter, after the long period of high pressure dry cold of autumn high-Provençal. Once the first snow fell, the site is more suited: access becomes problematic, the ice is covered with a layer of snow, there are dangers of avalanche...

Mont Pelat

Benchmark: Departure from the hamlet of upwards Villars, reached by the D226. approximately 8 hours, 1300 m of vertical drop, starting altitude 1800 m, point high 3050 m. Leave in the morning very early (3 h 30 a.m. approximately), and do virtually any rise at night because of the very important risk of avalanche. Provide equipment ARVA (avalanche victim research device), be back in the car before noon. Good level of skiing. Maps series blue D'entraunes 3540 is, Allos 3540 West.
Mont Pelat, which culminates at 3,050 m, is the highest peak of the high Verdon Valley. E is situated within the Mercantour national park, and its imposing mass ensures above Allos Lake. This Summit, is offers a magnificent panorama over the Valley of Ubaye and the Bachelard North, on the Verdon top South. Some autumn mornings, the clarity of the sky opens the distant horizons on some peaks of the alpine chain as mont Viso or Ecrins-mont Blanc.
The departure is the hamlet of Villars-top which can be reached at the entrance to the village of Allos. Coming from the South take the in-cated "Lac d'Allos" (226 D) on some kilometres. The hamlet of Villars-top is the third Hamlet after the farm of Ste-Brigitte, the hamlet of Villars-down. The Villars-top you can leave your vehicle just after the House of Mr. Honnorat, beekeeper (Panel). There must go to the forest of the Cluite and down to the ravine of Valpane. In fact the route followed is that borrows the access road to the parking lot of the Allos Lake, but the thick layer of snow will overwrite any trace of civilization. This beautiful forest of larch serves as a refuge for animals (including chamois) of the national park of Mercantour. You will meet certainly some traces of snowshoe hikers who come there on the trail of Jack London.
The descent continues through the ravine of Valplane (it is recommended to do this small descent on skis in order to safeguard for the rest of the day. Blunted the descent with the headlamps can be quite fun, but caution still). Just after the Valplane Fountain (frozen in winter), you need shoes. The climb to head round is a delicate transition due especially to the many snow slides and Monier mountain avalanche (right side up). Be very careful throughout this course and especially the descent (mid-day warming). You will then pass on the Chadoulin bridge. After bridge continue to head round-up. There still risk of avalanche. Just after you unblock on the plateau of the Laus (in winter, the forest House is closed) and take in the northeast in the Valley of Meouille. The rise is practically in the riverbed. This is the shortest path, but you can also go through the Allos Lake (see topic "do over"). The climb from the Valley is steep but a bit faster. The Meouille plateau on which it arrives is oriented East-West. From there it is advisable to bring a pair of spikes to the rise of the corridor of the hole of the Eagle. After this section fairly steep (delicate passage over a ledge), be careful not to commit to the northeast in the direction of the hole of the Eagle Lake. Above the bar, put the skis and follow the combe of the Pelat until a small pass East of the Summit, and then follow the ridge. On the edge, if we want to trample the Summit, the last 50 m are to walk, floor spikes if the snow is hard.
The descent is by the same route. There still pay close attention to the fall in the uppermost part.
The descent into the Valley of Méouilles is very beautiful. However the ascent from the ravine of Val-plane to the Villars-top is very hard since it is end of the hike, but it is also the place where you can see the most traces of animals: hares, ptarmigan...
•    To do less or more: make the Pelat passing the rise nor by the ravine of Méouilles but by Allos Lake. Go to the plateau of Laus and there follow the great Southeast oriented summer Lake Trail. There, branching off into the plateau of Méouilles, after the refuge take to the North oriented Pelat. Once joined Méouilles tray, follow the same route as above. By this route is longer but less steep.
•    Do not mount to the Pelat and settle for example to around the Lake of Allos or climb to the col de Encombrette (2,527 m) Southeast.
•    If you are a group of skiers at different levels you can perform each hike, either Pandey, either the Lake for example, climb to the plateau of the ensemble Laus, you join to the lake or the Méouilles plateau and perform the entire descent. After the ascent of the Pelat, descend on the plateau of Méouilles and traced back to the pitch of the Lausson which overlooks frozen lake. From there to reach it.
•    Living otherwise: in winter: climb to Allos Lake in snowshoes and enjoy the magnificent spectacle of the beauty of wild site. Sports all the same (4 h to 6 h about walking).
•    In summer: attend the sunrise on mont Pelat. There still original hike for a show that clear weather is grandiose. Starting or parking of Laus, either refuge of Allos Lake about 2 o'clock in the morning. Make the climb at night. It is necessary to provide suitable equipment: headlamps, gloves, jacket, hat, even in summer temperatures can be frigid.
The sunrise on the Pelat will enchant you, don't forget your camera. After a breakfast break, down to the Lake. At this time it is not uncommon to see chamois, Mouflon sheep and ibex in the Rocky bars.

