Ecrins National Park, a high-mountain gem
With 150 peaks rising to over 3,000 metres, the Ecrins National Park is undeniably the kingdom of high mountains. Wild, spectacular, intimate... this area straddling the Isère and Hautes-Alpes regions often leaves unexpected impressions. This is undoubtedly one of the reasons for its long-standing fame.
At walking pace, day-long or multi-day hikes are an ideal way to explore the Ecrins National Park. It is accessible for hikers of all levels with 700 kilometres of waymarked trails. In its immense spaces shaped by eras of geological movements, you will be introduced to the pure and harsh universe of the high mountains, its rhythms, its constraints and its countless treasures. The many mountain refuges have spectacular views.
Hiking’s not the only thing in life
With its valleys, passes, cliffs and torrents, the Ecrins National Park offers many activities in the heart of nature. While hiking remains the flagship activity of the National Park, mountaineering, climbing and canoeing excursions are not to be outdone. Novices and regulars alike will be able to try out new sports and vary their tastes. This diversity is reflected in the areas’ identities: The Valleys of Embrunais, Briançonnais, Vallouise, Oisans, Valbonnais, Champsaur and Valgaudemar, as many valleys as there are landscapes and cultures!
Reach The Bérarde, the "little Mecca" of alpinism
At the end of several kilometres on a winding and steep road, you reach this village at the other side of the world, nestling at the foot of the master of the site, the Barre des Écrins (4,102 metres). The historical birthplace of mountaineering in the National Park, La Bérarde, is the starting point for some of the most beautiful paths of the range: the traverse of the Meije ridges, the Coolidge peak or the Ailefroide peak, where granite cliffs, glaciers, rushing torrents and jagged peaks unfold.
Explore the Valgaudemar, a valley with a Himalayan touch
As you approach the village of La Chapelle, the landscape becomes rockier and you can see the eternal snow on the side of the Olan (3,564 metres). The Gioberney cirque and the Voile de la Mariée waterfall offer magnificent panoramas accessible from the road. For sports enthusiasts, head for one of the many lakes in the surrounding area, such as Lake Lauzon, where the majestic peaks of the Sirac (3,441 metres) are reflected. Finally, the Mountain Refuge Tour trail in Valgaudemar offers a run-through of the most beautiful landscapes in the valley over four days.
Do the Tour of Refuges trek in Vallouise
This corner of the Ecrins is a great place for multi-day hiking. As you set off on the trails of the Mountain Refuge Tour in Vallouise, say goodbye to the hustle and bustle, the noise and the crowds. Over five days, this journey takes you to discover the giants of the eastern part of Ecrins: Sélé, Pelvoux, the Blanc glacier, the Barre des Ecrins... So many breath-taking panoramas that will reward your efforts - not to mention the friendly atmosphere of the mountain refuges!