Ecrins trekking

The Alpe de Villar d'Arêne

3 h
7.8 km
Total Length
439 m
  • By walk

Departure : The Arsine bridge, Villar d'Arêne

An easy walk to discover the alpine universe with the family within the geographical boundaries of the Oisans and the upper Briançonnais.

At the heart of the Alpe valley, the mountain pastures continue the story of pastoralism in the present as they did in the past. The refuge gives hikers a taste of the high mountains and provides the opportunity of spending a night with the family in the refuge.

From the car park at Gravière, follow the bottom of the valley on the right bank on an excellent path that crosses the Pas d'Anna Falque. The fork that divides the way between the Alpe and Adèle Planchard is well marked. Take the track that goes up to the left, cross the path of crevasses near to the weather station... A little later leave the GR 54 and fork to the right and continue straight ahead until the Alpe refuge at Villar-d'Arêne. Go round the refuge to the right and go down to the crossroads which overhangs the Romanche. Turn right in order to go back down to the Plan de l'Alpe and pass several streams until the path originally used at the beginning. Pick up the path slightly to the left which crosses the Pas d'Anna Falque in order to come back to the car park.


From La Grave, take the D1091 in the direction of Villar d'Arêne. Go left on to the D207. At the crossroads, turn right towards Le Palun. Cross the Arsine bridge and park in the car park situated on the right.

Information desks

Maison du Parc du Briançonnais

Located at the foot of the medieval town fortified by Vauban, declared World Heritage by UNESCO in 2008, the Maison du Parc Briançon is a welcoming place of information exchange. Three floors of exhibition to discover : the natural and cultural heritage, the museum of the history of skiing in Briançon. Documentation, maps, guidebooks, books and products of the Park. Guided tours for groups by reservation. Free admission.

Place Médecin-Général Blanchard
05100 Briançon

Website - Email - 04 92 21 08 49

Lat: 44.89807, Lng: 6.64312

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

Clic for map interaction

On the way...
Romanche valley, Charles Bertier

The Romanche was a source of inspiration for many mountain artists and it have been painted repeatedly. Charles Bertier (1860-1924) was inspired to paint Vallée de la Romanche au Pied-du-Col and Les Fréaux près de la Grave, two oil paintings that were painted in 1894. The artist from Grenoble learnt to paint landscapes with Jean Achard, and mountains with the abbot Guétal and did not hesitate to set up his easel on the high summits of the Dauphiné Alps. More to the point, his mission was to make his contemporaries 'understand the mountains'!

The marmots’ "bosse"

The alpine marmot is naturally present on grass at altitude. Here, it occupies a singular place which we call the marmots’  "bosse». This hibernating rodent is only visible between April and October. The marmot lives in a family and respects a hierarchy. Games, grooming, fighting and biting ensure the dominance of a couple as well as the cohesion of the group. Each animal participates in the delimitation of the territory by rubbing its cheeks on rocks and also by urinating and defecating there. When there is danger, the marmot emits a high and powerful whistle in order to warn the others.

Alpe Valley

Mountaineers have always particularly liked the Alpe valley. It has long been a place for a base camp, for several big classic climbs in the Massif des Ecrins. It is over the ice cap that the famous roped party Coolidge-Almer succeeded in making the first ascension into the mountain of the Agneaux. Le 17 July 1873 following this they carried out the first crossing of the Casse Déserte mountain pass and the ascent of the Pointe Brevoort at the Grande Ruine.

Alpine Columbines

Hidden at the foot of a rhododendron bush, caught between the scree and the edge of the, is a rare species, it is as bright as it is rare. Do not rub against the Columbine,  or it will lose its petals.  The leaflets are split with deep incisions, in a double layer to form simple leaves, lifting up young milky buds at the end of the stalk and magnificent widely spread out flowers, azur fragments lost in the vegetation. Columbine flowers are the only ones that possess five spurs, five petals at their extremities in a cornet, protected by five sepals in the form of a lance.

Ancolie des Alpes

Altitude profile

Altitude (m)

Min : 1715 m - Max : 2065 m

Distance (m)