France - Vercors - SNP - May 2017
Below you will find a list of pictures, taken on our trip to the Vercors organized by SNP from May 20 2017 to May 27 2017.
The most interesting images will have a red bullet in front of them. In a hurry? Just want to see the pictures? Check out the slide show.
The days we were walking we kept track of how much time we spent walking. This is excluding the time for breaks.
May 20: Home - Lans-en-Vercors (1.010m / 3,3314 ft.)
We had some showers on the way to Lans-en-Vercors, but quite a bit of sunshine too. The roads were rather quiet so we reached our destination (Hotel du Col de l'Arc) within 10 hours (around 4pm). We parked the car and checked in. The receptionist pointed us to the private parking of the hotel so we moved the car there and then went for a walk as it was still quite early. We walked up to the hill behind the village (1.290m / 4,232ft.) and then back down again. At the hotel we had a beer on the terrace and after a shower we had a nice dinner.
This day we walked approximately 1h45m.
May 21: Lans-en-Vercors (1.010m / 3,3314 ft.) - Autrans (1.057m / 3,468 ft.)
Unfortunately there was a flower market for which the preparations started very early in the morning - right underneath our window... After a lovely breakfast we picked up our lunchbag and packed our bag. Around 8.45 we started walking. After about 1 kilometer the path went up quite steep to Croix de Jaume and then further up along the ridge. We had great views of the hills on the other side of the valley (the ridge we would climb at the end of the week) and alps in the distance. Eventually we could eve spot the Mont Blanc. We sat down for a bite in a meadow just after we passed Gîte Alpage de la Molière. There we saw a Murmeltier in the distance. As the weather was fine, we decided to take the long route and walked to Tableau d'Orientation de la Molière. From there we went further up to Charande (1.709m / ) and to the Pas de l'Ours. There we ate the remainder of our lunch before heading down to Autrans (1.057m / 3,468 ft.) on the other side of the ridge. We arrived at Hotel Le Vernay around 3pm. We had a local beer per suggestion of the owner A dark ale and a Sacre Blue - Blue indeed! Quite nice! After taking a shower we did some reading in the garden. Around 7.15 we had dinner.
This day we walked approximately 4h45m.
May 22: Autrans (1.057m / 3,468 ft.) - Rencurel (812m / 2,664ft.)
We had breakfast at 8. As this day would not be very long, we took it easy. The lunchbag was quite big; everything just fit in our bags (we only took daypacks). We started walking around 9.30. First through the village and then to the edge of the woods at the bottom of a ridge. From there it went up quite steeply al the way to Pas de Pertuson (1.435m / 4,708ft.). On the way up we say a mouse and a lizzard. From the pass the path went down quite steeply at first but more gently soon after. We had a long lunch break in one of the meadows, enjoying the lovely weather and the view back of the chalk ridge. And we saw a deer. By 2.25pm we arrive in Rencurel at Hotel Le Marronnier. We dropped our bags in our room and did some reading on the terrace - sitting in the sun at first but moving to a shady spot soon as it soon became quite warm. We had dinner at 7.30 and afterwards we took a short walk before going to bed.
This day we walked approximately 3h30m.
May 23: Rencurel (812m / 2,664ft.) - Pont-en-Royans (212m / 696ft.)
As it would be a long day, we did as much preparation as we could before breakfast. We started walking around 8.50, through Rencurel, down to the river La Bourne. From there the path went up. By 11 we reached the abandoned settlement Goulandiè. On the way up we spotted several mice and lizzards. We had a bite before we continued. Via a second abandoned settlement we reached a wonderful viewpoint: Belvedère du Ranc. From there it was a steep descent to the road and river. We had lunch there and then started walking a bit quicker than usual to reach the Grottes de Choranche in tiome for the 1.30 tour through the caves - or at least a small part of it as they are huge. It is a beautiful cave system with unique straw-like stalactites. They also have a very nice light & sound show in the largest cave. When you visit this region, you absolutely should visit these caves. The next part of the path we had to pass through a buxus forest which was infested by caterpillars. As they hang from threads we were constantly taking them of our clothes. Via Choranche we eventually reached Pont-en-Royans, nice village next to a river. It is famous for its "hanging houses". Around 5 we reached our hotel "Hotel Musée de l'Eau". The hotel included tickets to the adjoining museum, so we quickly freshend up and then went there for a vsisit. Most of the explanations are in French, which mad it somehwat difficult for us to fully comprehend. Back in the hotel we ha d a very good dinner (Trout and salad with a local blue cheese).
