Boating and whitewater
Lakes and rivers, fantastic playgrounds for your holidays: Durance, Guil, Guisane, Drac, nearly 2,000 kilometers of rivers cross the department of which 500 are navigable for the white water sports such as rafting, kayaking, the hot dog or swimming in white water. The white water stadium of Argentière-la-Bessée, located on the Durance, is a reference in Europe, as is the amazing wave of Rabiou. The south of the department is not left out, it also benefits from the assets of the Durance with superb canoeing course.
In summer, mountain lakes offer hikers a thousand colors. Mountain lakes such as the Pétarel or Lauzon, fed by glacier water and snowmelt, invite you to hike, fish or laze.
Practicing the Nordic is certainly the best way to discover the generous nature offered by the Hautes-Alpes.
The department has 1,000 kilometers of trails traced 22 marked sites of great renown under the Nordic Alpes du Sud label. Among the best known: the wild Clarée Valley, the area of Gap-Bayard and Queyras, one of the largest Nordic site in France.
Cross-country skiing, walking or snowshoeing are all activities to be practiced both in the resort and in the valley. To consume freely or accompanied by a professional mountain.
As for escaping in the company of sled dogs, this is the adventure way Grand Nord. These dog teams surprise by their docility and their energy. A dog sled baptism in the Hautes-Alpes is an unforgettable experience.
Col du Galibier, Lautaret pass, Izoard pass ... join the legend! The Hautes-Alpes are proud of their mythical passes. The department counts 25, the most prestigious are borrowed by the famous Route des Grandes Alpes. These places favorable to the practice of cycling have passed to posterity thanks to the Tour de France.
The Eldorado of cycling: routes for cycling and mountain biking: 12 loops and 21 climbs have been specially designed for cyclists, shared routes. In July and August, some of these passes are dedicated to cyclists on the occasion of Operation Cols Reserved.
As for mountain bike enthusiasts, they are spoiled for choice: mountain bike sites labeled French Cycling Federation, the Grande Traversée des Hautes-Alpes (350 kilometers of trails from La Grave to Laragne), the many accessible Bike Parks in ski lifts in summer, and a multitude of big events.
Walks and hiking
With 1,800 kilometers of Grandes Randonnées routes, 5,000 kilometers of Petites Randonnées, and a good dozen Pays de Tours, the Hautes-Alpes are undeniably a paradise for walkers, hikers and trekkers.
Crossing the regional natural parks of Queyras and Baronnies Provençales, the Ecrins National Park, nine territories between fields of lavender or orchards and glaciers, the trails of the Hautes-Alpes are varied and offer a fabulous natural diversity. To discover alone or with guides and mountain guides.
At the end of a walk or take a break, enjoy the huts where experienced mountain climbers and hikers share and dream together. The department counts 45. Some are easily accessible like that of Gioberney, others are mythical like that of the newly renovated Eagle.
Mountaineering and climbing
Famous natural climbing sites, paradise for climbers: With less than 300 inhabitants, Orpierre (Buëch) is known around the world. At the foot of a large rocky cirque, the cliffs reaching up to 1,200 meters are dizzying. Further north, near Gap, Sigoyer on the territory of Tallard-Barcillonnette, the cliff of Céüze also enjoys a great reputation among climbing practitioners. The hardest lanes in the world are next to a via-ferrata. Throughout the department there are many climbing routes, as well as via ferrata and international events.
Higher up, past 3 000 meters of altitude, it is the ice which reigns supreme. Carapace with bluish and metallic reflections, it forms a strange universe with laces and striking subtleties. Accompanied by a mountain guide, the ascent can begin on the glaciers of Ecrins, Valgaudemar or La Meije. The Barre des Ecrins summit most of the Hautes-Alpes culminates at 4 102 meters above sea level.
On the massif des Ecrins, from the Pré de Mme Carle, Gioberney, La Grave, or on the massif des Cerces from Névache or Queyras, discover the ski touring in the Hautes-Alpes, supervised by a mountain guide, and refuges in shelters!
Due to its geographical location in the heart of the alpine arc, the department of Hautes-Alpes has enough to satisfy all mountain desires. The high altitude gives it abundant snow; the proximity to the south gives it a generous sunshine. The Hautes-Alpes has 9 resorts: Serre Chevalier, Montgenèvre, Puy Saint-Vincent, Vars-Risoul La Forêt Blanche, Les Orres, Orcières Merlette 1850 and SuperDévoluy - La Joue du Loup, plus a world freeride spot. La Grave - La Meije, accessible from the cable car of the glaciers of La Meije.
A multitude of villages with natural charm is also disseminated in the territories of Haute-Romanche (Villar d'Arene and Le Chazelet), Ecrins (Pelvoux-Vallouise), Queyras (Abriès, Saint Véran, Molines, Aiguilles, Ceillac , Ristolas, Arvieux), Serre-Ponçon (Réallon and Crévoux), Champsaur (Ancelle, Chaillol, Laye, Saint-Léger-les-Mélèzes and Serre-Eyraud) and Gapençais (Céüze).
Between authentic environments and high-performance equipment, alternate gentle slopes ideal for families and steep slopes for experienced skiers.
Sports and flights
Customized sites for pilots and free flyers: Due to its exceptional climatic and aerological conditions, as well as the richness of its reliefs, the Hautes-Alpes is an ideal place for aerial activities.
In total, there are 330 flying days per year, four aerodromes (Tallard, Saint-Crépin, the Easel in Aspres-sur-Buëch and La Bâtie-Monsaléon) and more than twenty free-flying practice sites, some of which are internationally renowned. such as the Montagne de Chabre near Laragne.
Tallard Aerodrome is recognized as the leading European center for air recreation, thanks to its exceptional aerology. Indeed, all activities related to the air are practiced there. Baptism of the air in glider, paragliding flight, ULM or gyrocopter, hot air balloon ride, tandem jump in free fall, helicopter overflight, pilot training, the choice is vast. Internationally renowned, the airport is home to many users but also significant events including skydiving. Guided tours of the aerodrome are also available to the public.
When they are not covered with a snowpack, the two golf courses of the Hautes-Alpes, Gap-Bayard and Montgenèvre, are synonymous with good air, breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks and beautiful golf courses.
The Gap-Bayard golf has an 18-hole course. Accessible for all levels of play, this course is both technical and varied. At each hole, a different panorama on the mountains of the Ecrins National Park or on the hills of the Val de Durance. Probably one of the most beautiful mountain golf courses in France.
Adjoining the Italian golf Claviere, Montgenèvre offers an international course of 18 holes. This mountain golf is located at the foot of the slopes, the departure of the hole number one is in the heart of the village.
Nature and fishing
Natural parks, Natura 2000 areas, high mountains, orchards of apples, pears and lavender fields, great passes, rushing rivers, waterfalls, lakes ... the Hautes-Alpes department contains treasures of nature and constitutes a unique playground for its diversity and wildness.
Prestigious flowers such as the blue thistle, rhododendron, gentian, edelweiss or orange lily are discovered at the turn of the trails while marmots, ibex, mouflons and chamois roam cliffs and pastures. For the more curious, a visit to the Botanical Garden Alpin Lautaret is needed. Among the most beautiful in Europe, its 4,500 m² of rock has more than 2,000 species of plants. The National Alpine Botanical Conservatory of Charance in Gap is also a must.
The Hautes-Alpes are also very popular with fishermen: torrents, rivers, lakes of altitude or even Serre-Ponçon, offer nice catches to the fishermen with the launching or the fly.