Evettes refuge and Grand Méan lake - a weekend at the foot of the glacier

A "Coup de coeur" hike, approaching the border glaciers at the bottom of the Haute Maurienne valley. A spectacle that nature offers us and that we must show to our children today. Memories for life guaranteed.

Evettes refuge and Grand Méan lake - a weekend at the foot of the glacier Bonneval-sur-Arc


Departing from Bonneval-sur-Arc (73480)
Average length : 05h30
Duration of the itinerary : 2 Days
Total elevation gain : 1050m
Vertical drop : 1050m
Distance : 14km
Signed walking trail
Animals allowed

The route starts from the picturesque hamlet of l'Ecot. After ascending the Arc, the path gradually enters the spectacular Reculaz gorge, overlooking the torrent.
At the end of the refreshing gorge, the path descends towards the waterfall and crosses the Roman bridge, as if suspended in the wild immensity. Streams meander through the grassy, steppe-like plains.
From here, the route, which is no longer marked, becomes increasingly wild. A sector where ibexes are very often present in the summer.
From scree slabs to rocky slabs, you progress in the heart of the Cirque des Evettes, under the gaze of the Albaron or the Grande Ciamarella, renowned glacial peaks.
But it is in front of the blue-green glacial lake of the Grand Méan 2876m, a little piece of Greenland or Patagonia, with small icebergs floating in the lake and an ice cliff that falls directly into the lake, that you will have the most emotions.
Sometimes you can hear strange noises emanating from this living glacier, from which a few blocks can break off in an impressive din that tears the usual silence of the place. One has the impression here that time stands still, that only the time of a wild nature with a slow and continuous evolution remains.
Plenitude, meditation, soothing and rejuvenation in paradise, where everything begins...
A wild area where ibexes are very often present in the summer period.
Also, to return to civilisation gently, treat yourself to a well-deserved gourmet stopover at the Evettes refuge on the way back.

Total elevation gain : 1050m
Altitude max : 2905m
Vertical drop : 1050m

Difficult passages

Passage on handrail where you have to put your hands down. The itinerary is signposted up to the Evettes refuge but is no longer signposted up to the Grand Méan lake. Passage on rocky slabs that can be slippery. High mountain itinerary (2900 m)

Map references

TOP 25 IGN 3633 ET

Further informations

Stone, Ground

    1 3

    0/ : Parking de l'Ecot , free of charge.
    1/ : On the left bank of the Arc, take the direction of the Refuge des Evettes " par les gorges de la Reculaz ". The path runs along the Reclulaz stream and then the Pareis stream.
    2/ : A succession of handrails takes you to the top of the gorges.
    3/ : A little before arriving at the refuge, go down towards the waterfall and the Roman bridge.
    4/ : Once you have crossed the Roman bridge, you will be on the Plan des Evettes.
    At the post with the same name, head towards the Lac du Grand Méan.
    From this point on, the route is no longer signposted.
    5/ : The climb to the lake is through scree and rocky slabs.
    6/ : Once at the lake, turn back on the same path and go back to the Roman bridge.
    7/ : Take the direction of the Refuge des Evettes.
    8/ : A short stop at the refuge at 2594m to admire the glacial cirque of the Evettes before going back down to the Ecot car park.


    Free access.


    Animals allowed
    Languages spoken : French

    Period of practice

    From 24/06 to 10/09.

    Subject to favorable snow and weather conditions.

    • Pets welcome


    Parking de l'Ecot 73480 Bonneval-sur-Arc
    Departing from : Bonneval-sur-Arc (73480)
    Latitude : 45.379574 - Longitude : 7.090243

    At Bonneval sur Arc, turn right in the direction of Ecot and park in the Ecot car park.
    In summer, possibility to take bus line 7 (Bonneval/Arc - L'Ecot) and get off at the terminus.

    More informations

    Information update on 23/03/2023 by Communauté de communes Haute Maurienne Vanoise