This day we walked approximately 5h10m.
May 24: Pont-en-Royans (212m / 696ft.) - La Chapelle-en-Vercors (891m / 2,923ft.)
Again we did as much preparation as possible before breakfast. And again we had a huge lunchbag and it all just fit in our daypacks. After breakfast on the terrace of the restaurant, we had a transfer at 9am to the starting point for this day. It wasn't far, but quite a bit up (400m / 1,312ft.) from the hotel. We arrived there at 9.15 and started walking shortly afterwards, after having enjoyed the wonderful view. From there it was up, up, up! The first part through a caterpillar-infested buxus forest: yuk. By 11.15 we arrived at the Pas de Allier (1.171m / 3,842ft.), in the clouds. While we were having a break there, a mouse came to check out what we were doing; it wasn't the least bit scared of us. On the other side of the pass, the path went mainly down. Eventually we reached Baraque-en-Vercors (675m / 2,215ft.). From there the path went up again through meadows and a forest before we eventually arrived at Hotel des Sports in La Chapelle-en-Vercors (891m / 2,923ft.) around 3pm. We took a shower and then walked to a terrace in the center of the town for a beer. Dinner was an absolutely huge, but tasty, piece of meat and a wonderful Tiramisu for desert.
This day we walked approximately 4h10m.
May 25: La Chapelle-en-Vercors (891m / 2,923ft.) - Tourtre (710m / 2,329ft.) - La Ferme de Bois Barbu (1.128m / 3,701ft.)
After breakfast we had a transfer at 9am to Tourtre (710m / 2,329ft.), the starting point for this day. It was a nice path up in the shadow of the forest. We spotted several mice, squirrels and a lizzard on the way up. Eventually the path became less steep and more up-and-down. We passed through the meadows of Herbouilly before entering a forest again. We passed an abandoned village (Valchevrière) and then the highest point of the day (1.365m / 4,478ft.). The path gradually went down from there. By 2.45pm we reached the hotel - La Ferme de Bois Barbu (1.128m / 3,701ft.). Our room hadn't been cleaned yet so we had a beer on the terrace and played a game of WordFeud. After dinner we went for a stroll and spotted a deer.
This day we walked approximately 4h10m.
May 26: La Ferme de Bois Barbu (1.128m / 3,701ft.) - Pic Saint Michel (1.966m / 6,450ft.) - Lans-en-Vercors (1.010m / 3,3314 ft.)
After a short transfer we started walking around 9.30 at 1.180m / 3,871ft.. It was a very steep climb the first few kilometers. Fortunately it was a bit cloudy and the start was in a forest so the temperature was moderate. Next we walked on the slope of the hill through rocky meadows. We spotted a Gems. Then the sky cleared and it became quite hot. We passed the Col de l'Arc before reaching Pic Saint Michel. Before you actually reach that point, there is a sub-peak where we had lunch. By 1pm we reached the peak-cross at 1.966m / 6,450ft.. From there the path went down and was occasionally quite steep. By 3.30pm we arrived back in Lans-en-Vercors at Hotel Col de l'Arc (1.010m / 3,3314 ft.). After dinner we went for a last stroll of the holiday.
This day we walked approximately 4h30m. This makes for a total of approximately 28 hours for this holiday!
May 27: Lans-en-Vercors - Home
After breakfast we packed our stuff and drove back home. The weather was fine and the road not too busy so it was a pleasant drive back. We arrived just after 6pm.
For those interested, the Google Earth .kmz file and the GPS TrackMaker .gtm file can be downloaded too: