The Wolf Trail - Argentera & Mercantour - Stage 1

3 points of interest

  • Flora

    The grasslands of the valley floor

    Despite what one might think, the grasslands that occupy the valley floor are not very stable environments. Their presence and appearance strictly depend on the intensity of the cultivation treatments carried out: grazing and mowing, irrigation and fertilization interventions clearly influence their floristic composition. Mowing in particular has the function of counteracting the return of the forest, which advances, slowly but inexorably, whenever human intervention is lacking.
  • Fauna

    The bearded vulture

    The bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus), also known as the lamb vulture, has a wingspan that can reach 285cm and can weigh more than 6 kilos. An accomplished glider, it can exploit even the mildest ascending thermals. It is a carrion eater, feeding exclusively on carcasses of dead animals, ungulates for the most part, both wild and domestic. It consumes bones, cartilage and ligaments, and is known to drop bones from great heights in order to break them into manageable pieces. Monogamous and long-lived, the bearded vulture nests on rocky cliff faces at altitudes beween 1,000 and 3,000 meters.
  • History and historical trail

    The Piazzale dei Cannoni

    The name Piazzale dei Cannoni, or better still, Piana dei Cannoni, is due to the presence there of the 181st Artillery Battery, armed with 210/8 mortars, during the Second World War. The mortar emplacements are just south of the dirt road, along the slope, but they are not easy to spot. On the opposite side of the valley, across the torrent, there are the remains of probable logistical outposts and even an open-air kitchen.


Visit the Uomini e Lupi centre in San Giacomo d’Entracque. Afterwards, head towards the north. A signposted path heads away to the left towards the village of Entracque. Go through the village and turn left onto the road that rises through a series of hairpin bends towards Lac de la Piastra. After the lake, continue on the road to the left on the marked GTA itinerary towards San Giacomo. From the hamlet of San Giacomo d’Entracque (1226m), head up the hairpin bends of the track to Vallon de la Barra and you will reach Piazzale dei Cannoni esplanade. Do not take the bridle path on the left towards Gias de la Siula and instead continue along the track. Do not take the diversion towards Col de Fenestrelle and follow the bridle path to the bridge of Piano del Praiet; this well avoid you having to ford the river. Do not take the path on the left and instead continue towards the south on the uphill path which reaches the Ellena-Soria refuge (1820 m).
  • Departure : Uomini e Lupi centre
  • Arrival : Soria refuge
  • Towns crossed : Entracque

Altimetric profile

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