© Gregory Cassiau
The waterfalls and the Cirque de St Même

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Why is there a charge for parking? Are dogs allowed? What are the best days to enjoy the Circus? Etc. You certainly have a thousand questions to ask to prepare for your trip to Cirque de St Même, here are the answers to those that are most regularly asked.

  • Are dogs allowed?

    YES !
    Dogs are prohibited on the Hauts de Chartreuse Nature Reserve, which begins at the Cirque de St Even. However, an exemption is set up on the trails at the bottom of the circus and the waterfall, as well as in the flat of the circus. Dogs are therefore allowed.

    Due to the positioning of the sign presenting the Nature Reserve, some of you are misled and think that dogs are not allowed but we confirm that they are well accepted. Discussions are underway to improve this signage problem.

    Outside these paths, within the perimeter of the Hauts de Chartreuse Nature Reserve, they are strictly prohibited. Indeed, the dog even if it seems harmless, is perceived as a predator by wild animals.

  • Why is there a charge for parking?

    The Cirque de Saint-Même is a haven of greenery and freshness. It is mainly owned by private owners who allow visitors to cross their plots to discover this exceptional site.

    Its high attendance can endanger its natural, cultural and economic balance. Thus, it is necessary to preserve the site, organize parking in order to accommodate limited spaces and optimize traffic on the narrow, steep and cul-de-sac road. The toll was put in place in 1995.

    Financial revenue is entirely dedicated to the management and maintenance of the site.
    Price reminder: car 3 € 50, motorbike 2 € and bus 15 €

  • What are the busiest days and times?

    On Sundays and public holidays, when the weather is sunny and even more when it is very hot, the site is very busy. On these specific days, the car park quickly becomes full and therefore access is closed. It is therefore advisable to arrive before 10:30 am.

    For a more intimate stroll, we suggest that you come on other days or at other times to be able to make the most of this magnificent place. For the best times, see the question “what are the best times to enjoy the Circus?”.

  • What are the best times to enjoy the Cirque?

    To make the most of the Cirque de St Même and its waterfalls, choose less busy days or times. This is the case on weekdays in June and September.

    In summer, prefer the beginning of the morning (this is when the sun illuminates the waterfalls), before 9 am or the end of the afternoon (the shaving sun brings a warm atmosphere to the magic of the place), after 5 p.m.

    Of course, if the weather is cloudy, there will be fewer people there, but that will not detract from the beauty of the site, on the contrary!

  • Is there a charge for parking every day?

    No, it is only payable during certain periods:

    • From the end of April to mid-May: Sundays and public holidays
    • In June: weekends (Saturdays and Sundays)
    • In July-August: every day
    • In September: weekends (Saturdays and Sundays)

    Outside these periods, access to the car park is free and open.

  • I am there but the access is closed, what can I do nearby?

    Lots of things ! We offer you some suggestions, grouped by theme.

    You’re looking for…

    • suggestions for getting your feet in the water: In St Pierre de Chartreuse, at the Diat leisure center. Along the Herretang between St Joseph de Rivière and St Laurent du Pont. The Rivier’Alp ecological swimming in Entre Deux Guiers / Les Echelles (to put more than the feet in the water).
    • a place to picnic / eat with the family: many places are perfect for family picnics (see the places proposed above and below). We also invite you to try trout fishing in the hamlet of Pont du Lac, a unique and friendly experience!
      another natural site less than 30min from the Cirque: the Désert d’Entremont, the hamlet of the Castle (St Pierre d’Entremont), the Col du Granier, the Col du Cucheron, …
    • walking routes along the water: the Cozon ride, …
    • another waterfall to admire: there are many waterfalls in the Chartreuse massif, in particular that of La Pisserotte, 25 km from St Pierre d’Entremont, to discover with the family.
  • Why is access by motorhome regulated?

    Parking is prohibited for camper vans from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m., as it is located within the close perimeter of the drinking water catchment area of ​​the Municipality of Saint Pierre d´Entremont. Hydrocarbon leaks (motor oil for example) could affect the potability of the village water.

  • Is the bivouac allowed inside the Cirque?

    Bivouacs and fires are prohibited by municipal decree in order in particular to limit the risk of forest fires. Namely, due to the geology and topography of the site, fires are difficult to control.

  • What can I find there?

    At the Cirque, you will find the Chalet du Cirque de Saint Même, a guesthouse, as well as a snack bar. On Sundays in summer, you will find the truck of the Entremonts dairy cooperative. Delicious Chartreuse cheeses to be enjoyed without moderation!

    In the Bourg de Saint-Pierre d’Entremont, you will also find: the post office and the Tourist Office with the craft shop, the Arpin cheese dairy, bakeries, the Guerre butcher, accommodation, restaurants, a tobacco / press, sports equipment stores, bicycle rental, etc.

You have more questions ? Ask us in the comments below!