Two skiers descending tree-lined piste with mountain background.

Le Dévoluy

La Joue du Loup & SuperDévoluy, Hautes-Alps

In the southern French Alps close to the Franco-Italian border, with more likelihood of good weather compared with ski areas further north, yet with very significant snowfalls.

It’s a long journey for skiers driving from the UK, although airport transfers are much more rapid, particularly from budget flights into Genoble, Marseille, Turin and Cuneo.

Wide view of skier on piste beside drag-lift with snow-covered valley and mountains in background

The Ski Area

The Dévoluy lift-pass covers the combined ski areas of La Joue du Loup and Superdévoluy, which are linked by an efficient lift system. While not overly demanding, the skiing is varied and the style relaxed, with the emphasis on blue-graded cruising. Reds are not far behind, although there’s nothing which need deter confident intermediates. They’ll get to discover a few more challenging pistes, including the steep drop from La Pierra (2510m) and the exhilarating skier-cross-style run into Surperdévoluy on Les Meules. The apparent high proportion of drag-lifts is deceptive, as these mostly serve novice and advanced terrain, while the majority of skiers will be taking the 4- and 6-seater high-speed chairlifts. Two new draglifts for 2016/17 in the La Joue du Loup sector, take the pressure off the Télémix lift and provide an alternative during closures in high winds. Finally, the beauty of the surroundings will come as a very pleasant surprise to those accustomed to narrower, more confined valley settings.

Resort Information

Altitude : 1470m - 2500m
Le Devoluy domain piste bar
9 Green
27 Blue
14 Red
5 Black
15 Draglifts
5 Chairlifts
1 Télémix Gondola/Chairlift
1 Gondolas

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Wide overview of La Joue du Loup village, wide valley and snow-covered mountains

The Ski Village

It would be hard to imagine two more contrasting architectural styles than those of village-like La Joue du Loup (whose predominant chalet style blends successfully into the landscape) and purpose-built SuperDévoluy (whose high-rise impact is nevertheless upstaged by the majesty of the surroundings). Newer development here is, however, on a low-impact scale. Each side of the mountain thus has its devotees and there’s a high proportion of private ownership, as the area has long been a favourite of family skiers from Marseille, Provence and the Mediterranean Coast. The relaxed style is unmistakably that of the sunny South. It’s very French and moving steadily upmarket (with self-imposed limits on further development in La Joue du Loup).
We based ourselves in La Joue du Loup, whose shops and services are mainly clustered around a circular pedestrian area in the centre of the village, with a choice of restaurants, bars and ski shops just a few steps away at the foot of the pistes. We found a good range of services including a very nice interiors shop, a 'quincaillerie' (hardware store) plus ski shops and equipment hire outlets. For food shopping, there are two delicatessens selling a wide range of regional products and ready-prepared meals. There’s also a mini-market for groceries, plus a boulangerie.
A Tourism Office situated at the entrance to the village offers a welcome service to guests on their arrival.

Staying There

Value for Money Accommodation Dining Out Nightlife Village Charm

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Young skiers with ski instructors beside mountain restaurant at Le Devoluy.

Why go skiing in Le Dévoluy ?

Families will love this place, as will early intermediates and those who prefer to enjoy their skiing in a safe, relaxing environment with great scenery and no nasty surprises. Not that it lacks the occasional challenge once you know where to look. Mixed-ability groups should therefore be happy.
While coming here rather than to the more familiar areas further north requires something of a leap of faith, those looking for an affordable, no-nonsense quality ski experience combined with a surprisingly good snow record (particularly in recent seasons) will find the Hautes-Alpes ski resorts a revelation.

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Skiing There

Beginners / Families Intermediates Advanced / Expert Mountain Scenery
1 Snowparks
1 Snowboarder Cross


icon-smileyYes please...

  • Relaxed linked-domain skiing with a South of France feel.
  • Well-groomed and well-signed piste network.
  • Fast-improving lift system.
  • Accommodation for most budgets and tastes.
  • Dependable recent snow record.
  • Solid value, without compromises on the ski experience.

icon-frowneyYes but...

  • Long distances for those driving from the UK.
  • Your friends probably won’t have heard of it (yet).

icon-winkingOur Tips

  • If you ski for the pure love of it, rather than the brag-value, then the southern French Alps really are well worth getting to know.
  • Download the app for webcams, activities etc. Available for iPhone and Android.

