The Écrins National Park is hiking territory and you can’t afford to miss the opportunity of hiking with your family in the exceptional areas of the Écrins National Park. Here you will find hiking ideas to do with the family. Your children will have no difficulty following to discover these places.
Here are some suggestions for routes to be completed with the family:
– Jas la Croix Cabin,
– Refuge des Bans,
– Vallon de Celse-Nière (bosse de Clapouse, source Puiseux),
– Les Vigneaux to Bouchier,
– Les Vigneaux to Grand Parcher,
– Les Vigneaux to La Batie des Vigneaux,
– Irrigation canals in Puy Saint Vincent!
– Chouvet Cabin,
– From Ailefroide to Pré de Mme Carle,
– La Tête d'Orée,
–The Narreyroux Valley,
–The Col des Lauzes,
–Dormillouse via the summer trail
–The Fournel Valley
During your stay, you can also enlist the services of a mountain guide or leader in order to explore the mountains beyond the usual trails, while learning about the fauna and flora in the Écrins National Park.
Here are a few of the routes mentioned above, in more detail.
SENTIER DU FACTEUR/VALLOUISE
A pretty trail between Puy Saint Vincent and the bottom of the valley.
When leaving the hamlet of Le Puy (around 1600 m), after the bend on the right you will find the start of the trail (which goes below the St Romain Chapel). The end is three bends above the horse-riding centre in Vallouise.
SENTIER DU FACTEUR BIS (ALTERNATIVE VIA CHAMP CLÉMENT)
Start from Les Alberts (opposite the fire services garage).
The trail leads down towards Vallouise (horse-riding centre).
100 m from the start of this trail, it is possible to link up to the hamlet of Le Puy via the Sentier des Chapelles or the Sentier des Villages.
COL DE LA POUSTERLE VIA LE SENTIER DES VACHES
Starting from Les Prés. From the square in Les Prés, go towards the mill car park, a little further on you will come to the Sentier des Vaches. On the way up, you will cross Les Prés irrigation canal, go between the chalets in Prey d’Aval and Prey d’Amont then the trail follows short cuts across the roads towards La Pousterle.
Extension: from the pass, continuing along the road, cross the plateau. On the other side is the Pousterle gîte/refuge and a panorama of the Fournel Valley.
From the villages towards the resort at 1600 m
From Les Alberts Hamlet: In the Eyssalarettes bend (car park), head towards the council flats. You will join the trail that leads up the left of the stream. At the end of this stream (campsite reception), turn right, then left at the forest track. As you continue up, you will cross the Béalet and Prés irrigation canals. At the end of this track is a meadow. On the right-hand edge, the trail continues through the forest up to the car park below 1600 m.
From Les Prés Hamlet. From the square in Les Prés, go past the Sherpa shop and Les Arcades bar. From the Sagnes car park, take the track to the right towards the campsite. Go through it. Follow the same instructions as above.
From the Sagnes car park. You are on the Col de la Pousterle road, continue up to Prey d’Aval to the electricity transformer, then head towards Prey Sabeyran. The road turns into a forest track up to the resort at 1600 m. Finish in front of the resort at 1600 (play area).
Le Sentier des Planètes between 1400 m - 1600 m - 2000 m
LE GRAND BOIS/NARREYROUX – LARCH FOREST
After the Puy Hamlet, head towards the resort at 1600 m (if you are coming from Vallouise it will be on the right), as you exit the bend in what is known as Grand Champ, there is a car park on the right.
This is also the start point to reach La Combe via ferrata.
There is a route to return to Vallouise (Pissette waterfall)
THE NARREYROUX VALLEY
A beautiful pasture valley, traditional chalets, flora.
Start from the 15th-century Saint-Vincent Chapel and follow the small road and the footpaths that cut the corners of the road. After the small wooden bridge, take the footpath to the left, finish below the Notre Dame de Narreyroux chapel.
Extension: After the alpine chalets, either stay on the forest track or cross the footbridge to continue alongside the Combe stream (right bank*). It is easy to reach the foot of the waterfall (1930 m) in 1 hour.
After the waterfall, head towards the Col du Bal, 1 hr 30 min, the Neyzet Lake, the Crêtes Reychard.
THE CANALS TRAIL
You will mainly follow two irrigation canals, the Béalet Canal and Les Prés Canal. A pleasant, rewarding walk.
Starting from the Maison du Miel heading towards the Croque Loisirs campsite. Take the forest track. 20 minutes later, an information sign indicates the footpath to the right. Follow the arrows.
THE NARREYROUX VALLEY VIA THE OLD LAUZES CANAL
Discovering pastoral life
Starting after the Chaumière restaurant on the way up to 1800 m, at the 1st hairpin bend, take the trail to the right.
To link up with the alpine chalets and Notre de Dame de Narreyroux chapel, cross the footbridge, otherwise continue on the right bank to the waterfalls.
TOURNOUX/RESORT 1600 M
At the start of the pass, head towards the Tournoux via ferrata. Back to 1600 m.
*Right bank, left bank: To distinguish the right and the left of a lateral canal as for a river, you just need to observe the direction of the water and the direction it is slowing.
*Lakes: depending on the season, these can be practically dried up.
FROM THE ENTRE-LES-AIGUES VALLEY…
The Bans refuge (540 m) – 2 hr, La Cabane de Jas Lacroix 410 m – 1 hr 30 min, Col l’Aup Martin 1160 m – 3 hrs 30 min (GR54)
FROM AILEFROIDE TO PRÉ DE MME CARLE
Claphouse Valley (chamois) 572 m – 2 hr, Pelvoux refuge 1164 m – 3 hr 30 min and Sélé refuge 1010 m – 3 hr 30 min, Glacier Noir 606 m – 2 hr, Glacier Blanc refuge 676 m 2 hr – 2hrs 30 min, Écrins refuge, etc.
THE FOURNEL VALLEY
The Blue Thistle (Alpine Sea Holly) Deslioures ecological reserve 50 min – 1 hr, La Grande Cabane 675 m – 2 hr 30 (GE 541), etc.
In bookshops, you will find a well-designed book called ‘Balades en famille, à la découverte de la Vallouise’ published by Éditions du Fournel.
In Puy Saint Vincent, there is a wide range of routes that can be completed alone or with the family.
Col de la Pousterle, Plateau d’Oréac or Les Cascades by visiting the Narreyroux Valley, you will explore many shaded footpaths some of which have breathtaking views.
Themed trails are also possible such as:
- The larch forest trail
- The chapels trail
- The canals trail
- And many more
For more information on these hikes or the guides, we suggest you come to see us in one of the Tourist Offices in the Pays des Écrins. Our advisers will be delighted to help you as best they can.