La Buffe Valley itinerary 3h easy
The vallon de La Buffe is an excellent easy ride on an electric mountain bike, with a 3-hour rental or a day trip to the Pic du Mas de La Grave refuge. This tour presents no major difficulties. The trails are rolling, with breathtaking views of La Meije and its glaciers.
Departure is from the Snowlegend store in La Grave, and there are 2 options for getting to Le Chazelet:
1 by road; cross La Grave, take the tunnel and turn right at the exit. Climb the switchbacks towards Le Chazelet.
2 via the Chemin du facteur; climb to the top of La Grave, follow the GR 54 (marked red and white) towards the hamlet of Les Terrasses along a slightly technical path. When you reach the top, return to the road and head for Le Chazelet (on the left).
Viewpoint on the left when you reach the Col des Portes: a cross on your left, the famous oratory of Le Chazelet and, between the two, a footbridge that juts out into the void, offering a panoramic view of the Meije massif and the Romanche valley below. Continue along the road to Le Chazelet, passing through the village.
Keep to the right of the river (the Gâ) and follow the signs for Les Rivets, three small mountain hamlets. The road becomes a carriageway.
On the way, you’ll come across a stone cross on the left (the tufa cross), then follow the main track. (It’s possible to take the path to the right, which is an alternative route to the refuge du Pic du Mas de la Grave).
Drive to the second stream crossing the track, where the refuge du Pic du Mas de la Grave overhangs to the right. You can have a drink or a bite to eat here, in a magnificent setting with a breathtaking view of the Meije.
Take the footbridge opposite the refuge to cross the river (le Gâ), and a big climb awaits you (Les Combettes). If you’re more sporty, you can pedal all the way to the top, otherwise use the "foot" or "push" mode to help you push the bike up the steep part. Turn left onto the track leading back down towards Le Chazelet, cross the bridge and take the hill back to the village.
As on the way up, you can choose to return to La Grave via the road, or take the sentier du facteur (GR54) from Les Terrasses. In the latter case, as you leave the village, take the small road to the right and descend to the path on the left that plunges down to La Grave.