Established in 1920, the first Italian state preserved environment, Gran Pradiso National Park spreads across the Aosta valley and the Piémont region of northern Italy. Reaching the boarder with France and the French Vanoise National park, it can be accessed from one of the six alpine valleys starting in the Aosta valley, all of which lead to incredible summits and a wide network of hiking trails.
This remote alpine region is heightened by splendid larch forests, alpine meadows and further in the distance, the immaculate beauty of snow-covered peaks. Here, native flora and fauna cohabitate harmoniously. Saved from extermination only a century ago, the protected Ibex was naturally chosen as the Park’s emblem. The local Italian communities’ accent when speaking French is absolutely irresistible. Benvenuti nell Gran Paradiso! During this unforgettable hike, we invite you and your family to discover some of the most beautiful belvederes and trails of the Gran Paradiso National Park.
Luggage transportation (except on day 1, day 3 and 5) and lunch preparation are taken care of by the mountain leader team. Bring just the hiking necessary and fully enjoy the hike !
Day 1 : Refuge de l’Épée
Our first day’s hike starts from the hamlet of Uselières in Valgrisenche. Slowly, we gain altitude and soon after leaving the beautiful arolla pine forest we reach the alpine pastures not far to the Epée mountain hut. Our presence is well noticed and a herd of cows kindly joins us along the way. If we wish so, we can continue on to Fenêtre alpine bowl where we may see the king of the area, the ibex. We spend the night at the hut. No access to luggage.
Elevation gain: 600m
Day 2 : Alta Via 2
Our trail gradually climbs along the glacier haute route until refuge Mario Bezzi, a magnificent example of mountain architecture. Then we continue until Saint Martin Lake, just above Mount Vaudet. We stop at the hut on the way down and later on descend to the hamlet of Surrier. After a 45-mn transfer we arrive in Val de Rhêmes. We stay in a hotel in Rhêmes Notre Dame.
Elevation gain: 700m - Elevation drop: 1200m
Day 3 : Tour du Truc de Tsanteleina
Our hike starts at Thumel, the hamlet that marks the end of the road, deep into the Gran Paradiso National Park. First a wide trail leads to a beautiful alpine valley. We hike to Benevolo hut and continue up into a “cul de sac” alpine valley. Hiking around Mount Truc de Tsanteleina provides merely spectacular view : it seems we can touch the ice of the glaciers, or just about … The vertical wall of the Granta Parei (11 110ft) proudly stands In front of us. Night at Rifugio Benevolo. No access to your luggage.
Elevation gain: 1800m - Elevation drop: 760m
Day 4 : Col de la Nivoletta (3152m)
We are on our way to Nivoletta pass. The hike enters a large, ancient glacier cirque, where the fertile alpine lawn and its multiple bright-coloured flowers contrast with the dark slate scree of the steep hillsides. Glaciers are nearby and enlighten the panorama still. The hike over the pass is superb, offering more unforgettable mountain views to our eyes. Then we hike down to the hut and later on to our minivan. We transfer to Valsavarenche and to the village of Pont. We spend the night at the Tétras-Lyre mountain inn.
Elevation gain: 850m - Elevation drop: 1100m
Day 5 : Grand Collet
From Pont, the trail towards Gran Collet pass is steep and steady. Towards the East we can admire the Gran Paradiso massif. Looking to the West, landscapes are less rugged yet higher and dryer. A short downhill section takes us below the pass. We cut across alpine meadows and glacier polished rock slabs, looking for grazing chamois. The Park’s wilderness is striking by its beauty, showing untouched alpine nature at its best. We hike down to the wide Nivolet plateau to reach Pont to find our hotel again. No access to your luggage.
Elevation gain: 865m - Elevation drop: 865m
Day 6 : Alpine lakes
For our last day, we hike to the great Rosset Lakes, then Tre Becci lakes and finally reach Lac Noir (Black Lake) on the altiplano. Then a secret trail leads to the hidden alpine bowl of Plan Borgnoz, where we simply enjoy the tranquillity of the mountains. We finally hike down to Pont and meet our minivan. We transfer back to Chamonix later in the afternoon.
Elevation gain: 300m - Elevation drop: 1200m
The guide may have to adapt the route to weather conditions and/or to group physical and/or technical ability.
Group session associates several people who don’t know each other. It allows for a planned program to benefit from an attractive price on fixed dates. This formula is ideal for people looking for the friendliness of a group.
Dates 2021 : from Sunday July 25th to Friday July 30th.
