The Lance Cascade
Departure from the Tourism Office in the City of Colmars-les Alpes
Colmars-les-Alpes is one of the 12 towns in the Alps of Haute Provence classified as “villages et cités de caractére”. The fortifications and ramparts, which surround Colmars, testify to the significance of the city’s locations when France and Savoy were contending for the Alpine Valleys. From the fourteenth century, at the time of Louis XIV of Vauban, fortifications were developed around the city, at the confluence of the Lance stream and the turbulent waters of the Verdon. It became a thriving community where military men, farmers, shepherds, craftsmen and drapers all lived…Today, Colmars is a tourist city that mixes Alpine and Mediterranean influences. The short itinerary proposed goes along a river, through a green forest, and leads to a beautiful waterfall, about fifteen meters high, of which the citizens are proud.
1 From the car park opposite the Tourism Office, go through the arboretum to the left and around the nursery. Cross the big car park and go up towards the east.
2 Take the path that climbs along the alluvial cone of the Lance stream, upon which birches, pines and wild sorb all grow.
3 Continue to the entrance of the Lance rocky circus. During the walk you can see: -on the left, an old dam that was used to defend against flooding when the mountain was devoid of arboreal vegetation, - to the right, the lowering of the riverbed, which occurred at the time of the 1994 floods – you can also observe the passage of an old channel coming from a sawmill, now closed.
4 Reach the bottom of the canyon, where you’ll see the magnificent Lance waterfall, about fifteen meters high, with clear water. For its beauty, the canyon has been classified as a “natural site”. At the point where the trail approaches the cliff, the corrugations of the stacked marly shale and limestone benches, form a tormented geological frieze formation (area to turn around for the joëlette).
5 The return route is via the same path. With a little luck, you might see a woodpecker or a dipper in the cliffs near the river.
Free rental of the “joëlette”
Colmars-les-Alpes Tourism Office
Tel. 00 33 (0)4 92 83 41 92 http://www.colmars-les-alpes.fr
Parc National du Mercantour in Allos Tel. 00 33 (0)4 92 83 04 18 http://www.mercantour.eu
Agency for the touristic development for the Alps of Haute Provence Tel. 00 33 (0)4 92 31 57 29 http://www.alpes-haute-provence.com
Departmental Committee of Hiking 04 Tel. 00 33 (0)4 92 31 20 83 http://www.rando04.com
- Fitted bathrooms and two reserved parking spaces near the Tourist Office
- Fitted bathrooms and reserved parking spaces in the main car park