French Prealps

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French Prealps
Prealps — Préalpes(French)
Sommets Chartreuse.jpg
Summits in the Chartreuse Mountains,
part of the French Prealps.
Highest point
PeakHaute Cime
Elevation 10,686 ft (3,257 m)
Massifs des Prealpes map-fr.svg
Ranges of the French Alps,
with the Prealps ranges highlighted in orange
Country France
Regions Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Range coordinates 43°59′N6°6.65′E / 43.983°N 6.11083°E / 43.983; 6.11083 Coordinates: 43°59′N6°6.65′E / 43.983°N 6.11083°E / 43.983; 6.11083
Parent range Alps
Orogeny Alpine orogeny
Age of rock Mesozoic and Tertiary
Type of rock Sedimentary and Flysch

The French Prealps (Préalpes) are a group of subalpine mountain ranges of medium elevation located immediately west of the French Alps. They roughly stretch from Lake Geneva southwest to the rivers Isère and Drôme; east to a line running from Chamonix, to Albertville, to Grenoble, to Gap, to Barcelonette; and south from Grasse to Vence in France.

In the northern subalpine regions, the various ranges are easily identifiable by geographical separations, such as the Voreppe Gorge between Vercors and Chartreuse, or Chambéry, which sits in a valley between the Bauges and Chartreuse ranges. In the southern subalpine regions, the ranges are generally disorganized and lack the wide, deep valleys that divide them in the north.

Three non-contiguous ranges traditionally comprise the southern French Prealps: the Alpilles, Mont Sainte-Victoire, and Sainte-Baume.

Ranges and peaks

ChainRangeHighest SummitElevation (m/ft)Comments
Savoy Prealps Haut-Giffre Massif Dents du Midi - Haute Cime3,257 metres (10,686 ft)Highest summit in the French Prealps
Savoy Prealps Aiguilles Rouges Aiguille du Belvédère 2,965 metres (9,728 ft)
Savoy Prealps Chablais Alps Hauts-Forts2,464 metres (8,084 ft)Peak on French side of the range
Savoy Prealps Bornes Pointe Blanche2,438 metres (7,999 ft)
Savoy Prealps Aravis Range Pointe Percée 2,750 metres (9,022 ft)
Savoy Prealps Bauges Arcalod2,217 metres (7,274 ft)
Savoy Prealps Chartreuse Mountains Chamechaude 2,082 metres (6,831 ft)
Dauphiné Prealps Vercors Plateau Grand Veymont 2,341 metres (7,680 ft)also called the French Dolomites
Dauphiné Prealps Diois Mountains Mont Jocou2,051 metres (6,729 ft)
Provence Prealps Baronnies Mont Mare1,603 metres (5,259 ft)
Dauphiné Prealps Dévoluy Mountains Grande Tête de l'Obiou 2,789 metres (9,150 ft)
Dauphiné Prealps Bochaine Mont Céüse2,016 metres (6,614 ft)also called the Pays du Buëch
Provence Prealps Massif des Trois-Évêchés Tête de l'Estrop 2,961 metres (9,715 ft)
Provence Prealps Digne Prealps Les Monges2,115 metres (6,939 ft)
Provence Prealps Vaucluse Mountains Signal de Saint-Pierre1,256 metres (4,121 ft)
Provence Prealps Luberon Mountains Mourre Nègre1,125 metres (3,691 ft)
Provence Prealps Castellan Prealps Puy de Rent1,996 metres (6,549 ft)also called the Grasse Prealps
Maritime Prealps Nice Prealps Pointe des Trois Communes2,080 metres (6,824 ft)Highest point on the Authion Massif
Non-contiguous Alpilles Tour des Opies498 metres (1,634 ft)Traditional southern range
Non-contiguous Mont Sainte-Victoire Pic des Mouches1,011 metres (3,317 ft)Traditional southern range
Non-contiguous Sainte-Baume Joug de l'Aigle1,148 metres (3,766 ft)Traditional southern range

Among the best known peaks in the French Prealps are:

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