Hikes

Activities

Loop to the Cabane des Aiguilles Rouges and Lac Bleu

Panoramic loop from Arolla up to a high mountain refuge, down to the piercing blue waters of the idyllic Lac Bleu and back via a geological trail.

  • Difficulty

    difficult

  • Length

    14.3 km

  • Duration

    5:30 h

  • Show on map

This hike up to the high slopes overlooking Arolla promises a thrilling experience of mountain terrain, spectacular views, fascinating geology and a wealth of alpine flora. The trail starts at Arolla, which takes its name from the tree that shapes the local forests: the Arolla pine, also known as the Swiss stone pine (pinus cembra). The aromatic wood from the tree is said to help sleep: beds are made from the timber, and pillows stuffed with its shavings. The tree propagates with the help of a distinctive alpine bird, the spotted nutcracker, which splits open the cones with its powerful bill to reach the seeds, some of which it buries in the ground as a food store for winter. The bird invariably forgets a proportion of the seeds – some of which may grow into trees. Our trail climbs out of the village and above the tree line, steadily scaling the slopes to a welcoming mountain cabin. The Cabane des Aiguilles Rouges stands at the foot of a dramatic chain of peaks, draped with glaciers, known as the Aiguilles Rouges d’Arolla – the “Red pinnacles of Arolla”. The views across the valley are bewitching. The trail then leads down to a lake, the Lac Bleu, framed by Arolla pines. A spring just above the lake, fed by glacial water, feeds a cascade that tumbles straight down to the piercing blue waters. The path from the Lac Bleu back to Arolla leads along a geological trail – one of several in the valley, known for its variety of rocks and minerals. Visitors can explore with the help of a free app, “GéoGuide Val d’Hérens” (details and online version at www.evolene-geologie.ch). The tourist office at Arolla can provide further printed information.   Highlights: Fragrant forests of Arolla pine and larch Cabane des Aiguilles Rouges – friendly high-altitude refuge, spectacular views Lac Bleu – idyllic forest lake, piercing blue water, with spring and cascade

Turn-by-turn directions

The trail begins by zig-zagging up through the village of Arolla and continues scaling the slopes above to the Cabane des Aiguilles Rouges (2,821 m), a climb of about 800 vertical metres: a pause for refreshments is well deserved. After just a few more vertical metres of ascent, the path then drops steeply all the way to the Lac Bleu. The trail then turns southwards, following a fairly level route on the western slopes overlooking the Val d’Arolla back to Arolla.

The final stretch of trail, from the Lac Bleu to Arolla, is covered under Excursion B in the “Géoguide Val d’Hérens” app and guide.

 

Start: Arolla, village (46.023774 m)
Destination: Arolla, village (46.023745 m)

Author's recommendation

At Arolla, the Sentier des Arolles (about 300 metres) is a charming nature trail through an ancient forest of Arolla pines.

 

Technical information

  • Altitude

    2836 m 1989 m

  • Ascent

    930 m

  • Descent

    930 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: 4.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Stamina

    Bewertung: 5.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Experience

    Bewertung: 6 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Landscape

    Bewertung: 6.0 von 5.0 Punkten

Public transport

Train to Sion, then postal bus to Arolla (change at Les Haudères). Find full timetable information at sbb.ch.

 

Approach

A9 motorway, exit 27 (Sion-Est), follow signs for Evolène / Les Haudères / Arolla.

 

Parking

Several parking possibilities in Arolla. Follow the local car park routeing.

 

Equipment

We recommend: 

  • good footwear
  • clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
  • hat or cap
  • sunscreen
  • bottle for water
  • picnic
  • camera
  • binoculars (optional)
  • hiking poles (optional)
  • printout of this hike (click «Print» icon, to download)   

For certain walks:

  • Swimwear

Safety information

Use of the trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. Valais/Wallis Promotion accepts no liability for the accuracy and completeness of information on this website.

For all hikes:

  • Bring a map. Download full description of this route including large-scale map by clicking on «Print» icon, top right of this page.
  • Use marked trails only, and observe all signposting – for your own safety, to safeguard grazing animals and to avoid disturbing wildlife.
  • Close gates after passing through.
  • Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals.
  • Do not leave any waste in nature.

For mountain hikes:

  • Take extra care protecting yourself from the sun at altitude. UV radiation can be exceptionally strong, even in cloudy weather.
  • Plan hike carefully: take into consideration fitness level of each participant, weather forecast and season.
  • Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains, without warning. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.

For high-altitude hikes:

  • Inform others of the route you plan to take. Whenever possible, avoid going alone.
  • Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
  • Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs: water levels may rise rapidly without warning.

Additional information

More information about the destination: 

Literature

The tourist office in Arolla has got brochures and information material about hiking in the region.

Maps

SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1347 Matterhorn / 1327 Evolène / 1326 Rosablanche