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Lac d’Allos

  • Difficulty
  • 4.5km
  • 254m
  • 2-3h

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One of the easiest and most beautiful hikes in Mercantour National Park. You’ll get superb views of the Lac d’Allos, the biggest high-mountain-lake in Europe with a size of 60ha. This is a walk you don’t want to miss.

Getting there

From Nice airport go up the valley of the Var by the RM 6202 and then by the D4202 until you reach Allos. At the first crossroad, go right on the D2 to Lac d’Allos. You’ll reach the starting point after 12,5km. The parking costs 8€ per car per day.


Total Gain: 254m


Type of Hike Out and back
Crowd Levels Average
Route Signage Good
Toilets Yes. Refuge Lac d’Allos
Family Friendly No
Backcountry Campgrounds In Allos or from 7 p.m. to 9 a.m. on site
When to Do May to end of October

 Detailed Description

From the parking take the only path that start close the little house. After ten minutes, you’ll arrive at the first glacier threshold, where there once was an ancient lake, now a nice bog. The paths will reach a trail that will arrive from the left. Ignore it.

After 30 or so minutes (if you’re going at a good speed), go along to the left you’ll get to the second glacier threshold, from here you can see the Lac d’Allos 2,228m.

Once at the lake you can enjoy a meal at the refuge. Then, if you want, you can do the round-trip of the lake, but that is optional.

To return, go back the same way.

Insider Hints

  • If you still have energy, you can go up until the Mont Pelat 3050m, one of the highest peaks of this region.  From here you have a panoramic view of Provence and, with a clear sky, you can see all the way to the Corse.
  • Before you make it to the lake, on the left there’s the path to Col de l’Encombrette 2,527m. On that path you can get to Colmars les Alpes (4h).
  • The best off shoot hike from Lac D’Allos is the Sommets Des Garrets, which you can take with our guide at hike six.
  • One of our favourite places to stay while near Allos is the Refuge du Lac d’Allos. The food is great, the lodging is simple and you are right beside the lake. If you want something more upscale check out the Allos or Colmars tourism page.