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.
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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