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This lake, at 1500 metres height, is part of the village of Bourg d'Oisans and is the highest situated lake of the Ecrins massif. This gem with emerald colours is set between the impressive mountain landscape, with no sign of human occupation. The area is well accessible for hikers. It is probably one of the most beautiful sites of the Oisans.
The Lauvitel valley leads to the eponymous lake. It is a treasure set with steep and rocky slopes that descend from the summits of Rochail (3,022 meters above sea level), the head of the Muraillette (3,019 meters) and the signal from Lautivel (2,901 meters). The lake also impresses with its dimensions, with an area of 37.2 hectares and a depth of 68 meters.
Lauvitel lake is located near the eponymous integral reserve, which is closed to the public. This space was created in 1955 with the aim of strengthening the protection of flora and fauna for scientific purposes. “Monitoring the natural dynamics of ecosystems” is also part of the missions of the integral reserve.
Lauvitel lake is a natural reservoir that formed about four thousand years ago. The phenomenon is in all likelihood due to a rock collapse which is added to a glacial moraine already present at the bottom of the valley. The hypothesis of an ancient cataclysm that blocked the valley is accredited in particular by a stack of fragmented blocks but also by the sliding plane above the lake.
The ice cover was one meter thicker in winter. In summer, the melting snow covering the summits results in excess water exceeding the flow capacity by porosity. The Lauvitel lake can then climb twenty meters from its lowest level. The overflow is inevitable.
You can access the lake from the village of Danchère, by taking a bucolic and shaded path which winds the impressive landslide at the origin of the formation of the lake. We continue the adventure until we cross a stone's throw from the Lauvitel stream. We then go up the paved path to the left, on the right bank of the stream. At the edge of this path are dry stone walls delimiting cultivated fields.
It will then be necessary to cross the Selles stream at a catchment level, then climb in a loop in the hardwoods and spruces. We pass by a clear area which abounds in beautiful meadows, before leading to a flat leading to the edge of the lake of Lauvitel.