Now we're getting down to the serious stuff: 47 km with a 3600 m height gain! This route could also be called the "Three Villards" loop.
GPX map and layout
Starting point and arrival : Villard Reculas Tourist Office
Description: Rando trail - n°7 Black - Loop of 3 Villards
Oisans Trail Station Route no. 7 - Villard Reculas Trail centre
Departure/Arrival: Villard Reculas
Duration: 6 to 9 hours
Distance: 48 km
Max. altitude: 2100 m
Mix. altitude: 780 m
Height gain: 3600 m
Turn left out of the Tourist Office towards Huez and then first left into the lane leading to the church, before taking the high road across the historic village of Villard Reculas. The first climb takes you towards La Pierre Ronde and then towards Lachal on a path overlooking the road. It's then back onto the road over the famous "Pas de la Confession", which is a great place to take a short break to admire the view over Bourg d'Oisans and the surrounding peaks.
Next, take the path down towards Le Ribot d'en Haut and then La Garde, down to the bottom of the legendary 21 switchbacks that lead up to Alpe d'Huez.
Cross Bourg d'Oisans towards La Vieille Morte, running along the Pré Gentil cliffs towards the Cascade de la Pisse waterfall (5km), where you encounter your first vertical kilometre. 1000 m higher in the valley, the charming traditional village of Villard Notre Dame awaits. Take the forest track out of the village and turn right at the Col towards La Croix de Carrelet, which offers breathtaking views (not for runners scared of heights!) The path down to Villard Reymond is tricky and you need to follow the water pipe. There is an opportunity to fill up on water and take a well-deserved rest in a shelter next to the Mairie in Villard Reymond. A long descent then takes you down to La Pallud, where you join up again with the road, before turning left onto a path to Le Puy d'Oulles.
Oulles is the starting point for many hikes up to the Taillefer, but you carry on downwards on a tricky, but shaded path to the Romanche valley. Follow the Romanche river through the valley to the bottom of the second vertical kilometer bringing you back up to Villard Reculas.
THE ADDED BONUS: La Croix de Carrelet
This breathtaking 360° view over the Grandes Rousses is an obvious phto opportunity, but watch you don't slip!
Runners who would like to share this route with their families could arrange to meet for a wonderful picnic at the top or in Villard Reymond.
Route created with the website tracedetrail.fr
From 01/06 to 31/10.
Oisans Tourisme - Bureau de Villard Reculas
1 route des pistes
Level black - very hard
D+: 3500 m