The 9 Most Beautiful Hikes in Chaîne de Belledonne

Discover the most stunning hikes on the Chaîne de Belledonne! From the majestic peaks of the Grand Pic de Belledonne to the tranquil valleys of the Eau d’Olle, our comprehensive guide has everything you need to plan your next adventure. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of this mountain range – start planning your trip today!

Are you attracted by wild and unspoilt landscapes? Come and discover away from the crowds your new playground: the discreet and mysterious massif of Belledonne.

From Grenoble to Chambéry, the Belledonne chain is more than 60 kilometers of snow-capped peaks and a wild land suitable for hiking. A thermal destination, the massif is also assimilated to the well-being of body and mind.

This high place intended for calm and contemplation, however, represents an insurmountable barrier to human activity. It is indeed one of the only mountains not yet crossed by a road pass.

As you will have understood, only hiking enthusiasts and curists come to venture on the massif in search of grandiose panoramas in an intimacy that is rarely found on the trails.


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With natural treasures hidden everywhere on the massif, we unveil 9 exceptional routes to discover the different facets of the Chaîne de Belledonne.

1. Lake Crozet

  • Duration: about 3h40
  • Distance: 9.8 km
  • Height difference: 689 m
  • Difficulty: Difficult

Are you looking for the family hike with the most grandiose panoramas? This trail will allow you to access the high-altitude lake of Crozet perched on the side of a cliff in a mineral landscape. Like an infinity pool, the turquoise blue of the water directly overlooks the Grésivaudan valley.

From above, it is a magnificent view of the Chartreuse massif and the Col de la Pra that awaits you. And if the hike is done on foot during the summer season, the place is suitable for ski touring and snowshoeing in winter. Accessible to all, young and old will not be able to miss such a beautiful show.

2. The Refuge Combe Madame and Cascade du Pissou

  • Duration: about 5 hours
  • Distance: 9.7 km
  • Height difference: 816 m
  • Difficulty: Easy

In the heart of the Massif de Belledonne, the trail will make you discover the Combe Madame refuge. Nestled at 1,784 meters above sea level, this solitary dwelling home to the greatest adventurers of the mountain is surrounded by peaks. It must be said that the panorama alone is worth the detour!

Continuing the ascent, you can also see beautiful lakes and the famous Pissou waterfall: beware of the eyes, it is splendid! Easy and accessible to all, this superb walk is on a totally shaded path, ideal to escape the summer heat and quietly make the ascent.

Count between 3 and 5 hours for this hike which is a must for nature lovers!

3. Crop Lake

  • Duration: about 2h30
  • Distance: 8.2 km
  • Height difference: 664 m
  • Difficulty: Medium

Let’s now discover a great classic of Belledonne: the hike of The Crop Lake. Leading you to a beautiful lake, this round trip will offer you a grandiose panorama of the Chartreuse and ferrouillet. The arrival on the lake is amazing and the climb will give you access to different views of waterfalls.

To relieve your ascent, a good part of the trail is done in the shade, which remains very appreciable during the summer months! From the Pont de Betta, this hike is a pleasant discovery to enjoy the beauty of the Belledonne range.

4. The Loop of the Great Cat

  • Duration: about 3 hours
  • Distance: 9.7 km
  • Height difference: 541 m
  • Difficulty: Medium

In the grandiose panoramas of the Chaîne de Belledonne, the loop of Grand Chat is not to be missed. This hike will offer you a superb 360 ° on the Chartreuse, Belledonne as well as the Bauges and Mont-Blanc.

The trail starts with a small forest road and then makes you progress on beautiful ridges. From here, you can see an impressive landscape, almost unreal on the surrounding massifs. And impossible to get lost with this perfectly marked route, even if the hike may be slightly physical, it remains accessible to all.

