Let your mind wander freely over the softly curved grassy hills and the spectacular views of the high plateau of Emparis. Explore it on foot or on a mountain bike, camp out and go fishing, go there and back again on the main trail or do a round trip through the Buffe Valley. You can do the tour of Emparis by the Buffe valley in a single long day, or break it up with one or even two nights in a hut. A detour to the Pic du Mas de La Grave (3020 m) offers a sumptuous 360° panorama from la Meije to the Aiguilles d’Arves. If it’s a clear day you will even see the Mont Blanc in the distance.Start from Chazelet or from La Grave. Stop over at the Pic du Mas de la Grave mountain hut or the Shepherd’s Yurt in the Buffe Valley, and in the Le Fay and Les Mouterres mountain huts under the plateau.
- Loop starting from Chazelet or La Grave
- Duration: 2 – 3 days
- Level: easy to moderate
You will walk four days on the GR 54 trail passing the scenic Emparis Plateau and the Arsine Mountain Pass at the foot of the Glacier Cirque of Arsine, in the Ecrins National Park. Or you can opt for a three day version, partly on the GR54 and partly on a beautiful balcony variant passing the Aiguillon Ridge and the Pontet Lake. From Mônetier-les-Bains the GR54 continues on its way to explore the other valleys of the Ecrins Massif until it finally comes full circle after many a long rambling day.
- 4 days from Mizoën to Casset / Mônetier-les-Bains
- 3 days from Besse to Casset / Mônetier-les-Bains by the GR54 and balcony trails
- Duration: 3 to 4 days
- Level: moderate (difficult for the full Tour of the Ecrins)
This hike starts off with panoramic views of the valley and continues through an idyllic vale where cows and marmots share the pastures. Two mountain huts welcome you for a meal or for an overnight stay Once you reach the grassy Arsine mountain pass, a peek behind the impressive wall of moraines is well worth your while. The grey waters of the Arsine glacier lake turn turquoise by the time they tumble past rhododendrons and blueberries on their way to the Guisane valley. In Le Casset, you have the choice between following the river directly back to the Lautaret pass and exploring the dolomitic mountains on the opposite site of the valley, by continuing through the Cerces massif towards the protected Clarée valley.
- Loop starting from the Lautaret Mountain Pass
- Duration: 3 days
- Level: Moderate
Start from the hamlet of Arsine to climb the Arsine mountain pass. Turn back to the Alpe de Villar for the night. Next morning, head down to the Romanche River and follow it up to its source. Walk back to Arsine along the river.
- Loop starting from Arsine
- Duration: 2 days
- Level: easy to moderate
You will set out at the foot of La Meije, a legendary 3983 m peak, with a view of the glaciers, and end up by the Mont Thabor at the Italian border. You will pass flowery meadows and rocky mountain passes, alpine lakes and rivers, majestic peaks and charming alpine pasture hamlets.
Head from La Grave towards the Arsine Mountain Pass, then down to the Guisane Valley and up over the Chardonnet Pass to explore the upper Claree Valley with its steep mountains resembling the Dolomites. Round it off by crossing the Thûres pass to taste the specialties of two Italian huts in the Franco-Italian Étroite Valley.
- Crossing from La Grave to the Granges de la Vallée Étroite by the : GR 54, GR 50, GR 57, GRP Tour du Mont Thabor
- Duration : 6-7 days
- Level : Moderate
For a family outing, why not start with the soft version: a night in a mountain hut, just for the pleasure of staying up high. A two hour walk will bring you to the huts of the Buffe Valley, the Alpe de Villar, the Chancel (starting from the mid-station of the gondola lift) and with a wee extra effort, the Goléon.
- Duration: 2 days
- Level : very easy to easy
You dream of feeling free, in the great outdoors under a vast sky? Go for a night, or perhaps two, sleep where you want, in a tent or under the stars.
In the Ecrins National park bivouacking is allowed from 7 pm to 9 am at more than an hour’s walk from the National Park borders or from a road. Elsewhere in the mountains, you can set up a tent for a single night. Remember to leave your night quarters as you found them.
Choose an itinerary that suits your physical condition and your level of experience. Always check the weather report before setting out. In the mountains, conditions can change rapidly. Always bring good hiking shoes, warm clothes, a rain jacket, sun protection, water and food. Remember that an itinerary that is easy in good weather can become very challenging in bad weather. Don’t hesitate to call upon a mountain leader to accompany you.
Remember to bring your garbage down to the valley. Don’t leave any trace of your passage.