The chapel at Saint-Marcellin

The chapel at Saint-Marcellin

History and architecture
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A family walk, with many flowers at the end of Spring, which weaves along the edge of the slope to the chapel which is named after the first Bishop Embrun. 

Les Gourniers, is a characteristic mountain hamlet, that marks the entrance to Chargès valley and to the Ecrins National Park. Next, a succession of cascades adds to the enchanting atmosphere of the path as  well as the verdant flora of the  valley. Chabrières peak reminds us of the reality of the mountains. 


From the carpark at Gourniers, cross the hamlet to go up the valley along the torrent at Chargès. Follow the path until Saint-Marcellin chapel. Go back following the same itinerary.

  • Departure : Les Gourniers, Réallon
  • Towns crossed : Réallon

8 points of interest

  • Vernacular heritage

    Communal oven

    This is located in the basement of the former school (now the Park Information Centre). It is regularly used on the occasion of local festivals and events.
  • Architecture

    Hamlet of Les Gourniers

    The old houses of the hamlet are modest in appearance. They are built from stone and have sheet metal roofs. They used to be roofed with slate extracted from the nearby quarries
  • Architecture

    Chapel of the Nativity

    It is difficult to be sure of the chapel's date of construction, but is existed in 1700. The bell was installed in 1870, but the bell tower was built in 1956. In 2013, a new larch shingle roof replaced the old corrugated iron roof, 
  • Fauna

    Black Woodpecker

    This funny red bird with a red helmet and a long light coloured beak is the biggest woodpecker in the Alps. It is difficult to see because it is very solitary and distrustful. However, thanks to numerous clues that reveal its presence, it is possible to place its song and its very typical and sonorous. It taps endlessly to defend its territory and to find bark beetles or carpenter ants. 

  • Fauna

    Long Tailed Tit

    This Tit is easily recognizable thanks to its ball of feathers coloured white, black, brown and pink, extended by a very long tail. Not very selective, it adapts to all kinds of forest environments as long as they are dense. Although it is more common on the plain, it is also present in the mountains up to an altitude of 2 000 m in the Alps. Unlike other tits, the Long Tailed Tit nests in a spherical and flexible nest which grows little by little as the young birds develop.  

  • Fauna

    Rock Bunting

    The Rock Bunting is mainly a Southern mountain species. In the cold season, it migrates towards the valleys or the plains. In Spring, from the top of a bush, sings his song, agreeable but not very remarkable or loud.  As long as you are discreet and attentive, it is possible to sometimes hear his little "tsip", high-pitched brief cries.

  • Fauna


    Discreetly hanging onto the cliff thanks to its long clawed feet, the Wallcreeper is on a search for insects and spiders that it’s long, narrow, curved beak enables it to extract. The unique representative of the Tichodroma family, the   Wallcreeper dominates the vertical mountain wall where it finds its home and safety. Not a shy species, it is emblematic of the mountain region, the Wallcreeper sometimes moves closer to the villages in Winter.

  • Fauna

    Short Toed Snake Eagle

    Spring has only just returned when you can hear cries as loud as the church bells. You have to lift your head up to admire two large birds flying together, alternating aerobatics and hovering in the sky like two silver coloured kites playing with the wind.. Their light stocky silhouette and their darker head enable you to identify the Short-toed Snake Eagle. It mainly feeds on reptiles (lizards and snakes) which it captures by the head, which it can then regurgitate in order to feed its young. 


Altimetric profile

Sensitive areas

Along your trek, you will go through sensitive areas related to the presence of a specific species or environment. In these areas, an appropriate behaviour allows to contribute to their preservation. For detailed information, specific forms are accessible for each area.

Golden eagle

Impacted practices:
Aerial, , Vertical
Sensitivity periods:
Parc National des Écrins
Julien Charron


Is in the midst of the park
The national park is an unrestricted natural area but subjected to regulations which must be known by all visitors.

Information desks

Information center "les Gourniers" (summer only)

Les Gourniers, 05160 Réallon 92 44 30 36

Les Gourniers
05160 Réallon
Tel :

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Maison du Parc de l'Embrunais

Place de l’Église, 05380 Châteauroux-les-Alpes 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.

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Access and parking

From Savines-le-lac, just after the bridge, take the road to Réallon. Follow the signs marked "Parc national des Ecrins", until the hamlet at Gourniers at the bottom of the valley. 

More information


Parc national des Ecrins

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