The Croix du Carrelet crests
The magnificent Alpine meadows form a gateway and an invitation to enter the Grand Renaud corrie. In these wild and virgin landscapes, the absolute quiet of the area encourages observation and contemplation. Once you reach the crests, the feeling of isolation gives way to an overwhelming impression of ethereal freedom. The return through the forest immerses the hiker in aromas, a perfect trilogy for recharging your batteries.
Brown in colour with relatively short ears, the common pipistrelle and the kuhl's pipistrelle are rivals for the title of Europe's smallest bat. The common pipistrelle can be found in a wide range of ecological environments, even above an altitude of 2,000 m. In late 19th century France, school books celebrated the virtues of the bat. They are insectivores, eating a quarter or a third of their weight each day in mosquitoes and other insects. They emit ultrasounds that cannot be heard by the human ear. This technique helps them to find their way in the dark and capture their prey. They are often to be seen around lampposts, hunting insects that are attracted to the light.
This campanula is easy to recognise, with its tufts of highly compact yellow flowers. It is one of the few Alpine biannual plants. The seeds scattered in autumn produce large, slender leaves the first year, growing in a rosette shape. The flower only blooms the second year, when it ensures its posterity, then dies. The plant can be found on Alpine grassland (from altitudes of 1,000 to 2,600 m) and on rocky ground and soil that is rich in limestone. Standing on a thick, hollow stalk with a great many leaves, it is 10 to 40 cm tall.
Perched at an altitude à 1640 m, this is the highest village in Isère, and the second highest in France. 40 people live here today (but just six permanent residents), while there were almost 300 inhabitants 150 years ago. The fairly gentle slopes and favourable orientation gave rise to pastoral farming, despite the high altitude. The farmers used to work at the Ornon slate works, the women worked at home for glove-makers in Grenoble. Access to the valleys has always been difficult, and in 1960 a cable car was used to take cattle down into the Bourg d’Oisans plain. Today, people live in and visit Villard-Reymond for the quality of its environment.
Park in the entrance car park below Villard-Reymond and take the forest path below the Chemin De Velzut (1614m), which follows the curve of the Cirque du Grand Renaud. After crossing several hollows, the path loops upwards through the magnificent flower meadows in the mountains. The path leads up steeply to Le Grand Riou (1608m), with a plunging view above the wild torrent. From Le Grand Riou, to the left, the winding ascent runs through the vast Grand Renaud corrie, then takes a sharp turn toward a small rocky col up to Le Clot de La Selle (2083m). Continue round the slope through the grass below the crest, until you reach the top. You can then enjoy a panoramic view as far as Croix de Carrelet. The steep, winding descent provides a nice view, then runs through a magnificent forest of larch, pine and spruce. At Col de la Maison du Loup (1785m), turn off towards Villard-Reymond.
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 du Valbonnais
Place du Docteur Eyraud, 38740 Entraigues
04 76 30 20 61
Reception, information, temporary exhibition room, reading room and video-projection on demand. Shop: products and works of the Park. Free admission. All animations of the Park are free unless otherwise stated.
Oisans Park house
Rue Gambetta, 38520 Le Bourg d'Oisans
04 76 80 00 51
Video presentation of the natural resources of the Oisans mountain and its crafts. Information, documentation about the Park, projections, reading space for children. Accessible to people with reduced mobility. Free admission. All animations of the Park are free unless otherwise stated.
Access and parking
D526 to La Palud, then the D210 to Villard-Reymond
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