Departement of the Hautes Alpes - Population : 113 inh. - Altitude : 1,200 à 1,450 m.
34 km North-East of Gap and 14km from Saint Léger les Mélèzes via the D944.
This is a superb high altitude valley, wild and authentic, surrounded by high peaks, with the tumultous Drac Blanc running through it.
Against an Alpine backdrop of mountain pastures, firs, rocks and banks of snow, a series of hamlets are strung out along the river banks, consisting mainly of sheep barns, mountain cabins and "jas".
A "jas" is a rock shelter or a stone-built cabin. Some of them are very old indeed (Bronze Age, between 2500 and 900 B.C.).
Over the centuries shepherds have engraved symbols, names and dates in these cabins and shelters: a fascinating heritage.
Champoléon was a stronghold of the Montorciers in the Middle Ages, and is now a key point in the Ecrins National Park. With a little patience you'll be able to observe chamois and ibexes ... from a distance !
What to see:
The mountain !
Ski touring and cross-country skiing.
Walking and hiking
Ecrins National Park: reception centre at Prapic (Orcieres, in the summer)
and Valley information centre (at Pont-du-Fosse).
Gites and holiday centres.