The Rhône-Alpes region is renowned for its green spaces and sumptuous national parks. An enchanting natural setting where sports enthusiasts of all levels can indulge in their favorite activity without any problem while enjoying often exceptional panoramas. Put on your sneakers and your shorts, NOSC takes you today to discover the best hiking spots in Rhône-Alpes !
- Vanoise National Park
- Chartreuse National Park
- Chablais National Park
- Bonus: our best hiking spots in Auvergne
Vanoise National Park
Located in the Vanoise massif, between the Isère and Tarentaise valleys, this park reveals spectacular landscapes on the Italian border. More technical trails with paths accessible to all, lakes, passes and points are waiting for you. If you wish to make journeys of several days of hiking in Rhône-Alpes , many refuges will allow you to take a stopover and rest before continuing your hike.
The Vanoise National Park is:
- 400 kilometers of marked paths on a natural area of 535 square kilometers
- 107 peaks over 3000 meters high
- trails suitable for all levels of hikers and children
Some examples of routes:
- Circuit of the Sétives waterfalls (Difficult): it will take you about 6 hours to complete this 9 km loop with an elevation gain of 824 meters. Golden eagles, marmots, snow-capped peaks and lakes will be observed during this hike.
- Soufre Pass (Difficult): live a unique experience by reaching this pass culminating at 2,841 meters above sea level. This round trip of 23 kilometers is done in 9 hours, over one day or two days. Between lakes and glaciers, this sporty walk reveals a breathtaking geological diversity.
- La sapinière de Doucy (Easy): this 7 kilometer loop takes you to the middle of the mountains to allow you to admire a rich fauna and flora. This walk in the heart of a coniferous forest takes 3 hours and has an elevation gain of 392 meters.
- Tour de Lauziere (Sporty): fancy a 5-day hike? This is what this 64 kilometer loop offers you. Between cliffs and mountain pastures, discover absolutely sublime natural landscapes.
Chartreuse National Park
We are easily charmed by the wild and preserved landscapes of a place rich in natural, cultural and religious heritage. Bounded by the cities of Chambéry, Grenoble and Voiron, this national park reveals an astonishing contrast between greenery and limestone cliffs. Let yourself be carried away by the beauty of the landscapes of a hike in Rhône-Alpes!
The Chartreuse National Park is:
- 767 km 2 of forests, cliffs, mountain pastures and gorges
- 4 nature reserves working for the conservation of species
- a pre-Alpine massif culminating at 2082 meters above sea level
Some examples of routes :
- The waterfalls of the Cirque de St Same (Easy): this 3 km round trip offers you a walk between waterfalls, forest and torrents. One hour of guaranteed rejuvenation at the foot of the Hauts de Chartreuse nature reserve.
- Summit of the Dent de Crolles (Difficult): gain altitude with this 7.5 kilometer excursion and treat yourself to a 360° view of the Chartreuse and the Grésivaudan Valley. 4h30 and 630 meters of elevation gain will allow you to discover this emblematic summit.
- Summit of the Grand Som (Very difficult): culminating at 2026 meters, this summit dominates the monastery of the Grande Chartreuse. It will take you no less than 5 hours to complete this 9.5 kilometer circuit.
Chablais National Park
Located on the Vanoise massif, between the Isère valley, the Tarentaise and the Maurienne, this natural space extends over nearly 530 square kilometers. Aerial paths and breathtaking viewpoints await hikers who climb the sometimes steep slopes of this park. All levels of athletes can find a circuit adapted to their physical abilities.
Chablais National Park is:
- a UNESCO-designated Global Geopark
- a protected territory stretching from the southern shores of Lake Geneva to the gates of the sun
- diverse landscapes accessible on foot, by bike, on skis...
Some examples of routes :
- Les Meulières du Mont Vouan (Very easy): this 5.9 kilometer loop allows you to discover the millstones used from the High Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century. A walk of one and a half hours, without difficulty, which allows you to observe the historical heritage and marvelous landscapes.
- Mont Chéry (Easy): a superb round trip of 4.7 kilometers which offers you an exceptional view of the Mont-Blanc massif. It will take you about 2 hours to complete this circuit, accessible to families.
- The Pic du Marcelly (Intermediate): this loop of nearly 10 kilometers will take you through pastures and ridges before offering you a sumptuous panorama of Lac du Roy. A nice getaway of more than 3 hours to discover the landscapes of the Pic de Marcelly.
- Le Roc et Lac de Tavaneuse (Difficult): lakes, waterfalls, aerial paths, mountain pastures and diverse flora are on the rendezvous of this beautiful loop of 11 kilometers. Walk the paths of the Tavaneuse site and let yourself be guided by the beauty of the place.
Bonus: our best hiking spots in Auvergne
Nature lovers, the Auvergne region is full of natural treasures to discover to satisfy your hiking desires in Rhône-Alpes. Between lakes and volcanoes, discover sites classified as World Heritage by UNESCO. Here are some suggested itineraries:
- The GR 30 : this loop of 194 kilometers allows you to observe the different landscapes of Puy-de-Dôme. Passing through 33 municipalities, this hike allows you to connect the different spots of the Puys chain.
- Plomb du Cantal (Intermediate): culminating at 1855 meters, this summit belongs to the largest volcanic complex in Europe. Nearly 8 kilometers of walks to contemplate Mont-Dore, the Plateaux du Cézallier and Aubrac.
- Les Coteaux d'Artias (Intermediate): 12 kilometers with an elevation gain of 375 meters allow you to discover this exceptional area of Haute-Loire and the castle of Artias.
- The Cascade de la Pisserote (Intermediate): go for a 10 km walk in the Allier, to discover this sumptuous waterfall.
There are many possibilities for hiking through Auvergne to discover its enchanting landscapes. Many marked trails allow you to explore forests, mountains and volcanoes for a sporting moment in the heart of nature.