Allos Lake

Benchmark: Departure from the village of Allos. Arrival: Lake of Allos. Duration: 3 h 30.
Altitude difference: Uphill: 895 Mr. downhill: 90 m markup: yellow and red.
FIX: constant ascent, accessible to children. Maps: IGN TOP 25 high Valley of the Var 3540 and (ply 81/C1 or blue series) and D'entraunes 3540 is.

Located 2 225 m above sea level, the Lake of Allos, of glacial origin, extends on an area of 62 ha what earned him the title of largest lake in Europe at this altitude. It is fed from many sources and by the melting of snow. The excess water is discharged through an underground spillway, and gives birth to the Chadoulin that draws its meandering on the plateau of the Laus. Maximum depths of 49 million give the Lake a turquoise color and waters very cold Arctic char and trout.
In the village of Allos, Park your car in the parking lot of the Pré de Foire (D 908) close to the supermarket and take the Street between the post office and the Town Hall. Continue on 50 m; at the crossroads to the cross down the right. On the left is a large house in long which was the old mill of Allos and that the Allosards still call "the mill". Cross the torrent of the Chadoulin and then continue on the left bank of it by a path which soon turns into a trail. So along a channel. The trail continues in the understory and then deviates gradually from the torrent. Cross a second channel, then a black marl area to arrive at said gully "Cellars" (cellar in gavot means thrushes in french). Continue journey to the Cluite forest, magnificent forest from it also reforestation, consisting mainly of larch. Cross then a few secondary ravines before arriving at a forest track. Take it on the left before finding a little further the small path. Cross a clearing by the upstream edge of the wood. From there you come again on the track. Follow it to the left onto a few metres before exiting again to go down then left by the trail to the edge of the torrent of the Chadoulin that is crossed by a small wooden walkway. Just after crossing a first channel. Then arrive at a crossroads. Getting the right shoelaces. Lead on a path near a cabin. Borrow it right and thus lead to a second channel. Longer it on about ten meters, then cross it before climbing on the left by a stony path to the runway for access to the hamlet of RBEC.
Follow it right to the hamlet of FRP bottom. While the track performs a lace under the houses, continue straight on the trail down to a large area of black Marl. The route continues in ascending crossing, upstream of the Chadoulin and then succeeds in a wooden shelter. Just above, cross the stream on a large bridge.
Then continue on the path that climbs through le mélézin switchbacks to reach the forest road of Allos Lake at the level of the Valplane ravine. Follow it to the left crossing. Cross the bridge on the Chadoulin then, just after the second turn, turn right onto trail which, by crossing and then switchbacks, rises in undergrowth and leads on the road a few hundred yards before the parking lot of the Laus. The cross at the other end on the Allos Lake interpretive trail and follow it to the hut.
•    To do less: climb to Allos Lake by D 226 road departing from the village of Allos, just after the Church Romanesque Notre-Dame de Valvert on the right when you arrive by squid (signs "Lac d'Allos" and "National park of Mercantour". Cross the villages of Ste-Brigitte, down Villars and Villars-Haut, and pursue the climb from a small winding road to the parking lot of the Laus 12 miles further away. This small road is very crowded in summer. Parking at Allos Lake there is then only half an hour of easy walking, following the direction of Park tables.
•    Do more: for those who want to make a little bit more, you can circumnavigate the Lake (6 km) and down by the plateau of Méouilles and head round to arrive at the parking lot of the Laus. This presents the advantage to take different routes to the go and return, and also to discover the great plateau of Méouilles under the Pelat.
•    Do more: A great day hike: climb to the Lake of Allos initially of Allos (3 h 30 of ascent to the Lake) or well get into a car to the parking lot of the Laus and thence do the 'loop of the Lakes' (approximately 5 hours). Starting from the parking lot of the Laus on the trail and then the track that leads to the Lake of Allos.Shortly after the wet plateau of Laus, take on the left the direction of the col de la Cayolle small. The trail leads to the pastures of the plateau of Méouilles then describes laces before reaching the Lake of la Petite Cayolle (2,588 m). Then continue to the pass of the same name at 2,639 m altitude. Pass turn right staying on the slopes of the high Verdon, in order to reach the Lake from the Garrets. Work around the Lake by the West and win the top of Lausson (2,645 m) Ridge: it is the line of the watershed between the basins of the Var and Verdon. Follow this Ridge until Lausson (2,602 m) pitch: East view emerges on the Lausson below Lake and Val D'entraunes. The trail descends on the side of Allos; of a replat Allos Lake can be admired. The trail connects the Méouilles plateau by a crossing in balcony. Then take the trail to the refuge of the Lake and back down to the parking lot.
•    Living otherwise: hiking on snowshoes in the winter from the Villars-top (Allos Lake Highway) to the Lake of Allos and more if return by the plateau of Méouilles. Very nice hike to snowshoes but do very careful to avalanches on the road to the Lake.

