Autumn hike around Grenoble: Moucherotte

I’ve been dealing with a lot of changes – not necessarily a good one – lately that makes writing impossible. Now that I have more “freedom”, I somehow don’t know what to do and start. It’s just so easy to be lost and unmotivated.

One of the routines that remains is to hike on weekend when it doesn’t rain. It keeps me motivated and alive.

Entering autumn, the air became more humid and it gets colder day by day. It was friday and it was raining. The sky was grey and my tomatoes plants were shivering outside. Fortunately sun was expected the next day.

But then, first world problem, deciding where to go was not as easy. When I started hiking, there were a lot of options, a lot of places that I had never been to. Now finding a new place that can be reached by bus has become complicated.

Moucherotte.. When in doubt always choose Moucherotte. Moucherotte was one of the spots that I first hiked around Grenoble. Discarding Bastille, then it would be the third place after Lac Robert and Lac Crozet.

At first I thought it would be a boring hike since I went there several times already. There are several options to go to Moucherotte by bus depending on the departing point. Located in Vercors chain, the 5100 and 5110 transisere bus would be the lines to look up. The easiest one would be the 5110 that stops at Saint Niziere du Moucherotte (altitude 1168m) just at the foot of the mountain.

It was a cold saturday morning. The bus brought some of the hikers to Vercors. It went up through the Vercors road, following the curve slope, giving us the view to Grenoble. Just when we left Grenoble, the sky was clear and blue, but as the altitude got higher, the fog got thicker and thicker. The sun rose and the contrast with the cold weather created these thick air.


foggy start

Moucherotte is located at about 1901 m of altitude, so the hike had about 750 m elevation gain, about 2400 feet (While writing I remember a conversation with a new friend from the US when he showed me the beautiful New Mexico mountains, Wheeler Peak if I am not mistaken, but I couldn’t grasp the altitude since he told me in feet..). It supposed to be a short easy hike.

I put my polar jacket and my goretex. The wind made it seem colder than it was really.

The path was muddy. My shoes got wet very quickly from the dews.

Fresh mountain air, just what I needed.

Vercors forest with green moss covering the trees, stones and paths.

As we walking higher and higher, the fog started to disappear; the air got clear and the blue sky appeared.


clear sky

After walking for about an hour we took a detour. There was one place on the way to Moucherotte that I had never been to: trois pucelles, literally translated to three virgins. Climbers usually go there because they appear as vertical massive stones. The path was not indicated by the signs but was there.

The view from trois pucelles was breathtaking. The fog was swept and the clouds were floating .

A sea of clouds.


The south-east direction provided a view of a part of Chartreuse chain and the elongated Belledonne chain with beautiful Mont Blanc at the north end.


from Trois Pucelles – view to Mont Blanc

Sometimes taking a detour worth more than we expected.

The Moucherotte covered with sweeping fog was just amazing.


view to Moucherotte from Trois Pucelles

I tried climbing the easy part, just the very low part of the rocks.

Satisfied, we took the path back to the original plan.

Walking up to Moucherotte, we passed by other hikers and some trail-runners. Young-old, slow-fast, man-woman, human-dogs, it didn’t matter.

At the peak of Moucherotte, several group of friends were there already. We crossed a group of three female hikers who took the same bus before; from their language they probably came from Northern Europe, but I couldn’t figure. They were taking photos, selfies, and wefies. I was amazed on their ability to talk non-stop and loudly. We avoided them and enjoyed the view.

Being there with stunning views, I was reminded that experiencing things under different circumstances can change something banal into extraordinary. I started the hike expecting it to be boring but it ended up as one of the most exciting hikes I’ve ever done.


view at the peak of Moucherotte

Since the return bus was not immediate, we walked through the Moucherotte-Pic Saint Michel rock or balcony. We ended at Lans-en-Vercors where we took the bus back to Grenoble.


view to Grenoble





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