High-altitude environments of the Thuilette and Sozin combes

At high altitude, where nature still lives unspoiled, the two valleys of Sozin and Thuilette open up within the municipality of La Thuile. Here, silence is king. In winter, cold air and snow dominate over forests of Larches, Stone Pines, Red Pines and Mountain Pines. At even higher altitudes, vast pastures are interspersed with swampy dells and small lakes.
In this still-pure nature, floristic and faunistic species of great rarity in the Valle d’Aosta find their ideal habitat, such as the Carex pauciflora and the Diphasiastrum alpinum. The Golden Eagle and the Bearded Vulture reign over all. There is also an abundance of Marmots, Alpine Frogs, Mountain Roosters and White Grouse. A landscape rich in nature and peace.


  • Hiking

    The trails are particularly recommended for expert hikers. All itineraries are described in the TRAILS section.

  • Snowshoe trekking

    The site is well-suited for this activity.

Discover the site

The best moment to appreciate this landscape and its explosions of blossoming at their maximum splendour is during the summer. The vivid red of blueberries and the clear blue of the sky make this site fascinating even in autumn. The site is recommended for trained hikers, in small groups, respectful of the silence and the richness of the land.

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

In summer or when snow melts, you can drive along the paved road which starts at the hamlet of Pierre Carrée and goes to La Joux - Forclettaz, where it is possible to leave the car in a nearby lot and continue on foot (approximately 1,2 km before entering the protected area.

By bus

The Pré Saint Didier – La Thuile busline, and subsequently the La Thuile – La Joux busline, are available. In order to reach the municipality of La Thuile, you can also use the “Alpis Graia” shuttle – still in its experimental phase (summer of 2011) – which picks up passengers at the dell of Valdigne and brings them to the Piccolo San Bernardo.
Please note that the site is located just below the Alta Via n° 2 (Promoud – La Thuile segment), a naturalistic trail which crosses the Southern sector of the Region, from Champorcher to Courmayeur.

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.

High-altitude environments
of the Thuilette and Sozin combes

Information to reach the site 1
Accessibility from main roads 1
Parking for the disabled 0
Accessible restrooms 0
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:

Average path

Lac du Ruitor

  • Elevation gain : 906 m
  • Travel time: 6h 30 m
  • Signposting: 3-8-AV2

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 High-altitude environments of the Thuilette and Sozin combes

SIC SIC IT1205000

Municipality: La Thuile

Surface: 356 ha

Altitude: 1.760 ÷ 2.835 m s.l.m.

Responsible forest station:

VIVA recommends the premises belonging to the network “Saveurs du Val d’Aoste

Saveurs du Val d'Aoste

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