Tour of the Pays des Ecrins in 6 days

Tour of the Pays des Ecrins in 6 days

History and architecture
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From hamlets to villages, mountain passes to valleys, alpine pastures to mountain streams, this tour of the Pays des Écrins takes you not only to the iconic places and peaks of Les Écrins but also along more secret and less trodden pathways.
To embark on the tour of the Pays des Écrins is to discover a land of water, water that shapes the landscape and sustains plant life, "white coal" as it is known, white gold! A land of history and mountain culture, a land offering refuge and a warm welcome! As they roam the many valleys amidst imposing and unspoilt nature, hikers absorb the epic tale of this territory.


L'Argentière, the starting point of this tour, is a dynamic town which has successfully combined industrial development and the touristic promotion of its rich cultural and natural heritage. You can take advantage of its shops for your final preparations.The first stage leads to the alpine pasture hamlet of Bouchier. After following the Gyronde mountain stream and passing through the village of Les Vigneaux, the path climbs uphill offering superb views over the Queyras valley and the Briançon area. This slope faces south and it can be very hot here.The next day's stage leads to Vallouise, along the Montbrison massif. After Les Vigneaux, the view opens out over the glacial valleys of Ailefroide and the Glacier Blanc. Make the most of your stopover to visit the Park Centre ("Maison du Parc").On the route to Ailefroide from Vallouise, hikers will encounter an environment of rock and ice overlooked by legendary peaks, including the omnipresent Pelvoux.On the fourth day of your trip, you will discover hamlets which have developed tourist activity in keeping with their unique geographical situation, each in its own distinctive way.The following day, crossing over the Col de la Pousterle takes you back in a wild valley, the Fournel Valley. Then, crossing over the Col de la Lauze takes you to Freissinières with its characteristic and unspoilt landscapes.On the more technical stage 6, the path climbs up between the cliffs to the Crêtes de La Rortie and weaves between the needles of rock before starting the descent to L'Argentière.The variant will constitute a more cultural stage - its length making it challenging nevertheless - to discover the unique history of these villages perched dizzily over the Durance, and the abandoned village of Rame.
  • Departure : L'Argentière - La Bessée
  • Arrival : L'Argentière - La Bessée
  • Towns crossed : L'Argentière-la-Bessée, Les Vigneaux, Saint-Martin-de-Queyrières, Vallouise-Pelvoux, Puy-Saint-Vincent, and Freissinières

Altimetric profile


Difficulty level: easy to medium, essentially due to the length of some stages.
Difficult sections on stage 6. It is possible to avoid these.
Enquire at the tourist offices about snow conditions on the Ailefroide stage and the mountain pass crossings before setting out.
There are some ford crossings which could present problems in heavy rain storms.
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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Information desks

Vallouise Park house

, 05290 Vallouise 92 23 58 08

Information, documentation, models, exhibitions, screenings, product sales and works of the Park. Guided tours for school, reservation required. The new Park House opened in Vallouise since June 1, and offers visitors an interactive permanent exhibition inviting to explore the area and its heritage. A temporary exhibition space will allow a renewed offer. Finally, the device is completed by an audiovisual room to organize screenings and conferences Free admission. All animations of the Park are free unless otherwise stated.

Find out more

Les Alberts, 05290 Puy Saint Vincent 1400 m 92 23 35 80

23 Avenue de la République, 05120 L'Argentière-La Bessée 92 23 03 11

Access and parking

N94 road from Gap or Briançon

Parking :

Train station carpark

More information


Parc national des Ecrins

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