Isère Tourism

The way around the Chartreuse Natural Park - Liberty trail / in gite

Know how to follow a route using a map, a topo guide, and trail marks?  Like choosing your departure day, travelling with your family or friends, and without any mountain guide?  We invite you to discover "our" mountain range, its deep forests, summits and local history.  Settled in Chartreuse, PEDIBUS knows the range at their fingertips.
♦ 8 days, 7 nights
♦ Liberty trail
Stopover nights (6 days in gîte)
♦ Prices 2016: from €498

Just after the well-known Col du Granier, dominated by the unique Mont Granier, enter the heart of the Chartreuse Regional Nature Park.  Typical landscape of these Pre-Alpine mountains shows a great variety: forests, rivers, cliffs, villages nestling in clearings and small valleys, high altitude pastures.  Summits as day goals, the magic discovery of La Grande Chartreuse Monastery, the beauty of Charmant Som grazing lands, the Entremonts Valley formerly divided between the Savoie and France, friendly encounters:  the Chartreuse range undoubtedly conjures up a special atmosphere.  Endowed with great historical, cultural, and handcraft heritage, the Chartreuse range can comply with the needs of the most curious hikers together with the best level of comfort (two-star hotels and chambres d’hôtes).
This is the ideal hike to discover our high standard formula – short distance climbs and surprisingly varied day stages, all in a preserved environment.  Your luggage will be transferred independently and you will find it every night at the hotel.  You just need to carry your backpack including your clothes and lunch for the day so enjoy the hike to the full!

DAY 1: 

Rendezvous in St Pierre d'Entremont at the stopover accomodation “Gîte L’Herbe Tendre ” (Phone: 00 33 (0)4 79 65 14 76) in the late afternoon and welcome by the chambre d’hôtes manager.  He will hand you in a file including a trail guide, some lent IGN maps with highlighted route and a voucher for Correrie Museum.

DAY 2: 

The first hike will just warm you up throught typicals hamlets.  The river we cross divides St Pierre d’Entremont into two villages - one located in Isère, the other in Savoie.  This is actually the former border separating France from Savoie in the past century. Our route begin in the Noirfond vallon rising up to Le Chateau.  You will find here ruins of the castle of the first counts of Montbel, lords of Entremonts. A last uphill slope leads you to the Pas Dinay (1125m)  and its viewpoint on the valley, to finish crossing a forest to the village of La Ruchère (1042m)  for your nigth.
Elevation difference:  700m up | Length: 15km
Elevation difference:  480m down | Hiking time:  5h 30 mn

DAY 3: 

A small hike leads to the Col de La Ruchère (alt. 1407m) from where you will step into the “Silent zone” of La Grande Chartreuse Monastery.  Then you will go down towards the Chapels of Notre Dame de Casalibus and Saint Bruno, erected on the initial location of the monastery.  The route follows then the western slope of the Grand Som and is a beautiful viewpoint over the Monastery.  You will then get to La Correrie Museum which traces back the history and austere life of the Carthusian Monks, who have been living there since more than nine centuries onwards.  After the guided tour, reach the Guiers Mort small valley and stop the day's hike.  Overnight in a small gîte.
Elevation difference:  660m up | Length: 14 km
Elevation difference:  500m down | Hiking time: 5h30

DAY 4: 

The hike begins in St Pierre de Chartreuse then reaches the St Hugues Church (alt. 880m).  This unique contemporary sacred art collection was created by the artist Arcabas.  The church was entirely decorated with his works, ranging from paintings, stained-glass windows, sculptures, and even the candelabra and altar.  The route then goes through some of St Pierre de Chartreuse hamlets and into the forest up to the Chalets de l'Emeindras (alt. 1427m) at the foot of Chamechaude, the highest point of the Chartreuse.  From there, a beautifull balcony path over the village of Sappey en Chartreuse leads you to your nigth in Sarcenas.
Elevation difference:  660m up | Length:  14km
Elevation difference:  500m down | Hiking time: 5h30mn

DAY 5: 

The day's hike is dedicated to Chamechaude (alt. 2082m), the highest point of the range.  From this panoramic viewpoint, learn how to identify the summits and valleys of the Chartreuse stretching under your eyes.  More over, you are nearly 100% certain to see the very familiar yellow-beaked chocards (Alpine Chough) at the top.  The climb is long, but from the Source du Bachasson (alt. 1630m), you can go down whenever you wish to the Col de Porte where you will stay for the nigth.
Elevation difference:  950 m up | Length:  12km,
Elevation difference:  790m down | Hiking time:  5 hours

DAY 6: 

Hike through the forest then along a wooded ridge to the Charmant Som grazing lands (alt. 1670m).  Herds of beautiful Tarine cows make it a peaceful, quiet place.  The way down is contrasted as you will walk down via limestone rocks so called Dalles du Charmant Som.  This route offers you a superb vista of the St Pierre de Chartreuse valley, where the day's hike ends.  St Pierre de Chartreuse ranks amongst the French communes with the largest forest area - the main activity there is wood industry.  Overnight in the gîte you already know.
Elevation difference:  650m up | Length:  18km
Elevation difference:  1090m down | Hiking time:  6h

DAY 7: 

This day is easier, let’s take your time to rest between the previous and next day phisicaly more demanding. You can go on morning to visit the Tourism Office, presenting an exhibition on the Natural Regional Park of Chartreuse. You will cross than a forest to hike a balcony above the Guiers Mort vallon and finish this day climbing up to the summit of la Scia (1782m). Enjoy the wonderfull 360° point of view all around the Chartresue range. Your gîte is the unique bulding here, just below. The sunset on its terrasse is magic, probably one of the best moment of your journey.

Elevation difference:  900m up | Length:  9km
Elevation difference:  130m down | Hiking time:  3h30mn

DAY 8: 

Today is the most savage step of your saty. You are in the heart of the Nature Reserve of the Tops of Chartreuse. Your unique climb of the day leads you to the Col de Bellefond (1902m) where you discover all the plateaus of the range from the Dent de Crolles to the Granier. Then go straight to the alpine pasture l’Aulp du Seuil and reach the Habert de la Dame (habert means sheepfold). You go down in a forest to arrive in the heart of the renowned Cirque de St Même (855m) and finish walking to St Pierre d’Entremont in the late afternoon.
Elevation difference:  520m up | Length:  19km
Elevation difference:  1130m down | Hiking time:  6h30mn

Programme and hiking time are given for information only.