The National Park of Mercantour

Established in 1979, the Mercantour is one of seven french national parks and extends its 68 500 hectares on six high valleys: Roya, Vésubie, Tinée, Var, Verdon and Ubaye. It also borders the natural regional park of Argentera in Italy with which it shares the European nature conservation diploma, awarded by the Council of Europe. Its geographical location is original, mixing slopes covered with olive groves and snowy peaks exceeding 3,000 m altitude to landscapes shaped by man (rock engravings, religious, military or pastoral books...). The vegetation is rich in two thousand species (on the four thousand two hundred known in France), whose endemic forty (not found elsewhere).
The visitor is a fictional trip from the Mediterranean to the Arctic, from Lavender to edelweiss. The quiet Wayfarer surprise marmots, Sentinel meadows and more difficult mountain Hare, ermine or Ptarmigan, protected from gaze out their imitations or even six large ungulates cohabiting here: chamois, mouflon, ibex, deer, deer and wild boar. Wolf has even chosen this territory for his natural return to France...

What missions for a national park?

Protect a space assumed to well know through scientific monitoring, enriching its heritage through the reintroduction of species (ibex, bearded barbet..) and its awareness (circuits interpretation, publications, films...). The Park is also a living space which contributes to local development through the management of sites and a few development projects. Finally, it comes to the Park to enforce its regulations that is nothing more than a code of good conduct to make known even outside the Park...

The national park in Ubaye

Ubaye, in the central area of the national park represents 10 000 ha (or one-tenth of the Valley). These are all high valleys and ridges that limit the Ubaye Valley to the South, from the col de Larche to the col d'Allos. Barcelonnette, home of the national park of Mercantour share with the Museum of the Valley a large villa ' Mexican, in the public park of la Sapinière. home during school holidays and on request for groups the rest of the year.

National park in the Verdon

The high Verdon is the westernmost of the seven sectors of the Mercantour national park. 5,400 acres located on the left bank Verdon, this part of the Park is mainly composed of sedimentary terrain offering landscapes open, eroded, where alternate black marl and alpine forests are generously represented: larch and pine in square brackets resulting from afforestation undertaken by the National Forestry Office. The wildlife includes Eagles, grouse, marmots..., but also hundreds of chamois and mouflons which was added, following a reintroduction in the spring of 1994, the Alpine ibex.

