4 hiking ideas around Loudenvielle and Saint-Lary Soulan

Loudenvielle
4 hiking ideas around ...

Do you like the Pyrenees ? The best way to get closer to its peaks snow-capped peaks, its emerald lake and its fauna and flora picturesque, it's feet to go. Here are 4 hiking ideas , accompanied by sumptuous photos and well-informed advice , to allow you to enjoy the Pyrenees in peace, with family or friends . don't forget the sunscreen , the hiking boots , the picnic and let's go !

La Soula and Caillauas lake, a sporty hike

During your stay in the pretty valley of Louron , and after having visited the magnificent village of Loudenvielle and its postcard lake, you can extend your route in the upper valley, to the Pont de Prat , located at an altitude of approximately 1200m .

Once parked near the hydroelectric power station , you take the stony path on the right leading to the first slopes of Soula .

Loudenvielle hike

The start of the hike

The c of Loudenvieille
The magnificent lake of Loudenvielle

This hike is done in 3 stages:

  • The initial ascent full of charm by a winding path in the heart of a magnificent Pyrenean forest .
  • A second part of the path in the heart of the Clarabide gorges , easy but more spectacular, takes you to the Soula refuge at the bottom of the valley.
  • A third part, from the Soula refuge, much more sporty and in a high mountain setting , allows you to climb the last 500 meters of vertical drop to the sumptuous Caillauas lake !

Duration: About 1h30 to the Soula refuge. + 1h30 to Caillauas lake.

Elevation: About 400m to the refuge. + 500m from the Soula refuge to Lac de Caillauas.

The good plan:

Leave early in the morning so as not to suffer too much from the heat on the steep and shadowless slopes leading you to Caillauas.

Book your lunch at the Soula refuge during your first visit to the ascent, in order to enjoy a very pleasant gourmet break on the way down! Ask for Dédé at the refuge!

Pine forests Clarabid

Beginning of the hike, through a forest, then the Clarabide gorges

Soula Refuge
Arrival at the Soula refuge
Caillauas lake
A last effort to reach the sumptuous Lac de Caillauas
Soula Refuge Soula Refuge Soula Refuge
An effort that well deserves gourmet comfort at Refuge de la Soula!

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Lake Oô and Lake Espingo, When one lake hides another!

The hike to the famous Lake Oô is a classic of its kind, to be done with good shoes and a camera to bring back a souvenir of this majestic natural spectacle.

  • Once your vehicle is parked at the Granges d'Astau (large car park at your disposal), you begin the gentle ascent towards Lake Oô, along a magnificent valley.
  • The slope becomes steeper from the first switchbacks, but remains within the reach of any healthy person!

The ascent is mainly done in the shade and the arrival at the lake offers you a magnificent spectacle, the waterfall in the background adds a spectacular aspect to this typical view of the Pyrenees .

Towards Lake OO Towards Lake OO

Walk along the valley with its conifers and its panorama

Lake OO
Lake Oô and its spectacular waterfall!

If you wish to extend your hike to Lake Espingo , which is located one floor above Lake Oô (but what level!), You must take, just before arriving at Lake Oô, the path that goes up to the left of the lake.

  • The first part of this second ascent to Espingo Lake is magnificent because it offers you permanent viewing angles on Oô, while getting closer to the waterfall. You will also find one or two other pretty little waterfalls during the climb.
  • The second part, steeper and stony, takes you to the Espingo pass at an altitude of around 2000m and opens up to you, after a last substantial effort, a breathtaking panorama (which is already a bit) of the lake. from Espingo. The lake is nestled in a magnificent circus where a few wild horses give the landscape even more beauty.

Then all you have to do is descend quietly in the middle of the pastures to reach the lake and enjoy a well-deserved rest!

The Espingo
The breathtaking Espingo Lake
Wild horses
With any luck you will see wild horses

Duration: About 1 hour to Lake Oô. + 1h15 to 1h30 depending on your form for Lake Espingo.

