From Villar-Loubière to La-Chapelle-en-Valgaudemar
The climb to the Souffles mountain refuge is made by a footpath worthy of an alpine garden with its flowers and butterflies. If you are lucky, you will hear the black grouse before you arrive at the refuge, where you will be able to watch vultures flying above the Lautier lake. In any case, you have every chance of seeing a chamois on your way to the Colombe pass.
Sheep on the mountain pasture
Variety of the natural environment
Variety of plant life
Souffles mountain refuge
Alpine newt and ponds
Large birds of prey
Since the end of the ice age, water has carved the rock and the passage of materials has created a small gorge polishing the base rock (gneiss, micaschists). The National Park has taken on the challenge of building a wooden walkway for walkers to cross this gorge.
Over a change in altitude of a hundred metres there is a covering of heather which provides pollen for the bees and purple colour in Autumn, A small persistent shrub with tiny leaves and little pink flowers, it is called Common Heather or False Heather.
At the beginning of the path, is a big waterfall that you can approach on a narrow footpath just before climbing the coast. Situated on Combefroide torrent at a rocky escarpment, this waterfall has several projections and presents a total drop of several dozen metres.
From the Villard Loubière car park, head up to the village by following the signs for Souffles mountain refuge on the GR54. The footpath progresses through the shingle and moors and into a narrow valley. As you get closer to the refuge, beech trees appear, then larch trees line the way up to the Souffles mountain refuge that is at an altitude of 1968 m. Leave the GR route and take the footpath behind the refuge towards the Lautier lake. Crossing the Clochettes pass will lead you to the Lautier valley. Do not take the path that goes down into the valley but continue towards the lake, which will soon be visible. Then head to the nearby Colombes pass, which is at an altitude of 2427 m (from where it is possible head off up to the Turbat Peak, 3028 m, by an off-trail itinerary). Start the long descent towards La Chapelle en Valgaudemar. Leave the path on the left that goes to the Pas de l'Olan and the refuge of the same name, and continue the descent via Le Clot until you reach La Chapelle en Valgaudemar at an altitude of 1100 m.
If you are driving, you will need to organise a shuttle, leaving a vehicle at the starting point, which is the Olan refuge car park just after the village of La Chapelle en Valgaudemar. You can also use the Conseil Général's shuttle service. For information call 04 92 502 505.
Valgaudemar Park house
Ancien Asile Saint-Paul, 05800 La Chapelle-en-Valgaudemar
04 92 55 25 19
Information, documentation and a reception area with permanent and temporary exhibitions. La Maison du Parc is labeled "Tourism and Disability". Free admission. All animations of the Park are free unless otherwise stated.
Conseil Général shuttle from St Firmin. Connection with buses coming from Gap or Grenoble.
Access and parking
From the N85 take the D985 that goes to the Valegaudemar valley up to Villard Loubière.
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