The Prelles waterfall
The route runs along the north-facing slope only, where the grass and heath are partly covered by bilberry, raspberry and juniper bushes. Here the vegetation is quite low-lying, made up mostly of bilberry and juniper bushes. On the other side of the torrent is the south-facing slope, which is warmer.
The Royal Eagle is one of the most rare and protected species in Europe. Its large size, its dark colouring, its rectangular wings and its frequent movements in the open air enable it to be easily recognized. In the hottest hours of the day, it turns about regularly benefiting from the rising wind in order to gain altitude. Thanks to its excellent sight the Royal Eagle scans its surroundings in search of an imprudent marmot or a young chamois. In winter it regularly feeds off the cadavers of animals...
To observe Black Grouse in summer, you must get up early. In France, Black Grouse or the ‘Heather Cock’ is only found in the Alps. In Spring, the male with black feathers, a lyre shaped tail and white feathers under its tail puts on a display to impress the hens. In winter, it spends most of its time taking refuge in igloos dug in to the snow to protect itself from the cold. This is a time when it is particularly sensitive because it cannot compensate for the energy that it uses when it leaves its igloo too hastily disturbed by off-piste skier or a hiker with snowshoes.
Short-toed Snake Eagle
Spring has only just returned when you can hear cries as loud as the church bells. You have to lift your head up to admire two large birds flying together, alternating aerobatics and hovering in the sky like two silver coloured kites playing with the wind.. Their light stocky silhouette and their darker head enable you to identify the Short-toed Snake Eagle. It mainly feeds on reptiles (lizards and snakes) which it captures by the head, which it can then regurgitate in order to feed its young.
The Alpine Ibex, also known as the « rock goat », is solid and covered with a coat that is chocolate coloured or beige depending on the season and its sex... Males and females both have ringed horns which grow throughout their life. The Alpine Ibex lives in groups, males on one side, etagnes (females) and the young on the other. In the winter, the females mix with the males during the mating period and give birth at the beginning of Summer. In order to observe it, look over on to the facing slope, the Alpine Ibex is sometimes visible in Spring.
The waterfall feeds in to the Drac blanc. The minor bed of the torrent is very large giving an idea of its violence and its capacity to wash away stone boulders.
From the Auberts car park, before the bridge across the torrent, go straight up 200m to the crossroads. Turn right to cross the torrent and go over to the left bank. Follow the route to the Pré de la Chaumette as far as the Prelles waterfall. After the waterfall, the path runs through the heart of the Ecrins National Park (entrance marked by three information panels). Come back the same way.
In mountain pastures, protection dogs are there to protect the herds from predators (wolves, etc.).
When I hike I adapt my behavior by going around the herd and pausing for the dog to identify me.
Find out more about the actions to adopt with the article "Protection dogs: a context and actions to adopt".
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House of Champsaur
, 05260 Pont-du-Fossé
04 92 55 95 44
Information and documentation, temporary exhibitions. Sale of products and works of the Park. In the same space, home office Tourist High Champsaur. Free admission. All animations of the Park are free unless otherwise stated.
Coach stop: Les Auberts
Access and parking
On the N85, head for Pont de Fossé. After the village, continue on the D944, turn left onto the D944A, cross Les Borels/D472, Les Baumes and Les Clots. Finally, slight right to arrive at the Auberts car park.
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