Tour du Val d'Anniviers: Vallon de Réchy - Louché mountain lake (stage 5)
Varied hike starting with a scenic gondola ride to Crêt du Midi. Trail leads high into the wild and pristine Vallon de Réchy and back along a historical irrigation channel into Vercorin.
Hidden between the Val d’Hérens and the Val d’Anniviers, the smaller valley of Vallon de Réchy is a natural gem, whose upper reaches are free of roads and all construction. Each of the valley’s three levels has a different character, and this magnificent hike explores all of them. The trail begins at Crêt du Midi: accessible by gondola from Vercorin, with sweeping views of the Rhône valley on the way up. From here, the trail leads along the eastern flank of the lower part of the Vallon de Réchy, overlooking the valley’s forests, meadows and clearings. This level of the valley culminates in a barrier of rock, over which the river La Rèche falls in a glittering cascade. Next level up is the Ar du Tsan, a wide bowl whose heart is a lush wetland through which La Rèche flows in glittering meanders. The trail climbs higher still to the upper reaches of the valley – and the alpine lake of Le Louché, a place of blissful tranquillity. Linger for excellent chances to spot wildlife. The trail descends to the waterfall via another route, leading along the course of La Rèche until a delightful café, the Buvette de la Lé: specialities include fondue, local meat and cheeses. Here the trail leaves La Rèche to follow one of the Valais’ historical irrigation channels: the Bisse de Vercorin, created at the end of the 14th century. This leads across the flank of the mountainsides to the pastures just above Vercorin, where the trail drops down to the heart of the resort. Highlights: Scenic gondola ride at start of walk Vallon de Réchy – one of the last valleys of Valais without motorised traffic, a natural paradise Waterfall, wetlands, alpine lake, abundant wildlife Bisse de Vercorin – 14th century irrigation channel, welcoming café at start