• Sport

Glacial cirque traverse

One of the legendary hikes in Pralognan, this journey takes you deep into the mountains and then leads you along a trail where views of the valley and the village are simply beyond compare.

Sport Glacial cirque traverse Pralognan-la-Vanoise


Departing from Pralognan-la-Vanoise (73710)
Average length : 08h00
Signed walking trail
Animals not allowed

From the Les Fontanettes parking lot, walk to Arcelin Cirque via Pont du Creuset bridge (trail no. 21).
When you enter the cirque, head right onto a steep well-marked trail with switchbacks that take you into Dard Cirque. From there, carefully make your way up a steep, somewhat tricky section of trail to Col du Grand Marchet Pass.
After a short descent, the trail takes you across the pleasant Grand Marchet Cirque before contouring along the mountainside (trails no. 32 and 33), over Col du Tambour Pass, and to the Valette Hut, the highest point on this hike.
The Valette Hut offers food and lodging from June 15 through September 15, during the period of the year when it is open and staffed.
From the hut, head downhill on trail no. 38 via “Chalets de Nants” and the Bévériers alder grove, and then to the village-hamlet of Les Prioux.

ALTERNATIVES for the ascent

Trail no. 30
From the village center, go to the “Le Chamois” campground. Continue past the entrance on your left and the head straight until you reach the trailhead for trail no. 34, located at the edge of the forest. After one hairpin turn and walking another few hundred meters, head left (trail no. 30) onto the “Pas de l’Âne” trail. This trail takes you up a distinct gash in the rock to the top of a cliff.
At the top of “Pas de l’Âne,” meet up with the classic route via Grand Marchet Cirque or with the trail that leads directly to Col du Tambour Pass.

Trail no. 27 and 28
The trail starts at Pont de Cavin bridge. Get there by passing through the “Le Chamois” campground. The hike starts by walking up the Isertan slalom stadium run and continues all the way to the scenic viewpoint. Higher up, the trail overlooks the Les Marchets waterfall, the mind-blowing outflow from the glacial stream. Then take a trail that leads you to the “Pas de l’Âne”.

Way and back
Total elevation gain : 1351m
Altitude max : 2586m
Vertical drop : 1215m

Further informations

Rock, Stone, Ground


Free access.


Animals not allowed
Languages spoken : French
Not adapted to strollers

Period of practice

From 01/07 to 15/10.

Subject to favorable snow and weather conditions.


73710 Pralognan-la-Vanoise
Departing from : Pralognan-la-Vanoise (73710)
Latitude : 45.381052 - Longitude : 6.734965

More informations

Information update on 03/09/2021 by Office de Tourisme de Pralognan-la-Vanoise