Inaugurated in 1967, the mission of the Pyrenees national park is to “make nature available to all” and “manage and protect biological diversity”. The park has over 1.5 million visitors every year. For almost 50 years, scientists and guards have been observing, studying, mapping, and listing the wildlife and flora. The park also has more than 350 kilometres of marked walking trails.
The Pyrenees national park has a surface area of 45,700 hectares - 100 kilometres long and 10 kilometres wide. It straddles two departments (Hautes-Pyrenees and Pyrenees-Atlantiques) from the Aspe stream in the west to the Neste d’Aure in the east.
 
The highest point is the Pique Longue of Vignemale which stands 3,298 metres high. In fact, the park’s lowest altitude is 1,000 metres.
 
The Pyrenees national park shares 15 kilometres of border with the Ordesa park in Aragon.
 
The 7 Maison du Parc National park offices situated in the valleys (Etsaut in the Aspe valley, Laruns in the Ossau valley, Arrens-Marsous in Val d’Azun, Cauterets in the Cauterets valley, Luz Saint-Sauveur and Gavarnie in the Luz valley, and Saint-Lary in the d’Aure valley) receive visitors, and provide documentation, themed exhibitions and activities.

There are also 5 mountain huts in the park - an objective for walkers or a starting point for a climb - where you can spend a night in the mountains or have a meal at high altitude.


There are two other nature reserves, which are part of the preserved area managed by the national park. Néouvielle, 2,313 hectares in the Aure valley, and the national nature reserve for griffon vultures in the Ossau valley.
 

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Finally, two other regional nature parks, in the Catalonian Pyrenees created in 2004, and in the Ariège Pyrénées in 2009, also participate in the preservation of the Pyrenees’ natural environment.