ONF-Retrouvance trek: from Haut-Verdon to Mercantour
Duration : 6 days
France, Southern Alps
Level : intermediate
from 720 € / p. from 5 to 12 personsInfos & Booking
During this all-inclusive hiking trip, between Alpes-Maritimes and Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, you will be in total total immersion in a world conducive to healing and you will wlak on the trails of Haut-Verdon, val d'Entraunes and Mercantour.
You will evolve in the heart of the Mercantour National Park, one of the most famous in France for the beauty of the landscapes and its incredible biodiversity. Forests of oaks, pines and larches, plants of saxifrage and orchids, deer, wild boars, deer, chamois, but also bearded vulture, golden eagle, black grouse, ptarmigan...
The variety and the beauty of the landscapes, the mountain atmosphere, the silence of the large spaces crossed are exceptional. You will also appreciate the very good level of comfort of the four isolated forest relays in the mountains, between 1704 and 2050 meters above sea level. Renovated with taste in the mountain tradition, they are exclusively reserved for the group of hikers of the Retrouvance® Haut Verdon-Val d'Entraunes circuit.
D1: Thorame-Haute - Peyresq.
500m of positive elevation gain, 2h30 to 3h walk.
Appointment at 3pm at Thorame-Haute station where I will be there to welcome you. Baggage will be placed in the waiting room before the departure of the Pignes train, at 3.36 pm, which will take the group to the Peyresq halt. Access to the village of Peyresq by the valley of the Vaïre (2h30 to 3h walk) or in case of disruption on the train line, by Colle Saint-Michel (3 to 4 hours walk) from Thorame-Haute station. Curiosity: the village of Peyresq, Belgian cultural center in the high country of Provence.
Dinner and overnight in the village of Peyresq (1525m): dormitories or rooms according to availability.
A true eagle's nest isolated from the world in a sunny mountain cirque, this village like many others would have succumbed to the rural exodus without the intervention of Belgian associations and heirs of ancient Peyrescane families. Since 1954, they have been safeguarding together a heritage left by the peasant civilization of the elders of the alpine mountain.
D2: Peyresq - Congerman.
700m of positive elevation gain, 6 hours of walking.
Peyresq, the Courradour, the Pasquier huts, the Orgeas pass, the Congerman hut. Curiosity: large areas dedicated to transhumance, pastoral huts, the possible meeting with a shepherd who will share his daily life. Dinner and overnight at the Retrouvance® lodge in Congerman (1867m) isolated in a lush larch tree, upstream from the Saint-Pierre gorges: 4 bedrooms for 3 people, 1 dining room and a lounge area and shared toilets. Built at the end of the 19th century, this building was used as accommodation for the planters' teams during the major reforestation work on mountain sites. On the benches below were installed the nurseries.
D3: Congerman - Fruchière.
700m of positive elevation gain, 6 hours of walking.
Congerman lodge, Pisse-en-l'Air bar, Detroit pass, Lignin lakes, Mouriès hut, La Lance waterfalls, O.N.F Fruchière cottage. On arrival: refreshing swim in the basins of the Lance. Curiosity: the decline (or pass) of Detroit at 2472m above sea level, the lunar landscape of the lakes of Lignin, the remarkable glacial valley of the Lance and its pot of giant.
Dinner and overnight at La Fruchière retrouvance® lodge (1704m): 3 bedrooms for 4 people, 1 dining room, terrace and shared toilets. This renovated sheepfold, in the middle of pastures and near the torrent of Lance, offers terrace in the sun overlooking steep mountains.
D4: Fruchière - Couesto.
750m of positive elevation gain, 6 hours of walking.
Fruchière ONF lodge, Ratery, cabane vieille, col des Champs, ONF lodging of Couesto. Curiosity: the national forest of Haut-Verdon planted in the 19th century to fight against erosion, black marl landscapes of the col des champs.
Dinner and overnight at Retrouvance® Couesto lodge (2050m): 1 room for 4 people, 2 rooms for 3 people, 2 beds on landing, 1 dining room and common toilets. From this former guardhouse, the panorama unfolds in the background the Aiguilles de Pelens, so changing at dusk as at dawn.
D5: Couesto - Garrets.
800m of positive elevation gain, 6 hours of walking.
From the ONF Couesto lodge to the ONF Garrets lodge, several options:
- Through the balconies in the heart of the park, the Lausson Glacier Lake nestled at 2327m above sea level.
- Entraunes and its valley skirting the Var, the waterfall of Aiglière.
Curiosity: the panoramic views of the high valley of the Var, the chamois herds of the Mercantour National Park, LaussonLake.
Dinner and overnight at Garrets Retrouvance® lodge (2050 m): 1 room for 4 people, 2 rooms for 3 people, 2 beds on landing, 1 dining room and common toilets. Former forest house of the early twentieth century, this cottage was also a rear base of major reforestation projects. Isolated in the central area of Mercantour and inaccessible by car, it is in this place that you spend the last night in the forest before climbing the highest point of the trek and return gently to civilization and asphalt.
D6: Garrets - Thorame.
600m of positive elevation gain, 4 hours of walking.
Garrets ONF lodge, Cayolle Pass, Allos Lake, Colmars-les-Alpes. Curiosity: passage of the pass of the petite Cayolle highest point of the trek at 2639m, discovery of the altitude lakes Garrets and small Cayolle. Descent to the largest lake in Europe, the prestigiousAllos Lake. Return.
Shuttle from Laus car park to Thorame-Haute station, scheduled arrival around 3pm then return to civilization.
The price includes
- Supervision by the mountain leader.
- Logistics: baggage transfer, opening and closing of lodges, meal management.
- Meals and drinks.
- Train and shuttle transfers (1st and last day).
The price does not include
- Transport to and from the departure point.
- Extra drinks.
- Personal expenses.
- First night in a lodge in Peresque.
- Other nights in lodges, espacially reserved for the group.
No scheduled departure, but you can contact me to book your dates.Infos & Booking