The Colette Interpretation trail

Ship of stone in the heart of lush green, Colmars-les-Alpes, characteristic village, city fortified by Vauban, unveils its natural charms and beauty of its heritage.
Colmars view from afar, by the mountain, under centuries-old larch by the Colette interpretive trail. There, reading tables explain the natural wealth of this Valley and the imprint of man on this medium.
Circuit discovering the Culet: the departure is at foot of Colmars. You can leave your vehicle in the shade of the ramparts (next to the tennis courts, for example). From there and climb to the fort of Savoy, either by the way to right below, the caponier which we climb the steps to the fort. You can admire views of Col-March, strong city, colorful belfry, the Verdon and Villars-Colmars. Descend along the fort until the curbs and parking.
Cross D 908, and cling the small steep rise that marks the start of the road to the col of the fields (access road to the Valley of D'entraunes, Alpes-Maritimes) and take right away to the right, at the foot of the statue of St-Jean, the marked trail that winds between two gardens. This statue marks the beginning of the climb to the desert, traditional pilgrimage of the Colmarsiens for centuries St-John's Day June 24 (celebrations traditional with aubade and firefighters in Napoleonic clothes).
This trail runs along the fields and groves until the fourth lace of the pass (formerly border with the Italy) strategic road. Cross this lace to continue the trail to the sixth lace. There, after a stone as a House mark, leave the trail to follow 2 km about beautiful fields pass road. In spring (June/July particularly) take advantage of this market to admire the multitude of flowers (Buttercup, knapweed, cornflower, alfalfa, cerastium, marguerite, gada, clover, cock's, vetch, gesses...) who scattered meadows.Right road is lined with maple trees that dominate the innumerable terraces reclaimed the mountain generation after generation once ardently cultivated, today abandoned and reclaimed by the forest. A little further away a vast space discovered, limited by traditional stone buildings, presents itself as a clearing at the edge of which it makes good picnic (outward or return). This is the pre of CEE. A nice oratory, he also dedicated to Saint John, patron of Colmars, dominates the village.Continue to rise following the road that crosses the forest consisting primarily of larch that accompany the elderberry, the alisiers, the mountain ash, maple, ash and some spruce. After the second lace, you reach a small parking area on the right side of the road. Share a nice trail that climbs gradually through the forest. Many laces can rise without fatigue to the foot of the Colette, limestone piton. Many shrubs lining the ground, such as the ash genet, the barberry and Juniper. The wood geranium and Chaerophytuin hirsutum thrive here among the raspberry. The landscape that unfolds is explained and commented on by reading tables that describe the stages of the slow construction of the landscape:
•    geological first, with sedimentation marine then the alpine uplift, finally the ice, torrential or wind erosion;
•    plant pioneers, themselves little by little, by gradual colonization of the mineral environments by plants replaced by others more elaborate, more difficult, more specialized also to finally reach natural plants that are forests or alpine grasslands;
•    human Finally, expressed in gardening nature, selection and artificial plant associations implantation, the choice of certain plants 'useful', the work of destruction or construction to shape the nature according to the needs, infrastructure and buildings, all the elements that compose today space and whose nature makes it possible to trace the history.
What you will learn from these reading tables can help you better understand all landscapes and other sites of the upper Valley of the Verdon. This hike can be done as legs walk at the beginning a stay and as first approach of a geographical and human entity. Back to Colmars is done by the same path or the path of the Chastelas.
•    To do less: you can shorten the time to market in amount up to the pass of the fields road parking area (after the eighth yaw) drive. It is only 20 minutes about market reaching the Colette reading tables. Return by the same route. For those who want to have a picnic, surrounding the tables in reading pet put to do with bonus the magnificent view on Colmars.
•    Do more: descent to Colmars by Chastelas (3 h). The departure is done by the crest of the Colette. The trail goes back the Chastelas ravine through a wood of larch and pine to hooks. Some impressive Scots pines by their size their companionship. The bottom of the ravine is stony. Two streams along the route, one non-permanent and the other still water that comes from above the forest of Nonciere. The path descends South towards the Valley of the Lance. Ruins testify to the former occupation of this area. Upstart above of the ravine of the Prechaire, to approximately 1 500 m after a few tight laces we arrive at a crossroads. Take the right path that leads down to the ravine of the Chastelas to join the Misson bridge trail. Stay on the left bank of the ravine and join the trail of the spear and its beautiful waterfall nestled in the hollow of a rocky cirque of rare beauty. The village centre is only 40 minutes away and the arrival is next to the kindergarten.
•    The otherwise live: mountain biking, the climb from the trail is a bit steep and may be replaced by the ascent through the pass road of the fields (route uncrowded and elsewhere a classic cycling in the region). Nevertheless the two options are to reserve for people accustomed to mountain biking in the mountains or sports.Efforts to climb will be rewarded with the descent through the Chastelas.
More very well can be programmed this hike on a day with picnic at the Colette and bathing in the beautiful basins of the Lance. One-day multi-activity!

Feast of the Saint John in June

The votive feast of squid still represents the most important time of the year for the Colmar. This Festival has remained traditional, religious and pagan at a time.Pilgrimage to St-Jean-du-désert (by the path of the Colette) and bravado of firefighters in Napoleonic costumes alternate with Fireworks and aubades authorities a ceremonial and traditions revive during these three days of celebration.

Discovery of the forest of Ratery mountain bike

Benchmark: Access: to Colmars, take the D 908 in the direction of Allos. At the exit of the village before the parking lot of the fort of Savoie, take the road right fields on 6 km until pass at the chalet of reception of Ratery (parking) departure: commune of squid, pass road of fields (D 2) on 6 km Ratery reception chalet. Markup: mountain biking. Site: 4 tracks of different levels to let an initiation and improvement to the lives the ideal on a day, depending on the level is to make all tracks by following the progression of the difficulties. Ideal for a family or each Member can find a track at its level and or all can join for a big picnic for example in the beautiful Woods of Ratery. These tracks are out of the Mercantour national park. Maps: IGN blue series D'entraunes 3540 is and Allos 3540 West.

