The Ecrins National Park offers a combination of high peaks and glaciers and idyllic valleys where you can admire them. This little trek is ideal for a first approach to this protected territory. If you are hiking with your family, you can easily adjust the length of the hikes to the children by doing the little Alpe de Villar loop (+ 370 m, 8 km) or going just a little further, depending on your motivation.
- Arsine / Villar d’Arène (1667 m) – Alpe de Villar – Arsine Mountain Pass (2320 m) – Arsine Glacier Lakes (2458 m) – The Alpe de Villar mountain huts (2077 m)
- Elevation gain: + 653 m, -243 m for the Arsine Mountain Pass or + 790 m, - 380 m for the Arsine Glacier Lakes.
- Overnight stay at the Refuge de l'Alpe or the Refuge de Chamoissière.
The route described in the link below is a day hike going back and forth on the same path. When heading back from the Arsine Lakes, stop at the huts for the night.
- Alpe de Villar (2077 m) – Source of the Romanche River (2143 m) or Valfourche (2048 m) – Arsine (1667 m)
- Elevation gain: + 50 m, - 455 m for Valfourche or + 150 m, - 550 m for the Source of the Romanche River.
When starting out from the huts, take the little path leading from the cairn down towards the river. When you reach the little footbridge, you join the route described in the link below. From there, you will follow the same path on your way there and back, so you can turn back any time you want.
- It is possible to switch the two days
- It is possible to make shorter walks, by turning back wherever you want in the idyllic vale ledaing towards the Arsine Mountain Pass on the first day and by stopping at the Valfourche Bridge on the second day.
- It is possible to reach Villar d'Arène or La Grave with the regular bus M55 Grenoble - Briançon and start your walk from there (following the GR54 trail). Starting from Villar d'Arène adds about 30 min. walk.
You will find a description of the little loop from Arsine to the mountain huts at the Alpe de Villar Rando Ecrins.
IGN topographic map: 3436 ET Meije Pelvoux