The tour of the Emparis Plateau via the lakes

A lovely circular ride that is more physically than technically demanding, around an iconic Oisans feature. The ride up to the Lac Noir and Lac Lérié provide unforgettable views of La Meije and its glaciers, before riding back down to Le Chazelet on a fine single track.

About : The tour of the Emparis Plateau via the lakes

Route in the “MTB in Oisans” guide (Oisans Tourisme)

Departure/Arrival (loop): Le Chazelet 1 772 m
Length: 4 1/2 hours
Distance: 27 km
Highest point: 2 458 m
Lowest point: 1 747 m
Total height gain: + 922 m
Total height loss: - 922 m
Technique: 3/4
Endurance: 4/4

Map: IGN Top 25 Valloire 3435 ET et Meije Pelvoux 3436 ET.

> This route starts from Le Chazelet and is signposted FFC (no. 4 - The Tour of the Emparis Plateau via the lakes).
> The path starts at the bottom of the village, following signs to the Vallon de la Buffe.
> Once in the hamlet «Le Vorze», turn right towards the hamlets of Le Rivet. Follow the path of the left-hand bank of the Gâ stream, which goes gradually upwards to the «Baraque de la Buffe».
> On reaching the Baraque de la Buffe (2005 m), cross the Gâ at the ford and carry on up to the Emparis Plateau, alternating riding and pushing over a height gain of 270 m. Follow the left hand path that runs above the Rachas stream.
> Once at the Emparis Plateau (2270 m), ride down to the Col St-Georges. Follow the track for 100 m and then turn left down to the bottom of the valley, to the Rif Tort stream. Cross the ford then continue along the GR 54 towards the Col du Souchet.
> At the Col du Souchet (2365 m), turn right to the Lac Noir and then the Lac Lérié. The glaciers of La Meije look to be a stone’s throw away.
> Turn back towards the Col du Souchet to start the descent towards Le Chazelet. The first part on the GR path is quite fast. Near the Le Chazelet ski lift, turn left towards «Le Clos Raffin» for a more technical descent down to the Gâ stream.
> Cross the stream and ride back up to Le Chazelet.

Welcome: X country :
The flagship MTB discipline and an Olympic sport since Atlanta in ‘96. Cross-country is traditionally enjoyed on terrain that is not too rough, on lighter bikes with fork suspension of between 100 and 130 mm and tyres of between 1.8 and 2 inches at the most. In Oisans, the steep terrain and significant height differences make this style less popular than its sister style, enduro. There are however some trails in the valleys that are accessible to everyone, as well as some that are slightly more challenging that we have classified as midway between X country and enduro.

En bref

4 h 30

J+ : 922 m

27 km

Level black - very hard

Map and GPX marking

The tour of the Emparis Plateau via the lakes

Getting There


From 01/06 to 31/10.

Subject to snow conditions.


Free of charge

Free access.

Location supplement

On the road to Briançon, drive through La Grave and turn right just after the tunnel, signposted Le Chazelet. Park your car in Le Chazelet.