The Serre Chevalier region, located in the French Alps, offers a multitude of stunning hiking trails and natural landscapes to explore. Among the hidden treasures of this region is the hike to Lac de la Douche, an ideal destination for a family hike in Serre Chevalier. This easy hike takes you through beautiful alpine scenery along the famous GR 54 trail until you reach the lake itself. In this article, we will introduce you to this picturesque hike, focusing on points of interest and practical aspects to help you fully enjoy this outdoor experience with your family.
Introduction to Moulin du Casset
The starting point of this hike is Moulin du Casset, a former grain mill that bears witness to the history and culture of the region. Located near the bridge, the mill can be visited at certain times and hours. Inside, you can observe the millstones that were powered by the force of water and were operational until the 1950s. Information panels and videos will present the history and operation of the mill. In the past, this mill produced wheat and rye flour from various sources.
It is not uncommon to witness rafting departures from the village of Casset
It is not uncommon to witness rafting departures from the village of Casset. This charming alpine village is not only an ideal starting point for hikes but also offers exciting opportunities for water sports enthusiasts. Rafting is a popular activity in the region, allowing adventurers to navigate turbulent rivers aboard an inflatable raft. In Casset, you can see rafting teams preparing and setting off for an exhilarating adventure on the Guisane River, offering a unique and refreshing experience in the heart of the French Alps. Whether you choose to participate in rafting or simply observe skilled kayakers in action, the village of Casset is a vibrant place where adrenaline and nature meet.
Photo credit: Serre Chevalier Briançon Tourism Office
Starting the Hike on the GR 54 Trail
This hike follows the GR 54 route, which circumnavigates the Ecrins Massif, offering breathtaking landscapes along the way. Simply follow the red and white markers of the GR to stay on track. The trail will mainly lead you along a track, with several turns that can be cut by taking a narrower and more picturesque trail. This part of the hike is suitable for all fitness levels, making it an ideal activity for the whole family.
Ascent to Lac de la Douche in Serre Chevalier
After about 3 kilometers of walking, you’ll tackle a final, somewhat rocky ascent that may be slightly challenging. However, once you reach the plateau amidst enormous rocks, you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking view of Lac de la Douche. This body of water lies at the foot of the glacier tongue, offering a stunning landscape. Take the time to relax, admire the surroundings, and appreciate the beauty of the nature around you.
Relaxation and Picnic by the Lake
At Lac de la Douche, you’ll find several benches made from materials found on-site, such as rocks and tree trunks. This is the perfect spot to take a break and enjoy a delicious picnic with your family. You’ll be mesmerized by the incredible color of the lake, and as you gaze towards the horizon, you’ll catch a glimpse of Col d’Arcine, which might inspire you to plan another longer hike.
Hiking to Lac de la Douche in Winter
Lac de la Douche is also accessible in winter, especially just after a fresh snowfall. However, due to the crowds and compacted snow, it’s advisable to venture there with snowshoes or waterproof hiking boots. This easy hike with little elevation provides a different perspective in winter, with a snow-covered landscape of striking beauty.
And, to conclude on a high note,
The hike to Lac de la Douche in Serre Chevalier is an unforgettable experience for the whole family. This easy route along the GR 54 offers spectacular landscapes and the opportunity to relax by the lake. Whether you choose to do it in summer or winter, this hike will create precious memories with your loved ones. So, don’t hesitate any longer and get ready to discover the natural beauty of the Serre Chevalier region.
- Q: What is the best time to hike to Lac de la Douche in Serre Chevalier?
A: The best time to hike to Lac de la Douche is during the summer months, from June to September, when the weather conditions are generally milder.
- Q: Is this hike suitable for children?
A: Yes, this hike is suitable for children as it doesn’t involve major difficulties and offers many points of interest along the way.
- Q: Are special equipment required for winter hiking?
A: In winter, it is recommended to use snowshoes or waterproof hiking boots due to the snow.
- Q: Are
there accommodation options near Lac de la Douche?
A: Yes, there are several accommodation options in the Serre Chevalier region, ranging from hotels to chalets and campsites.
- Q: Are there any special precautions to take during this hike?
A: It is always recommended to check the weather conditions before embarking on a hike and ensuring you have appropriate clothing, water, and snacks.