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Practical Information

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Tried and testedLa Tania

La Joue du Loup
Tel: +33 (0)4 92 58 95 22

Situated at the foot of the slopes, this bar restaurant is popular with young people. We chose two vegetarian options from the menu, Tagliatelle aux Cèpes and Gnocchi au Parmesan, but there was plenty of choice including pizzas, steaks, fish and their speciality of traditional dishes.


Tried and testedL’Op Traken

La Joue du Loup
Tel: +33 (0)6 64 91 70 69

L'Op Traken mountain restaurant, Le Devoluy

Mountain restaurant with a sunny terrace plus tables inside, situated under the Fontettes télémix. It serves a variety of snacks and a choice of crêpes which are generous enough for a skier’s lunch. The daily special was excellent value at around 12€.


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Alpinresorts.com Ski rental

Save precious skiing time when you book your ski equipment online with Alpinresorts.com

After a quick and easy reservation everything will be waiting for you when you get to your destination.

You get to choose the shop and there’s a BEST-PRICE GUARANTEE.

Make BIG savings by booking online today!

Cheap flights to the Alps

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Airport Transfers

Ski-Lifts offer the widest range of airport transfers to ski resorts in France, from economy shared transfers for budget-conscious travellers, right through to luxury limousines. They also offer coach transfers for larger groups.

Insight: Le Dévoluy

View from chairlift of trees, mountains and ski pistes at Le Devoluy

Insight: Le Dévoluy

The drive up from nearby Gap is a breeze, but our own arrival via Grenoble and the celebrated Route Napoléon is a more time-consuming approach, despite offering an unforgettable introduction to the captivating scenery of the Southern French Alps. Much of it still slumbering beneath a thick blanket of snow, but the village of La Joue du Loup, situated to one side of the ski area of Le Dévoluy, looks and feels welcoming, with development on a refreshingly human scale. So far, so good.

Les Meules snakes its way ski-cross style through what feels at one point like the ultimate half-pipe before firing us back out again neatly beside the village, with broad smiles on our faces..

Le Devoluy ski lift

Extraordinary views from the Festoure high-speed 6-seater chairlift.


Skier on Marmottes piste, Le Devoluy

Early intermediate skiers will love pistes like Marmottes, pictured above.

Le Dévoluy popular with intermediate skiers

The following morning we board the Fontenettes télémix lift to begin discovering the ski area. Getting our bearings proves interesting at first, since our piste-map is a model of clarity when it comes to illustrating the lifts, but fails to name the pistes. That’s different. Fortunately they turn out to be well-signed, and we have a great time dropping down the blue- and red-graded runs towards the forest above the village.

Heading over to the SuperDévoluy sector couldn’t be simpler, the liaison being accomplished via a choice of routes, the simplest of which is a long blue cruise from the top of Fontenettes. We have every intention of doing so, but along the way pause for a welcome lunch-break at L’Op Traken before heading back up to 2200m on the Festoure high-speed 6-seater chairlift to appreciate the extraordinary views. From the top the full effects of the season’s mammoth snowfalls are clearly visible, even in late March.

This image provides the vast backdrop to our the exhilarating, more direct onward run all the way down into SuperDévoluy. En-route there’s a choice of red-, blue- and even green-graded terrain, guaranteeing its popularity with aspiring early intermediate skiers and while still being thoroughly enjoyable for those with a great deal more mileage under their skis.

Family-friendly architecture

The scale of SuperDévoluy’s original architecture isn’t to everyone’s taste, but we can tell you that it actually looks a lot better when you’re skiing down towards it than it does on the printed page. In its time it’s also offered countless ordinary families in the region an unexpected opportunity to secure their very own ski apartment along with the prospect of limitless visits to the mountains. They still come, of course, and bring with them a refreshingly down-to-earth atmosphere of fun which you can sense as soon as you arrive.

Not that everything is obvious. Experience has taught us that the outer reaches of any ski area often produce some of the most memorable and least-trafficked skiing. Sure enough, above SuperDévoluy our instincts are rewarded on Les Meules, a real roller-coaster run which snakes its way in skier-cross style through what feels at one point like the ultimate half-pipe, before firing us back out neatly beside the village, with broad smiles on our faces. With more practice you could have even more fun, which is something we look forward to doing when we’re able to get back to update our impressions.MountainPassions heart icon

Ski-lift, family, Le Devoluy