Elevation: About 350m to Oô. + 400M to Espingo.

The good plan:

Depending on the time of departure, you can have lunch at the Lac d'Oô refuge or also at the Espingo refuge . Please note that these establishments do not accept credit cards , provide cash.

Cooling off your face in summer in one of the many waterfalls along the route, in strong heat, it's very pleasant.

Warning: Avoid flip-flops (and yes we have seen them!) And slick shoes, in the mountains, the fall is quick! Remember to protect yourself from the sun, whose UV rays are powerful at altitude! Do not forget either the insect barriers , the bites of horseflies (large mountain flies) are very unpleasant.

The regufe

The Lac d'Oô refuge

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The Tramezaigues valley and the Hospice de Rioumajou

Here is now a peaceful and family hike in a "postcard" valley! Leaving Saint-Lary Soulan, take the direction of the Bielsa tunnel , then after about 5km, turn left towards the village of Tramezaigues . After an ascent by car of about 8 km, you reach a shaded car park at the edge of the torrent, which is the starting point for many hikes in the magnificent Rioumajou valley .

Today's hike leads us peacefully to the Hospice de Rioumajou , along a superb torrent , in a truly postcard setting!

The ascent is gentle , the path wide, so much so that a few vehicles sometimes come to take us out of our contemplative state!

  • After a short hour of hiking, the path widens and opens up to a vast cirque made of pastures and peaks in the distance around 3000m!
  • A break is possible at the hospice , for a drink , a snack or a lunch , even if we found the prices a little prohibitive, we are used to better in this kind of places!

Rioumajou


Rioumajou hike Rioumajou hike
Rioumajou hike Rioumajou hike

Rioumajou hike


Duration: About 1 hour to the Hospice de Rioumajou.

Elevation: About 200m

The good plan: Remember to book your lunch at the Hospice before the walk, otherwise it will be difficult for you to take a meal break once you arrive.

Instead, opt for a picnic basket (or backpack) by the river!

Warning: The Tramezaigues road leading you to the hike parking lot is quite steep and the crossing of vehicles is sometimes difficult. Be careful !

The Lakes of Orédon, Cap de Long and Aumar, the lakes route!

Going on the road to these high mountain lakes is for me a must in the region. Leaving Saint-Lary towards Spain, you take the D118 and, before Aragnouet , you turn right on the D929. The road which then winds through a deep wooded valley is magnificent. It is the starting point for several hikes in the magnificent Néouvielle Massif .

At the bottom of the valley, the ascent becomes more spectacular when you take the pretty and picturesque bends of the Edelweiss , which mark the arrival at Lake Orédon .

Edelweiss laces


Two possibilities are then available to you, either you descend by car to the large parking lot in Orédon , the starting point, again, for many hikes , or even a magnificent picnic place, or you continue your ascent by car to the spectacular dam and lake of Cap de Long , nestled in the hollow of the Néouvielle massif, the peak of which rises to 3091m.

Lake Cap de Long is out of the ordinary in all respects, it is the largest water reservoir in the Pyrenees and the most imposing dam, at the top of its 101m!

Cap de Long


As for the road leading from Lake Orédon to the lakes of Aumar and Aubert , located at an altitude of nearly 2200m, the latter is now closed to traffic for much of the day in summer (from 9:30 am to 6 pm), which is a great good for nature.

You can take the hiking trails that lead to the discovery of these high altitude lakes. Here, the routes abound. One of our favorites is the “Orédon, Aubert, Aumar” loop , 3 hours round trip and a positive elevation of around 350m which will allow you to appreciate these three magnificent lakes!

The good plan: The picnic on the shores of Lake Orédon and the purchase of cheese at the ephemeral shop on the lake. Be careful, there too, no credit card!


Lake Orédon

La Oredon Lake Oredon

Lake Oredon

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For further

Some links to organize your Pyrenean hikes:

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Article and photos prepared by Frédéric Larzinière for the Toulouse Pyrénées Guide



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