Hikes

Hikes

From La Tzoumaz to Lac des Vaux mountain lake

Varied hike from the panoramic summit of Savoleyres to the sparkling Lac des Vaux, into the idyllic Vallon de Chassoure and along the Bisse de Saxon irrigation channel back to La Tzoumaz.

A gondola ride from La Tzoumaz leads to the summit of Savoleyres (2,354 m) and glorious views in all directions: along the Rhône valley, down to Verbier and the Val de Bagnes, and across to the massifs of the Grand Combin and Mont Blanc. The first section of the hike leads along the ridge down to the col of Croix de Coeur, with its panoramic restaurant and tiny mountaintop airfield, used by small planes in both summer and winter. The path then begins a steady climb up to Col des Mines, where hikers can still see the vestiges of historical mine workings. The miners excavated lead ore rich in silver, used to make Swiss 1-franc coins – until the operators went bankrupt in 1861. Beyond the col, the trail continues to climb up to a cluster of three sparkling alpine lakes, ideal for a picnic stop. The route then drops steeply into the Vallon de Chassoure – also known as the Vallon d’Arbi – a pristine and idyllic alpine valley offering excellent chances of observing wildlife. At Les Pontets, the trail turns away from the river La Fare to follow one of the historical irrigation channels of Valais, the Bisse de Saxon, for about 1 km. Soon after joining the bisse, hikers reach the picnic site of Le Marteau, equipped with tables and barbecue facilities.  The trail leaves the bisse to pass the Maison de la Forêt (“House of the Forest”) – well worth a visit, with its café, exhibitions on local wildlife, and botanical garden with medicinal plants. The route then descends gently between the chalets of La Tzoumaz to reach the gondola station. NB the Savoleyres gondola operates in July and August Highlights: Scenic ride in the Savoleyres gondola, panoramic views at summit Choice of 3 cafes/restaurants en route plus barbecue picnic site Idyllic nature: Lac des Vaux, Vallon d’Arbi Bisse de Saxon – historical irrigation channel

Turn-by-turn directions

The first section of the trail follows the ridge eastwards from Savoleyres – initially down to the col of Croix de Coeur and up towards the Tête des Etablons. The route soon diverts right, however, skirting around the mountain’s southern flanks, offering sweeping views of the Verbier bowl and the Val de Bagnes. At Col des Mines, the trail finally crosses north of the ridge, and from now on looks out over the Rhône valley. The next section of the trail is the steepest: the climb up to the Lac des Vaux and its two neighbouring smaller lakes.

The rest of the hike is all downhill. First, the trail zig-zags down into the Chassoure bowl and the peaceful Vallon d’Arbi, above the right bank of La Fare. Some of the river’s water is diverted into the Bisse de Saxon, which the trail follows for about 1 km before dropping down to the right and descending diagonally through the resort of La Tzoumaz to the gondola station.

Start: Savoleyres (gondola summit station) (1521 m)
Destination: La Tzoumaz (2336 m)

Author's recommendation

The ridge around Croix de Coeur is a popular launch site for paraglider pilots and model glider enthusiasts: linger to see impressive aerobatics.

Technical information

  • Altitude

    2554 m 1521 m

  • Ascent

    1197 m

  • Descent

    381 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: 3.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Stamina

    Bewertung: 4.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Experience

    Bewertung: 5 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Landscape

    Bewertung: 5.0 von 5.0 Punkten

Public transport

Train to Riddes, bus to La Touzmaz, gondola to Savoleyres. Find full timetable information at www.cff.ch.

Approach

A9 motorway, exit 24 (Riddes). Follow directions to La Tzoumaz.

Parking

Free long-stay parking near the gondola station. Follow the car park routeing in La Tzoumaz. 

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 has got brochures and information material about hiking in the region.

Maps

SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1325 Sembrancher and 1326 Rosablanche (final 500 m of walk: 1305 Dent de Morcles)