Le Pas de l'Ane

Le Pas de l'Ane

Architecture and village
History and culture
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This is a fabulous cliff-edge path above the Trévezel gorge. The torrent has exploited a geological fault line to carve its deep gorge into the Causse plateau.
This gigantic balcony offers views onto wooded cliffs with large bare limestone formations, almost like fangs. At the very bottom lies the hamlet of Le Villaret, through which you will pass in two or three hours, depending on your speed. Be careful not to imitate the donkey that gave the rocky cliff edge opposite you its name!
A long time ago, that donkey took a wrong step (“pas de l’âne” means “donkey step”) and fell off the cliff with its unlucky owner…

3 points of interest

  • History


    From Tabrî, meaning “village close to the water” in the Chasséen culture (Baume Lairoux, La Verrière, etc.), which lay on the trade route between the Gabali tribe, the coast and the Arecomici tribe. It was given a wooden bridge by the Romans, occupied first by Arian Visigoths and then by Nicene Christian Franks, and destroyed by Muslims around 730. It was revived in the Carolingian period with its Romanesque bridge, and was loyal to the Kings of France, who granted it a consuls’ charter in the 14th century and the bell on top of the church, which had remained Catholic. In the 17th century, Trèves had hemp fields, whose hempen cloth was used in the draperies in Lodève. Its blue sheep’s cheese, its galena mine and its terraces of almond trees and lentils belong to the past. Only the Pétassou  (local pagan character and festival) remains (M.MOULINIER, historian).
  • History

    Espinassous and its castle

    This is the Espinassous plateau with its 15th century castle. It only has one tower; the second tower allegedly imitated that donkey and fell into the ravine on whose edge it stood.
    The castle courtyard with its former farm outbuildings is magnificent; you can see them through the bars of the gate. These buildings are typical of Causse architecture: heavy limestone roofs, facades flanked by buttresses, narrow openings in the pointed barrel vaults.
    The hamlet is in an agricultural plain near the cliff’s edge.
  • Natural environment

    Tropical forest and the Causse flora

    The Causse vegetation is very different from that on the valley floor of the “ravine with no name”.
    On the Causse with its dry limestone soil grow pale flowers, such as the blue/mauve liverwort or the white wood anemone. A yellow spot is a California buttercup, without forgetting the thyme which perfumes the path!
    Boxwood lines both sides of the path. Downy oaks and Scots pine give some shelter in summer. The “ravine with no name” is a total change of scene. All of a sudden, you find yourself in a dense tropical forest; boxwood and lianas share the ravine. The sun never pierces the plant cover to warm the stream – never! It is chilly down here.
    Moss grows everywhere. Luckily the waymarking is perfect.


Signposts will guide you all along this route, as well as yellow painted waymarks. In the description below, the signposted place names and/or directions are given in bold italics between quotation marks:

Start in Trèves, on the car park in front of the mairie. Take the path uphill to the cross.
  1. There are several hairpin bends to reach the signpost “Roc du regard”: go to the viewpoint.
  2. At “Roc du regard”, turn left; make sure to close the barrier.
  3. Continue on the path. At the lane “Le puech”, go right towards "Mare d'Espinassous" and the hamlet.
  4. Walk through the hamlet of L'Espinassous and continue straight ahead.
  5. At the signpost "Mare d'Espinassous" turn right and go downhill to “Randavel”, then to the D157.
  6. Turn right onto the road for about 800 m.
  7. Turn left and cross the bridge over the Trévezel river. Continue on the road towards Comeiras.
  8. In the 4th hairpin bend, leave the road and go straight – close the barrier.
  9. Continue on the path to a level area.
  10. Difficult downhill section among the rocks: slippery path.
  11. Go back up towards “Hameau du Villaret” and from there downhill to “Trèves”. Cross the village uphill to the mairie.
  • Departure : Trèves – mairie (town hall)
  • Arrival : Trèves – mairie (town hall)
  • Towns crossed : Trèves, Lanuéjols, and Dourbies


Altimetric profile


Caution: in the gorge, the path is slippery at ambient humidity and passes among the rocks (impassable for mountain-bikes). Before committing yourself to a circuit, ensure that it is suitable for your activity level and ability. Remember that the weather changes quickly in the mountains. Take enough water. Very difficult sections on the return leg. Children under 16 years of age and groups are advised to abstain from this hike.
Is in the midst of the park
The national park is an unrestricted natural area but subjected to regulations which must be known by all visitors.

Information desks

Tourism & national parc'house

Col de la Serreyrède, 30570 Val d'Aigoual

https://www.sudcevennes.comoffice-du-tourisme-causse@wanadoo.fr04 67 82 64 67

The Maison de l'Aigoual houses the tourism office Mont Aigoual Causses Cévennes and the Maison du Parc national. This visitor centre provides information on and raises awareness of the Cévennes National Park, its sites and events as well as the rules that must be observed in the National Park's central zone.

On site: changing exhibitions, video projections, Festival Nature events and shop Open year-round

Find out more


liO is the regional public transport service of the Occitanie/ Pyrénées – Méditerranée region. It facilitates everyone’s movements by prioritising public transport. For more information, call 08 10 33 42 73 or go to www.laregion.fr
(in term time)

Access and parking

From St-Jean du Bruel, take the D 314, then the D47, to Trèves.

Parking :

Car park at the mairie

More information


CC Causses Aigoual Cévennes Terres Solidaireshttp://www.caussesaigoualcevennes.fr/
Parc national des Cévenneshttp://www.cevennes-parcnational.fr/

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