Access Part 1
By the road In the Valley of Maurienne, the highway A43, exit St Michel de Maurienne. When you are in St Michel de Maurienne, you have to options: 1) Direction Modane to come until La Praz 2) Direction Valmeinier By train The train station is St Michel de Maurienne –Valloire. You can check the timetables and prices on www.sncf.fr Then, from St Michel de Maurienne you can reach Valmeinier by bus or taxi. Bus Maurienne : 0820 320 368 Taxi: 06 15 19 13 55
Access PART 2 = properly said, the hiking part as we are situated in the middle of mountains.
Important: First of all, you need to by the IGN map. The reference is: IGN TOP 25 3535 OT. This is a specified map when you want to do hiking in France. You can buy it, in Saint Michel de Maurienne or in Valmeinier. Usely, they are sell in little book shops or in supermarket like Carrefour Market. To reach our refuge you can choose through 3 options:
From La Praz by the Prec: ( Be carefull ! This road is closed until 2017!)
Altitude difference: 950m Last: 4h
When you are in La Praz, you need to take a road that is going until the EDF cable car. You can see it from the main road. You can park your car on the parking next to the cable car. Then, by foot you will follow a forest piste during 200m. Then, you will see a panel with path indications. From this panel, you will take a nice path through the forest which drives until Le Prec (1750m, see on the IGN map). Le Prec is kind of a parking, from this point you will follow a marked path that will drive you until the Prec plateau (there you will see the pylon of the EDF cable car). You will cross this plateau and you will take the marked Bissorte path. This path goes until the hydraulic dam and then, you will board the dam. At the end of the dam, the path is going up until a kind of plain. From this point you can see the refuge (2230m), it will be the second chalet. The first one is the house of the sheep keeper.
From Valmeinier 1500, by the Prec forest road (see map IGN)
Altitude difference: + 450m Last: 2h30
At the beginning of Valmeinier 1500 you will pass a bridge, after it you turn on left. You follow the asphalt road until the end. Then you enter a forest road, you will follow it during 30 minutes until a parking called Le Prec. You leave your car there. From this point you will follow a marked path that will drive you until the Prec plateau (there you will see the pylon of the EDF cable car). You will cross this plateau and you will take the marked Bissorte path. This path goes until the hydraulic dam and then, you will board the dam. At the end of the dam, the path is going up until a kind of plain. From this point, you can see the refuge (2230m), it will be the second chalet. The first one, is the house of the sheep keeper.
From Valmeinier 1800 through the Col des Marches (see map IGN)
Altitude difference: +925m Last: 4h30
In Valmeinier 1800, you take the path that cross the pistes and direct you to Inversin (2085m) . Then , you need to go up through the small valley and cross the small river of Marches at 2213m.
Then you will continue to the col des Marches (2725m). After the Col des Marches, you will go down on the marked path. This path is crossing down a steep slope direction North-East and then it changes completely its direction to the South. It continues until the end of the little valley, it passes above a little lake which is on the left side. Then, it goes down, to the exit of this lake. After, it continues to go down by a big half circle in a prairie area with little lakes. Then, it cross the exit of these lakes AND continue to border the slopes of the mountain until the Bissorte torrent down in the small valley. You will cross the torrent on the second bridge.