The Cinquante Anes Cave via the Lauzes Cabin

Lovely loop above Val-des-Prés providing a bird's eye view of the famous Clarée Valley.

Technical sheet No. 4098683

A Val-des-Prés walk posted on 14/04/16 by MPrice. Last update : 02/03/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h55[?]
Distance Distance : 9.09 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 800 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 803 m
Highest point Highest point : 1,912 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 1,401 m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Areas Areas : Alps , Cerces , Vallée de la Clarée , Dauphiné
Location Location : Val-des-Prés (05100)
Starting point Starting point : N 44.955791° / E 6.67719°
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Park in the car park on the way out of Val-des-Prés coming from Briançon.

(D/A) Cross the road and take the wide path opposite which begins in the woods, continue on until you reach a crossroads with a path where a sign on a tree indicates Dormillouse.

(1) Take the path on the left, which is a good path waymarked in Yellow, although the colour is quite pale. Climb rapidly via a succession of tight zigzags before crossing the Fournéous ravine.

(2) Carry on due north at an easier gradient, go into the forest and, after a 90° turn, you will reach the ruins of Lauze.

(3) Take the path again in a north-east direction, cross over the Lauze ravine, cross over and ignore the path for Dormillouse Pass on the right, and instead go downhill gently in a westerly direction. You will reach the Pinatelle ravine easily.

(4) In order to get over this ravine, you will need to make a slight detour to the right in order to re-join the path on the other slope. This section requires close attention because water, snow and avalanches in winter have destroyed the path. However, with care and attention, it's relatively easy to cross. Continue on downhill, going alongside a small picnic area (table). You will reach a crossroads which is indicated by only one cairn.

(5) Take the path on the right, the Yellow waymarking is quite faint. "This path is the one shown on the attached map, it does not appear on the IGN map." Go downhill a good distance until you reach the crossroads with the Cinquante Ânes cave.

(6) Turn right and undertake the large climb up to the cave.

(7) Go back down via the same route up to crossroads (6).

(6) Carry on straight opposite on the wide path (ignore the Yellow cross) and undertake a short climb until you reach the Yellow waymarked track.

(8) Turn right after you've read the sign for Val-de-Prés 40 minutes, meander through the woods until you end up on the roadside of the D994g to Névache.

(9) Ignore the road and head to the left on the parallel path which terminates at the car park (D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 1,407 m - Clarée (rivière)
1 : km 0.35 - alt. 1,432 m - Crossroads path
2 : km 1.21 - alt. 1,676 m - Pourchéous Ravine
3 : km 2.41 - alt. 1,912 m - Lauze Cabin
4 : km 3.93 - alt. 1,780 m - Pinatelle Ravine
5 : km 5.15 - alt. 1,578 m - Crossroads path cairn
6 : km 5.85 - alt. 1,491 m - Cinquante Ânes crossroads
7 : km 6.33 - alt. 1,619 m - Cinquante Ânes cave - Grotte des cinquante ânes
8 : km 7.05 - alt. 1,540 m - Sign for Val des Prés 40 mins
9 : km 7.99 - alt. 1,409 m - RD994g
D/A : km 9.09 - alt. 1,405 m

Useful Information

No water points on this circuit except that of the torrents.
Picnic table before the caves crossroads.
Standard equipment.
Note: this hike is classified as Difficult because the paths go over slopes, particularly between points (2) and (3) as well as between (4) and (5). It could be really quite difficult for people who are prone to vertigo. In addition, the section around Pinatelle ravine may be too much for unseasoned hikers.

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

Clarée Valley.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.