The Balcons des Ecrins
A journey matching your dreams
Around the mountain range and through the villages, winding its way between valleys and summits, the "Balcons des Écrins" give access to a wide range of "à la carte" trails. A variety that leaves visitors with the choice of pace and ways of exploring the area. In line with your wish to walk exactly as you feel like it at the time.
These trails were made to be visited at your own pace and with a wide range of visiting options, meeting the needs of fans of gentler hiking, explorers on foot or on donkeys, horse-riders, mountain-biking aficionados, electric cyclists or trail runners - anyone looking for short stays from 2 to 7 days...
With walks with your family or more adventurous treks, this is an accessible way to explore the Écrins National Park and the region.
Discovering the Champsaur valley by mountain bike © Bertrand Bodin - PNE
Hiking with donkeys © Bertrand Bodin - PNE
Hikers through the Vénéon valley© Bertrand Bodin - PNE
Valleys with something for everyone
Briançonnais region: at the gates of the high mountains
A charming valley with vast prairies, the Briançonnais area brings you a landscape of flowers (National Alpine Park) and heritage with its villages and hamlets all along the route up to the mountains. With the Meije (3983m) looking down, the valley displays its charms in answer to the crystal-clear and glacier world opposite.
The Meije : summit of the national park © Pascal Saulay - PNE
Mélézin forest from Pointe de la Douche © Bernard Nicollet - PNE
Vallouise: and its hidden valleys
Hidden from the main road along the River Durance, the Vallouise Valley is the most visited valley in the Écrins range. The Vallouise Valley provides easy access to a grandiose domain of glaciers and towering summits. An unusual aspect in the Fournel valley is a disused lead/silver mine that was quarried from the Middle Ages and is open for visits.
Sunrise on the Ecrins and the Glacier Blanc – Pelvoux © Mireille Coulon - PNE
Morning light at Vallouise © Thierry Maillet - PNE
L'Embrunais: a mountain bathed in water and sinshine
A major heritage site in the Écrins, Embrun is an ancient Roman capital and ecclesiastical centre. History-lovers will be delighted by its architectural heritage. The Embrunais is the most southerly sector in the Park, where hikers can see highly diverse fauna and flora: ocellated lizards, English lavender, peonies, little black scorpions, etc.
Séyères chapel - Mont Guillaume © Christian Couloumy - PNE
Sunset on the Serre-Ponçon lake © Mireille Coulon - PNE
Le Champsaur: an Alpine garden in a woodland region
The valley is unveiled at a single glance: a prosperous mountain, woodland with networks of hedges, canals and sunken lakes... Agricultural is highly present, the basis for a green tourism helping to preserve the quality of the landscapes.
Charnières plateau © Marc Corail - PNE
Spring Champsaur wooded countryside © Dominique Vincent - PNE
Valgaudemar: a Himalaya in the Southern Alps
This narrow valley of hamlets and villages, which widens out in places, hides all the riches of its territory at its heart. Among its treasures are cirques and glacial polish areas, lakes and waterfalls, the sunny slopes of the steep mountain pastures – plus chamois, orange lilies, black grouse, the precious Alpine newt and many others. Of all the waterfalls, like long scarves flowing down the mountainside, the "Voile de la Mariée" in Gioberney is the most famous.
Pétarel lake © Dominique Vincent - PNE
Voile de la Mariée waterfall © Dominique Vincent - PNE
Valbonnais: peaceful and craggy
The Valbonnais is an area that is somewhat apart, a little hidden, far from the main roads and railways. There are easy family hikes at low altitude and the Alpine circuits in the high craggy regions – giving an idea of the variety in the area, with marked opposition between the slopes.
Labarre lake © Bernard Nicollet - PNE
Le Désert en Valjouffrey village © Bernard Nicollet - PNE
Oisans: vertical, the pionneers' valley
The Oisans, a high mountain region, is a major mountain-climbing site and famous for its pioneers, with the St-Christophe Museum dedicated to their history. The Oisans is also the home of the Lauvitel integral reserve, a focal point for studying the evolution of an environment, its fauna and flora, sheltered from all human influence.