We’ve been living in Briançon for several months now and a big reason why we decided to move here is because of the countless hiking possibilities. Planning to go hiking in Briançon? We decided to create this article to share with you the best hiking options around the town!
Hiking in Briançon: The 6 Best Hikes of the Area
Croix de Toulouse
The Croix de Toulouse might just be the most popular hike in Briançon. I’ve been going up there countless times, and I always meet fellow hikers on the way. It’s a nice hike for first-timer in Briançon, as it offers wonderful views of the city once you’re at the top. It’s also quite easy to access the hike right from the center of the old city.
On top, there’s also a table perfectly suitable to have a picnic and a small abandoned fort to explore. I managed to get up there several times with my 4-year-old kid and you’ll probably see fit families doing the same! If want to go hiking in Briançon, have a nice challenge without the hike being too hard, then this is the one.
Depending on the season, you could also carry on your hike higher to “La Serre des Aigles” and “La Grande Peyrolle”, as there’s a trail continuing towards these summits once you go past La Croix de Toulouse. However the difficulty level is more suitable for experienced hikers and it is too dangerous to hike before the snow has melted.
Location: Briançon (Trail starts at the “Champs de Mars”)
Time: 3-4 Hours
Elevation: 668 Meters
How to Get to the Croix de Toulouse Hike: Park your car at the “Champs de Mars” paid parking lot. You can also get there by bus or on foot, as it is right next to the old city. Cross the road, spot the Mamma Mia restaurant and take the little nearby street going up named “Chemin des Salettes”. At the first curve you’ll see a massive pedestrian path going to the right. This is where the hike officially starts. Walk along this path.
Soon after it will split in two different paths, but both join the same place “Le Fort des Salettes”. After the fort, there’s only one path going up, and you’ll see a few signs along the way making it hard to get lost. It should take 1.30 to 2 hours to get to the top, and much less if you’re in great physical condition.
Notre-Dame des Neiges & Prorel
Location: Puy St-Pierre (5-10 minutes drive from Briançon)
Time: 4-5 Hours (add an hour and a half to the Prorel)
Elevation: 750 Meters to Notre-Dame des Neiges and 1000 meters to the summit of the Prorel
How to Get to the Notre-Dame des Neiges Hike: Park your car at the free parking lot in Puy St-Pierre next to the church. There’s no public transportation to get there, but as there’s only one road to get there, hitchhiking from Briançon shouldn’t be too difficult. Once at the parking lot, you need to cross the road and you’ll see several signs indicating the direction you should take. All along the hike you’ll encounter many signs to follow to get to the Notre-Dame des Neiges. Once up there you can admire the sumptuous view over the city and nearby mountains. Truly one of the best hiking options in Briançon.
Fort de l’Infernet
Time: 6 to 7 Hours
Elevation: About 1000 meters
How to Get to the Fort de l’Infernet Hike:
There are different starting points for this hike. The most common point would be to park in the neighborhood of Font Christiane, where you will find a one end street leading to the Fort des Têtes. There’s a free parking lot right before the Fort. It’s a popular place for locals to have a stroll, so don’t expect to be the only one.
However you’ll find much less people going all the way to the Fort de l’Infernet. It can be hard to find the path as there are several options to go up. I’d recommend to use a GPS or an app such as maps.me to find your way up. You can also start this hike from the Pont d’Asfeld, go up to the Fort des Têtes, and then you’ll get to the same trail going up the mountain.
From the top of the Fort de l’Infernet you can enjoy a wonderful view over Briançon, and if you have the legs you can carry on to get to Montgenèvre, which will seem insanely close once you get to the top.
Plan de Peyron
Location: Villar-Saint-Pancrace (5 minutes from Briançon)
Time: 6 to 7 hours
Elevation: About 800 meters
How to Get to the Plan de Peyron Hike: There’s a parking lot at the “Centre de Montagne” in Villar-Saint-Pancrace located right at the bottom of the hill.. You can also get to the town with public transport, as the bus number 3 is running from Briançon to Villar-Saint-Pancrace. There are several hikes starting from this point depending on how long you want your hike to be. You need to follow the GR5 all the way up to the Mélezin. Once you are up there, you’ll need to take a path on your right to get to the Plan de Peyron, which is a popular picnic spot during the summer.
Mont Chaberton (3.131m)
Location: Montgenèvre (15 minutes from Briançon)
Time: 7 to 8 hours
Elevation: About 1.300 meters
Warning: This hike leads you above 3.000 meters, watch out for attitude sickness symptoms and don’t attempt this hike before summer when the snow will have completely melted.
How to Get to the Chaberton Hike: You need to drive past Montgenèvre and then turn left before crossing the border to Italy in direction of the Village Club du Soleil. There’s a parking lot, or you can also park a bit before on the side of the road. You probably won’t be the only one. The trail starts right on the side of the road, and is well-marked all the way to the top! You can also stop at the lower Col de Chaberton. It’s a very popular hike for Italians.
That might be my favorite hike in the area! The view on the top is insane, and the place is loaded with history. You can still visit the fortifications on the top of the mountain, and I can’t help but admire the determination of all these people who managed to build a fort at such a high altitude.
Hiking In Briançon: The Most Family-Friendly Hike!
Cité Vauban – Pont d’Asfeld – Fort des Trois Têtes – Parc de la Schappe
Thanks to this hike, you’re getting the best of Briançon in a matter of a couple of hours. You can start your visit with the Cité Vauban, the old part of Briançon listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, taking a stroll by “La Grande Rue” also famously called “La Gargouille” by locals. You can then head towards the 300-year-old Pont d’Asfeld, where you will find a path going all the way to the Fort des Têtes. Several areas of the Fort can be explored!
You can then finish your hike by taking a hiking trail going down directly to the Parc de la Schappe. The trail can be hard to spot, but it is located right after the building named “Communication Y”. The Parc de la Schappe is the biggest park in Briançon and many child-friendly activities are offered during the holidays, such as ice-skating during the winter, or tree climbing in the summer.
If you’re hiking in Briançon with kids, this is definitely a must-do to explore the beautiful old town.
Time: 2-3 hours
Elevation: About 300 meters
How to Get to the Hike: You can park at the main parking lot “Le Champs de Mars” and start from here. There are also buses getting there. You can then head towards the old city by passing through the Pignerol’s door or “Porte de Pignerol” in French. Many AirBnb’s and hotels are located inside the Cite Vauban, so why not sleeping directly inside the most interesting part of the town? It’s a great starting point for hiking in Briançon!
Useful Hiking Resources
- All our Hiking Articles
- Hiking with a Baby: Our 32 Best Tips
- Wild Camping in France
- 8 Wild Camping Tips
- Hiking in the Vercors Mountain
Have you been hiking in Briançon? Share with us your experience and feel free to drop us a message if you have any question!