Lac de l'Oronaye

Provence-Alpes-Côte-d'Azur  >  France

Beautiful mountain walk of 10 km at the gates of the Mercantour National Park to Lake Oronaye. Along the walk many alpine birds and birds of prey can be seen.

Added* by Thierry Martin
Most recent update 22 August 2021
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The wide open spaces of the Col de Larche are on the border between Italy and France and at the gates of the Mercantour National Park. You walk through an ancient glacial valley to the Lake of Oronaye. A little further is the lake of Roburent. The high peaks are reflected in the turquoise waters of the lakes. Along the way you can observe alpine fauna like chamois, marmots and of course many birds. Among the birds you can see are Rock Ptarmigan, Red-billed Chough, Yellow-billed Chough, Common Raven, Citril Finch, White-winged Snowfinch, Rock Bunting, Black Redstart, Northern Wheatear and Ring Ouzel as well as large birds of prey such as Griffon Vulture, Short-toed Snake Eagle and Golden Eagle. If you are lucky you can see Bearded Vulture and Eurasian Black Vulture that are gradually reintroduced in the area.


Français: Les grands espaces du col de Larche se dévoilent ici au randonneur. La frontière avec l’Italie n’est qu’à quelques pas, tout comme le parc du Mercantour. Dans un ancien vallon glaciaire entouré de sommets aux formes déchiquetées, le lac de l’Oronaye, et un peu plus loin celui de Roburent. Ici la Nature absorbe le promeneur, les sonnailles des brebis entonnent une mélodie apaisante et les marmottes chantent leur joie de vivre.



From Barcelonnette take the D900 direction Cuneo. Pass Jausiers and continue straight by D900 up the Col de Larche. About a kilometer before the pass, you can park on the small parking lot. Click on the P in the map to get directions. From the car park, the trail rises along the Torrent de l'Oronaye, between the Bec du Lièvre and the Tête des Blaves, then leads into a wide valley where the Lac de l'Oronaye is good for a break and some birding on your back. If you want and have the spirit you can walk on sfter lake Oronaye to the Roburent Pass. This pass marks the border with Italy, and has a striking view on Lake Roburent, a beautiful Transalpine lake. The walk shown on the map is about 10 km and takes you about 4 hours.


Français: Quitter Barcelonnette par le D900 direction Cuneo, Jausiers et col de Vars. Passer Jausiers et la Condamine-Châtelard. Franchir l’Ubaye au niveau du fort de Tournoux. Un peu plus loin laisser la route du col de Vars à gauche et continuer tout droit par D900. On attaque la montée du col de Larche. Environ un kilomètre avant le col, tourner par une piste à gauche pour se garer sur le petit parking grossièrement aménagé.

Terrain and Habitat

Mountain , Canyon/cliff , Lake


Mountainous , Rocky , Open landscape

Circular trail


Is a telescope useful?


Good birding season

Spring , Autumn , Summer

Best time to visit

Summer , Spring


Wide path , Narrow trail

Difficulty walking trail

Average walk

Accessible by


Birdwatching hide / platform


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