Hikes

Hikes

Tour du Val d’Anniviers: Zinal–Grimentz (stage 3)

A hike between two valleys: from the Val de Zinal over a high pass to the Moiry dam and reservoir, followed by a descent of the wild Val de Moiry to picturesque Grimentz.

The upper stretch of the Val d’Anniviers is formed of two branches: the larger Val de Zinal and the side valley of the Val de Moiry. This hike between the two valleys begins at the top of the Zinal–Sorebois cable car with superb views of the «Couronne Impériale» – the «Imperial Crown» of five peaks above Zinal, each higher than 4,000 m. The trail climbs the steep slopes overlooking Zinal to reach the Col de Sorebois (2,835 m) before dropping down into the Val de Moiry. A new panorama opens up: way below, the elegant curved wall of concrete that forms the Moiry dam contains the turquoise waters of the Lac de Moiry. These are fed in turn by the sparkling Glacier de Moiry at the far end of the valley, framed by snow-capped peaks. Down by the dam, attractions include a restaurant with panoramic sun terrace, a via ferrata (fixed-cable climb) and guided tours of the dam interior. The second half of the hike is a long and scenic descent of the Val de Moiry – first across open alpine pasture, then through woodland, all the way to Grimentz. The pretty village of wooden houses adorned with geraniums is exceptionally proud of its rich history and keen to share its heritage with visitors. «The Geranium Trail» explores 34 varieties of the flower and their scents, ranging from rose and orange to mint, lemon and ginger. On a guided visit to the 16th-century public hall, guests taste the local «glacier wine» matured in larch barrels in the cellar. There’s a water mill, historical trail, a fun animal trail for families, a trail devoted to local legends and even workshops at which visitors can make and bake their own Valais rye bread in traditional style – followed by a fondue with rye bread. NB The Zinal–Soirebois cable car and the Moiry dam tour are free with the Pass Anniviers Liberté. Highlights Glorious views in two neighbouring valleys Lac de Moiry – impressive dam, turquoise reservoir Grimentz – historical village of wooden houses decorated with flowers

Turn-by-turn directions

The route begins at the top station of the Zinal–Sorebois cable car (2,438 m). From here, the trail climbs steadily up the south-western slopes of the Corne de Sorebois, but bypasses the summit itself for the Col de Sorebois (2,835 m).

From here, a steady zig-zag descent leads down to the Moiry dam (2,250 m): the restaurant with sunny terrace offers a welcome stop for refreshments.

The trail leads across the crest of the dam before dropping down into the valley below. For the second half of the hike, the trail leads northwards, steadily descending the Val de Moiry, crossing the river La Gougra twice before arriving in Grimentz.

For a longer and more demanding hike, skip the cable car from Zinal to Sorebois and hike up instead.

Start: Zinal cable car summit station (Sorebois) (1663 m)
Destination: Grimentz village (1588 m)

Author's recommendation

Free use of the cable cars is included in the Pass Anniviers Liberté, which covers more than 20 attractions and transport facilities throughout the valley.

Technical information

  • Altitude

    2856 m 1586 m

  • Ascent

    1195 m

  • Descent

    1270 m

  • Technique

    Bewertung: 4.0 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 Sierre, then postal bus to Zinal (change at Vissoie). At end of walk, bus from Grimentz to Sierre (change at Vissoie). Find full timetable information at sbb.ch.

 

Approach

A9 motorway, exit 29 (Sierre-Est), follow signs for Val d’Anniviers. In the village of Vissoie, continue in direction of Zinal.

 

Parking

Park in Vissoie, take postal bus to start of walk at Zinal. At end of walk, take bus from Grimentz back to Vissoie.

 

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.

Literature

The tourist offices in Zinal and Grimentz have got brochures and information material about hiking in the region.

Maps

SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1307 Vissoie / 1327 Evolène