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National Parks of France # 6: The Ecrins National Park

High mountain, wild landscapes and vast expanses are at the rendezvous in the heart of the Ecrins National Park. Between the Northern Alps and the Southern Alps, this preserved territory is a mineral and vegetable treasure with vertiginous reliefs. To discover in any season ...

Dn the massif of the Alps, from Isère to the Hautes-Alpes, the Ecrins National Park covers an area of ​​93 hectares. With more than 000 peaks reaching an altitude of 150 meters, and more than 3 hectares of glacier, this territory constitutes an extraordinary playground for high mountain enthusiasts. Alpine meadows, forests, glaciers, deep valleys and snow-capped peaks are an invitation to discovery and thrills.

A little history to start

The history of Ecrins National Park created in 1973, began in 1913 with the creation of the Bérarde park. It would later become the Parc de l'Oisans then the Parc de Pelvoux. It was not until 1973 that he will wear the title of National Park. He obtains this status because of its extraordinary biological richness and its exceptional reliefs. This title will then allow the reintroduction of ibex, but also the development of an action plan for the reception of tourists. The stakeholders of the park will also carry out numerous development works, while respecting sustainable development.

Lac de Saint-Apollinaire and the Grand Morgon in the early morning in summer light
Lac de Saint-Apollinaire and the Grand Morgon in the early morning in summer light

A wild territory

Dance the Ecrins National Park, the imprint left by man has been discreet. The mountain population formerly devoted to agro-pastoralism, has gradually turned to tourist activity. The inhabitants, however, have kept in mind the respect due to this thousand-year-old mountain which welcomes them. In the heart of the Park, you can only get around on foot. Thus in the shelter of the valleys, along the ridges and on the highest peaks, 750 kilometers of maintained and marked trails await the guides, the keepers of shelters, the hikers and the sportsmen in love with unspoiled nature, but also and especially the shepherds. Because the pastoral vocation of the Park has always been maintained. In the mountain pastures and pastures of the Ecrins massif, cattle, sheep, goats and horses, accompanied by their breeders, roam freely.

Breeding in the Ecrins National Park

Sports and Recreation

The extraordinary high mountain landscapes of Ecrins National Park are also the ideal setting for a sporting stay, or a moment of relaxation with the family. For families, play areas are set up in the membership area, and a wide range of leisure activities are offered there, such as badminton, volleyball, tennis, pétanque, or tree climbing ... Aquatic activities such as rafting or kayaking appeal to an increasingly large audience. But hiking in the heart of the Park are still the most popular with visitors looking for inaccessible lands. Among the unmissable spots, the refuge of Bans, the refuge of the Glacier Blanc and the lake of Eychauda share the honors. Climbers find their happiness in the Lauvitel reserve, on Mount Pelvoux, or on the emblematic Barre des Ecrins.

Hiking in the mountains of Oisans
Hiking in the mountains of Oisans

A rich biodiversity

The vast territory of Ecrins National Park home to nearly 2 plant species, 500 vertebrate species and countless species of insects, arachnids and amphibians. When hiking, it is not rare to come across the route of royal eagles, chamois, Isabelle butterflies, alpine ptarmigan, stoats, marmots or ibex. A few wolves have also taken up residence in the park. This natural paradise is otherwise a magnificent setting for blue thistle, rhododendrons, queen of the Alps and genepi.

Chamois in the Ecrins National Park
Chamois in the Ecrins National Park

The Ecrins National Park is a life-size destination to discover from spring to winter. The landscapes guarantee visitors amazement and escape. Don't wait any longer to discover this majestic site.