The forest of Ratery with its centuries-old larch is the ideal place to start the saw. Tracks welcome beginners and families come to learn this sport or who wish to rediscover: long walks in a superb setting.
This site, that we can discover in mountain biking, walk in the summer, or cross-country skis or snowshoes winter allows its visitor to enter a "enchanted universe" where wildlife has conquered a forest estate created by man. Sport and ecology are here intertwined.
The departure of the mountain bike trails is located near the chalet. All tracks are plotted and marked trails (mountain bike markup).
The Ratery site offers a different approach to the lives, family, less athletic than other sites in the Valley. Here the mountain biking nearby of the bike ride.
1.    Track 1: Length: 1.5 km, loop. Altitude difference: virtually flat. Difficulty: very easy, introduction to mountain biking, ideal for young children. Duration: 10 min approximately.
2.    Track 2: Length: 3 km, loop. Difference in altitude: same as for track 1, a small descent. Difficulty: very easy, more varied than track 1, passage of a wooden footbridge. Duration: 15 min approximately.
3.    Track 3: Length: 4.5 km, loop. Difference in altitude: much more hilly track. Difficulty: easy. Duration: 20 min to half an hour for children.
4.    Track 4: Length: 7 km, loop. Markup: F.F.C. fix: Technique. Accessible to everyone until cabin Neuve (source). Beyond that, reserved for insiders. Difference in altitude: many cuts. Length: 1 hour approximately.
•    Do more: Chalet of home Ratery (1,714 m) or even the top of the col de fields, back down the little road to the col de fields (2,045 m) to Colmars (1,245 m).This small mountain road is little frequented by motorists. It has a large difference of height and therefore offers lovers of downhill thrills. However, it is necessary to remain cautious. The descent through the fields pass road is now a classic for Mountainbike fans eager to know the sensation of speed and limit their efforts.Great athletes can also climb by road from Colmars. This route, although it is located on road, is very beautiful. Indeed, we drive most of the time under a magnificent mélézin, leading to the top of the pass on Alpine pastures where one has a splendid view on the Valley. Moreover, taking this route in the morning, you may have the chance to see the wildlife that inhabits those places. Alternatively, you can use your hike to pick wild berries, mushrooms and flowers according to the season.
•    Do more: mount the chalet of Ratery to the top of the neck of the fields by the GR 52 A. down either by the same path, the pass until the chalet or even Colmars road. Beginning altitude: 1,714 m. Altitude of arrival: 2,045 m (col). FIX: for the rider confirmed. Fade constant but important. Duration: 2 h approximately.
•    Otherwise living: live tracks is tansforment in winter cross-country ski slopes. Four cross-country tracks plotted and marked trails range from the Green track to the black track on 16 km loop. Sale vignettes cross-country skiing at the chalet of Ratery and rental equipment on site. The attraction of cross-country tracks in the winter lies in the beauty of the pay-wise, on one of the most savage sites of the Department. In addition, in case of lack of snow, tracks are drawn also to the top of the col de fields, on the large grassy plateaus. Course feasible with snowshoes.

The Lakes of Lignin

Benchmark: Departure: from Colmars les Alpes 28 km from St-André-les-Alpes. Duration: 7 to 10 hours for outward and return. Difference in altitude: 900 m, variable depending on the location where leaves the car. This walk is rather long and steep. FIX: no particular difficulty except for the length. On the track that leads to the bridge of the greenhouse, there are several avalanche paths. Map: IGN blue series D'entraunes 3540 is.

The name of Haute-Provence evokes rather mild climate as the backcountry. We sometimes forget that in the "Alps" of Haute-Provence, and in particular the Valley of the high Verdon, winter is long, rigorous, and ski touring is there practice easily until the end of the month of May.
Colmars-les-Alpes, to a small mile drive back on the road to St-André-les-Alpes, and turn left onto the small road that climbs to la Buissiere. Reach the crossroads from which the forest road of the "Pont de la Serre". It is theoretically possible to mount the car up to the bridge of the greenhouse (1 682 m), but most of the time, depending on the progress of the snowmelt, snow and intermittent ice plates require hikers to walk, sometimes on the road, sometimes on snow. Even walking (outward and return), this walk of the bridge of the greenhouse is extremely pleasant, corbelling above the deep ravine of the Lance.
The bridge of the greenhouse he must win the hut of the judges (mounted on left, Southeast) which offers a friendly shelter for a snack break. The hut of the judges, can down into the riverbed, but field becomes somewhat rugged, and some might, mistakenly, to engage in the Valley of the Mouries. It is therefore preferable, from the cabin of the judges, to stay on the route of summer to the Bressenge hut.
Continue to the large and enigmatic Valley of Bressenge to come whacked at the foot of a beautiful attractive snow slope, on the left (East). The back laces and when the gradient fades, gradually veer to the right (South-South-East), in engaging in easy foothills and beauty. We come to little after a huge plateau, in a unique lunar landscape. The Lakes of Lignin, covered with snow, are at the end of this plateau. Nearby, a small hut, in good condition, is unfortunately closed. Large often all slabs to pleasantly picnic weather.

