Vars: La Selle Ridge

La Selle 2405m

We got inspiration for this hike called Les Crêtes de la Selle from a hiking booklet purchased from the Var tourist office.

It was our 3rd hiking day in Vars. As on the day before, this hike started from the charming village of Ste-Catherine (10 minutes by car from les Claux, the main resort in the Vars Valley). We used the same parking in front of the school (parking des écoles).

La Selle (2405 m) is actually a point on the ridge called Les crêtes de la Selle, and also the highest point of this loop trail.

We soon saw that this trail was much less frequented than the two previous itineraries. We hiked along a dirt road south-southeast till we crossed a bridge (Pont de la Salce) over the Chagnon Torrent, then continued along a good trail in the woods named Bois de Laver. There were yellow markings. Once over the tree line, we continued in the same general direction having the summit of Paneyron in front of us, and Peynier with its mast on the right-hand side. The landscape consisted of vast alpine meadows, with lot of animal-made paths.

Eventually we reached Cabane du Vallon, and a big flock of cattle nearby. At the hut, we turned 180° following the trail that still climbed towards the ridge. The markings were perhaps a bit unclear (and some markings had been toppled, the cows perhaps!) as we took the wrong trail. We soon saw the signpost at La Selle (pictured), hiked there, and could start our descent to the Chagnon Torrent Valley. Once there, we followed the torrent and descended back to the dirt road that we had used in the morning.

We didn’t see any other hikers (or herders) up on the ridge. Only on the way down, there was a couple enjoying their picnic by the torrent.
This was another almost clear day, and we could again enjoy the views to Les Ecrins in the north, La Mortice and Point Jean Rostand in the east.

Duration: 5 h

Climb: 660 m
La Selle hiking trail

Distance: 14,5 km

Map: IGN 3537 ET Guillestre, Vars, Risoul


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