Serre-ponçon and our mountains
With its wild creeks and turquoise waters, Lac de Serre-Ponçon is a sea in the mountains!
At the heart of this magical land drenched in blue and sunshine, the mountains are reflected in an exceptional mirror, the Lac de Serre-Ponçon.
The lake's tributaries, the Durance and Boscodon rivers, provide water rich in minerals and sediments, giving its wild coves a surprisingly characteristic South Sea hue, and a real invitation to discover a local exoticism.
Welcome to the Hautes Alpes, at the foot of the Ecrins National Park.
On foot, on horseback, on a donkey, on a bike... a change of scenery is guaranteed along the many trails. Fresh air, larch and fir forests, waterfalls, high-altitude lakes, alpine meadows... These mountains offer numerous hiking and climbing possibilities, as well as a multitude of water sports.water sports, fun to the most athletic!
Experiences to be savored!
Created in 1973, it is one of France's 11 national parks. It is a high-mountain territory, rising to 4102 m above sea level on the Barre des Ecrins, and marks the geographical and climatic boundary between the northern and southern Alps.
Serre-Ponçon is the Park's southernmost sector. Here, the peaks flirt with 3000 m altitude and have their feet in the water. The heart of the National Park shelters the treasures of a remarkable natural heritage.
A National Park in the Ecrins:
"2023: 50 years of craftsmanship, protection and know-how".
In Embrun, the Tour Brune houses an exhibition space for the Park, and its roof offers an extraordinary panorama.
In the Réallon valley, the hamlet of Gourniers is a gateway to the Park. Here, you can follow an interpretation trail to better understand the landscape and discover thestrange giant's cooking pot. A cavity carved out of the rock by the power of the bubbling waters flowing down from the mountains.
In Châteauroux-les-Alpes, the commune of 40 hamlets, the Maison du Parc offers temporary exhibitions and events (screenings, conferences, etc.). It's also the gateway to the Rabioux valley, in the heart of the Ecrins National Park. Here you can discover the impressive Pisse waterfall, undoubtedly the most beautiful waterfall in Serre-Ponçon.
Boscodon, an exceptional site
The Boscodon forest, on a balcony overlooking Lake Serre-Ponçon, is an emblematic forest in the Hautes-Alpes department. This fir forest is home to a luxuriant flora rich in hundreds of species.
Considered by the Office National des Forêts to be one of the purest places in France, in 2019 it was awarded the " Forêt d'exception " label and joins a network of some fifteen forests across France chosen for their exemplary character in terms of sustainable development and the sharing of spaces and uses.
Morgon, the best view of Serre-Ponçon?
Boscodon is also the starting point for our favorite hike: Pic Morgon. Rising to an altitude of 2324m, this peak offers the best view of Lac de Serre-Ponçon. This is an intermediate-level hike, easily accessible to walking enthusiasts. At the summit, you'll overlook the 2 branches of the lake. You'll enjoy an unrivalled panorama, from the high glacial peaks of the Ecrins National Park to the Giant of Provence, the Ventoux. A must-do!
Mont Guillaume, 2552m, a sportier, higher-altitude peak in the heights of Embrun, is also a prime objective. You'll pass through its majestic forest of larches, the tree of light and symbol of the Southern Alps, before climbing to the summit. The summit chapel provides a comfortable vantage point from which to enjoy the panoramic views.
Of course, there are plenty of other peaks and belvederes offering sublime panoramic views of the lake- it's up to you to discover them!
From the Réallon stationenjoy the panoramic chairlifts to the Serre du Mouton ridge. A breathtaking panorama of the Serre-Ponçon fjord, the Ecrins National Park and the Aiguilles de Chabrières. Let yourself be tempted by this aerial hike and set off to conquer this emblematic Serre-Ponçon mountain.
This summit, made up of several sharp needles, is like no other. A very mountain atmosphere and sensations, but no real difficulties. The steep but short ascent of the Brèche de Chabrières, right in the heart of the Aiguilles, is a feast for the eyes. Then comes the strange discovery of the Oucanes, a veritable maze of limestone crevasses. A hike you won't soon forget!
From the brèche, access to the Aiguilles summit is possible, but the route is steep and unmarked. Not recommended for children.
Réallon's panoramic chairlifts offer a gentle way to discover the mountain. From the Serre du Mouton ridge, a number of downhill trails lead to the resort, where you can relax and enjoy a meal on the sunny terraces.
The Bike Park de Réallon offers a wide range ofenduro and downhill mountain bike trails for all levels over 600m of vertical drop. A panoramic descent with a view of the lake at the summit, followed by a series of jumps and banked turns between the larch trees. A mountain bike school awaits you at the foot of the slopes to help you discover these sensations.
Many high altitude lakes nestle in the heart of our mountains. Here you'll find the peace and serenity of these little jewels of nature, as well as remarkable landscapes. Accessible by car, Lac de St-Apollinaire and Lac de Siguret are ideal picnic spots for families with young children.
Visit Lac du Lauzerot requires a little more effort (less than 15 minutes on foot), but its Canadian atmosphere, in the middle of the forest, is quite rare in the region and well worth the trip.
More alpine, the Lac de l'Hivernet and Lac Brun are just a few hours' walk away.
Several other lakes can be discovered after a few hours' walking. But your effort will be rewarded by the discovery of sumptuous scenery and, above all, much less frequented. Lac de Sainte-Marguerite, in Les Orres, is the largest and one of the most beautiful of them all. Les Orres is a mountain resort offering a wide range of activities. It's a paradise for downhill mountain bikers, with the largest bike park in the Southern Alps. The chairlifts make it easy to reach the lake on a downhill ride.
Crévoux, a wild valley full of surprises
At an altitude of 1600m, Crévoux is a small village of 130 inhabitants, nestled at the bottom of a magnificent valley brimming with curiosities. You'll be amazed by the natural works of art that line the Parcours des Fées. It's an easy, family-friendly hike of less than 2 hours, leading to the beautiful Razis waterfall.
The lac du Crachet at an altitude of 2200m, is a beautiful, wild hike. Its shallow waters are of rare clarity. Much more secretive and difficult to access, Lake Lalatcha rises to an altitude of almost 2800m in a lunar environment. Unlike Lac du Crachet, which can dry up in summer, Lac Lalatcha has never been seen to dry up, even though there is no stream or spring to feed it...
Travel back in time along the Parpaillon trail , to discover this curious tunnel at over 2600m altitude, carved out of the rock in 1890! This unsealed carriage road links the Durance and Ubaye valleys. In the late 1930s, Spanish refugees helped renovate the road. At the Pont du Réal, the terminus of the paved road, where the track leading to the tunnel begins, the Spanish hut recounts their story.
In winter, the village harmoniously combines all snow activities. The hamlet of La Chalp is a mecca for Nordic skiing, while the Alpine ski area is a paradise for nature-loving families and freeriders eager for wide-open spaces and powder.