Excursions in Valsavarenche

  • Eau Rousse - Levionaz Dessous

Place of departure: Eau Rousse (1,666 m)
Place of arrival: A. Levionaz Dessous (2,648 m)
Difference in altitude: 982 m
Total journey time: 6.30 hours
Difficulty: E Time to visit: from July to September
Itinerary Description The itinerary starts from the charming village of Eau Rousse (French for "red water" due to the typical ferruginous water that flows in the area), after passing the Torrente Savara and the alpine pastures of the valley, we climb up to a mature forest of larch and fir red, where the beauty of some species of tree should not distract us from the observation of signs of the presence of the local residents, from squirrels to black woodpeckers. Meeting with the path that goes from Tignet, we continue until spotting the Levionaz Dessous pasture, which is probably the most important of the valley, near which a hut stands reserved for researchers working in the park and the park ranger hut. The route continues along the great plains of Levionaz, leaving the Levionaz du Milieu pasture on the left and finally arriving at the last summer pasture of Levionaz Dessus, after leaving the path that climbs to Col Lauzon. The area is of great naturalistic interest and is almost unique in the whole park due to the enormous wealth of wildlife, both in the variety of species, and in the number of animals.

  • Degioz Orvieille

Place of departure: Dégioz (1,540 m)
Place of arrival: Lake Djouan (2,516 m)
Difference in altitude: 976 m
Total journey time: 7 hours
Difficulty: E
Time to visit: from July to September
Itinerary Description From the main town of Valsavarenche, namely from the village of Dégioz, we cross the Savara stream and reach the village of Vers le Bois, from which the historic royal mule-track departs towards the former Orvieille Royal Hunting Lodge.

The forest to be crossed and the valley pasture near the former royal house present many interesting naturalistic insights, but it is just the mule-track and the royal house that provide the strong points of the first part of this path, rich in history and strongly tied to the royal hunting tradition of King Vittorio Emanuele II.

After passing the Orvieille valley we head towards the Djouan and Tzoplana pastures and then, gradually climbing up, we enter Djouan valley of lakes, where the great flowering of the alpine prairies and the presence of marmots and ungulates in full view show the magnificent natural environment. For the descent from the hunting lodge, we can follow the nature path to Eau Rousse

  • Chabod Refuge

Place of departure: Alpeggio Pravieux (1,834 m)
Place of arrival: Federico Chabod Refuge (2,750 m)
Difference in altitude: 916 m
Total journey time: 4.30 hours
Difficulty: E
Time to visit: from June to September N.B: it is possible to continue the excursion with the traverse at the Vittorio Emanuele II refuge
Itinerary Description Just before the village of Pont Valsavarenche, near to Terré alpine pasture, we cross the Torrente Savara, and after passing another pasture, the climb begins in a forest of larches and pines, it is one of the favourite resorts for the black grouse in this valley. When you reach a junction in the Lavassey pasture, we go along the branch turning off to the right and after a series of turns, we reach the Federico Chabod refuge. The interesting features are varied, but the scenic and alpine aspects are certainly dominant. From here it is possible to make a traverse to the Vittorio Emanuele II refuge (detour of about 10 minutes before the refuge), with a nice connecting path along the hillside, to then descend to Pont Valsavarenche.

  • Rovenaud - Maisoncles

Place of departure: Rovenaud (1,461 m)
Place of arrival: Maisoncles (1,863 m)
Difference in altitude: 402m
Total journey time: 2.30 hours
Difficulty: T/E
time to visit: from June to September
Itinerary Description The path begins just before the entrance to the area of Rovenaud, a village from which the impressive series of snow-capped mountains begin to emerge in the heart of Gran Paradiso Park. The village is of notable architectural interest and its position on the margins of a wide grassy area increases its aesthetic value. We follow the path to the destination going into a forest of larches and spruces where a careful observer will not fail to notice the presence of the small local inhabitants (birds, squirrels). The path is easily viable, after a series of activities leading up to the Maisoncles pasture, a collection of lodges in a meadow once used by the inhabitants of Rovenaud.

  • Vittorio Emanuele II Refuge 

Place of departure: Pont Valsavarenche (1,960 m)
Place of arrival: Vittorio Emanuele Refuge (2,750 m)
Difference in altitude: 772 m
Total journey time: 4 hours
Difficulty: T/E
time to visit: from June to September
Itinerary description Upstream from the village of Pont-Valsavarenche, having left the car in the parking lot at the Hotel "Gran Paradiso", we cross the bridge at the end of the square and walk a good part of the plain, which brings Seyvaz valley to a conclusion, and the well-marked and very popular path climbs up through the larch forest until reaching a dominant rock balcony from which we can observe the entire amphitheatre of the valley. We continue along the path until we come to the Vittorio Emanuele II Refuge, near which is a small pond and an old building that was once home to the refuge and now hosts the winter and Surveillance premises.