Skiing in Hautes Alpes

Hautes Alpes is the highest department of France with an average elevation of 1,000m. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, there are relatively few ski resorts in Hautes Alpes.

That La Grave, with it's famed unpisted descents, is in Hautes Alpes at all dates back to the French revolution and was the result of political and financial manoeuvring to avoid the preceived strictures in Isere at the time.

Serre Chevalier is the more major ski resort with a large skiing area of around 250 km (155 mi) of slopes; Serre Chevalier boasts 300 days of sunshine a year but there's still plenty of snow. 80 km (50 mi) of the slopes are covered by snow cannons to supplement natural snowfall. Serre Chevalier comprises the town of Briançon and the villages of Chantemerle, Villeneuve and Le Monêtier-les-Bains.

The Hautes Alpes are best reached from either Turin or Grenoble which affords you a choice of carriers.

Ski Resorts & Regions

  • La Grave

    La Grave

    This fearsomely beautiful and wild ski area (it cannot really be described as a ‘resort’) in the southern French Alps (Département des Hautes Alpes) is a one-off: no groomed runs, no snow cannon, no ski patrol or avalanche control, minimal lifts - and more than 7,000 vertical feet of mainly ‘ski sauvage’.

  • Serre Chevalier

    Serre Chevalier

    Serre Chevalier ski domain has 4,445 hectares of skiable terrain and 250km of groomed pistes running the length of the Guisane valley with views of the La Cucumelle, whose distinctive cone shape and voluptuous mountain surface stands out from miles around.