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

Turn-by-turn directions

From the top station of the gondola at Crêt du Midi (2,332 m), the trail leads gently up the eastern slopes of the valley – passing about 400 m to the east of the waterfall and skirting east of the wetlands of the Ar du Tsan.

The trail continues to climb, eventually crossing La Rèche and leading up the western slopes of the upper valley to the shores of Le Louché (2,567 m), the highest point along the walk.

For the descent, the route then follows a different path along the western flank of the valley, past a pretty pond, the Gouille de Potoc, all the way down to the waterfall below the Ar du Tsan.

A steep path then leads first to the left, then to the right of La Rèche as far as the café at La Lé and the start of the Bisse de Vercorin. The trail leads along this gently sloping irrigation channel for about 4.5 km, eventually leaving it to drop down into the heart of Vercorin.

Start: Crêt du Midi (gondola summit) (1313 m)
Destination: Vercorin (village) (1314 m)

Author's recommendation

The marshes and lakes in the upper valley are home to many rare plants and flowers: bring a pocket lens to admire them.

Technical information

  • Altitude

    2578 m 1312 m

  • Ascent

    1416 m

  • Descent

    1415 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: 3.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Stamina

    Bewertung: 3.0 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Experience

    Bewertung: 5 von 5.0 Punkten

  • Landscape

    Bewertung: 5.0 von 5.0 Punkten

Public transport

Train to Sierre. Bus to to Vercorin; alternatively, bus from Sierre to Chalais, cable car from Chalais to Vercorin. Gondola from Vercorin to Crêt du Midi. Find full timetable information at www.sbb.ch.


A9 motorway, exit 28 (Sierre-Ouest). Follow signs for Vercorin.


Parking at the cable car in Vercorin. Follow the local car park routeing in Vercorin.


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.


Leaflet on the valley at local tourist offices