OverviewMore than thirty miles of dirt roads, starting from the bottom of the valley from three locations: "Cesana Torinese - Claviere - Bousson."
Endless diversions and alternative routes up and down from the Mountains of the Moon.
Even three shelters to be considered as a stopping point (Coche - Gimont - Capanna Mautino).
Cycling on the border between France and Italy between clear and colorful lakes and majestic mountains.
All this is the area of the Mountains of the Moon and the Central Hills.
From Turin, take the A32 motorway (Turin- Bardonecchia), exit Oulx-Hill of Montgenevre Claviere. At Cesana Torinese you can take the dirt road direction to the Alpine Village of
Sagnalonga. Or after Cesana, there is the village of Bousson where you can take the dirt Road direction Black Lake- Fonte Tana. Another path begin from the Alpine Village of Claviere (Hill of Montgenevre), direction La Coche- Gimont Valley.
All of these paths, which are passable by jeep, take you to the Central Hills. The common center can be considered the refuge, "Mautino Hut" located at thirty to forty minute walk from the Hills.
Starting from the Town of Briançon (Citè Vauban), take the D 902 Road, direction Cervières Valley, this road is fantastic because transit near the gigantic frotifications of Briançon.
Once you arrive in the village of Cervières you can go since the location of les Aittes, then you have to leave your car.
From there start a dirt road that will lead you to the Central Hills, French Side.
Just remember that on the italian side you can go with your fourweelers since to Capanna Mautino; on the French side is forbidden to run on the dirt road, feet only!
No limitations in the area, you can put a base camp anywhere!
Sources of pure water and drinking water are everywhere. Alternatively you can stay overnight at the Capanna Mautino, by reservation, even in winter.
In Short - When to Bike
Length: 35 km
Time: 6 hours
Recommended period: july - ottobr
Type: Asphalt 6% - unpaved 94%
Difference in altitude: 1000 meters
Water availability along the way: yes
Phone coverage. 100%
Shelters Open: Gimont - Mautino
Cartography: CENTRAL INSTITUTE OF GEOGRAPHICAL
No 1:25.000. 105 Sestriere Claviere Prali
The AreaIt is a beautiful mountainous area on the border between Italy and France; an imaginary bridge made of huge monoliths of rock, crystal clear lakes, lush pine forests and pastures immense.
All this surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges, which are the French Hautes Alpes and Italian Alpi Cozie: Le Pic de Rochebrune, La Barre des Ecrins, Mount Chaberton, are just a few of the Giants that impress our eyes.
The Italian side has large pine forests and beautiful plains, which are transformed into endless winter ski slopes, the French side is made up of barren pastures that precipitate in the Valley of Cervieres (Dauphiné). Two areas so close but so different, that converge at the center (the border), consists of three Hills: "Chabaud, Bousson, Gimont (from east to west).
The whole area is practicable in summer for hikers and bikers and Alpine skiers in winter. The lakes in the area have all evocative names: "Seven Colors, Black, Cold Fountain.
At various points, the paths are marked with signs, as all the area is considered an immense geological museum in the open.
The best time to visit the area of the Central Hills is late summer and full autumn.
The colors are stunning, there were few people, wild animals are in full operation pre-hibernation (marmots, hawks, eagles, deer, mountain goats, rabbits). It is a wonderful experience to pass from one side of the border, making only a few steps. The lakes are all beautiful. The mountains can be visited both outside or......inside!
In fact the whole area has undergone dramatic fortifiers interventions in the thirties. With great caution and the right equipment (helmets, flashlights, waterproof clothing), you can visit the longest tunnel of the underground bunkers.
In addition to visiting the hills and the lakes, I recommend the path that leads you, from the Valley of Gimont, in France by the Green Hill. Mount Chenaillet, which is the first you meet, is a wonderful panoramic terrace of the area.
At the Hill of Bousson (2200 m.), there is an ancient (XIX° century) ruined border guard post. It is a perfect vantage point in the Central Hills. The view over the Valley of Cervières (Dauphiné) and the French Hautes Alpes is perfect. Just in front of us stands the massive pyramid rock of the Pic de Rochebrune, and farther the Hill of Izoard.
The men (Royal Carabinieers) who originally were destined to guard this place, they were really feel :"in the middle of nowhere", especially in winter.