Ecrins trekking

Combeynot Lake

6 h
Duration
Medium
Medium
Return trip
Return trip
8.4 km
Total Length
996 m
Ascent
Uses
  • By walk
Thematic
  • Fauna
  • Lake and glacier

Departure : Les Boussardes → Arrival : Les Boussardes

A blue veil has been lost in this mineral world.You will not find an  oasis in this desert of stones but a deep lake of freezing water. 

"In the middle of the summer, the valley exposed to the North can be very hot. That’s why I like to go out at sunrise in order to make the most of the cool early morning. just like the chamois who make the most of this calm moment in order to graze.. At 10 o’clock, most of them are sleeping and immobile, dozing and ruminating,you could almost say they are invisible!” 

Cyril Coursier, heritage technician in Briançonnais 

The unique marked trail starts from the carpark at the edge of  Guisane. It goes up on the right bank, with a regular ascent to Pré Chausson then through  Fontenil valley.  After a slightly more difficult section, the lake is hiding under an overhang in the bottom of the valley. Return using the same itinerary in the opposite direction. 

Transport

Bus Grenoble - Briançon : stop at Lauzet (LER 35).

Access

Leave the D1091 down from Lauzet hamlet, direction les Boussardes. 

Information desks

Information center "le Casset" (summer only)

At the entrance of the hamlet of "le Casset" and near the core zone of the Park, a stop before or after your walk... Projections, documentation, books of the Park. Free admission. All animations of the Park are free unless otherwise stated.

Le Casset
05220 Le Monêtier-les-bains

Website - Email - 04 92 24 53 27

Lat: 44.98543, Lng: 6.48432

This trek is within park center, please read access rules.

Clic for map interaction

On the way...
Architecture
Boussardes Hamlet

The habitat of Guisane valley is characterized by the small hamlets with character (Le Lauzet, Le Casset, etc.). Here, the small hamlet of Boussardes charms visitors with its houses with typical architecture squeezed against one another.

Le hameau des Boussardes au lever du jour
Flora
Hayfields

Around Boussardes hamlet, the hayfields are maintained, by the agricultors, sheltering in the summer exceptional biodiversity: Whinchat, red backed shrikes, Mountain Apollo butterflies.

Tarier des prés
Flora
Larch

The larch is the only European resinous tree to lose its needles in winter. Its wood is red brown. In the landscape, its colours are striking going from tender green in the Springtime to the colours of Autumn. Its pink flowers seduce the naturalists and the photographers in Springtime. If it puts up with harsh mountain conditions the larch does not tolerate competition from other trees. Just above Boussardes hamlet you can observe the installation of the forest in the ancient pastures and hayfields.

Mélèzes d'automne
Fauna
Chamois

Fontenil valley represents a quiet territory for the chamois. Situated in the heart of the national park outside the pastoral areas, this itinerary is only used by hikers. The National Parc national carries out annual health monitoring on the chamois population. 

Chamois mâle en hiver
Panorama
View of the Briançonnais

Arriving at Combeynot lake is a reward for the eyes. Facing you is, the Tête du Vallon (3059 m) which dominates the lake. Turn around and make the most of the view of the Briançonnais, with Pic de Rochebrune as a backdrop.

Vue depuis le Pic du Lac du Combeynot
Lake
Combeynot Lake

Combeynot Lake is a glacial lake, metres deep, behind a cross cliff. Sometimes the water disappears in Autumn, like in 1976, and more regularly in these last few years. These waters are unusual in that they do not shelter any aquatic species. What a hostile environment!

Lac de Combeynot

Altitude profile

Altitude (m)

Min : 1622 m - Max : 2567 m

Distance (m)

 

Advice

No water on this path, take 2 litres per person. The itinerary is indicated on the  signposts marked  « porte du Parc national » which can be found near the carpark. 

See also