Perched on its piton, Mizoën marks the gateway to the Ferrand Valley. This beautiful flower-filled village is typical of Oisans and enjoys a magnificent, panoramic view over the Lac du Chambon, the Meije, the Romanche gorges and right up to the Taillefer ridge. This is an area of agricultural and transhumance traditions, with its bread oven, ecomuseum at Les Clôts, age-old paths dotted with oratories and inscriptions on ancient rocks.
- Les Clôts ecomuseum
- Mountain huts on the Emparis plateau
- Access to Les 2 Alpes in 17 mins (summer and winter)
- Via ferrata
- Charm and wonderful views!
- Natura 2000 (Emparis plateau)
The village offers leisure facilities, including a spacious recreation room, children’s playground and games area, together with a multitude of sports activities in the surrounding area; hiking, cycling and mountain biking, horse riding, paragliding, skiing, snowshoeing and mountaineering.
Outside the village, you are immediately in the open countryside, with paths leading up to well-known sites, such as the Emparis plateau, with its clear lakes reflecting the glaciers. For those interested in local heritage, the village, together with the hamlets of Aymes and Singuigneret, feature typical examples of local architecture.
History and Heritage
Mizoën, meaning “au midi”, bathes in sunshine on its promontory. This is a land worked by Alpine peasants and the ecomuseum of Les Clots – located next to the mountain hut of the same name – displays artefacts showing how peasants used to live. The village was originally positioned on the edge of the Romanche gorge and research has revealed that it stood on a Roman road between Grenoble and Briançon. As this was a strategic passage for crossing the Alps, Mizoën had a population of up to 680 in 1846. Below the village, two hamlets of Mont-de-Lans were swallowed up by the Chambon dam, built between 1926 and 1935. The water of this lake adds charm to this previously deep and narrow valley.
Portrait of Roger Canac
Roger Canac was born in 1928 in Auriac-Lagast in Aveyron, Southern France. He left the herds to which he was tending in his native Rouergue to join the seminary, before abandonning theology to study philosophy at the Sorbonne, under Gaston Bachelard.
After returning to the land, in an agricultural community in Haute-Savoie, he became passionate about the mountains and trained as a guide. In 1959, he settled in the Oisans massif, working as a primary school teacher in Mizoen, before founding a mountain guiding school.
Roger Canac was chairman of the Mountain Guides’ Union. Fascinated by the crystals of the Alps and other parts of the world, his expertise is widely recognised both by fellow crystal hunters and by scientists specialised in mineralogy. He initiated the founding of the Museum of Mineralogy in Bourg-d’Oisans and is the author of several books, including La Montagne (Le Seuil), L’Or des cristalliers (Denoël), Gaspard de la Meije (PUG), Jacques Balmat, dit Mont-Blanc (PUG), Vivre ici en Oisans (Glénat), Réganel ou la montagne à vaches (Glénat), Paysan sans terre (Glénat) and Des critaux et des hommes (Glénat).