The larches of Balavaux
A walk among the largest and oldest larch trees in Europe that includes a scenic gondola ride, discovering the “Black Lake”, forest trails and the pretty Bisse de Saxon irrigation channel.
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The larch trees in the forests in Valais add magnificent touches of colour throughout the seasons. There are more than 250 trees in the Balavaux pastrurelands, aged from about 300 to nearly 1,000 years old. One veteran has a circumference of overs 14.6 metres, and is considered to be the largest in Europe. The outing begins with a gondola ride from Haute-Nendaz to Tracouet, a summit offering panoramic views of the whole Rhône valley. Head for the Lac Noir (“Black Lake”) and subsequently the Cabane de Balavaux. You'll hike through a forest of imposing larch trees before reaching the largest of them all, nicknamed the "King of Balavaux", thanks to a small purpose-built footbridge. Continue to the "Chalet des Alpes" restaurant, then take a path that leads to the Bisse de Saxon, the longest in the Valais. Once at Pra de Dzeu, return to the resort via the Gouille d'Ouché and Les Rairettes.