Walking and Hiking
The gateway to the southern Alps
Serre Chevalier is in the centre of spectacular walking territory and is a perfect base for exploring the surrounding valleys and mountains. Being in the southern Alps, the region enjoys over 300 days of sunshine a year and is characterised by dramatic peaks rising above the crystal clear lakes and rivers of green and vibrant valleys. There are hundreds of kilometres of well marked paths, with routes to suit all levels of fitness and experience, from relaxed valley walks to demanding full day hikes.
Easy access to spectacular walking
“One of the most visually spectaular
areas in all the Alps”
Kev Reynolds, Ecrins National Park, 70 walking routes in the French Alps, Cicerone Press
During the summer months it is possible to take cablecars to the start of some walks, giving quick access to spectacular views. See our summer lift passes page for details of lift opening dates and prices. The start of several excellent walks are a short drive away, so a self-drive holiday can be very convenient, or alternatively you can make use of the reliable local bus network.
The heart of varied walking territory
The Serre Chevalier Valley is in the centre of several fantastic walking areas. To the west is the large and dramatic Ecrins National Park; with spectacular glaciers and soaring peaks this is true high-mountain territory with more than 100 summits over 3,000m. To the south east is the sunny hillwalking of the Queyras region, where it is possible to walk to the top of several high mountain summits. To the north east is the remote Vallée de la Clarée, where the local communities of Névache and the Vallée Etroite have worked over many decades to keep the environment in its natural unspoiled state.
Alpine flora and fauna
A walk in the Serre Chevalier region includes the chance to see native Alpine animals including chamoix, ibex, marmots, wolves and golden eagles. The mountains are covered in Alpine pastures with wild plants and flowers, and you can also visit the stunning Jardin Alpin botanical garden at the Col du Lautaret.
The walking areas around Briancon have hundreds of kilometres of well marked footpaths, including sections of several famous GR (Grande Randonnee) routes. The long distance GR5 path comes right through the valley. This amazing route starts in Holland, crosses the French Alps from Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) where it becomes known as the GTA (Grand Traversée des Alpes) and finishes in Nice.
A number of other GR's and regional paths (GRP's) also pass through or near to the valley and provide options for excellent day hikes. These include:
GR50 around the Ecrins National Park
GR54 around the Oisans valley and Ecrins National Park
GR57 Tour du Mont Thabor towards the Hautes-Alpes / Savoie border
GR58 around the Queyras region
For shorter walks there are many local paths (PRs) in the valley giving access to easier more relaxed routes.