The site of climbing de Juan

At Villars-Colmars, Juan site has been equipped so that all lovers of climbing an introductory and an advanced climbing in a natural and wild hunting Valley site. The rock of Juan is a long limestone bar composed of many small industries well sunny and who, in green surroundings, 5 routes on offer to the 6 c.
40 channels of the site are equipped with. Most channels easy or moderately difficult 5a to 6 c. The insurance points are anchors of 12 which ensure maximum safety.The approximation of points, variable according to the routes, is specified for each of them on the topo through a 'commitment' logo. It allows to distinguish in a single glance between the particularly safe channels and those where the equipment requires more recklessness of the climber's head! Climbing is style dominant slabs and small overhangs.
•    To do less: climbing the Colle St-Michel site, situated 22 km south of Villars-Colmars is ideal for initiation (channels equipped with "roping", meaning that he has periods of insurance, but only a relay so that one climbs in second). Short lengths of track. Rock climbing on natural rock.
•    Do more: Colmars-les-Alpes: site of the Lance. Located 4 km north of Villars-Colmars, the site of the Lance is an exceptional natural site in the heart of a rocky site. At the entrance to Colmars, after school, take drive specified road "cascade of the Lance". Park his car in the parking lot of the kindergarten, and follow the road field for 40 minutes on foot. The rock appears right next to the beautiful waterfall of the Lance. Roads, 30, ranging from 5a to 7 c (lot 6a / 6B). Common Topo with Juan.
•    Living otherwise: Juan cabin on the site of hunting: located near the site of climbing, this cabin is occupied by shepherds in the summer. In addition to sheep, this circus is populated by marmots and some chamois and the Kestrels populate the ubac Juan bars. From here, we can extend the ride to the small lake of Juan. It is necessary to have a map or ask the Shepherd, because no path was traced. This Lake, surrounded by rhododendrons, provides access to the Valley of Faillefeu (La Javie) by the fall of the Vachiere mountain. Return by the same route or the huts of le Puy (see map IGN series blue Allos 3540 West). Superb hike of 4 or 6 hours according to the starting location.
•    Hunting Valley: hiking of about five hours. Continue the track after the hamlet of hunting the possibilities of his car. Arrived at the end, Park his car next to the torrent where you can on his return to bathe in the great basins hewn into the rock (do not fear cold water!). From there, take the path towards the plateau of Sagnes, where shepherds in stone huts drown in a multitude of flowers and grasses in June. You can continue to the bottom of the Valley, but for picnic lovers and children (1 hour of walking around), this is the area wanted to spend a day between meadows and streams. (IGN map series blue Allos 3540 West).
•    The hamlet of hunting: typical houses representative of the architecture of the high Verdon. Chapels St-Pierre and St-Raphaël. Hunting site was studied in the 1960s of a proposed winter sports station "Super fighter" who has never emerged.

The high Verdon in canoeing

Benchmark: Departure: Villard-Heyssier bridge in the village of Beauvezer on the 908 D level. Arrival: bridge of the flower on the D 955, 800 m downstream of Thorame Haute station. Markup: in the Valley of the high Verdon, the points of embarkation and disembarkation for whitewater sports are reported from the road.Duration: 2 h 30. FIX: this course presents two very different sections. The first 9 km in length, is an easy ride of class II / III visible in much of the road.
The second section is trickier. 8 miles of class III / IV in the gorges of Fontgaillarde characterized essentially by a succession of sweepers.
Safety: the descent in a kayak of the high Verdon is easy for who knows to navigate. It should however be wary of natural obstacles, mainly branches and trees transported by flood. This course is not recommended in case of flood.
Period: the period of seaworthiness extends from April in July during the snowmelt. It is also possible to sail after the autumn rains.

The Verdon springs at the gateway to the Mercantour national park and presents in its high 41 km of navigable torrent part. Fed by the snowmelt and storms, it deserves the most attention. Pushed downstream from the ski resorts of the val d Allas, addresses a more majestic aspect through Cité Vauban de Colmars-le-s-Alpes, he stretches widely until the Fontgaillarde Gorge where it becomes impetuous. Further, the Verdon winds up to St-André-les-Alpes where he joined the Castillon Lake.
The Verdon, departing from Villard Heyssier bridge, widely spreads in a bed of pebbles. The flood that quickly change the overall look and feel of the watercourse form several arms that allow meander from one shore to the other. The ease of this stretch of river to admire the natural environment in which it operates. On notice over the descent of grandiose landscapes, steep terrain where erosion has carved gorges and canyons, villages clinging to the mountain and later a Roman bridge in perfect condition. When you arrive in the gorges of Fontgaillarde problems are growing. A succession of sweepers sometimes right sometimes left characterized this stretch. The anticipation here finds any expression. It must be driving his boat wisely, go inside corners, otherwise it may well be that, driven against the cliffs, you ended up head under water... But how beautiful course!
•    To do less: start in the descent of the Issole, tributary right bank of the Verdon which has 8 km of class II between the bridge Lambruisse and St - André-les-Alpes
•    Do more: go even further back in the Valley. Ship to the leisure base of Allos le Seignus ski resort walk and reach the bridge of Villard Heyssier: 13 miles of class III/IV. Then continue the journey up to the bridge of the flower. This bridge, it is also possible to continue lower to Castillon Lake. Disembark at the bridge of Méouilles in St-André-les-Alpes. 11 km of class II.
•    Living otherwise: haut Verdon is also passable in rafting, inflatable canoe or swimming in whitewater.

