Cirque de l'encombrette
Cirque de l'encombrette

Cirque de l'encombrette

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You will need to be in good physical condition if you want to marvel at the Cirque de l'encombrette, which is remarkable for its geology, its lakes and its rocks which were polished by the former glacier. The Pas de l'Échelle, a rocky guardian which protects access, can be climbed via a picturesque zigzagging path, extended with a ledge hewn into the cliff face.
High above the verdant slopes colonised by man, you will discover a vast glacial cirque. Here we are in the high mountains with fierce sunshine, sudden thunderstorms and unstable screes.

1 point of interest

L'Adroit des Muletiers

L'Adroit des Muletiers is a huge dam behind which ice accumulated. As it moved slowly, the ice broke through it and came out as a huge frozen waterfall. Because it was probably not carrying much matter which could cause erosion, the ice joined with the resisting obstacle rather than forcing against it. Then, the rock emerged from the ice tongue. A great scree clogged up the foot of the cliff, showing the importance of frost wedging, a process which is still currently ongoing.
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The path is bordered by deciduous trees and crosses fields which were formerly cultivated. Once you have gone between the boulders known as "La Portette", you will see the view over the Eichanet ravine, enclosed by the Muletiers mountains.

The path provides access to areas which were formerly inhabited and the land used: Girard, les Chapelles, Lamberet and les cabanes du Maître. On the other side, the splendid forest of Ratery comes to an end on the col des Champs, an ancient passage to le Val d'Entraunes.

L’Adroit des Muletiers is so imposing that it appears to put an insurmountable end to the hike. But the Pas de l'Echelle path makes into a mere obstacle course, allowing you to reach le cirque de l'Encombrette with a degree of ease.

Just like a giant shell, the glacial cirque spreads out; beautiful lakes carved into the rocks gleam below it. The hike comes to an end on the shores of these lakes.

However, the path does continue, allowing the most adventurous hikes to reach the col de l'Encombrette, with views spreading over the lac d'Allos cirque.

Follow the same route on the return journey.
Departure : Hamlet of Clignon Haut
Arrival : Cirque de l'encombrette
Towns crossed : Colmars, Allos

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.

Information desks

Ancienne auberge fleurie, 04370 Colmars les Alpes

04 92 83 41 92

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Place de la coopérative, 04260 Allos

04 92 83 02 81

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Access and parking

Valley of Haut Verdon. Before Colmars, turn right onto the D320 towards the hamlets of Clignon. Park at Clignon Haut. The path starts behind the pretty chapel.

Parking :

Hamlet of Clignon Haut

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