Walking in the Brianconnais

40 walking routes in the French Alps exploring high mountain landscapes near Briancon

By Andrew McCluggage

Guidebook of 40 walks around Briançon in France. Walks for all abilities ranging from 1½ to 7hrs. The book focuses on the stunning valleys of Clarée, Cerveyrette, Ayes, Durance and Guisane, and includes the magnificent Alpine landscapes around Vallouise and Montgenèvre.



From May to October. Some high peaks and cols will be snow-covered until late June and the main walking season therefore runs from the middle/end of June to the end of September.


Briançon, La Grave, Le Monetier-les-Bains, Montgenèvre, Névache, Vallouise


All abilities are catered for. Walks from 1½ to 7hrs graded easy, medium, hard or very hard.
Must See

Must See

5 stunning valleys around Briançon - Clarée, Cerveyrette, Ayes, Durance and Guisane; magnificent Alpine landscapes around Vallouise and Montgenèvre; beautiful peaks, lakes and valleys; historic hill forts.
4 May 2018
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.4cm
  • Overview

    The 40 walks in this guidebook explore the stunning landscapes around Briançon. Walks range from 4 to 21km, and cover the valleys of Clarée, Cerveyrette, Ayes, Durance and Guisane, as well as the area around Vallouise and Montgenèvre. All the routes are circular and graded from easy to very hard, so there is a walk to suit all abilities.

    Alongside detailed route descriptions and maps, the guidebook provides practical advice on when to visit and the best bases for exploring the region. There are notes on plants and wildlife, and information on the many hill forts in the area. Stunning photographs add to the appeal of this informative guide.

    The Briançonnais is a stunning mountain wilderness packed with snow-capped peaks, idyllic valleys, pastures full of wildflowers, sparkling alpine lakes, historic hill forts and a labyrinth of quiet paths. With a rural charm and a milder climate than the northern Alps, it is a region ripe for discovery, and this guide is the perfect place to start.

  • Contents

    Valleys of the Briançonnais and Montgenèvre
    Plants and flowers
    Getting there
    Getting around
    When to go
    Where to base yourself
    Food and drink
    Via ferrata
    What to take
    Using this guide
    Clarée Valley
    Walk 1 Col de Dormillouse
    Walk 2 Fort de l’Olive and Fort de Lenlon
    Walk 3 Col des Thures
    Walk 4 Lac Noir
    Walk 5 Refuge de Buffère by the Côte Rouge
    Walk 6 Pic du Lac Blanc, Lac Laramon and Lac du Serpent
    Walk 7 Col des Muandes
    Walk 8 Tour of the Massif des Cerces
    Walk 9 Le Chenaillet
    Walk 10 Fort du Gondran
    Walk 11 Mont Chaberton
    Cerveyrette Valley
    Walk 12 Alp du Pied
    Walk 13 Fort de la Lausette and the Peygus
    Walk 14 Col de Bousson
    Walk 15 Lac des Cordes
    Ayes Valley
    Walk 16 Lac du Plan Vallon
    Walk 17 Col des Ayes
    Walk 18 Fort de la Croix de Bretagne and la Grande Maye
    Walk 19 Lac de l’Orceyrette
    Durance Valley
    Walk 20 Lac Palluel and Lac Faravel
    Walk 21 Lac de Fangeas
    Walk 22 Dormillouse High Circuit
    Walk 23 Crête de la Rortie
    Walk 24 La Grande Cabane
    Walk 25 La Blanche
    Walk 26 Chapelle St Hippolyte
    Walk 27 Croix de la Salcette
    Walk 28 Cime de la Condamine
    Walk 29 La Croix d’Aquila
    Guisane Valley
    Walk 30 Briançon and Fort des Salettes
    Walk 31 La Croix de Toulouse
    Walk 32 Circuit of le Grand Area
    Walk 33 La Grande Peyrolle by the Crête de Peyrolle
    Walk 34 Grand Lac de l’Oule
    Walk 35 La Cime des Conchiers
    Walk 36 Lac de Combeynot
    Walk 37 Les Arêtes de la Bruyère
    Walk 38 L’Aiguillette du Lauzet Circuit
    Walk 39 Lacs du Glacier d’Arsine
    Walk 40 Plateau d’Emparis

    Appendix A Route summary table
    Appendix B Hill forts
    Appendix C Useful contacts
    Appendix D Bibliography and further reading

  • Updates
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    We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our contact form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).

  • Reviews
    ​Cicerone's hiking guides never fail to disappoint

    Cicerone's hiking guides never fail to disappoint, and this new addition is no exception. The French Alps are perfect for getting your adventure fix when you don't have the means to travel too far, and the hiking opportunities are fantastically varied. The 40 walks detailed here can all be found in the tranquil and lesser-known Brianconnais, where you'll find the highest city in France nestled among realms of pretty, snow-dusted peaks and ethereal wildflower meadows. Each circular route includes a detailed map, full description of the route and a summary to help you select routes based on your ability and hiking preferences, with something for everyone to choose from.

    Adventure Travel magazine

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Andrew McCluggage

Andrew McCluggage was born in Northern Ireland where he still lives with his wife and two children. A hill-walking and mountain biking fanatic, he spends a large part of his time in the Briançonnais. After two decades as a corporate lawyer, he decided to do something more interesting and started writing walking guides.

You can follow Andrew on Instagram and facebook: @knifeedgeoutdoor

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