■ Type of route: almost round-trip high-mountain hike
■ Distance: 11.7 km
■ Cumulative elevation gain: +695 m
■ Cumulative negative altitude gain: -695 m
■ Estimated total time: 3h30 to 4h30
■ Min and max altitude: 1900 m / 2609 m
■ Markings: GR5 and GRP
■ Equipment: none
■ Equipment required: none
Difficulties: the short ascent and descent of the Tête de Plate Lombarde is steep and off-trail, but not too difficult.
Access to the place
Map & topo
From the parking lot, climb up to and through the village. After Fouillouse, follow the track until it forks to cross the Baragne torrent. Here, an old wooden sign indicates Plate Lombarde.
Go straight up on the track, which climbs gently into the forest to reach the military structures of an old fort. At this point, the path forks to the left towards the Aupets valley (return path). Continue straight ahead into the opening valley. You can already see the Tête de Plate Lombarde, like a hill rising timidly amid the great walls. For most of the way, the slope is very gradual, sometimes flattening out to approach the base of the Tête de Plate Lombarde. The path then twists and turns more steeply to reach the Col du Vallonnet at 2524m, at the foot of the grassy pyramid of the Tête de Plate Lombarde.
From the col, climb due north up the southern flank of the pyramid, improvising your route without too much difficulty. You soon reach the summit, which forms a sort of elongated, rocky flat in places. There's a 360° panoramic view of the surrounding peaks and lakes, with the Baraquements de Vyraisses and the Col de Mallemort in the background.
From the summit of Tête de Plate Lombarde, descend off-piste, aiming for Lac du Vallonnet Supérieur. Then head north, skirting the pyramid on the right and passing the foot of the Col de Stroppia, the Italian border, at the Vallon de Plate Lombarde.
Descend following the GRP path which gradually returns to the Plate Lombarde fort. Continue downhill on the outward path to return to the village of Fouillouse and then to the starting parking lot.