Hiking in Vallouise – Parc des Ecrins
Hike to discover our mountains
Hiking in the mountains, for all
This time your decision is made, for you holidays, you will be heading to “The Mountain” because you need to get some fresh air, breathe fully and expand the space around you.
In the heart of the Ecrins National Park, we have the chance to live in a beautiful landscape and nature, which we also enjoy ourselves every day. And we understand our chance but also all what our great outdoors can bring to your holidays!
These are preserved spaces, where silence is major, sometimes interspersed with the natural sounds of wildlife and the earth. This environment allows everyone to regain a certain serenity, a pleasure to reconnect to something when, crossing valleys passes and peaks, time slows down.
So we take this time, to observe and marvel of course, but also, to share this moment with his family, friends or tribe.
Hiking is the easiest, most accessible way to explore and enjoy our mountains: a pair of feet, some equipment, a map or some ideas of itineraries and …. Here we go!
The route: one of the keys!
So your whole group is well motivated to explore the spaces around us, but where to start?
Choosing a hiking route is key, even for a simple “day trip”. It depends on multiple factors: composition and experience of the group, physical conditions of the day, weather, desires and objectives of each participant…
But for our part, we always advise you an essential goal: to make you happy and safe.
Here we offer a small selection of hikes around the Clot Saint Joseph, some of which allow you to walk from home. The list is not exhaustive, but will allow you to develop for example a hiking program for your week-long stay from our home.
You will often play in the protected area of the Ecrins National Park. You will find a lot of information on the page of our website that we dedicate to it HERE, especially regarding the strict rules of environmental protection that apply to it.
If you are already a regular in the valley, don’t hesitate to ask us for other routes: on the almost 7000 km of marked trails in the Hautes-Alpes, we should be able to find something for you!
Walks, or easy hikes
These itineraries are perfect for a first approach to hiking, around the house and Vallouise, and allow a discovery of the surrounding environment.
Iconic hikes not to be missed
Our valley is full of paths all more beautiful than the others, but if you are only there a few days, here are the “Must have done”. They are of course quite busy, but you can’t come to Vallouise without climbing to Glacier Blanc, a great icy witness to our changing climate.
Less well-known or more difficult hikes
After a few days of training, or because you already have a little experience, you want to go a little higher, or go off the beaten track, the following routes are for you.
A map, with other selected routes
The Ecrins offer a vast area of mountains to discover. We have grouped on this map yet a selection of routes that have been listed by several hikers around our valleys.
Think about your safety
You will go hiking, sometimes on routes leading you to altitudes easily greater than 2000m, so it’s high mountain, with its sometimes hostile character.
Don’t forget that you are hiking for your pleasure and not out of obligation: Never put yourself in danger, in order to avoid any emergency operation that is always traumatic! We are not mountain guides, but nevertheless can give you some common sense rules.
- Study your route, adapted to your group, before departure. Especially if one of you is prone to vertigo, it may force you to turn around if an itinerary leads you to an “exposed” pass. And don’t forget your map!
- Let someone know about your departure as well as your theoretical itinerary and your estimated return time. This third party will be able to initiate the rescue if necessary.
- Get weather information before departure. Depending on the evolution of the route, consider adapting your itinerary and know how to give up in the face of bad weather, temperatures dropping very fast when you evolve at an altitude of more than 2000m. Thunderstorms in particular are weather situations that one prefers to avoid in the mountains.
- Leave with all the necessary equipment for your hiking program, but no more so as not to overload yourself. Plan strong and suitable walking shoes because too many accidents each season are to be regretted because of unsuitable shoes.
- When hiking and in the mountains, you burn calories and get dehydrated very quickly: always have water, drink regularly and feed yourself properly to avoid the “big cravings” that will cut your legs
- Stay on the marked paths. If you have difficulties, it is easier to find help and relief if necessary.
- In the Parc des Ecrins there are strict regulations, which we invite you to consult. Any rejection of dejet during your hike is obvious to be prohibited.
During the summer many herds are in pastures to enjoy the good grass grazing, you will surely meet them. They are accompanied by their dogs to defend against predators they may encounter. Their job is to protect the herds, they can consider you potential enemies. The following video then explains what to do (sorry in french. Some english video information can be found here ) .