Refuge Dondena is located in the enlarged area of the Mont Avic Park, the first park of the Aosta Valley. This park was set up in October 1989 with the aim of preserving the natural resources of the medium-upper valley of the Chalamy torrent in the commune of Champdepraz; beyond any doubt the inclusion of the valley of Champorcher has improved the conservation of the environment of the valley of Dondena as its vegetation is more continuous and varied compared to other areas at higher altitude in the park. It is worthy of note that the area of Dondena borders on the Gran Paradiso National Park beyond the line of ridges which goes from Rosa dei Banchi, Becca Costazza and Finestra di Champorcher col. The overall Mont Avic Park area, including the upper valley of Champorcher, covers 5.747 hectares; it is considered a Site of Community Interest (SCI) and area of special protection according to the EU directives 92/43 and EU 74/409.

Flowers bloom between the end of May and August colouring Alpine meadows which are among the most luxuriant and significant of the Aosta Valley. The flora is quite varied thanks to the primitive composition of the soil and the widespread presence of calcareous schists of Piedmont group mixed with green stones. Near the noticeable Mont Glacier, rocks become harsher and more compact  in the ultrabasic of Mont Avic where ophiolitic rocks outcrop.


The naturalistic aspects are suggestive and they have only partly been affected by human activities. The traditional agricultural and stock raising activities have always been present.

The fauna of the park includes all the wild animals living in the alpine area and there are the typical species of Alpine meadows such as chamois, ibexes and marmots plus all the minor fauna.
Among the birds, you can find white-tailed ptarmigans, partridges and in the coniferous forests below Dondena there are black grouse.