The valley of flowers and the dead city

In the Urtier Valley there are rare botanical species and vegetation typical to the Alpine area, but what makes this excursion truly original is the visit to Colonna, an abandoned mining village situated at 2,390 metres above sea level which is a unique example of industrial archaeology. From Colonna can be enjoyed a breathtaking view of the Gran Paradiso mountain range and Mont Blanc.


  • Where:

    Vallone dell’Urtier

  • Duration of activity and period recommended:

    1 day
    June to September

  • No. of participants and age groups:

    Min. 8 Max 25 
    From 8 to 75 years

  • Physical preparation and equipment:

    Bon niveau
    Equipement pour la randonnée et packed lunch.

  • Professionals involved:

    Nature hike guide



Check-out: Gimillan 1814 m above sea level (own car, or bus from Cogne. See times tourist office). Difference in altitude: 685 m - Length: 4.5 km at village miners + 600 m in the open field. Total round-trip: 8.8 km.
Description: Departure from the Gimillan village. The entire route is south facing so sunny. The panorama extends from the Gran Paradiso massif of Mont Blanc. The path with an average slope steeper first through a forest of mountain pine, meets the pastures of "Tarabouch" and "Encieuseu" goes to a shoulder glacial and along the alpine meadow. Jump to Column the "dead city" and continue on a path up to Liconi, 2495 m, where the field of magnetite is in the open.
For the return you can choose the same route, or follow a path that leads to the last tunnel extraction in operation before the closure of the mine. The trail continues to the village of Montroz and subsequently reaches Gimillan. The lunch is organized for each participant.


For hiker
Check-out: Champlong (own car, or bus from Cogne. See times tourist office).
Difference in altitude: 794 m – Length tot: 14 km
Description: Departure from small Champlong village. It follows the river Urtier and through the village of Lillaz to reach the beautiful waterfalls of the same name. Climb to the Gollies village, beyond a stretch average steep, and after going through some plateaus, through pasture Bouc and arrive at one of the first human settlements in the valley of Cogne: Crêt. Continue up to the pasture Gueula. Continuing in the plan, it first passes through a large glacial shoulder and reach, after meeting several pastures, in Colonna. The view of the Gran Paradiso massif and the valley of Cogne is magnificent. Packed Lunches brought by each participant.


Guide della Natura di Cogne
Via Bourgeois, 33 - 11012 COGNE (AO) Valle d’Aosta - ITALIA
+39 0165 74835


15 euro per participant. Dinner, bed, breakfast and lunch or picnic on the second day, to be paid at the refuge.

Timing and conditions of booking

At the association of reference at least 5 days before.




2.390 m


1 day


June to September