Ecrins trekking

Tourettes Mountain Pass

6 h 30
Return trip
Return trip
16.2 km
Total Length
1398 m
  • By walk
  • Fauna
  • Geology
  • Pass

Departure : Les Charbonnières, Châteauroux-les-Alpes

This itinerary for the good walker enables morning hikers to make the most of the cool air in the Rabioux valley and to observe Champsaur, les Ecrins and their surroundings in the early morning. 

From the freshness of the larch forest to the heat of the sun on the final slope, the Tourettes mountain-pass links the Durance valley to that of the Drac. It offers a spectacular view of the Champsaur and the surrounding massifs. The watchful eye "armed with binoculars" will observe the chamois which populate the slopes of the Dent mountain or will stealthily observe the fluttering of  the Wall Creeper. 

Take the Rabioux pastoral path to the Muandes carpark. Follwo the forest path on foot which penetrates the heart of the Ecrins National Park, pass near to the Charançons gîte then the Serre chalets. Then the path crosses the larch groves, cross the Rabioux torrent and loop to the right, leading without difficulty to the Tourettes mountain pass. Return using the same itinerary. 


Leave the N 94 to get to the centre of Châteauroux. Follow the signposts marked "Vallée du Rabioux" and "Cascade de la Pisse". 

Information desks

Maison du Parc de l'Embrunais

Information, documentation, exhibition, screenings, products and books of the Park. Accessible to people with reduced mobility. Free admission. All animations of the Park are free unless otherwise stated.

Place de l’Église
05380 Châteauroux-les-Alpes

Website - Email - 04 92 43 23 31

Lat: 44.61459, Lng: 6.52068

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

Clic for map interaction

On the way...
Wooded larch pasture

In the heart of this sector, this wooded pasture is a private larch forest. This tree is the symbol of the luminous Alps and a tree that is used for everything, from making fountains to roofs. It is a rampart of vegetation against avalanches and erosion.. The European Larch puts up with hostile weather conditions but does not like competition from other trees. Its needles filter the light and encourage the grass and many flowers.

Marmot of the Alps

The Alpine Marmot is naturally present on the grass land.. This big rodent is only visible from April to October, it takes refuge during the cold period in its burrow where it hibernates.. The marmot lives in a family, respecting a strict hierarchy. Games, grooming, fighting insure the dominance of the couple as well as the cohesion of the group.. Each animal participate in the delimitation of the territory by rubbing its cheeks on the rocks or by urinating or defecating there. When there is a danger, the marmot makes a piercing whistle to warn the others. 

Giant Scabious

The Giant Scabious is a plant from the pastures and the megaphorbiaies. It is recognizable by its large size and its blossom (the arrangement of its flowers along the stalk) with yellow flower heads. Its flowering time varies from between July and September.

Dent Pastoral Cabin

Toward an altitude of 2 000 m, the Dent pastoral cabin Dent is situated at 100 metres above the track. It is equipped with a turning paravalanche behind the cabin consisting of a stone stem. The fact that it can turn enables it to deviate the avalanche or to make it pass over the cabin in order to avoid its destruction.

Heathland on the sunny slope

The heathland on the sunny slope puts up with the stress and dry conditions of summer but benefits from more clement conditions during the growing season.

Common Rock Thrush

The common rock thrush does not only live in the mountains, more than anything it likes the stones and the sunshine at the edge of the forest. Apart from its displays and in spite of its bright colours it knows how to be very discreet. Right from its arrival at the end of April, it searches for a territory in which to reproduce and it makes its presence felt.  During May, it builds its nest on the soil or in a rock cavity. Finally, after the summer very discreetly, all the family leave for the South Sahara in order to pass the Winter.


An emblematic alpine animal, the chamois or « rock goat » has short, black, hooked horns. Like the ibex it is more easily observed through binoculars, especially in the morning. Les chèvres and esterlons (young one year old males) like to be part of big herds; however, the billy goats stay rather isolated and only rejoin the females at mating time. In winter the Chamois need plenty of tranquillity in order to preserve their reserves of fat which help them to survive in the cold season.

Wall Creeper

Discreetly hanging to a cliff thanks to its long curved claws, the wall creeper looks for insects and spiders which it can extract with its long, narrow hooked beak   The unique representative of family of tichodromadidés, the « wall creeper » dominates the vertical mountain wall where it lives and finds shelter. The species is emblematic of the mountain regions, the wall creeper sometimes moves closer to the villages in winter.

Griffon Vulture

In the summer the Griffon Vulture leaves its nesting site, attracted by numerous ovines which passi through the pastures. It gains height above the cretes. A specialized scavenger, it holds a fundemental position in the food chain  by quickly eliminating  cadavers, limiting risk from microbial dispersion. Its rôle as a gravedigger has always frightened and disgusted mankind.. It disappeared from the Ecrins massif in the 19th century, and is once again present following a reintroduction program which has been carried out since 1980 in the Causses and more recentely in the Préalpes. 


Altitude profile

Altitude (m)

Min : 1429 m - Max : 2558 m

Distance (m)



Since the slope is exposed to the sun, plan to leave for your hike early in the morning. 

See also