Price 2021 : Coming soon - based on minimum 5 participants.
Included in the package :
- The organization and supervision of each tour by State qualified trekking guide/s
- Half-board accommodation in mountain hut, or basic hotel (dormitory)
- The picnic lunches
- Transfers throughout the trek
- Luggage transportation throughout the trek (except on Day1, 3 and 5 - maximum 1 luggage of 15kg per person).
- Drinks and personal expenditure (souvenirs…)
- Repatriation insurance (mandatory)
You are a private group, you can ask for a customized trip.
- Exclusive guide
A more individualized relationship between your group and the professional.
- Choose your date of departure
You can choose your date of departure within the limit of the hut availabilities.
- Flexibility all along the trip
Depending on weather conditions, your level and your expectations, the guide can suggest you some different options of itinerary.
Meeting point : at 8.30 am at the Compagnie des Guides office, 190 Place de l’Eglise, 74400 Chamonix Mont-Blanc.
Ability level : 3/5 - Family hiking in Gran Paradiso is a moderate trek. A minimum of 700m (2350ft) vertical gain and about 5 to 7 hours of hiking daily. Hiking on generally well-maintained mountain trails, sometimes including easy out-of-trail sections. For active people who don’t mind training to prepare for the hike. A great multiday hike for people with trekking experience. Minimum age recommended : 9 years old.
Guiding policy : By a state qualified trekking guide with a maximum of 8 people in the group. The Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix's guiding policy is one of the strictest in the mountain guiding business. It guarantees the most balanced groups as possible as well as high-quality personalised advice. Important: no booking accepted in our scheduled groups for people under the age of 18 without a legal guardian.
- During the trip : 1 night in a hotel (private rooms), and 4 nights in mountain hut (in dormitory).
Please note : no access to your luggage on Day 1, 3 and 5 (no road access).
- Before & after the trip : we have some hotel partners in Chamonix with special prices for our customers. If you want to receive information just ask Anaïs.
- Participants must have an insurance with repatriation cover. Cancellation insurance is highly recommended. You can take out insurance offering both of these types of cover when you sign up.
- Participants must also take valid ID with them.
Preparing for the trip : you are welcome to come and meet your guide the evening before at our office at 6 pm.
- Ankle supporting boots with notched technical rubber sole (i.e. VIBRAM).
- We strongly recommend wearing new boots to break them in before the hike.
- To avoid blisters, try rubbing baby talc on dry feet before using boots (sprinkling talc inside boot works too)
- Minimum size recommended 35 L (bigger is better than too small).
- Take out lunch should still fit after packing for the day.
- Bad weather precaution: pack covers are great to protect pack from rain or snow. We also recommend packing your belongings in a large and solid plastic bag (i.e. garbage bag) for a better protection in case of heavy rainfall.
A solid travel bag (suitcase, framed duffle bag), weighing 33 lbs (15 kg) at the most. Wheels on bags are not recommended for « Chamonix-Zermatt » and « Gran Paradiso » hikes.
Avoid using cotton underwear. Compared to technical synthetic material, it is heavier and it dries slowly. Wool is also getting popular amongst sportswear brands. Synthetic and wool are warmer; they dry fast, and allow you to pack light (you can easily wash a piece of underwear in the sink as you arrive at the mountain inn/hut. It’ll be dry before you finish your first beer!)
- 1 long-sleeve shirt + 1 Tshirt (both synthetic)
- 1 polar fleece + 1 light down jacket (or a second fleece)
- 1 pair of shorts + 1 pair of hiking pants
- 1 pair of synthetic hiking socks
- 1 Gore-tex jacket (waterproof windbreaker)
- 1 poncho (large rain cover that fits over pack) or 1 back pack cover
- 1 pair of rain pants (although light Gore-tex pants are expensive, other types of light rain pants work too)
- 1 water bottle (1.5 quart to 2 quarts minimum)
- 1 pocket knife + 1 "spork"
- Sun hat or ball cap, sunscreen, sunglasses, lip protection
- 1 warm hat, a pair of gloves
- 1 pair of telescopic poles
FOR THE ENTIRE HIKE
- Change of clothes : (prefer synthetic)
- 1 pair of long underwear (synthetic)
- 1 one-person sleep-sheet
- Pocket light of head-lamp
- Personal first aid kit **
- 1 pair of comfortable shoes for the evening
- Shower kit ***
- ID card or valid passport + small change/bills for personal expenses
- A small amount of laundry detergent
- Optional: low gaiters (for early season hiking), camera, binoculars, umbrella etc …
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