Les Lacs circuit (trail route no. 11)
La Roche-de-Rame

Les Lacs circuit (trail route no. 11)

Lake and glacier
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Encounter mountain lakes and astonishing vantage points! 

A splendid excursion which should delight those of a contemplative nature! Biodiversity will unfold with each passing step, culminating at the Lac de l'Ascension! The Pelvoux massif will be your constant companion along this circuit. 



Facing away from the entrance to the lake campsite, turn right to go through the village of La Roche-de-Rame along the Rue “Les Queyras”. After going past the cemetery, continue to the right. 

  1. Turn left. At the end of this track, at the D38 continue by turning right. A little further up, cross the bridge on the right. After the Bouchouse hydroelectric power station, turn left. Carry on along the path until you come to the Bel Pinet sector.
  2. At the Bel Pinet sector, take the path on the right to start the descent. 
  3. As you approach the pink marble quarries, take the path on the left. This is a technical section. Then after a succession of hairpins, continue straight on towards Le Lauzet.
  4. At the chalets in Le Lauzet, turn left onto a forest road. In Le Giet, take the track on the right leading to the Collet du Peyron, the Lac Escur and then on to the Lac de l'Ascension. After the Lac de l'Ascension, you come to the Cabane de l'Alpavin and then Le Puy. 
  5. AIn Le Puy, continue by taking the track on the right.
  6. Continue to the right. You pass a succession of hairpins and come to La Roche-de-Rame, through the Barthéou district. 
  • Departure : Camping du lac (lake campsite), La Roche-de-Rame
  • Arrival : Camping du lac (lake campsite), La Roche-de-Rame
  • Towns crossed : La Roche-de-Rame

11 points of interest

  • Water

    Bouchouse mountain stream

    The Bouchouse mountain stream is fed by the Le Pansier and La Pisse mountain streams 1,900 metres above sea level. It crosses the municipality of La Roche-de-Rame, supplying it with water. This mountain stream then flows into the Durance below the municipality.

  • History

    Bel Pinet

    Bel Pinet stands at 1,400 metres above sea level in the Bouchouse valley, in the municipality of La Roche-de-Rame. Bel Pinet, or Bel-Pinet, designates the slopes under the rocky cliffs of the Oumbras. It was once irrigated by the Bel Pinet Canal, which suggests that it used to be cultivated and would therefore have been less wooded. The term "Pinet" simply means a place planted with pines (Pinus in Latin). So Bel Pinet means a beautiful place planted with pines, or a beautiful pine wood.
  • Flora

    Pine forest

    The path runs through a forest of Scots pine, recognisable by its orangey trunk, especially at the top. This tree is very drought-resistant (it is very limey soil here) and can also withstand low temperatures. It is therefore found in large numbers in the intra-alpine valleys. 

  • Flora

    The aspen wood

    Here, a wood of aspen trees, with smooth greenish trunks and round, crenulated leaves, adopt magnificent autumn colours. The petiole («tail») of aspen leaves is flat and twisted and can therefore be caught by the slightest breath of air. This has the effect of making the foliage tremble, hence its French name bois de tremble!

  • History

    The Pink Marble of Combe Mounière

    In the nineteenth century, there were four quarries in La Roche-de-Rame. They exploited deposits of metamorphosed limestone which was pink in colour. One of these, the Combe Mounière quarry, produced stone which was used in particular in the construction of the new Cathedral of Saint-Arnoux in Gap, between 1866 and 1904. When exposed to the elements, the surface of the limestone takes on a grey patina.

  • Fauna

    The spotted nutcracker

    A harsh call sounds from the forest. A jay perhaps? No, a nutcracker, its cousin. With dark, white-spotted plumage, this bird's strong beak can break open hazelnuts (although not walnuts as suggested by its name in French, cassenoix (walnut breaker)) and in particular it can dissect Swiss pine cones in order to reach the pine nuts inside. It inhabits high forests. It buries Swiss pine nuts in the ground to store up food for the winter. When winter comes, it will find the pine nuts again even under a thick layer of snow. Those it forgets will germinate.
  • Flora

    The Norway spruce

    Its slender conical silhouette can rise to a height of 40 to 50 metres. It is the tallest of the indigenous softwood trees. Its white wood has a scent of resin. It is widely used for wooden framework in construction, and also to make musical instruments because it is strong and easy to work. Its long, pointed cones hang downwards, unlike fir cones which are upright. It can live for between 300 and 400 years.
  • Flora

    Cotton grass

    On the water's edge, in the wet meadow, plants with a cottony head sway gently. This is cotton grass, a plant which has insignificant rudimentary flowers but it has fruits that have feathery tufts which aid their dispersal by the wind. The fruits are grouped in such a way that their tufts form a very appealing «pompom»! These plants are well adapted to the mountain climate.

  • Fauna

    The common frogs

    The common frog has adapted to high altitudes and can occupy waters up to an altitude of 2,800 metres. It is capable of surviving the harsh winters by sheltering from freezing temperatures under a rock or tree stump. This amphibian is the most common frog in the mountains and is recognisable by its chocolate coloured mask which highlights its golden eyes. Interestingly, the tadpoles mature very slowly: it takes two years for them to become adults.

  • Lake

    The Lac de l'Ascension

    La Roche-de-Rame lies between two small valleys where the municipality's alpine pastures are located: the Bouchouse and L'Ascension valleys. The latter only has one sheepfold and a number of lakes, including the Lac de l'Ascension, lying at an altitude of 2,306 metres.

  • Geology and geography

    The limestone pavement

    The limestone pavement is a more or less horizontal geological surface formation created in compact limestone. It is the result of the dissolving of the carbonate substances in the limestone by cold water flowing over it, which leads to the formation of crevices, gullies and cavities. Numerous limestone pavements were formed when the large Quaternary glaciers melted (cold water!), but they continue to be eroded when the snow melts.


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.

Short-toed snake eagle

Impacted practices:
Sensitivity periods:
Parc National des Écrins Julien Charron julien.charron@ecrins-parcnational.fr


Before setting off, it is very important to check the opening periods for this route on the website: https://stationdetrail.com/fr/stations/le-pays-des-ecrins/parcours

Share your photographs on social networks with #stationdetrailecrins

Check weather conditions before setting off.

Rescue services contact details: Secours Montagne (Mountain Rescue): +33 (0)4 92 22 22 22 or 112 

Show consideration for the work of farmers, livestock keepers and owners

Close all gates behind you

Take your litter home

Do not take shortcuts across pastureland

The trail routes are also suitable for walking

Information desks

Vallouise Park house

, 05290 Vallouise

http://www.ecrins-parcnational.fr/vallouise@ecrins-parcnational.fr04 92 23 58 08

Information, documentation, models, exhibitions, screenings, product sales and works of the Park. Guided tours for school, reservation required. The new Park House opened in Vallouise since June 1, and offers visitors an interactive permanent exhibition inviting to explore the area and its heritage. A temporary exhibition space will allow a renewed offer. Finally, the device is completed by an audiovisual room to organize screenings and conferences Free admission. All animations of the Park are free unless otherwise stated.

Find out more

23 Avenue de la République, 05120 L'Argentière-La Bessée

https://www.paysdesecrins.com/contact@paysdesecrins.com+33(0)4 92 23 03 11


Public transport >> www.pacamobilite.fr

Consider car-sharing >> www.blablacar.fr

For more information, ask at the Tourist Information Office nearest to the trail starting point. 

Access and parking

6.5 km from L'Argentière-La Bessée, take the N94.

More information


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