The 11 Best Snowshoe Hikes in the Pyrenees


Last Updated on 10/01/2023 by Alfred

Are you passionate about outdoor activities? What could be better than snowshoeing in the Pyrenees to discover this region?

Fancy a getaway in the wide snowy open spaces of the Pyrenees? Snowshoe hikes in the Pyrenees are for you! Alone, with family, friends, with a guide or in a group? it is the outdoor activity that punctuates your winter holidays!

Under the hiking shoe, the snowshoe allows you to practice hiking on the powder in the heart of the forest in the middle of exceptional sites. Lulled by the silence of nature, you progress through snowy landscapes and observe unforgettable panoramas. If you are interested in snowshoeing in the Pyrenees, this guide is for you!

1. Cirque de Gavarnie

Duration: 2h30

Altitude difference: 100 m

Distance: 6 km

Level: easy

The Cirque de Gavarnie is one of the most impressive and beautiful places in the French Pyrenees. Located in the Pyrenees National Park, it has even been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. Located on the French-Spanish border, surrounded by the Mont-Perdu massif, the majestic Cirque de Gavarnie and it’s impressive Grande Cascade stands in front of you during your snowshoe hikes in the Pyrenees.

Even if several marked circuits are proposed, we recommend the one entitled “Circuit 2” (accessible for all levels and all ages). This route offers you a breathtaking view of this extraordinary natural place that is the Cirque de Gavarnie.

Over the course of the snowshoe hike in the Pyrenees, the trail climbs slightly past the snowy woods worthy of a Canadian postcard. In short, it is a spectacular, extraordinary, and unforgettable snowshoe hike in the Pyrenees!

2. Bridge of Spain – Cauterets

Duration: 6h

Difference in altitude: 500 m

Distance: 16 km

Level: medium

A must to visit the Pyrenees at best, the Pont d’Espagne is a natural site nestled in the heart of the Pyrenees National Park. Being part of the Great Sites of Occitania, it would be a shame to miss such a wonder, which is why we suggest these snowshoe hikes in the Pyrenees.

From Lake Gaube, you walk along the pedestrian paths toward the Clot plateau. Once out of the woods, the Estalounquet bridge is revealed in front of you, synonymous with the end of snowshoeing in the Pyrenees. Arrived at the refuge of the Wallon, make a stop and admire the Great Fâche, the Pic and the valley of the Marcadau, which reveal themselves before your amazed eyes.

3. Vulture Trail

Duration: 2h

Difference in altitude: 200 m

Distance: 4 km

Level: easy

Taking its name from an emblematic bird of the site, the vulture trail honors this bird that is said to be “bearded”. The start of the route is on the road that goes up to the Ossoue dam and leads you to a spectacular viewpoint.

“After the effort, the comfort” has never made so much sense! In the distance, you can admire the famous circus of Gavarnie but also the exceptional peak of Pimené! Much less crowded than Gavarnie, it nevertheless offers many hikes as well as beautiful landscapes, think about it!

4. Gaube Valley

Duration: 5h30

Altitude difference: 630 m

Distance: 12 km

Level: medium

Go on an expedition during your snowshoe hikes in the Pyrenees! In the middle of the forest, in the heart of wild and snowy nature, with your snowshoes at your feet, you venture towards Lake Gaube.

Alone or accompanied by an experienced guide, you will discover the fauna and flora of the region and how they adapt to winter. Summer and winter are radically different. Remember to compare the seasons when returning to the summer period to go hiking. In both cases, the décor is sumptuous!

5. Gavarnie station at the Col de Tentes

Duration: 3h

Difference in altitude: 200 m

Distance: 6 km

Level: easy

Are you looking for outdoor activities to do in the Pyrenees in winter? What if you tried snowshoeing in the Pyrenees? Hike on the mountain slopes to gain height and take full advantage of the Taillon, the Boucharo pass and part of the Gavarnie circus.

Whether you are a beginner or confirmed, this snowshoe outing is quite simple so accessible to all levels and all ages. The complications begin if you want to continue the snowshoe hike in the Pyrenees to the Pic des Tentes. We advise you to be sporty and to be prepared for this ascent. The level then goes from easy to medium or even confirmed.

6. Cirque de Troumouse in loop by Héas

Duration: 5h

Difference in altitude: 650 m

Distance: 10 km

Level: easy

The plains are white, the peaks snow-capped, the forests covered with a thick white mantle, the cold is fiery… Winter is here to the delight of hikers! Indeed, among the snowshoe hikes in the Pyrenees, the Cirque de Troumouse loop by Héas is one of the most beautiful!

Magnificent and grandiose, the circus houses the cabin of the Virgin which welcomes the Virgin of Troumouse. Once this discovery is made, rest at the Auberge du Maillet. And if you have time, leave only the next day after spending a night out of time.

7. Pailla Plateau

Duration: 4h

Difference in altitude: 400 m

Distance: 8 km

Level: medium

What could be better than snowshoeing in the Pyrenees to discover the region? Departing from the village of Gavarnie, this hike takes you to the charming Hut of Pailla. After crossing the snowy forest during a reasonable climb, the reward for this effort appears!

You can indeed see the famous peaks of the circus of Gavarnie either that of Taillon, the Brèche de Roland, the pass of Boucharo and that of Pahule. Spectacular!

8. Tournaboup to Barèges

Duration: 3h

Difference in altitude: 400 m

Distance: 5 km

Level: medium

Among the snowshoe hikes in the Pyrenees, the one that leads from Tournaboup to Barèges is one of the most beautiful. You follow the snowy paths to the Gaubie bridge.

Afterward, you make pleasant surprises such as the lakes Dets Coubous and Aygues Cluses nestled in the heart of the forest. The bravest can even climb to the lakes of Madamète if they still have courage.

9. Ossoue Valley

Duration: 4h

Difference in altitude: 325 m

Distance: 9 km

Level: medium

What could be better than snowshoeing in the Pyrenees after an exhausting day of skiing? Recharge your batteries in the middle of a sleeping nature covered with its thick white coat. In addition, discover the richness of silence and the happiness of effort.

After a stop at the Milhas hut, admire the beautiful Lake Ossoue.

10. Gavarnie at the Refuge des Espuguettes

Duration: 4h

Difference in altitude: 500 m

Distance: 5 km

Level: easy

The Refuge des Espuguettes is an easy snowshoe hike in the Pyrenees from the village of Gavarnie. The snow covers the surrounding peaks and the panorama is superb. You can also admire, during your ascent, the Astazous (Large and Small) as well as the peak of Piméné. Spectacular!

11. Refuge and Lake Glère from Barèges

Duration: 3h50

Altitude difference: 500 m

Distance: 8 km

Level: easy

A classic of the Barèges region, snowshoeing in the Pyrenees from Barèges to Lac de la Glère is accessible to all levels and ages. You can easily cross the snowy landscapes and discover the natural wonders of the Pyrenees over the strides.

Once your ascent is over, take advantage of the panorama to take a break and recharge your batteries before making the descent. We guarantee that in the evening, you will not last long but will make beautiful dreams of snowy, white, and magical landscapes.

So, among all these snowshoe hikes in the Pyrenees, which is your favorite?

Alfred

Alfred is the author behind the Travelvibe travel blog and is always searching for the quieter, less-visited corners of the world.

Recent Posts