Dauphiné Alps

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Dauphiné Alps
Pic de la Meije.jpg
La Meije seen from the Emparis plateau
Highest point
PeakBarre des Écrins
Elevation4,102 m (13,458 ft)[1]
Coordinates44°55′23″N 6°21′36″E / 44.92306°N 6.36000°E / 44.92306; 6.36000Coordinates: 44°55′23″N 6°21′36″E / 44.92306°N 6.36000°E / 44.92306; 6.36000
Native nameAlpes du Dauphiné  (French)
SOIUSA-Alpi Occidentali-sezione05.png
Dauphiné Alps (section nr.5) within Western Alps
RegionsRhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
RiversDrac, Durance, Isère and Arc
Parent rangeAlps
Borders onCottian Alps, Graian Alps, Savoy Prealps, Dauphiné Prealps and Provence Alps and Prealps
OrogenyAlpine orogeny

The Dauphiné Alps (French: Alpes du Dauphiné) are a group of mountain ranges in southeastern France, west of the main chain of the Alps. Mountain ranges within the Dauphiné Alps include the Massif des Écrins (in the Parc national des Écrins), Belledonne, the Taillefer range and the mountains of Matheysine.


The Dauphiné (pronounced [dofine]) is a former French province whose area roughly corresponded to that of the present departments of Isère, Drôme, and Hautes-Alpes.


They are separated from the Cottian Alps in the east by the Col du Galibier and the upper Durance valley; from the western Graian Alps (Vanoise Massif) in the north-east by the river Arc; from the lower ranges Vercors Plateau and Chartreuse Mountains in the west by the rivers Drac and Isère. Many peaks rise to more than 10,000 feet (3,050 m), with Barre des Écrins (4,102 m) the highest.

Administratively the French part of the range belongs to the French departments of Isère, Hautes-Alpes and Savoie.

The whole range is drained by the Rhone through its tributaries.

It has been proposed that the height of mountains in the Dauphiné Alps is limited by the erosion caused by small glaciers, causing a topographic effect called the glacial buzzsaw.[2]


The chief peaks of the Dauphiné Alps are:


The chief passes of the Dauphiné Alps are:

name location type elevation
m ft
Brèche de la Meije La Berarde to la Grave snow 3,300 10,827
Brèche des Grandes Rousses Allemont to Clavans snow 3,100 10,171
Brèche de Valsenestre Bourg d'Oisans to Valsenestre footpath 2,634 8,642
Col Bayard La Mure to Gap road 1,246 4,088
Col de la Casse Deserte La Berarde to La Grave snow 3,510 11,516
Col de la Croix de Fer Bourg d'Oisans to Saint-Jean-d'Arves road 2,062 6,765
Col de la Croix Haute Grenoble to Serres and Gap road, railroad 1,167 3,829
Col de la Lauze Saint-Christophe-en-Oisans to La Grave snow 3,543 11,624
Col de l'Alpe de Vénosc Vénosc to Les Deux Alpes bridle path 1,660 5,446
Col de la Muande St Christophe to the Val Gaudemar snow 3,059 10,036
Col de la Muzelle St Christophe to Valsenestre footpath 2,500 8,202
Col d'Arsine La Grave to Le Monêtier-les-Bains bridle path 2,400 7,874
Col de la Temple La Berarde to Vallouise snow 3,283 10,771
Col de la Vaurze Val Gaudemar to Valjouffrey footpath 2,600 8,530
Col de l'Eychauda Vallouise to Le Monêtier-les-Bains bridle path 2,429 7,969
Col de l'Infernet La Grave to Saint-Jean-d'Arves footpath 2,690 8,825
Col de Martignare La Grave to Saint-Jean-d'Arves footpath 2,600 8,530
Col des Aiguilles d'Arves Valloire to Saint-Jean-d'Arves snow 3,150 10,335
Col des Avalanches La Berarde to Vallouise snow 3,511 11,519
Col des Ecrins La Berarde to Vallouise snow 3,415 11,204
Col des Prés Nouveaux Le Freney to Saint-Jean-d'Arves bridle path 2,293 7,523
Col des Quirlies Saint-Jean-d'Arves to Clavans snow 2,950 9,678
Col des Sept Laux Allevard to Bourg d'Oisans bridle path 2,184 7,165
Col des Tourettes Orcières to Châteauroux-les-Alpes bridle path 2,580 8,465
Col de Val Estrete Val Gaudemar to Champoléon footpath 2,620 8,596
Col de Vallonpierre Val Gaudemar to Champoléon footpath 2,620 8,596
Col d'Orcières Dormillouse to Orcières bridle path 2,700 8,858
Col d'Ornon Bourg d'Oisans to La Mure road 1,360 4,462
Col du Clot des Cavales La Berarde to La Grave snow 3,128 10,262
Col du Galibier Col du Lautaret to Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne road 2,658 8,720
Col du Glacier Blanc La Grave to Vallouise snow 3,308 10,853
Col du Glandon Bourg d'Oisans to La Chambre road 1,951 6,401
Col du Goleon La Grave to Valloire footpath 2,880 9,449
Col du Lautaret Briançon to Bourg d'Oisans road 2,075 6,808
Col du Loup du Valgaudemar Vallouise to the Val Gaudemar snow 3,112 10,210
Col du Says La Berarde to the Val Gaudemar snow 3,136 10,289
Col du Sele La Berarde to Vallouise snow 3,302 10,833
Col du Sellar Vallouise to the Val Gaudemar snow 3,067 10,062
Col Emile Pic La Grave to Vallouise snow 3,502 11,490
Col Lombard La Grave to Saint-Jean-d'Arves snow 3,100 10,171
Pas de la Cavale Vallouise to Champoléon dirt road 2,740 8,990


  1. ^ Highest summit elevation as reported on Géoportail of Institut Géographique National
  2. ^ Evans, I.S. (2013). "Glacial landsforms, erosional features". In Elias, Scott A.; Mock, Cary J. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science (2nd ed.). Elsevier. p. 861. ISBN 978-0-444-53643-3.