La Barre des Écrins is the highest point in the Hautes-Alpes at an altitude of 4102 metres. Local history is steeped in pioneering feats in mountaineering. Vallouise, Pré de Madame Carle, Ailefroide, Vallon du Fournel, so many prime mountain locations that make the Pays des Écrins (Écrins area), the second mountaineering site in France just behind Chamonix.
Such an exceptional environment quite naturally led to the creation, in 1973, of the largest national Park in France, the Parc national des Écrins (Écrins National Park).
The Pays des Écrins (Écrins area) boasts two ski resorts: Puy Saint-Vincent, “protected from the wind” and Pelvoux-Vallouise; there is no lack of activities. When the snow melts, white water activities take over on the Durance River, where rafting and canoeing-kayaking are possible. The water sports base in l’Argentière-la-Bessée is the stage for prestigious international competitions and is one of the most popular in the world. A great conversion for a valley with an industrial and mining past. Learn more by visiting the silver mines in the Fournel, the hydroelectric power station in Les Claux or the villages in the upper valleys.