Valley of Urtier

A site which has safeguarded an intact high-altitude nature, allows the visitor to walk across mountain alps in full activity, pastures and splendid blossoming. We are within the Site of Communal Importance, located on the right slope of the Urtier valley, one of the three large valleys opening at the valley-head of Cogne. An ample panoramic view faces the Gran Paradiso massif, and looks over beautiful mirrors of water, the Lakes of Ponton and Pontonnet; in the distance, the Mont Blanc. There is no doubt that here lies the richest and most interesting floral habitat of the Valle d’Aosta, thanks to its many species, some of them rare, such as the Saxifraga diapensioides, the Eritrichium nanum, the Artemisia borealis and others such as the Edelweiss, symbol of alpine peaks. A population of stein-bocks - belonging to the surviving nucleus of Monte Tersiva - finds shelter here, as do the Eagle, the Bearded Vulture, the Chough and the White Grouse. Every year, on August 10th, tourists and inhabitants of nearby villages celebrate together San Besso, a saint to whom special devotion is a long-time tradition when they open the doors of the homonymous sanctuary set in the mountains which dominate the high Val Soana in Piedmont. A cherished tradition which deserves to be experienced.


  • Hiking

    All itineraries are described in the TRAILS section.

  • Mountain Biking

    The site can be undertaken on mountain bikes only along the farm road which from Lillaz reaches the Sogno di Berdzè Refuge.

  • Horseback Riding

    The site is ideal for horseback riding, along the same trail described for mountain biking.

Discover the site

Summer months are best to explore this territory. July and August in particular offer a beautiful high-altitude display of blossoming. In winter, however, the site is closed due to heavy snowfalls. The site’s vastness and diversification of itineraries, trails and dirt tracks, allows the Valley of Urtier to be enjoyed by hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders alike. Here is an opportunity for riders and bikers to travel along long dirt paths while discovering the naturalistic worth of the Valley of Urtier; please take care of never leaving the trails so as not to harm the vegetation. The far-off distance from Lillaz warrants a better safeguard of the site’s areas and protects them from a surfeit of visitors.

Behavioural conduct rules

We remind you that you can contribute to the preservation of these sites by following these simple rules:

visit the site on foot, with skis or snowshoes; avoid using motorized vehicles, boating equipment, hang-gliders, para-gliders or similar; mountain bikes and horseback riding are permitted only in specific authorized areas (external to the site): please respect hikers;

please stay within the marked trails, as trampling can ruin the fragile grass and undergrowth areas; in winter, please follow the recommended trails so as not to disturb animals which are fighting against hunger and cold;

please observe wild animals from a distance, do not capture them, do not disturb them nor feed them, and do not photograph occupied nests;

keep your dog on a leash and on the marked trails;

do not pick minerals or flowers;

do not make fires;

please bring your garbage back to the villages, where you will find many recyclable waste-collection points;

camping is permitted only for nightly bivouacs at an altitude of over 2500 meters; take care not to wash your dishware in springs or stagnant ponds of water; campers and trailers must be parked outside of the park, in specific authorized areas.

How to get there

By car

The municipality of Cogne can be reached by the S.R. 47 regional road from the S.S. 26 state road at the height of Aymavilles. From the village of Cogne, follow directions towards the fractions of Champlong and Lillaz; in the latter fraction, you can park your car. Buses are requested to stop for the time it takes to embark or disembark passengers. Another parking area, suitable for buses, is located at the entrance of Cogne, by the cemetery. A farm road departing from Lillaz can be undertaken only on foot and, after a long walk, reaches the entrance of the site.

By bus

You can use the “Aosta – Cogne” busline, which runs 7 daily trips, to reach the centre of the municipality of Cogne. From here, paying shuttles leave towards the fractions of Champlong and Lillaz; the service is intensified during seasons of greater touristic affluence.

Accessibility codification of sites

VIVA has chosen to supply everyone – youngsters, adults, the elderly and the disabled – with all the sites’ information so as to allow the visitor to choose a destination in an autonomous way.
An “Accessibility Codification”has thus been defined.

Valley of Urtier

Information to reach the site 0
Accessibility from main roads 1
Parking for the disabled 3
Accessible restrooms 2
Information panels 0
Slopes (max 8%) 0
Trail width (min 90cm) 0
Road surface 0
Resting areas approx every 10 m 0
Safety and protection of trails 2
Periodic maintenance 2

0 corresponds to ABSENCE of the indicated parameter;
3 corresponds to the PRESENCE of the indicated parameter, in optimal condition;
1 – 2 are INTERMEDIATE VALUES: in general, they indicate the presence of the parameter which must however be improved (1 = sufficient, 2 = close to optimal)


More paths :

VIVA suggests:

Long path

Lac Ponton - Lac Pontonné - Col Pontonné

  • Elevation gain : 1.282 m
  • Travel time: 7h, 30 m
  • Signposting: 10-10E-10F-13-AV2

What to see:


Average path

Miniere Colonna

  • Elevation gain : 894 m
  • Travel time: 1h45
  • Signposting: 5-5B-5D-7-7A

What to see:


Easy trails: routes that present no major technical difficulties or too challenging slopes. They can be covered in full or in small sections, allowing in both cases to come into contact with unspoilt nature, discovering its pace and balance …

Medium difficult trails: routes that can be covered in a day, varying considerably in terms of height differences and technical difficulty; the benefit is in being able to reach wildlife destinations of great impact.

Long trails: excursions lasting several days which provide for stopover places and catering along the route.

cartina Valley of Urtier

SIC SIC IT1205065

Municipality: Cogne

Surface: 1.506 ha

Altitude: 1.700 ÷ 3.513 m s.l.m.

Responsible forest station:


Lungo la via del Re

Lungo la via del Re
Cicloescursione con mountain bike a pedalata assistita alla scoperta del Vallone dell’Urtier

Con mamma e papà: weekend nel parco

Con mamma e papà: weekend nel parco
Un fine settimana alla scoperta dell’ambiente montano in compagnia di mamma e papà

The valley of flowers and the dead city

The valley of flowers and the dead city

In the Urtier Valley there are rare botanical species and the ghosts of abandoned mine.