Les Eyssarts
Les Vigneaux

Les Eyssarts

History and architecture
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A walk through forest for the most part, its high point being a panoramic view over the Vallouise valley.
This itinerary introduces you to three villages in the territory - Les Vigneaux, Puy Saint-Vincent and Vallouise-Pelvoux - all in tranquil surroundings and which time seems to have passed by. On top of this, the circuit offers a panoramic view from the chapel of Saint-Romain, a fine example of the historical, iconic architecture of the municipality of Puy Saint-Vincent.


The route starts at Le Pont du Rif, from the car park on the right-hand bank of the Gyronde. Take the paved road heading towards the campsite «Le Courounba»

  1. Before you reach the campsite, go left onto a path which runs just above it
  2. At the intersection, continue straight ahead towards Les Eyssarts (Snowshoe track ("Piste de raquettes") no. 10)
  3. At the end of the path, turn left and after 150 metres head right onto the heritage path ("Sentier du patrimoine") towards the chapel of Saint-Romain 
  4. Turn right and after another 150 metres turn left which takes you up a short incline. At the end of the path, where you reach the D4, head right and after 15 metres turn right again onto a track leading to the chapel of Saint-Romain
  5. At the chapel of Saint-Romain, retrace your steps until you are back on the road, then turn left again and start the descent, following signs for Vallouise, via the "Sentier du facteur" (postman's path)
  6. At the end of the track, head left to continue downhill on a new track which brings you to the D4 again. Carry on downhill and at the intersection turn right towards the Park Centre ("Maison du Parc")
  7. Leave the road going right to follow the Gyronde towards Champ Clément, Les Parchers and La Chambon. After 350 metres, turn left and continue in the same direction 
  8. Turn right again, following the first part of the trail in reverse, to skirt around the campsite and back to your starting point
  • Departure : Pont du Rif (right-hand bank of the Gyronde), Les Vigneaux
  • Arrival : Pont du Rif (right-hand bank of the Gyronde), Les Vigneaux
  • Towns crossed : Les Vigneaux, Vallouise-Pelvoux, and Puy-Saint-Vincent

7 points of interest

  • Flora

    Riparian forest

    The track runs through a wood of alder, beech, aspen and oak, the remnant of the natural forest growing at the water's edge, called riparian forest. This type of forest is in decline everywhere, destroyed by urbanisation and by containment of the mountain streams. Yet it is an essential zone for the fixation of river banks and for purifying the water. Since it offers specific natural habitats, it also plays a major role in maintaining biodiversity.

  • History

    Les Eyssarts

    The track runs through a place called Les Eyssarts, which gave this circuit its name. This name comes from the word essart which refers to «a place that has been cleared, most often to create agricultural land». A few meadows, but above all former canals and low walls hidden under the advancing forest, bear witness to this past use of the land.

  • Fauna

    The Eurasian blackcap

    Hidden in the tree foliage, the Eurasian blackcap announces its presence with its loud and piping song. Its head is adorned with a cap which is black in the male and russet in the female. The rest of its plumage is greyish, its underside lighter than its back. It is a migratory bird which travels to the Maghreb to overwinter. However, increasing numbers of birds make only a partial migration, flying to the south of France to spend the winter. 

  • History

    The chapel of Saint-Romain

    Included on the Supplementary Inventory of Historical Monuments in 1931, the chapel of Saint-Romain has been converted into an eco museum. It was the first chapel to be built in Puy-Saint-Vincent and is thought to date from the twelfth century. Up to the mid-fifteenth century, the village bore the name of its patron saint: Puy-Saint-Romain. Then, in honour of the arrival of the Dominican monk Vincent Ferrier, the village took the name Puy-Saint-Vincent. It stands on a rocky promontory outside the village, and offers a panoramic view over the Les Écrins massif and the Gyronde Valley, over Vallouise in particular.
  • Fauna

    The Alpine copse snail

    On the damp banks of the stream, hidden in the grass, is a snail with a beautiful golden brown shell speckled with brown, decorated with a dark spiral stripe. It has a black body. The alpine copse snail is relatively rare and, as its name suggests, it is found in the Alps. It is a sub-species of the ordinary copse snail, which is present across Europe.

  • Fauna

    The long-tailed tit

    Some birds are causing a stir in a tree, constantly coming and going and uttering little calls. They are round and black and pinkish beige in colour with a long tails, hence their name, the long-tailed tit. They are resident birds and always live in small groups. They inhabit forests, undergrowth and even gardens. They weave a ball-shaped nest out of lichen, moss and dry grass.

  • Flora

    The laserwort

    After the bridge, a large plant with flowers arranged in umbels (in other words, an umbellifer) clings to a small rock bar to the right of the track, the laserwort. This plant belongs to the family Apiaceae, which used to be called umbellifers, and grows in dry areas. It has a distinctive feature: in autumn, the basal part of the stem breaks of its own accord and the entire plant, now dry, sets off rolling down the hillside like a large ball, or is blown by the wind.


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

Short-toed snake eagle

Impacted practices:
Sensitivity periods:
Parc National des Écrins
Julien Charron


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

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

Les Alberts, 05290 Puy Saint Vincent 1400 m

https://www.paysdesecrins.com/contact@paysdesecrins.com+33(0)4 92 23 35 80


Public transports >> www.pacamobilite.fr
Consider car-sharing >> www.blablacar.fr

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

Access and parking

4.7 km from L'Argentière-La Bessée, take the D994E.

Parking :

Car park close to the Pont du Rif (right-hand bank of the Gyronde), Les Vigneaux

More information


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