Dauphiné Alps

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Dauphiné Alps
Pic de la Meije.jpg
La Meije seen from the Emparis plateau
Highest point
Peak Barre des Écrins
Elevation 4,102 m (13,458 ft) [1]
Coordinates 44°55′23″N6°21′36″E / 44.92306°N 6.36000°E / 44.92306; 6.36000 Coordinates: 44°55′23″N6°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
Country France
Regions Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Rivers Drac, Durance, Isère and Arc
Parent range Alps
Borders on Cottian Alps, Graian Alps, Savoy Prealps, Dauphiné Prealps and Provence Alps and Prealps
Orogeny Alpine 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:


Col de la Croix de Fer Croix de Fer.jpg
Col de la Croix de Fer

The chief passes of the Dauphiné Alps are:

Brèche de la Meije La Berarde to la Gravesnow3,30010,827
Brèche des Grandes Rousses Allemont to Clavans snow3,10010,171
Brèche de Valsenestre Bourg d'Oisans to Valsenestre footpath2,6348,642
Col Bayard La Mure to Gap road1,2464,088
Col de la Casse Deserte La Berarde to La Gravesnow3,51011,516
Col de la Croix de Fer Bourg d'Oisans to Saint-Jean-d'Arvesroad2,0626,765
Col de la Croix Haute Grenoble to Serres and Gaproad, railroad1,1673,829
Col de la Lauze Saint-Christophe-en-Oisans to La Grave snow3,54311,624
Col de l'Alpe de Vénosc Vénosc to Les Deux Alpes bridle path1,6605,446
Col de la Muande St Christophe to the Val Gaudemarsnow3,05910,036
Col de la Muzelle St Christophe to Valsenestrefootpath2,5008,202
Col d'Arsine La Grave to Le Monêtier-les-Bainsbridle path2,4007,874
Col de la Temple La Berarde to Vallouisesnow3,28310,771
Col de la Vaurze Val Gaudemar to Valjouffrey footpath2,6008,530
Col de l'Eychauda Vallouise to Le Monêtier-les-Bains bridle path2,4297,969
Col de l'Infernet La Grave to Saint-Jean-d'Arvesfootpath2,6908,825
Col de Martignare La Grave to Saint-Jean-d'Arvesfootpath2,6008,530
Col des Aiguilles d'Arves Valloire to Saint-Jean-d'Arves snow3,15010,335
Col des Avalanches La Berarde to Vallouise snow3,51111,519
Col des Ecrins La Berarde to Vallouisesnow3,41511,204
Col des Prés Nouveaux Le Freney to Saint-Jean-d'Arvesbridle path2,2937,523
Col des Quirlies Saint-Jean-d'Arves to Clavanssnow2,9509,678
Col des Sept Laux Allevard to Bourg d'Oisansbridle path2,1847,165
Col des Tourettes Orcières to Châteauroux-les-Alpes bridle path2,5808,465
Col de Val Estrete Val Gaudemar to Champoléonfootpath2,6208,596
Col de Vallonpierre Val Gaudemar to Champoléonfootpath2,6208,596
Col d'Orcières Dormillouse to Orcières bridle path2,7008,858
Col d'Ornon Bourg d'Oisans to La Mure road1,3604,462
Col du Clot des Cavales La Berarde to La Gravesnow3,12810,262
Col du Galibier Col du Lautaret to Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne road2,6588,720
Col du Glacier Blanc La Grave to Vallouisesnow3,30810,853
Col du Glandon Bourg d'Oisans to La Chambre road1,9516,401
Col du Goleon La Grave to Valloirefootpath2,8809,449
Col du Lautaret Briançon to Bourg d'Oisansroad2,0756,808
Col du Loup du Valgaudemar Vallouise to the Val Gaudemarsnow3,11210,210
Col du Says La Berarde to the Val Gaudemar snow3,13610,289
Col du Sele La Berarde to Vallouisesnow3,30210,833
Col du Sellar Vallouise to the Val Gaudemarsnow3,06710,062
Col Emile Pic La Grave to Vallouisesnow3,50211,490
Col Lombard La Grave to Saint-Jean-d'Arvessnow3,10010,171
Pas de la Cavale Vallouise to Champoléon dirt road2,7408,990

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  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.