top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureJohn

Explore the beauty of Val d'Anniviers: Our summer hiking guide

Updated: Jun 28

With 18 villages and 490km of walking trails to choose from, where should you be spending your walking time in the Val d'Anniviers? A tricky choice but based on variety, scenery and difficulty, here are a few to get you started!



 

  1. Vallon de Réchy

Vallon de Rèchy
Vallon de Réchy

Option A

+1031m/-1634m

20km

Challenging

7-8h

Option B

+87m/-1079m

12.4km

Moderate

4-5h


There two options for our first recommended hike, both of which explore the beautiful nature conservation area of the Vallon de Réchy, completely unspoilt by buildings or roads. The only way to access this valley in summer is on foot.


option a
Vallon du Réchy - Option A

Option A


A full traverse from the village of Grimentz, through the Vallon de Réchy and finishing in the village of Vercorin via a “bisse”; a man-made irrigation channel designed to divert water to surrounding communities.


The route begins by taking the Grimentz telecabine to the mountain station of Bendolla. From here it is a moderate climb of 750m up to the Col du Louché (2873m) via the imposing Torrent du Marais; a energetic waterfall which passes through the centre of the Marais bowl. For a coffee stop or lunch, head over the Col des Becs de Bosson and pass by the Becs de Bosson mountain hut, which at 2983m is situated in a perfect position to gaze over the high mountains of the Alps including Mont Blanc and the Imperial Crown of 4000ers.



Approaching the Bec de bossons
Approaching the Col des Becs de Boston

From either col, the route descends into the “Haute-Vallon” of the Réchy past the Le Louché natural reservoir. As you descend the grey rock gives way to the high alpine pastures of the Le Tsan plain with its plethora of alpine flora and fauna.


Follow the river down past a series of steep hairpins alongside an impressive waterfall which hurtles down to the green lower alpine pastures below. In high summer, you can usually expect a few native black Val d’heres cows to be grazing in the meadows. Refreshments can be found at the Buvette de la Lé, which sits near the river.



La Reche waterfall
La Reche waterfall

After the alpage, the route continues along a traditional irrigation channel around to the Refuge du Bisse. These channels became prevalent in the Valais from the 13th and 14th centuries for the purpose of supporting livestock in the surrounding mountain villages. The Bisse du Vercorin dates back to the late 14th century and is still in working order today.


At the end of the bisse, the path continues around the mountain and down into Vercorin itself. From here you can get a bus back into the Val d’Anniviers (via Vissoie).


TIP: Have a head for heights? Add on the Becs de Bosson summit (3149m) for a short scramble opportunity as you approach the Col du Louché.



option b
Vallon du Réchy - Option B

Option B


For a less lengthy option, it is possible to hike into the Vallon de Réchy from Vercorin on a circular loop. For the best views, take the main gondola from Vercorin up to Le Crêt du Midi summit. Traverse along the path from the top which passes underneath Mont Major and gradually into the Vallon du Réchy. As you skirt across the top of the treeline through the alpine pastures, look out for bearded vultures, which often circle above the valley.



Vallon du rechy
L'Ar du Tsan

Follow the path down to the L’Ar du Tsan plain and cross over the river, before taking the footpath down alongside the waterfall on the other side of the valley. This footpath zigzags its way down to the Buvette de la Lé where delicious home-made tarts can be found.



vercorin bisse
Bisse de Vercorin

From the buvette, follow the path along the impressive 14th century Bisse de Vercorin, which will eventually take you around a traverse back to the village itself.



 


2. Lac de Moiry haute route


lac de moire
The turquoise hue of the Lac de Moiry

+802m/-1242m

15.8km

Moderate

5-6h



lac de moiry map
Lac de Moiry - haute route

A must-see tour of the Val d’Annivier’s eye-catching turquoise reservoir, the Lac de Moiry. This one has it all: alpine flowers, glaciers, towering peaks and Switzerland’s 10th highest (and 5th widest) dam (it’s pretty big!).

signs
Follow signs for the Tour de Lac 2500


Start from either Grimentz or Zinal and take the lift up to the Espace Weisshorn. From here it is a short 200m climb up to the Col de Sorebois, the view from the summit revealing the extent of the Moiry lake. Descend the hairpins of the trail down to the first turn off at 2374m on the map (there will be a yellow signpost). This is the start of the high traverse around the lake.




Spring flowers on the haute route
Spring flowers on the haute route

Follow the traverse of the high alpine meadows, listening out for the distinct high-pitched shriek or warning signal from the resident marmots. The trail continues around this side of the lake through the rockier Rochers de Paris and Les Tsapèlettes before descending down to the Lac de Châteaupré; a small lake which the glacier streams runs into, before continuing down to the Moiry.




perfect lunch stop
A perfect lunch stop?

From the road, continue the “haute route” and ascend up the ridge of glacier moraine. The path will eventually turn right and start to traverse the other side of the lake. You will come across the picturesque Lac de la Bayenna, a perfect picnic stop for lunch with views extending across the lake to the north, and to the Moiry glacier and it’s surrounding peaks to the south.



Moiry glacier
Moiry glacier

After the lake, the trail takes you through the alpine pastures of the Fêta d’Août de Moiry and the Alpage de Torrent where the horned Val d’Herens cattle spend their summer months. The trail will eventually lead you to the alpage access track and back across the 148m high Moiry dam. There, a small restaurant awaits, along with the bus stop for the return to Grimentz.



TIP - If you have time, it is possible to extend the walk by ascending up to the Cabane de Moiry (2826m). It’s a fair climb but the close-up views of the Moiry glacier are worth it! You can also cut out the second half of the walk and catch the bus back at the Lac de Châteaupré (glacier bus stop).


 


3. Cabane d’Arpitettaz


cabane d'apitettaz
Cabane d'Arpitettaz with the towering Weisshorn behind

+1304m/-1304m

16.9km

Moderate

5-6h




arpitettaz cabane map
Arpitettaz route

Get up close to some of Europe’s highest mountains with a hike up to the Cabane d’Arpitettaz. This route includes an optional short fixed-rope scramble at the start and some epic views to finish.

Pas du chasseur
Pas du chasseur

Start at the back end of Zinal near the La Tsoucdanna restaurant and follow the Route de la Tsourcdanna on the east side of the valley to the bridge at the end. From here, there is the option of the gorge hiking trail across the bridge and up to Le Vichiesso, or the blue “alpine route” directly up to the Lac d’Arpitetta.


The first route traverses along the top of the gorge before crossing over the Torrent de l’Arpitetta. After this, the marked trail ascends up to the Lac d’Arpitetta. The “alpine” route (Pas du Chasseur) is steeper and more technical, involving three short fixed rope pitches in the mid-section of the route.


From the Lac d’Arpitetta, follow the hiking trail up to the Cabane. There are some incredible views  from this here, including the twinned peaks of Besso, the Glacier de Moming and the towering Weisshorn mountain behind.



Lac d'arpitettaz
Lac d'Arpitetta

After the Cabane d’Arpitettaz, return using the standard hiking trail back down to the river and via the gorge.



TIP: Look out for herds of grazing sheep around the Lac d'Arpitetta. They are usually guarded by big white Pyrenean mountain dogs which blend in with the herd but will make themselves known if you get too close. The sheep are usually kept well away from the walking trails but there will be warning signs to alert you if they are around.



la navisence
La Navisence

27 views0 comments

Opmerkingen


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page