5. The Boucle des Plagnes

  • Duration: about 2h15
  • Distance: 7.9 km
  • Height difference: 522 m
  • Difficulty: Medium

Direction the mountain pastures of Belledonne to access the Boucle des Plagnes. The trail will first take you to the Col de Claran and its superb orientation table before reaching a ridge path bordered by alpine pastures.

From there, you can see a magnificent panorama of the Bauges and Chartreuse region to Mont Blanc and Mont-Aiguille. Very well marked and easy to access, it is the ideal hike to discover the Chaîne de Belledonne by the ridges.

6. Lac de Belledonne

  • Duration: about 3 hours
  • Distance: 11.9 km
  • Height difference: 933 m
  • Difficulty: Medium

Go to Lake Belledonne to discover a superb hike accompanied by a beautiful view of the entire massif. From Coteyssard, the circuit takes you to the lake by progressing on a wild and preserved trail.

The finish is grandiose with a superb panorama of La Croix de Belledonne, the Sept Laux but also the Grandes Rousses and Rissiou massif. If the lake is known to be “small”, its size contrasts with the immensity of the walls that surround it.

And to add even more magic: take this trail in the spring to observe the lake around its surrounding snowfields.

7. The Chicken Crest

  • Duration: about 2 hours
  • Distance: 6 km
  • Height difference: 343 m
  • Difficulty: Medium

Between forests and meadows, find in this hike magnificent panoramas in the heart of the Massif de Belledonne. The route will take you to the middle of the mountain pastures in order to observe it in a new light and to appreciate its different facets.

The trail will allow you to discover the Crêt du Poulet before returning by the ridges with a 360 ° panorama of the Massif de la Grande Chartreuse on one side and the Vanoise on the other.

Ideal for the whole family, it is a pleasant walk accessible to children and without difficulty. It is also possible to cool off directly at the refuge you will cross on the trail. We love this hike to discover the beautiful mountain pastures of the Chaîne Belledonne.

8. The Circuit du Refuge de l’Oule and Chalet du Bout

  • Duration: about 3 hours
  • Distance: 10.6 km
  • Height difference: 1,061 m
  • Difficulty: Medium

If you want to make a day of discovery in the Belledonne massif, this superb loop will give you access to sublime landscapes on the region. The hike starts with a fairly sustained climb that will then offer a superb panorama of the Chartreuse and the Bauges.

It will be necessary to continue a little the ascent before finally accessing the refuge of the Oule, an excellent stage for alpine hikes. It is also an opportunity for a gourmet and refreshing stop before leaving to conquer the mountain. The landscape then transforms, more mineral and less green: the high mountain is close.

Then on arrival, discover a magnificent show on the valley of Breda as well as that of Gleyzin. It will then be necessary to take a wooded path to reach the Chalet du Bout and the end of the course. This magnificent loop will offer you a wide variety of landscapes allowing you to enjoy the most beautiful trails of Belledonne.

9. Lake Achard and La Croix de Chamrousse

  • Duration: about 3 hours
  • Distance: 10.8 km
  • Height difference: 608 m
  • Difficulty: Medium

Let’s raise the level a little for this last hike. More sporty, it will take you through the woods before reaching Lake Achard conducive to calm and contemplation. From this point of view, you will then access from pass to pass and panoramas more grandiose than the others.

Between Col de l’Infernet, Col de la Botte or Col des Trois Fontaines, you travel the 2,000 meters above sea level and rub shoulders with high mountain landscapes. After this journey, you will finally reach the Robert Lakes and then La Croix de Chamrousse.

While some passages like the breach seem quite technical, they are actually not fundamentally difficult. But above all, this exceptional panorama of high mountains is well worth it!


Discover the most stunning hikes on the Chaîne de Belledonne! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of this mountain range – start planning your trip today! I think you find the article “The 9 Most Beautiful Hikes to do on the Chaîne de Belledonne” helpful.


Alfred is the author behind the Travelvibe travel blog and is always searching for the quieter, less-visited corners of the world.

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