The Gorges of Saint-Pierre

Benchmark: departure from the bridge of Villars-Heyssier, common Beauvezer. Arrival at the hamlet of Villars-Heyssier. Duration: 6 h of walk, leave early if one wants to see animals. 1000 m of height difference, fix average but not recommended in case of dizziness and children less than 14 years. Maps series blue D'entraunes 3540 is, Allos 3540 West, Annot/Entrevaux 3541.
Variety and diversity, such are the qualifiers for this hike. Diversity of landscapes at the outset. The trail undulates between hooks and larch pine to die slowly in the hollow of an alpine lawn. Brutally emerges mineral universe of the St-Pierre gorges, cliffs, gorges, steep ravines alternate and support a surprisingly Provençal flora.
Chamois are very numerous. It is also the area of raptors and the Kingdom of insects where butterflies collect nectar flora of extraordinary diversity. The richness and beauty of this place are such that the NFB a biotope reserve will very soon do to preserve it.
Leave the D 908 in the direction of the hamlet of Villars-Heyssier. Park your car just before the bridge over the parking next to the Info Panel "water sports". Cross the bridge on foot and take a left onto a track that is actually a train of longshoring. It becomes fairly quickly in trail. The climb is done in the forest Pinatelle, beautiful pine forest in square brackets resulting it also major reforestation from the beginning of the century, if you take this hike in August you will have the chance to pick up delicious Wild raspberries. Continue the trail that passes to the foot of the Roubeirette bar to exit at the 1806 in crete of the Couguyon coast. Follow the Ridge up to its Summit (2 147 m) this part off the trail. This Summit is called by the locals "The cross" due to a cross planted on its Summit. From there find eastward the trail that descends to the forest of Chabanal. The trail crosses many ravines in a sometimes wooded landscape sometimes only rock. The trail passes over the ravine of the oven is the main ravine upstream of the gorges de St-Pierre. Except the part in the forest, much of this hike is not recommended for people suffering from Vertigo. Crossed, consisting of marls, ravines and gorges are sometimes with important to peaks. More landscapes bare and eroded gorges that make their beauty even accentuate the precipices. But the descent to the hut of Chabanal and the bridge on the torrent of St-Pierre is in the shade of the pines and larches. Thence following the season you will discover St turbans, saxifrage and Raspberry.
Chabanal cabin held more talks but a source will be able to quench your thirst not far from it. From the bridge, two options are available to you: cross the left bank of the stream and go to the Congermann huts where you can sleep (refuge opened and equipped summarily with wood for the fire, see topic "do over"); continue towards St-Pierre gorges by a path cut into the cliff and dating major reforestation. Will you have the chance at the bottom of very beautiful gorge deep, little sisters of the gorges of the Verdon. St-Pierre gorges are for the inhabitants of the Valley and especially for those in Beauvezer one of the most beautiful hikes. They support a typical Mediterranean flora made of thyme, savory and exceptional wild lavender at these altitudes. If you are in the gorges in early afternoon you can like Belveziens who bathe in the basins, pools and under the waterfalls of the many rious descending from the mountain. At the exit of the Gorge by this route lies the chapel of St-Pierre. Its apse date from the 13th century. Monks have asked here in the old days; leading the life of a hermit in the caves of the Gorge, they would have buried their dead in front of the chapel. Every year the inhabitants of Beauvezer go early June on a pilgrimage to this small chapel. At the exit of the gorge through the hamlet of Villars-Heyssier and down along the small road for 3 km to the bridge and resume his car.
•    To do less: do the route in reverse: i.e. go to the throats of Saint-Pierre car park located 2 km from the hamlet of VillarsHeyssier and not go until the bottom of the gorge at the gateway level. Return by the same route. 2 hour hike round trip. Things to do in very early if one wants to see buff and Raptors.
•    Do more: make this route over two days. Go to the Congermann hut for sleeping and from there take the trail that winds and happening above the ravine of the waterfall to the 2300 coast. Take the trail eastward, arriving at the decrease in the Strait; then down to the Lakes of Lignin, blue ponds posed in a lunar landscape dotted with sheep and surrounded by mountains. Descend to Colmars or (lawn) trail that passes through the cabin of Mouriès or that which passes near the Bressenge hut. The arrival on Colmars is done by the cascade of the spear; provide a vehicle on arrival. Two big days of market for experienced hikers but with an exceptional diversity: landscapes, fauna and flora. This route allows to spend a night in a hut and so enjoy the purity of the starry sky of the Alpes de Haute-Provence.

