Rando Guillestrois

Les Crêtes de Catinat

5 h 30
Duration
Very difficult
Very difficult
45 km
Total Length
2358 m
Ascent
-2357 m
Descent
Uses
  • Mountain bike

Departure : Aérodrome de Saint Crépin → Arrival : Aérodrome de Saint Crépin

The longest, and the most difficult day-long circuit! You will need to carry your bike on certain sections - only for the most experienced riders!

 From Saint-Crépin aerodrome, cross the bridge and continue straight on up to the railway track. Take the path to the right under the main road. When you reach the crossing, turn right, then at the first junction, turn left and continue straight on up a fairly steep section. At the junction turn right and follow the road. Before "Villaron Haut" turn right as far as Les Combes. In the hamlet, climb up to the left and link up to the tarmacked road and continue the climb as far as Le Villard. From here, follow the forestry track upwards towards Moussière. The first kilometres leading to this hamlet are quite steep (500 m incline)! After passing Moussière, the path is not as steep and heads into the woods. Go past the Lauzet hut and a few bends further on you will come to the Lauzet Lake. After a short break to contemplate the view, go straight on, downhill, towards the Valette hut. In the hairpin bend to the right before the hut, leave the trail, follow the livestock trails to the left over a small pass, and link up with the GR541, which you will follow down to the hamlet of Gros. This is a very difficult section: sheer pathway. Before the hamlet, take the path to the left that heads down towards La Maison du Roy. It may be necessary to carry your bike on certain tricky sections. When you arrive at the main road, cross the bridge over the Guil River, after the junction with the Ceillac road, turn left, and follow the old recently tarmacked Queyras road. Continue until you reach Guillestre. Before the housing estates, turn right, cross back over the main road under the Port'eau and follow the trail to the left that skirts the Sugarloaf. Follow the path along the cliffs and when you reach the Simoust road, follow it downhill. Cross the Simoust bridge over the Guil and take the trail to the left along the right bank of the Guil. Below the fortified site of Mont-Dauphin, follow the Guil along the dyke, go under the main road bridge, cross the railroad at the level crossing and go through the Eygliers leisure park. The itinerary then follows the bank of the Durance up to the start point in Saint-Crépin.

Transport

Transport : Regular Line Gap - Briançon / Access Road

Access

Aerodrome of Saint-Crépin

Clic for map interaction

On the way...
Geology
Rue des masques

Cette étrange faille est due à l’effondrement partiel de la falaise de « pouding ». Cet évènement dût se produire au Moyen-Age, cela frappa l’imagination de la population. Pendant des siècles, les bergers racontèrent que des géants monstrueux et des nains turbulents faisaient des apparitions dans ces lieux. Dès lors, les voyageurs cessèrent de passer par ce chemin une fois la nuit tombée. Il est intéressant de préciser que le nom de rue des « Masques » vient du provençal « Masco » qui désigne précisément des sorciers qui jouent aux boules avec les rochers.

Geology
Pain de sucre

Ce cône calcaire, vestige de la dernière ère glaciaire est idéalement situé pour permettre une lecture de paysage du Guillestrois tant sur le plan géologique que botanique. Un panneau du Centre Briançonnais de Géologie Alpine vous apporte de nombreuses informations. Quant à son nom, Pain de sucre viendrait d'une évolution dans le temps de : Gramison, Grandes maisons, pain de Suc (lo sucas=grosse tête, patois) puis Pain de sucre !

water
Canal Salva

Ce "pont" que vous voyer enjamber la route du Queyras est un canal. il s'agit du canal Salva, construit par l'ingénieur du même nom en 1872. Ce canal prend l'eau dans le torrent du Cristillan à Ceillac à 1300m d'altitude. il chemine sur plus de 6km jusqu’à Guillestre où l'eau sert encore à l'irrigation des cultures, notamment sur le plateau du Simoust.

water
Font d'Eygliers water fountain

The many water fountains in the village remind us that "Font" means “source” which is where the name “Font Eygliers” comes from. Note the “naïs” near the water fountain: stone basins that are filled with water for retting hemp. Retting is soaking the hemp in water to allow the fibers to separate from the stem.

fortification
Lunette d'arçon

In 1700 Vauban had already recommended the construction of three advanced defensive elements. The first half-moon was built between 1728 and 1731, but the other two were never constructed. The building was then modified following orders from General Arçon in 1792 with the addition of a tower connected to the main fort by an underground tunnel.

rural
Winery 1

Walking down the Rue de l’Archevêché both old entrance gates can be seen, you will notice many beautifully carved stones some depicting vines, grapes and leaves and also homes that formerly served as wineries like this one. The winery housed the wine press, the tank, barrels and utensils necessary for growing grapes and making wine. Most were built in the 16th and 17th centuries. They are privately owned and not open to visitors.

rural
Farm 1 La Font d'Eygliers

Farm with a winery, typical of permanent rural dwellings in mountain villages with a central water fountain. The hamlet of La Font consisted mainly of wineries that were kept busy because Eygliers has the sunniest slopes of the area, ideal for vineyards.

rural
Hameau des Guions

Le hameau des Guions, situé à environ 1300m d'altitude, est très ancien. 7 familles y vivent en 1763. A partir de 1900, la population décroît. En 1945, il n'y a plus d'habitants. Le hameau est restauré à partir de 1959 et les habitations sont aujourd'hui louées. Autour du hameau, on peut encore voir les champs en terrasse, autrefois irrigués par deux canaux.

rural
The Font d'Eygliers communal oven

The oven is in a stone building covered with larch shingles. The communal oven was as much a focal point of village life as the water fountain. Water and bread: the basic daily frugal diet at the turn of the century. Bread was baked to last for several days or even weeks. Nothing like our modern baguette ...

religious
Saint-Antoine Church

This simple Romanesque church is the parish church for the inhabitants of Mont Dauphin fortress. A beautiful porch enhances its simple facade, with pink marble columns and smoothed flagstone floors. Look out for the two animal heads carved on one of the doors and inside, rare 16th century paintings discovered in 1968.

religious
Chapel of St. Guillaume

The chapel of St. Guillaume is closed to the public but it is the Legend of St Guillaume that is of most interest. For centuries, the miraculous hand of Saint Guillaume has been the object of pilgrimages and prayers, so on the only day of the year that the chapel is open - Easter Monday - do not miss the procession that brings the hand of St. Guillaume in a casket to the chapel. The local tradition is then to tap hard-boiled eggs, whoever’s egg cracks first has to buy the next round!

religious
Sainte-Marie-Madeleine Chapel

This is a small chapel surrounded by houses in the hamlet of La Font d'Eygliers. Manuscripts dating from the 17th century tell the story of a baby who was abandoned on the steps of the chapel but who was then rescued. During the 1994 renovation of the chapel scenes from the life of St. Madeleine were painted on the walls.

Altitude profile

Altitude (m)

Min : 883 m - Max : 2223 m

Distance (m)