Le Pic de Morgon via Pierre Arnoux
This mountain ascent helps you stand back from the Massif des Ecrins and its summits. Closer to you, the Ubaye and Durance valleys are a great sight for hikers on the trail. The route provides a glimpse of the birds living in the cliffs and the high-altitude flora.
The Morgon cirque welcomes a flock of 1300 sheep. At the height of the tourist season, it migrates towards the pastures at Vallon Clapier and Olettes more to the East. This is due to agro-environmental measures, a contract between the Pastoral Organization and the Ecrins National Park which seeks to protect pastoral resources and the environmental assets of the pasture.
Although the species had been eradicated in France at the beginning of the 20th century, about 400 wolves remained in 1980 in Italy. Today thanks to the protection that it benefits from this large carnivore is settling more and more in the North... It regularly comes to the pasture in the summer creating some damage which has been noted by the park rangers in the National Park and compensated for. The presence of the shepherd and his « dogs » is however dissuasive.
It is sometimes possible to see the Rock Ptarmigan on the ridges of the shale slopes which, after having picked their way through the rocks, fly away in a flash of white. It is one of the most threatened species in the Alps... With global warming, evolution in the pastures, winter frequentation ... the future seems uncertain for this inhabitant of the ridges...
The Pic de Morgon is used by the vultures coming from the right bank of the Durance, sometimes in large numbers, to get up to altitude after having crossed over Serre-Ponçon Lake. Scavengers exclusively , these gravediggers who have frightened and disgusted mankind for a long time hold a fundamental place in the food cycle by rapidly eliminating cadavers and in this way limiting the dispersal of microbes and illness.
Summits and vallies
The summit of the Pic de Morgon offers a magnificent view over the Ubaye and the Durance. While on the right bank of the latter, one can see the Aiguilles de Chabrières, the Piolit and the Mont Guillaume, on the left bank of the Ubaye, you can see the Dormillouse. Near to the Pic de Morgon, is the Tête de la Vieille, le Pic de Charance and the Pic Jean Martin. In the distance, you can distinguish the Pic de Bure as well as the snowy summits of the Ecrins and the Vanoise.
From the Pierre Arnoux car park (1285 m), head for the Fontaine des Miracles track. Turn left into the track and go as far as the beginning of the path with some log steps. Follow the path right across the forest, then, after a few bends, climb up the ladders on a small rocky bar. Continue along the winding path and you pass a source just before arriving at the gates of Morgon. Once in the corrie, follow the track, then the path. You arrive near a shepherd’s cabin, respecting the peace and quiet, before tackling the ascent, which is often eroded in the cargneule rock. Don’t cut across the loops, which worsens the erosion. If you veer to the right you will pass a metal cylinder placed on the crest in the year 2000 at the same time as another that can still be seen on Mont Orel. Go up to the summit across the flat area below it. On the way back, follow the same route in the other direction. You can also follow the crest southwards towards Tête de la Vieille (short passage through the rock) to arrive at a path going down to the corrie and passing near Lake Morgon and the Saint Pierre sanctuary.
Dogs are forbidden in the Morgon corrie from 15 June to 15 July and from 15 August to 15 September. Possible circuit in the corrie.
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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Maison du Parc de l'Embrunais
Place de l’Église, 05380 Châteauroux-les-Alpes
04 92 43 23 31
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.
Access and parking
From the N94 in Savines-le-Lac, take the D954 towards Barcelonnette, then turn left after 150 m. Go straight on for 2 km, passing a bridge, and then take the track towards the right. Go up for 6 km as far as a small man-made plateau and park the car.
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