Chamrousse and Belledonne mountain bivouac

Bivouac and fire in Belledonne

Some people practice bivouac, which requires adapted equipment, skills and wellbeing. This practice must be carried out with kindness and respect for the natural environment and pastoral activities.
Bivouac la Pra Chamrousse

Bivouac in Chamrousse

In Chamrousse 1650, a bivouac area next to the Chapel allow those who wish to carry out the GR738 in its entirety and autonomy, to sleep one night in a bivouac in Chamrousse. It is located close to the GR route, next to public toilets and garbage bins.

The bivouac is tolerated on most of the Belledonne chain. However, not all areas are suitable for bivouac (private property, presence of herds and protection dogs, sensitive natural areas, heliportage area (DZ), etc.). We recommend that you ask the keepers of shelters and shepherds to know the appropriate locations.

About the bivouac at Robert lakes, we must remember the rules:
  • tent set up after 7pm and tent removed before 8am
  • no fires, no trees cut, do not leave waste
  • avoid noise to avoid disturbing wildlife
  • ...
To enjoy this wonderful place for a long time, you should prevent bad practices (woodwork, multiple fires, extended camping, garbage depots, music, etc.).

A municipal decree forbids the bivouac on the Pra sector, it will be necessary to inquire with the keepers of shelters to know the authorized and suitable locations.

Achard lake becomes more and more used so a municipal decree forbids the bivouac on the Achard lake during summer holidays.

Achard lake, in spring or autumn

The Achard lake site is an exceptional natural site that needs to be protected, so - in order not to contribute to its overcrowding in the summer - it is necessary to give priority to the magnificent seasons of spring and autumn, when the mountain changes.
It is therefore natural that Achard lake is included in various environmental zones: classified site, Natura 2000, and the most recent "Sensitive Natural Area" (ENS). The perimeter of the ENS from Achard lake to the Arselle plateau covers different types of habitat, which are home to emblematic and/or protected species: chamois, ibex, black grouse, spotted nutcracker, arctic cordillera (dragonfly), alpine newt, droseras, Vandeli androsace, etc.

Achard lake is increasingly popular in summer, so in order to be able to enjoy this magnificent place for a long time to come, a municipal decree regulates the Achard - Arselle sensitive natural area and prohibits bivouacking during the period of over-frequentation in summer (May to October). A green guard is present daily on the site to raise awareness of good practices, and the gendarmerie and police also make several random patrols during the summer.

The principle of the green guard post is to raise awareness of the importance of protecting the site's biodiversity and landscape appeal. The site suffers from over-frequentation, so the bans on swimming, fires, bivouacking, cutting, gathering and fishing are there to stop this natural site from eroding and degrading.
It is a question of explaining, through education, dialogue and with the goodwill of users, that these measures are justified and necessary, and if necessary by relying on municipal decrees and the sanctions that may result from them.

Regulations in force at Achard lake:
  • Swimming is prohibited: this is to prevent the resuspension of silt from the bottom of the lake, which takes a long time to settle again, so that the water is no longer clear and the environment suffocates. Dogs must also be kept on a leash to avoid the mixing of the water and the destruction of the grass beds (aquatic plants) which are home to insects and amphibians and which act as a natural filter.
  • Fire is forbidden: to avoid the destruction of the soil and the trees in the area (mainly hooked pines) which are already very damaged by the blows of axes and saws.
  • Prohibition of bivouac in summer: because it can lead to disturbance of the fauna (noise and presence of camps, more than forty tents some evenings) and flora (trampling). In addition, this strong human presence means that certain isolated corners of the site are transformed into real public toilets.
Bivouac réchaud ok feu interdit Belledonne Chamrousse

Fire in Chamrousse

All types of stoves (gas, liquid fuel, etc.) are allowed but fire is forbidden on the southern part of Belledonne (from the Grand Colon to the Arselle). From the Mid-June to Mid-September, you should not carry and light fire, smoke, throw cigarette butts and all objects in bustion inside and 200 meters from the woods and forests.

Unguarded huts open to donor screens are a good alternative and are made of stoves intended to burn wood (dry only). Be careful, the huts have low reception capacities.” (Extract from the GR 738 guidebook)
Keep in mind: a fire, even small and protected, destroys in a few minutes a soil that took several thousand years to build up… Find out from shelter guards if there are any existing fire places.

You want to continue enjoying this beautiful place: have the right gestures.