Sainte-Victoire: the Pic des Mouches with a return via the Pas du Clapier

An energetic loop in Sainte-Victoire leaving from the Saint-Ser car park. The climb up goes via the east of the Bau de l'Aigle and the descent back down is via the 'Pas du Clapier'.

Technical sheet No. 4098823

A Puyloubier walk posted on 14/03/16 by MPrice. Last update : 07/10/19
Calculated time Calculated time: 6h10 ?
Distance Distance : 11.50 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 1,015 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 1,011 m
Highest point Highest point : 1,005 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 402 m
Very difficult Difficulty : Very difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Sainte-Victoire (Massif)
Location Location : Puyloubier (13114)
Starting point Starting point : N 43.527997° / E 5.643346°
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Park your vehicle at the Saint-Ser car park situated on the D17 between Saint-Antonin-sur-Bayon and Puyloubier.

Red Waymarking

(D/A) On leaving the Saint-Ser car park, go straight ahead on the path, which is well waymarked in Red, heading towards the Saint-Ser Chapel. After about 500 metres, you will meet a path waymarked in Green which heads off on the right.

Green Waymarking

(1) Follow this path which is no very longer well waymarked. No entry to this path was allowed for a time following landslides so a bit of caution is still required.
The path will climb for about 2km towards the ridges over a lot of scree in order to reach the ridge at Garagaï de Cagoloup where it meets the GR9.

GR Waymarking Red & White

(2) Once you've arrived at the ridge, take the GR to the left and follow it. After 500m, the GR passes by the Pic des Mouches (the highest point of the Sainte-Victoire massif) and its orientation table.

(3) Continue on the GR and go along the ridges for about 4km until you reach the path to the Pas du Clapier. The start of the path is not very visible - it is located between two cairns at the cliff edge. (see photo)

Green Waymarking

(4) Take the path on the left - it is still not very well waymarked, but the general direction is clear enough.
"Descending the Pas du Clapier is quite challenging, in just under one kilometre you will reach the path which goes along the bottom of the cliffs"

Brown Waymarking

(5) Once at the bottom, take the path on the left which goes along the foot of the cliffs - this path is not really very difficult - before climbing up towards the Baudino refuge.

(6) Go around the building and cross the rocky scree to continue on the path. Go gently downhill for about 2km towards the Saint-Ser Chapel.
You will reach an intersection just before the Saint Ser Chapel (the Brown path comes to an end), take the Red path on the right (opposite you will see the start of the path leading to the Saint-Ser Chapel).

Red Waymarking

(7) Go down this path for about one kilometre until you reach the crossroads again (1), then take the same path as the outward leg to return to the Saint-Ser car park (D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 403 m
1 : km 0.46 - alt. 473 m - Crossroads AR
2 : km 2.11 - alt. 953 m - Garagaï de Cagoloup
3 : km 2.5 - alt. 990 m - Pic des Mouches
4 : km 6.44 - alt. 957 m - Ridge towards the Clapie Pass
5 : km 6.87 - alt. 751 m - Pas du Clapie
6 : km 8.5 - alt. 777 m - Baudino Refuge - Refuge Barthélémy Baudino
7 : km 10.3 - alt. 612 m - Ermitage Crossroads - Ermitage Saint-Ser
D/A : km 11.5 - alt. 402 m

Useful Information

Very difficult hike with high sections, and climbing up and down steep scree slopes.

"Attention", from 1 June to 30 September, access to the massif may be controlled. For further information, please visit:

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

(7) The Saint Ser Chapel
The Saint-Ser Chapel, dedicated to a hermit, stands a few hundred metres from the intersection. Many edifices have been built on this site since the 11th century.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 5/5
Number of opinions : 1
Clarity of route description : 5/5
Clarity of route map : 5/5
Walk interest : 5/5

on Tue 16 Mar 2021 07:19:38 EDT

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 15/03/21
Clarity of route description : ★★★★★ Very good
Clarity of route map : ★★★★★ Very good
Walk interest : ★★★★★ Very good

The route is pretty tough, climbing with hands mandatory 20 % of the route, but it's safe: rock quality rather good and markers well placed, though you have to search for some of them. The view is superb, this route will be one of my favorite.

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