Below is a brief description of each walk. Click on the heading or image to see:
- an outline map with height profile,
- a gallery of photos taken on the walk and
- a detailed description of the route.
Whichever walk you choose, you will not be disappointed. Enjoy!
Once voted the most beautiful village in French speaking Switzerland, no visit to the Val d’Hérens would be complete without exploring the authentic village of Evolène. With it’s wooden buildings, museum and numerous restaurants it’s a ‘must see’ location.
It’s also noted for its Winter Carnival which runs for around 6 weeks from January 6th and the Mid-summer Festival which takes place on 15th August every year.
Distance: 1 – 3km
Height gain: Negligible
This short, 2.5km circular walk starts and finishes near the Hotel/restaurant La Montanara in Evolène. Simply follow the Route de Fornèije road as it meanders and gains height, becoming a path which rises to a fine viewpoint over Evolène.
From there it descends along a track through the woods until you reach a path which takes you back down to the main road.
Height Gain: 150m
It would be remiss of me not to include the 3 villages which sit on the alpage above the valley. This first one takes you from Evolène to La Tour, then up to La Sage and along the road to Villa. Adjacent to the small church there is a path which returns you to the valley floor at the Via Ferrata car park.
Height Gain: 380m
There are many places in the Alps where you can get ‘up close and personal’ with a glacier, but none can be as easy to walk to as the Glacier du Mont Miné in the Ferpècle valley. Young children will be excited to search for tadpoles, newts and pond skaters at the small pond passed along the way.
Height Gain: 200m
A beautiful walk, especially on a warm summers day. It takes a less steep and more shaded route from Les Haudères up to La Forclaz. The views of the Ferpècle valley and the Dent Blanche at Sépey are delightful.
Distance: 5.4 km
Height Gain: 350m
This almost flat walk can be started in Evolène or Les Haudères, or anywhere in between. There are 5 bridges over the river in total (including the one over the road to Arolla) and almost any circular or linear route can be done using both sides of the river.
For a little variation and height gain of around 40m, there is a slightly higher path on the far/west side of the river which starts or finishes near the second bridge from either end and gives a wonderful view over Les Haudères and of the Dent Blanche.
Distance: 2 – 10km
Height gain: 10 – 50m (90m if taking the higher path).
A classic walk for young and old alike. This small lake never ceases to impress and always lives up to its name, even on the greyest of days.
Parking at La Gouille is limited, particularly at weekends and during the summer months, so don’t leave it too late to get there. Though it is also possible to park at Satarma and walk up from there. (The path goes off to the right, behind the chalets).
Height Gain: 270m
Following on from Walk 5, this walk ascends the same path from La Tour to La Sage but then takes a cross path, through a small wood and across a beautiful meadow to La Forclaz, before descending quite steeply into Les Haudères.
Height Gain: 325m
Walking up to Lac d’Arbey is one of the harder walks in this section but it’s well worth the effort. There are several picnic tables and the view of the Dent Blanche is incredible.
For those with energy to spare, there is a cross path which undulates along to Farquèses, where you can catch a bus or walk down into Les Haudères.
Alternatively you can catch the bus to Farquèses and walk along the cross path to Lac d’Arbey (in the summer, taking in an exhibition of paintings amongst the trees).
Height Gain: 480m
An alternative way to get to Lac Bleu is to set off from the small car park above Arolla and take the undulating path running along the west side of the valley. Note that although it’s ‘only’ an overall climb of just over 300 metres, (which is not much more than Walk 4), it does seem much harder due to the many undulations (and additional distance of course). Two short sections are protected by chains.
From Lac Bleu the walk follows the same descent path as walk 4, to finish at La Gouille. So, if parking at Arolla, you will need to walk, or catch the (infrequent) bus, back to Arolla.
Please note that this route is NOT recommended in winter, or when snow is still lying on the path, as route finding is almost impossible.
Height Gain: 305m