Les Claux circuit (no. 4)

Les Claux circuit (no. 4)

History and architecture
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An easy circuit along narrow roads and forest tracks, starting from the family resort of Pelvoux-Vallouise.
This easy route leads to the river Gyr, fed by glaciers, running alongside the snow front of the ski resort. You will climb up the right-hand bank of this water course to the gorges of the Gyr. Provided with a via ferrata, this rocky outcrop also looks over the museum of the Les Claux hydroelectric power station.


The trail starts at the car park at the Pelvoux-Vallouise resort, heading left towards the snow front

  1. Follow the narrow road due south; it runs through the bottom of the ski station to the holiday resort
  2. Where the road turns into a forest track, carry on along this track which leads downhill to the river
  3. At the bridge, stay on the right-hand bank and follow the river along the track leading due north
  4. When you get back to the narrow road, continue straight on until you reach the starting point and then carry on, continuing to follow the right-hand bank of the Gyr
  5. Before the bridge, turn left and then right and join the path with leads to the road and the gorges of the Gyr
  6. After the tunnel, turn back on yourself and follow the same route back to your starting point
  • Departure : Pelvoux-Vallouise resort
  • Arrival : Pelvoux-Vallouise resort
  • Towns crossed : Vallouise-Pelvoux

5 points of interest

  • Water

    The Gyr

    Humans are decidedly bizarre animals: they build, knock down and start again. To protect the new infrastructures of Pelvoux, the Gyr was dammed. But, not able to flow as it did before, it deepened its bed, thus placing the foundations in danger of damage. And so works were carried out to widen its bed, allowing it to flow more naturally. This is also more favourable for biodiversity, as well as protecting the developed urban areas.
  • Flora

    The grey alder

    In the valleys of the Alps and the Jura, the grey alder often grows in place of the black alder, present in many parts of France. Like its cousin, it grows on riversides and plays an important role in stabilising the banks. If it is cut down, its wood is bright orange in colour. But why cut it down?
  • Flora

    Cool meadow

    The track passes through a meadow area, which is categorised as "cool" because of the ground water content there. A botanist quickly recognises this type of meadow through its range of plant life and, in particular, the presence of bistort, a bottle brush-shaped plant bearing a dense spike of tiny pink flowers at the top of its stem. It is also called langue de boeuf ("ox tongue" in English) because of the shape of its leaves.
  • Vernacular heritage

    The ski resort of Pelvoux-Vallouise

    The route first leads through the small ski resort of Pelvoux-Vallouise, built in 1982. Very family-focused, in winter it's the ideal place for young children to learn to ski, with small lifts lower down, while their big brothers and sisters can ski higher up.
  • Flora

    Silver spike grass

    A grass grows in large clumps on the embankment: silver spike grass. It is adapted to stony, dry and sunny ground. Its inflorescences reflecting silvery-gold glints create a beautiful effect, but they are particularly noticeable in the late summer, when it forms large shimmering bouquets in the evening sunlight.


Altimetric profile


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

Take your litter home

Do not take shortcuts across pastureland

Information desks

Vallouise Park house

, 05290 Vallouise

http://www.ecrins-parcnational.fr/vallouise@ecrins-parcnational.fr04 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


Public transport >> www.pacamobilite.fr
Consider car-sharing >> www.blablacar.fr

For more information, ask at the Tourist Information Office nearest to the trail starting point >> www.paysdesecrins.com

Access and parking

12.5 km from L'Argentière-la-Bessée, take the D994E.

Parking :

Pelvoux-Vallouise resort car park, Pelvoux

More information


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