Alta Via dei Re, stage 7: from Refuge Pagarì to San Giacomo d'Entracque

7. Alta Via dei Re, stage 7: from Refuge Pagarì to San Giacomo d'Entracque

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From the highest refuge in the Maritime Alps, a long descent with endless hairpin bends leads to the Pra del Rasur plain. Here a easy dirt road leads to San Giacomo di Entracque.
Although the first part of the descent takes you through a wild setting, among 3000 metre peaks, both this stage, and the entire trek, end in a cool wood, with the spectacular monumental beeches at the former Royal Hunting Lodges, near San Giacomo.

3 points of interest

  • Geology

    The Pra del Rasur

    The ample meadow of the Pra del Rasur was formed towards the end of the last Ice Age, when rockslides from both sides of the valley blocked the course of the torrent. The detritus carried by the torrent itself, still quite impetuous today, gradually filled up the basin that was formed, thus creating the flat area.
  • Fauna

    The tawny owl

    Among nocturnal birds of prey, the owl plays an important role, both from an ecological point of view and in the human imagination. It is in fact one of the most widespread species and therefore responsible for controlling the populations of rodents in wooded areas. For our part, often confused with the owl due to its shrill calls, it has a typical song that anyone recognizes: the typical mournful owl song. It can be recognized from owls and owls by the color of its eyes: the iris is completely dark.
  • History and historical trail

    The former Royal Hunting Lodges

    The two large buildings, now owned by religious groups, are said to have been built between 1865 and 1870 at the behest of Vittorio Emanuele II, to be used during his sojourns in the Royal Hunting Reserve. The one on the left, with its attractive portico decorated in horizontal stripes with the colors of the House of Savoy, was the residence of the royal entourage, while the other housed the stables.
    The stables were then given to the army, which expanded the building between 1897 and 1898, transforming it into the Princess Elena barracks.


From the Rifugio Federici Marchesini al Pagarì (2627 m) follow the path that descends to the east, losing height with numerous gradually wider hairpin bends. The path bends to the north-west (left), dropping with steep traverses, among rocks and alpine meadows. Just beyond the Rio Pagarì the trail flattens out for a short distance to the Passo sottano del Muraion, where it resumes with a long series of hairpin bends.
When the slope decreases you reach Rio Pantacreus (which, in high water, can be crossed on the wooden footbridge just above the path); a little further on by a large rock, ignore the path to the Moncalieri Bivouac hut on the left. Now on a comfortable mule track, with a long traverse descend to Gias Colombo, turn right to cross the stream on a long footbridge and then continue north to the remains of Gias sottano del Vej del Bouc (1437 m, 2.30 hours from the Federici Marchesini Refuge).
Follow the dirt road that leads down the valley from the gias, across the entire plains of Pra del Rasur, and climb briefly to over the ridge where you pass Gias del Rasur. From this point you continue to follow the road downhill, ignoring various shortcuts, until you arrive at the back of the former Royal Hunting Lodges, these are now used as summer camps by religious orders (fountain).
Here you a tarmac road continues the descent to the bridge over the Torrente Gesso della Barra and then to San Giacomo di Entracque (1209 m, 1:00 hour from Gias sottano del Vej del Bouc.

  • Departure : Federici Marchesini al Pagarì Refuge (2627 m)
  • Arrival : San Giacomo di Entracque (1209 m)
  • Towns crossed : Entracque

Altimetric profile


Is in the midst of the park
The national park is an unrestricted natural area but subjected to regulations which must be known by all visitors.


Nuova Benese service company - Regular line Cuneo, Valdieri, Entracque - Telephone: 00 39 (0) 171 69 29 29 -

SNCF line TER Provence Alpes-Côte d'Azur For travel in the PACA region and towards Cuneo

Trenitalia for travel in the Piedmont region

Access and parking

Parking :

San Giacomo di Entracque (1226 m)

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