• Sport

Hike along the penstock (large water pipes)

A fantastic combination near Pralognan, this hike is full of history and hydroelectricity.

Sport Hike along the penstock (large water pipes) Pralognan-la-Vanoise


Departing from Pralognan-la-Vanoise (73710)
Average length : 03h15
Signed walking trail
Animals allowed

From the Bouquetin parking lot, walk up the main street to the “Bureau des Guides” guide service. Cross through the vegetable gardens in Le Barioz, follow “Rue de l’Erlet” street to Les Bieux, and then hike up train no. 17. It starts at the “bachal” (the local patois word for “fountain”) and leads to an orientation table.
A bit higher up the trail splits: take trail no. 19c to a flat area near the “wind tunnel”: the well for an underground gallery.
Water is running beneath your feet… This gallery, which starts at the dam downstream from Les Prioux, runs along the north-facing side of the mountain before it crosses beneath Mt. Bochor and Mt. Chevrier. The water finishes its amazing journey in Villard de Planay where it feeds into the turbines of a hydroelectric power plant.
Along the way you will see the remains of a few shacks the workers used when they bore these tunnels right after the Second World War.
From the flat area, along a slightly exposed trail along the cliff side, hike on trail no. 26 to the base of the towering rock wall that is Grand Marchet.
From the upper part of the slalom stadium, walk through the forest and admire the area’s wide variety of wildflowers (garden monkshood, alpine clematis, columbine, lady's-slipper orchid…).

ALTERNATIVES for the descent
Trail no. 27
Take the Isertan slalom stadium run straight down to Pont de Cavin Bridge. Plan on a 2-hour hike.
Trail no. 30, known as the “Pas de l’Ane” trail.
It crosses the main hike just before reaching an avalanche couloir. One of the most beautiful spruce forests in Savoie, it was devastated by a storm in 1970. When you reach the lower trail (no. 34), continue right to head back to the village.

Total elevation gain : 320m
Vertical drop : 320m


Free access.


Animals allowed
Languages spoken : French

Period of practice

From 01/06 to 31/10.
Based on the water level, the last section may prove a bit challenging.

  • Pets welcome


73710 Pralognan-la-Vanoise
Departing from : Pralognan-la-Vanoise (73710)
Latitude : 45.382062 - Longitude : 6.721232
Information update on 03/09/2021 by Office de Tourisme de Pralognan-la-Vanoise