The 8 Best Hiking Trails In The Chartreuse

The 8 Best Hiking Trails in the Chartreuse

Experience the stunning beauty of Chartreuse with our guide to the 8 best hiking trails. From the majestic Grand Som to the peaceful Cirque de Saint-Même, we’ve got you covered. Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the French Alps. Plan your hiking adventure now!

Are you in need of some fresh mountain air and a boost of oxygen? Look no further than the Chartreuse massif, located in the French Pre-Alps across the departments of Isère and Savoie. This beautiful mountain range is home to remarkable flora and fauna, as well as some of the most iconic peaks in the French natural heritage.

What better way to experience the beauty of the Chartreuse than through a hiking adventure? Strap on your boots and pack your bags, because Generation Voyage has compiled a list of the best hikes for every level of hiker. Get ready to explore the Chartreuse like never before.


Best Things To Do in La Plagne

Best Things to do in Val d’Isère

Best Outdoor Activities in Valmorel

Most Beautiful Hikes in Chaîne de Belledonne

Most Beautiful Hikes to do in the Vercors

Best Hiking Trails in the Chartreuse You Should Go

1. Loop of the Dent de Crolles

  • Duration: 1h 45
  • Distance: 6.9 km
  • Height Difference: 678 meters
  • Difficulty: Difficult

The Boucle de la Dent de Crolles is one of the most beautiful hikes to do in the Chartreuse. The adventure begins with a climb into the pastures through the step of the Eye. Impressive cliffs already dominate the hiker. The ascent to the top of the Dent de Crolles offers the opportunity to admire the stunning valley of Perquelin.

Cables fixed in the rock make it possible to reach the Trou du Glaz, a network of caves carved into the mountain to explore at your leisure. But turning around is even more amazing! A breathtaking 360-degree view of the massifs and the valley allows hikers to see Mont Blanc on a clear day. How cool is that?

2. Trail from the Col de Porte to Chamechaude

  • Duration: 1h50
  • Distance: 7.4 km
  • Height Difference: 682 meters
  • Difficulty: Difficult

The hike to the Chamechaude is another stunning trek in the Chartreuse, beginning at Col de Porte. Traverse the forest of Montquaix until reaching the Chamechaude, the highest peak in the Chartreuse massif at 2,082 meters above sea level. After the forest trail, the path continues on rocky terrain, requiring sturdy shoes.

As the trail ascends along an aerial cliff, breathtaking views are offered. The trail culminates in a short wired section that provides reassurance for those with a fear of heights. The reward for this challenging trek is the panoramic view from the top, where you can take in the surrounding region and admire Mont Aiguille and the Vercors massif.

3. The ascent of Mount Granier

  • Duration: about 3h30
  • Distance: 11.4 km
  • Height Difference: 1,049 meters
  • Difficulty: Difficult

Welcome to the Hauts de Chartreuse nature reserve, located very close to La Plagne. To begin this hike, park your car at the Chemin des Plans and take the GR9 trail. The path gradually climbs along the slopes of Mount Granier, which dominates the Grésivaudan valley (east side) and the Chambéry cluse from its north face.

Speaking of its north face, this nearly 900-meter-high cliff is the result of a historical event. On the night of November 24 to 25, 1248, the largest landslide in European history occurred here! While admiring the incredible view of the Entremonts valley, it’s important to be cautious on the narrow and sometimes exposed paths. This is not a place for the faint-hearted or inexperienced hikers!

4. The Grand Som

  • Duration: about 4h30
  • Distance: 15.1 km
  • Height Difference: 1,513 meters
  • Difficulty: Medium

This Chartreuse hike starts at the Musée de la Correrie parking lot. The route begins with a peaceful walk through a dense forest, perfect for meditative contemplation. Along the way, you can visit the Monastery of the Grande Chartreuse before continuing to Habert de Bovinant, a mountain peak that rises to 1,635 meters above sea level.

From there, follow the markings along a steep path that leads to the Grand Som, which offers stunning views of green slopes from April to September. However, be careful of the sometimes slippery rocks. Once you reach the summit cross, take in the breathtaking beauty of the Chartreuse massif and don’t forget to consult the two orientation tables that identify the spectacular mountains.

5. Mount Rachais from the Col de Vence

  • Duration: 2h20
  • Distance: 8.7 km
  • Height Difference: 418 meters
  • Difficulty: Easy

At Col de Vence, visitors can park their cars and follow a small road near the bar-restaurant to reach the GR9 trail. The trail is marked with red and white markings and leads to the Batteries trail. It gradually ascends and reaches the crest of Mount Rachais.

From there, the summit is not far away, and a small belvedere allows for a stunning view of the regional natural park. This hike in the Chartreuse is friendly and not too exposed, making it suitable for hiking in regular shoes or even snowshoeing in winter.

6. Cascade of the Cirque de Saint-Même

  • Duration: less than 1 h
  • Distance: 2.7 km
  • Height Difference: 226 meters
  • Difficulty: Medium

If you’re looking for a family-friendly trail, head towards Les Combettes from the village of Saint-Même-d’en-Haut. Your objective is to follow the torrent and reach the sources of Guiers-Vif, passing through hamlets along the way.

The forest trail is punctuated with pretty clearings that lead to the Guiers-Vif waterfall. Brave hikers can take a dip in the icy water, but be cautious as the rocks can be slippery, especially for younger hikers.

The surroundings are reminiscent of a scene from a fantastic film, with lush and bright green vegetation enveloping you. This hike in Chartreuse is an excellent option for both young and old and is particularly enjoyable during the summer months.

7. Pravouta Loop

  • Duration: 1h30
  • Distance: 4.5 km
  • Height Difference: 321 meters
  • Difficulty: Difficult

The Pravouta loop is a great hike to do in the Chartreuse region, located close to Saint-Pancrasse in Isère. The trail starts at the Col du Coq and goes up through a forest trail to Habert de Pravouta. From there, follow the trail to the pass of the same name and then walk along the north ridge to the top.

You will be rewarded with a stunning view of the valley stretching in front of you. The hike then continues by taking the Col des Ayes and eventually reaching the famous GR9. With a low elevation gain, this hike is accessible to Sunday hikers and children.

Beautiful meadows along the route offer perfect picnic spots and also provide an opportunity to watch raptors hovering, including buzzards and sometimes even golden eagles.

8. The Charming Som

  • Duration: less than 1 h
  • Distance: 2.7 km
  • Height Difference: 185 meters
  • Difficulty: Medium

This hiking trail in Chartreuse offers a breathtaking view of numerous peaks, including the Belledonne range, the Vercors, and even the king of the Alps, Mont Blanc. To begin, head to the parking lot of Auberge du Charmant Som in the town of Les Cottaves. From there, you will face a steep but short climb to the top of Charming Som.

Along the way, take in the incredible landscape of rocky and grassy terrain while keeping your eyes wide open. Upon reaching the summit cross, it’s time to take a well-deserved break. Trust us, it was worth it!

I hope you find the article “Best Hiking Trails in the Chartreuse” helpful.

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Al Amin Sagor

Hi, I'm Al Amin Sagor. Join me as I share travel tips, personal insights, and amazing experiences that have shaped my adventures. Let's explore together and make lasting memories.

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