The white horse

Benchmark: departure of the St. Thomas Chapel, Château-Garnier, municipality of Thorame bass (1088 m). arrival in the village Castle-Garnier (2323 m). 8 h, 1200 m of elevation, hiking for steadfast walkers, no particular difficulties except for the duration. Do from June to October. IGN blue series maps Javie 3440 is, Barrême 3441, Saint-andre-les-alpes West 3541.
The first foothills of the high Valley of the Verdon dominates the plains of the Durance and the Bléone, Lure mountain, as many places dear to Giono. Its name evokes winter, if, in the summer, the field of shepherds and their flocks.

The diversity of landscapes encountered throughout the hike will take you Scots pine aux Mélèzes to move towards the Summit on a magnificent alpine lawn.
The starting point of this hike is the hamlet of Château-Garnier, located 3 km south of the village of Thorame bass, in the Valley of the Issole, Valley nearly parallel to that of the Verdon.
Just after the hamlet of Château-Garnier, in the direction of St-André, take the Causeway Road that leads to the Chapel St-Thomas (indicator, to visit the return Panel) and Park his car. Next to the Chapel is an oratory. Take the path on the right and walk through a beautiful forest of Scots pine by the District said "Fatima' (1,565 m).The altitude increasing, now is the larch which takes over. The trail climbs gradually and reach the ravine of "Ajasson" that you cross into pastures and the hut of Cheval Blanc and his sheep Park. This hut is busy all summer by the shepherds of the Arnaud family. It carries out its herds for several generations.
You can quench your thirst at the source located at 400 m from the hut near a former nursery abandoned since the reforestation of the beginning of the century. After the hut, a wood installed by the NFB Panel will tell you the Summit. Do not look for the trail, only "drailles" sheep mark this lawn. From there, it remains two hours following the ridge to have stunning views of the beautiful valley of Tartonne, and that of the high Bléone at the forefront. Nothing can stop the gaze to the foothills of the Ventoux. This is the most beautiful view towards the South of the Valley. After a Summit break, still follow the ridge to the top of la Mulatière (2,283 m) northeast.Continue East to reach downward Paluet. The decline in Paluet (2,021 m), continue off-trail on the alpine Lawn by simply taking the bottom of the Valley which joins coast 1454 a train track that descends to the small valley of the Estelle. The descent to Château-Garnier is done throughout this torrent on a track very uncrowded.
Beautiful weather "Estelle" has always been the place of bathing of children in Château-Garnier, you can also for the more adventurous imitate them or simply enjoy its shady banks with beautiful Willow to make a restorative NAP. Others may be exercised to see very many trout that lurk throughout its course. The arrival is at the centre of the village and 10 minutes from the car.
•    To do less: climb the col de Seoune: make the 4.5 km between St. Thomas Chapel and Sandhu pass by car on the forest path. Follow 3.5 km walking track that leads to the Sevean larch forest. The trail winds through flat under the larch and reached the foot of Tournon. Follow the direction indicated by a wooden panel and get left on the rump. Passing by a small shack of shepherds in ruin continue until the peak of the mountain of Tournon (2,174 m). Follow the ridge line to the North. Cheval Blanc cabin is then below right. After an hour's walk will be there. The return can be done the same way for taking the car, or well, if you have two vehicles, down through the Valley of the Estelle, or by the forest of Fatima (see above).
•    Living otherwise: A touring skis, Cheval Blanc is a classic of the Valley. Duration: about 6 hours. FIX: good level of skiing. Vertical drop: 1,200 m. Security: good snow required. Risk of avalanches at the bottom of the ravine. Ride through the Valley of the Estelle until Favier ravine which should continue to the end (semi-boisee part). Then take to the top of the white horse by the ravine of Chaudette. Same view in summer with more contrast between the verdant Plains of the Durance and the surrounding covered vertices of a thick snowpack. Descent by the same route as the ascent. By good snow, one arrives on skis until the first houses of Château-Garnier, beautiful descent with a wooded part.
 

Saint-Pancrace - Digne
Digne
Bléone Valley - Digne
Digne
Provence

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