Mountain Lakes on the French Western Alps - Take a Panoramic Tour on La Meije

Hike to Lac Noir in the Dauphine Alps – Take a Panoramic Tour and ejoy the best view on La Meije

La Meije, a mountain in the French Alps so tall it’s second only to Barre des Écrins in the Écrins massif, is not a piece of cake as far as hiking difficulty goes, but it sure is worth every step. This backpacking route will also test your panorama-shooting techniques, from setting up the tripod to balancing the highlights and shadows, as you will want to make the most of the views in front of you. With Mountain Moments, this becomes much easier. Find all infos for this hike with the best panoramic view in the Dauphine Alps.

The Meije is mostly known to most alpine enthusiasts only in the context of alpine mountaineering and free riding. Among these sports enthusiasts, the striking mountain in the Pelvoux in the Dauphiné Alps is considered a landmark of the French Western Alps. 

Nevertheless, the region is relatively unnoticed in the German-speaking world: With its 3984m, after all, it also lacks 16 meters for the famous 4000m stamp. Nevertheless, photographers are fortunately and famously more interested in views than in maximum altitude, this hike to the gentle Plateau d’Emparis can be considered one of the most beautiful in the French Western Alps. 

From the Black lake (Lac Noir) you can enjoy an impressive view over the Massif des Écrins and over the striking mountain peak of the Meije, mountain in the Pelvoux in the Dauphiné Alps, the landmark of the French Western Alps.
From the Black lake (Lac Noir) you can enjoy an impressive view over the Massif des Écrins and over the striking mountain peak of the Meije, mountain in the Pelvoux in the Dauphiné Alps, the landmark of the French Western Alps. Photo: Tristan Buchot.

Directions! This is how your hiking route at Lac Noir looks like on a map

From the parking lot at the entrance to the village of Le Chazelet (1789m), follow the main road downhill in the direction of the stream and ski lifts (Télésiège du Signal valley station). Cross the stream and immediately turn left onto the serpentine trail uphill.

Follow the path “50/54” across lush meadows, then from about 2300m on the Plateau d’Emparis keep left and go uphill to Lerie lake. Continue to the Black lake (2440m). After deserved refreshment in the lake, start the way back via Col du Souchet (2355m). At the Col, keep to the right to return to our ascent route. 

Panoramic hike to Lac Noir in the Dauphine Alps hiking map.
How to get there: Start in Le Chazelet, passing the Refuge Le Clos Raffin. The hiking route shown on this map (15.5km) can be finished in under six hours, and its difficulty level lies somewhere between medium and difficult (level 4 out of 5).

Photo tips that will make your Instagram pop – Lerie lake and Black lake

Magic sunset colours at Lac Noir (Black Lake) with a view to the Ecrins Massive and its glaciers. Photo: Tristan Buchot.

Not only do the two lakes Lerie lake and Black lake invite you to relax and swim: they are probably the most photogenic locations of the tour. The star of this scenery is the contrast between gentle alpine pastures and the lakes in the foreground and massive rock and ice formations of the Meije and its glaciers in the background. 

Other beautiful perspectives can be found directly on the hiking trail, especially when the trail is included as a picture-guiding element.

Pro tip: Use the hiking trail as a leading line for image composition.

There is plenty of unspoiled nature here - away from the industrial-like large ski areas. From the gentle plateau with the lakes Lerie (Lac Lérié) and the somewhat higher situated Black lake (Lac Noir) one catches probably the most beautiful and contrasting view of the mighty rock face of the Écrin massif
There is plenty of unspoiled nature here – away from the industrial-like large ski areas. From the gentle plateau with the lakes Lerie (Lac Lérié) and the somewhat higher situated Black lake (Lac Noir) one catches probably the most beautiful and contrasting view of the mighty rock face of the Écrin massif

Mountain Moments Photo Workshops provide Photo Tours for everybody, Alpine Experience for beginners and intermediate-level photographers with 3 to 6-hour routes, as well as Summit Experience for more advanced photographers and hikers. We have private workshops and group classes.

If you have more time, hop on a gondola ride at La Grave – and dont miss to take a shot of the vivid colours of the old gondola cabins with La Mejie in the background. Freeride skiers enjoy this beautiful area in the winter times especially.

More information about your hiking adventure in the Dauphiné Alps

Getting there by public transport: bus line 35 from Grenoble and Briançon to La Grave. From La Grave to Chazelat (note no public transport in summer), cab bookable in La Grave or bus to Ventelon and a bit along the road.

Getting there by car: From Grenoble take the A480 to exit 8, here turn onto the N85. At Nizille keep left and turn onto the D1091. Follow this road until La Grave. At the end of the village turn left and drive to Le Chazelet. Two parking lots available

Start/finish: Le Chazelet (1793m) 45.053397,6.287071

Distance: 15.5km

Duration: 5.30h

Ascent/descent: 860m/860m

Highest point/lowest point: 2445m/1740m

Hike difficulty level: medium/difficult

Special features: No public transport in summer. Tour start (+ 1-2h) in La Grave/bus from Ventelon.

Meals: No food on the way.

Contact: www.lagrave-lameije.com

The most beautiful photo spots and hikes in the Alps – experience this tour and 29 other exceptional hikes now.

Fancy more hikes in the mountains – and beautiful photos? Get out into nature! Experience the best hikes and locations with our new book: Alps – Photo and Hiking Guide. The 90 best Photo Locations and 30 most panoramic Hikes.

Here we have compiled the most beautiful locations and photo opportunities. 30 hikes with 90 photo spots are selected and described in such a way that you can easily experience these wonderful landscapes for yourself – including GPS tracks and hiking map and all other information.

You can take a closer look at the ebook here – why not give it as a gift to someone you want to visit and photograph these places with!

Of course, you will find all the information about this hike in the ebook. After registering, you will also receive the GPS track, so you are on the safe side and won’t get lost and will find all photo locations easily.

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