The 6 most beautiful walks around Loudenvielle

randonnees-loudenvielle

High valleys, perched lakes, peaks and steep slopes… hiking at Loudenvielle takes place in an authentic mountain setting, in the heart of a department that lives up to its name: the Hautes-Pyrénées.

In fine weather, when the snow melts and the face of the mountain changes completely, Loudenvielle’s hiking enthusiasts take over from the skiers, as marked trails replace pistes and ski lifts. It’s the season for walking, with a choice of mountain itineraries for the general public or for more athletic pursuits.

Don’t hesitate to push your calves a little in Loudenvielle, as this small village on the shores of the Génos-Loudenvielle artificial lake is also known for its spa center, where you can take the waters and recharge your batteries!

All around the Louron Valley, where Loudenvielle is nestled, there are numerous walking trails, including the mythical GR10, which crosses the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, and is reserved for long-distance hikers!

Let’s take a shorter, but no less sumptuous, route with this selection of Loudenvielle’s most beautiful hikes.

1. To the Soula refuge

Vers le refuge de la Soula

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 3 hours
  • Distance: 9.8 km
  • Ascent: 460 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

We start with a classic Loudenvielle hike: the refuge de la Soula. The well-marked itinerary starts at the Pont de Prat parking lot: here begins a gradual ascent with beautiful views over Loudenvielle and the Louron Valley. This hike is suitable for all the family, and there are even educational panels here and there!

The trail first passes through forest before entering the spectacular Clarabide Gorge, before finally reaching the Soula refuge at the bottom of the valley. This is the perfect place to take a restorative break, linger a while and grab a bite to eat before heading back down the same path.

2. Lake Caillauas

Le lac de Caillauas

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 6 hours
  • Distance: 16.3 km
  • Ascent: 1,856 m
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • See the route

This is the « adult » version of the previous hike to the Soula refuge. With this hike from Loudenvielle, you reach the Soula refuge via the usual path, as explained above, for a leisurely ascent.

Then things get tougher, with a much more technical route from the refuge, and a further 500 m of ascent to reach Lac de Caillauas, in a superb high-mountain setting!

Set off early in the morning, well equipped, and take advantage of the refuge on the way back for a life-saving break before returning to the starting trail.

3. Around Lake Génos-Loudenvielle

randonnees-loudenvielle

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 1 hour
  • Distance: 2.6 km
  • Height difference: 28 m
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • See the route

After the big climbs, here’s a much more peaceful hike in Loudenvielle, with a complete tour of the Lac de Génos-Loudenvielle: a lovely flat walk along the banks of this 32-hectare artificial lake, passing under the ski lifts and over several footbridges!

An ideal hike in summer when the sun is hot and the clear waters are there to cool you down, and a great way to stretch your legs at the end of the day. It’s also easy to extend the duration of the walk with a picnic break along the way, or on the children’s playgrounds…

4. On the ridges between the Aure and Azet valleys

Sur les crêtes entre les vallées d’Aure et d’Azet

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 3 hours
  • Distance: 10.1 km
  • Difference in altitude: 394 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

Take the road that climbs to the superb Col d’Azet (1,580 m), the starting point for this hike in Loudenvielle, which takes place on the outskirts of the village. The itinerary can be done as a round trip, roughly following the ridgeline separating the Louron Valley from the Aure Valley, where Saint-Lary is located.

All along the way, you’ll enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the Hautes-Pyrénées, with 360° views in places! An itinerary with no major difficulties, to be completed as a round trip, although variations are possible.

5. Pouyaué summit

Le sommet de Pouyaué

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: about 3 hours
  • Distance: 10.6 km
  • Difference in altitude: 648 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

This hike in Loudenvielle is aimed above all at lovers of beautiful mountain scenery, which is often synonymous with a solid positive altitude difference. With almost 800 m to climb (and descend…), poles and a minimum of training are a must.

The hike starts at the Col de Peyresourde, zigzags up the slope and then continues upwards on a ridge path, offering exceptional views over the whole region. The Pouyaué summit, at 2,068 m, is the signal for the return journey.

6. Lake Ôo

Le lac d'Oô

Photo credit : Alltrails

  • Duration: approx. 2 hours
  • Distance: 6.3 km
  • Difference in altitude: 376 m
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • See the route

You’ll have to pass through the neighboring commune, and even the neighboring département, for this beautiful hike from Loudenvielle. Head for Haute-Garonne and the village of Ôo, a 30-minute drive from Les Granges d’Astau. This is the start of one of the most popular walking routes in this part of the Pyrenees, leading to the Lac d’Ôo and its magnificent waterfall: a breathtaking landscape!

The hike climbs a little, but not excessively, on an easy, mostly well-shaded path, so it’s accessible to all. Those with a bit more under their soles push on to the steep and much more difficult Col d’Espingo, for the view over Lac d’Espingo before heading back down.