©OT Champsaur - Valgaudemar / G. Galvani

Set off for an adventure on the Tour du Vieux Chaillol

Put on good walking shoes, comfortable clothes and don’t forget your rucksack for a 5-day hike in the Hautes-Alpes, in the Champsaur and Valgaudemar valleys. A GR de Pays (long distance hiking trail) trace the way and encircles this peak which reaches over 3000 metres and stands out in the sky of the Parc National des Ecrins.

TourDuration5 days
Saint-Jacques en Valgaudemar
Cirque glaciaire du Gioberney
Col de Vallonpierre
Col de Gouiran
Col de la Vallette
Falaises du Palastre
Aiguilles de Famourou

Off we go for the Tour du Vieux Chaillol

A hike in the heart of the Parc National des Écrins

Can you see that imposing peak in the distance, a peak that reaches over 3,100 metres? That’s Le Vieux Chaillol! And to get to know it better, a GR® de Pays (long distance hiking trail) takes you off to explore this Alpine range on an itinerary linking the high mountain Valgaudemar valley to the Champsaur valley. All aboard for the Tour du Vieux Chaillol, a hike of 5 days and 96 km in the Parc National des Écrins. On the menu, fields surrounded by hedges, ice fields and lakes as far as the eye can see, and also small ibex, cute little marmots and even chamois. A concentrate of mountain settings which is a soothing change of scene. And when night falls, the adventure continues in a warm, cosy hut, a stopover gite or a bed & breakfast.

Step 1Discovering ValgaudemarFrom Saint-Jacques en Valgaudemar to La Chapelle-en-Valgaudemar

This 5-day hike starts in Saint-Jacques-en-Valgaudemar . The target for the day? You need to get to La Chapelle-en-Valgaudemar, and go through two other small mountain villages: Saint-Maurice-en-Valgodemard and Villar-Loubière. The locals will welcome you with open arms and may even tell you a few Alpine legends… You can also walk along the Canal des Herbeys and the Séveraisse torrent before going up to the Vallée du Valgaudemar to get an exceptional view of the Olan. And of course, there are also exceptional glacial sites on the way.

Profil of the stage

  • Duration: 5h
  • Distance: 17,7km
  • Elevation gain: 376m

We recommend: Once you have arrived at your destination, L’Hôtel du Mont Olan for a good night’s sleep

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Step 2Head for the Gioberney cirqueFrom La Chapelle-en-Valgaudemar to the refuge de Vallonpierre

For this second stage of hiking in the Alps, go to the refuge de Vallonpierre and its high mountain lake. A very pleasant itinerary that takes you on a visit of a number of characterful little Alpine hamlets. Keep your eyes skinned! Chamois and lilies are also part of the decor. And to get even higher, head for the famous glacial cirque of Gioberney.

Profil of the stage

  • Duration: 5h
  • Distance: 14,3km
  • Elevation gain : 1200m

We recommend: after all your efforts, it’s time to get your strength back; the refuge de Vallonpierre opens wide its doors in the heart of the Massif des Écrins, for a moment of sharing and warm friendliness.

Step 3The three cols: Vallonpierre, Gouiran and La ValletteFrom the refuge de Vallonpierre to Les Borels

You need to be ready for this third stage with its three cols: Vallonpierre, Gouiran and La Vallette over which you can reach the valley of Champoléon. It’s a steep climb, but the views on the itinerary are well worth it. Among them, the highest point on the Tour du Vieux Chaillol: Col de la Valette.

Profil of the stage

  • Duration : 8h
  • Distance : 22,4km
  • Elevation gain: 717m

We recommend: after this day of hiking, a warm, cosy night in the charming Auberge des Ecrins.

Step 4A hike under the Palastre cliffs and the Aiguilles de FamourouFrom Les Borels to Chaillol

The adventure continues with this 4th day of hiking in the Parc National des Écrins, another hard day. You leave Les Borels for the little village of Chaillol. Valleys and alpine pastures, tree-lined paths and forests as far as the eye can see all make this hike even more pleasant: good for a few welcome breaks. You will also go through the charming villages of Champoléon, Saint-Jean-Saint-Nicolas and Saint-Michel-de-Chaillol. And a magnificent view over the Drac valley.

Profil of the stage

  • Duration: 6h30
  • Distance: 17,9km
  • Elevation gain: 1100m

We recommend: L’Auberge du Vieux Chaillol in Saint Michel de Chaillol for a well-earned rest.

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Step 5A beautiful end to your hike in the forests of the ChampsaurFrom Chaillol to Saint-Jacques en Valgaudemar

5th and last day in the Champsaur to end this beautiful hike in the heart of the Parc National des Écrins. Leave Chaillol behind you to reach the last stage of this adventure: Les Paris. A tree-lined itinerary and not always that easy. You will go through many mountain villages such as Saint-Bonnet-en-Champsaur, Bénévent-et-Charbillac, Les Infournas, and Les Costes… The Champsaur’s varied landscapes are as extraordinary as its villages. The only one of its kind, the Champsaur is a blend of hedge-lined fields, canals, sunken paths, scree and stone walls: a real patchwork! Go through the larch forests and admire the view over the valley and the Dévoluy chain in the distance.

Profil of the stage

  • Duration : 7h30
  • Distance: 22,4km
  • Elevation gain: 693m

We recommend: to keep the pleasure of this beautiful hike alive, spend your last night in Saint-Jacques en Valgaudemar in the charming Auberge Les Clarines.

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