Valgaudemar refuges

Valgaudemar refuges

History and architecture
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The hike goes through the mountain valley of the Valgaudemar, in the Massif des Ecrins. On the way, a real Himalayan decor is unveiled to hikers, step by step.

The route runs below such legendary summits as the Olan, Les Rouies, Les Bancs and the Sirac. The stone and glacier atmosphere is replaced by bucolic Alpine pastures with breathtaking views. Wild fauna and Alpine flora can be seen all along the way. And encounters are not rare between mountain-climbers, enthusiastic hikers and lovers of wide-open spaces, who travel along the trails as soon as the fine weather returns.

Tommy Bulle, Valgaudemar park keeper


This major hiking trail is divided into seven stages and makes its way mainly at high altitude along paths with a wild character.

After the first two nights in refuges, the return to the valley marks the mid-way point of the trip. The second part of the trail again immerses hikers in the world of the high mountains.

Among the jewels along the way, Lake Lautier, the mythical face of the Olan, Lake Vallonpierre, a unique panorama over the Gioberney and much else besides. During the sections at the upper limit of the subalpine zone, the environment bears witness to the harsh climate in the mountains.

Overall, there are some steep ascents and descents, but what a trip!

  • Departure : Villar Loubière
  • Arrival : Le Crépon car park, town of La Chapelle en Valgaudemar.
  • Towns crossed : Villar-Loubière and La Chapelle-en-Valgaudemar

Altimetric profile


Before setting out on this long trail, it is recommended that hikers should have already had experience on other GR trails or to be in good physical shape.

In summer, you are advised to set off early in the morning to make the most of the cool temperatures before it heats up. This trail is also very pleasant in early spring (provided that the refuges are open).

Herd protection dogs

In mountain pastures, protection dogs are there to protect the herds from predators (wolves, etc.).

When I hike I adapt my behavior by going around the herd and pausing for the dog to identify me.

Find out more about the actions to adopt with the article "Protection dogs: a context and actions to adopt".
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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

Valgaudemar Park house

Ancien Asile Saint-Paul, 05800 La Chapelle-en-Valgaudemar 92 55 25 19

Information, documentation and a reception area with permanent and temporary exhibitions. La Maison du Parc is labeled "Tourism and Disability". Free admission. All animations of the Park are free unless otherwise stated.

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Access and parking

From the N85 road, take the departmental D 985 A road at Saint Firmin, and stop at the car park just before Villar Loubière.

Parking :

At the village of Villar Loubière.

More information


Parc national des Ecrins

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