La Balade de Monsieur - Gentleman's Trail (trail route no. 2)

La Balade de Monsieur - Gentleman's Trail (trail route no. 2)

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An ideal loop to try your hand at trail running along the Biaysse as you take to the heights above Freissinières valley.

With the Biaysse river and larch woods as the backdrop to your walk and with dippers as your companions along the way, the &ldquoLa Balade de Monsieur” takes you into the heart of the Freissinières valley. So this route is the perfect introduction to this plain! 


From the Valley Centre ("Maison de la Vallée") go down into the meadow and cross the Biaysse. Follow the track along the right-hand bank of the river which runs past the adventure park ("Parc d'Aventure").

  1. Cross back over the Biaysse and turn right onto the road. 100 metres further on, fork left towards the hamlet of “Le Plan” and go through the hamlet. 
  2. Take the track which runs uphill to the right and continue on this path which runs across some screes.
  3. Take the path on the right which leads back down to the D38.
  4. At the intersection with the D38, turn right and after 70 metres go left to cross the bridge. After this bridge, head left and carry on along this path which runs along the edge of a campsite, the Camping des Allouviers. 
  5. Turn right. Carry on along the path which eventually runs alongside the Biaysse and past the Adventure Park again. This brings you back to the Valley Centre ("Maison de la Vallée"). 
  • Departure : Valley Centre ("Maison de la Vallée"), Freissinières
  • Arrival : Valley Centre ("Maison de la Vallée"), Freissinières
  • Towns crossed : Freissinières

7 points of interest

  • Flora

    The common barberry

    The common barberry is a bush with long thorns arranged in threes, and with oval serrated leaves. In spring, it produces clusters of yellow flowers, which later develop into red, oval and elongated berries. These tart fruits are edible and can be made into jellies... if you have the patience to gather them! This shrub grows almost everywhere.

  • History

    The Freissinières valley

    The valley was created as the result of glacial overdeepening, that is to say, when the glacier came to a halt against the Pallon hard rock bar, it created a depression. When the glaciers retreated, a lake was left behind this rock bar and was gradually filled up by alluvial deposits. From a historical point of view, the Protestant pastor Félix Neff fundamentally altered life in the valley in 1826 by founding a training college for primary school teachers, developing irrigation processes and teaching new crop growing methods, among other things…

  • Flora

    The petasites hybridus or butterbur

    The ditches on the Freissinières plain are edged by a plant with very broad leaves: the petasites hybridus or butterbur, also called the devil's hat in French. In Ancient Greek, the petasos was a round felt hat. Nobody knows whether the devil wears this hat, but the plant is certainly used as a herbal remedy. Very common in the lowlands, it is quite rare in the Pays des Écrins although other species of petasites do grow at higher altitude.   

  • Fauna

    The black pine

    The black pine did not arrive here of its own accord. It was introduced by the National Forestry Agency and was planted to stabilise eroded mountain areas. It can be identified by its long needles which are grouped in pairs and by its large cones. 

  • Fauna

    The southern water vole

    Flattened paths through the reeds, and holes 6 to 7 cm in diameter... the southern water vole has been here! This large rodent with dark brown fur on its back digs its burrow in the banks of the stream. This species, which lives close to water, causes no damage to crops. Not a prolific breeder, its numbers are low and it is threatened with extinction. 

  • Flora

    The European silver fir

    The fir thrives on this north-exposed slope, called the ubac. Its needles have two white stripes on their undersides. They are arranged on either side of the boughs, and not all the way around them, which distinguishes it from the spruce. The elongated cones stand upright, rather than hanging downwards. They grow in large number, often mingling with larch trees under whose shade they can grow. By contrast, the larch - the "tree of light" - cannot grow under the cover of fir trees.

  • Flora

    The creeping lady’s-tress

    This inconspicuous little orchid grows on moss, in the undergrowth of the pine forest. Growing at the base of the stem, its leaves are oval and pointed, with a network of veins. The upright stem only bears a few scales. Covered in a fine down, the white flowers are arranged in the form of a spiral spike, facing the same way. A little gem that is worth keeping an eye out for!


Altimetric profile


Before setting off, it is very important to check the opening periods for this route on the website:

Share your photographs on social networks with #stationdetrailecrins

Check weather conditions before setting off.

Rescue services contact details: Secours Montagne (Mountain Rescue): +33 (0)4 92 22 22 22 or 112 

Show consideration for the work of farmers, livestock keepers and owners

Close all gates behind you

Take your litter home

Do not take shortcuts across pastureland

The trail routes are also suitable for walking

Information desks

Vallouise Park house

, 05290 Vallouise 92 23 58 08

Information, documentation, models, exhibitions, screenings, product sales and works of the Park. Guided tours for school, reservation required. The new Park House opened in Vallouise since June 1, and offers visitors an interactive permanent exhibition inviting to explore the area and its heritage. A temporary exhibition space will allow a renewed offer. Finally, the device is completed by an audiovisual room to organize screenings and conferences Free admission. All animations of the Park are free unless otherwise stated.

Find out more

23 Avenue de la République, 05120 L'Argentière-La Bessée 92 23 03 11

Access and parking

11.5 km from L'Argentière-La Bessée, take the N94 and the D38.

More information


Report a problem or an error

If you have found an error on this page or if you have noticed any problems during your hike, please report them to us here:

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