Hike to Semnoz

The Semnoz is a mountain in the Bauges Massif that dominates the north-west side of Lake Annecy. It is also a popular ski station during winter and the summit, Crêt de Chatillon, is easily accessible by road. In good weather, it offers great view on the Albanais, the other mountains in the Bauges Massif and even the Mont Blanc. Here is a description of the trail (Sentier des Gardes) that I followed.

I went there on a hike in July, starting at the Bergerie, in Saint-Jorioz. The path is on the eastern flank of the mountain and is mostly in the forest. From the Chalet de Bénévent, it follows cross-country skiing tracks. When I arrived at the Chalet Nordique, I stopped to try out the summer luge track nearby and then some kind of downhill mountain bike. I then continue my hike until the Crêt de Chatillon, the summit of the Semnoz mountain. I used the same path on the way down. To get back to Annecy, I took my bike on the Route du Col de Leschaux, which goes downhill until Sévrier and the lake.

Above, Semnoz seen from Annecy.

Above, La Bergerie. A nunnery apparently.

Above, Chalet de Bénévent.

Above, Chalet Nordique.

Above, summer luge track.

Above, downhill mountain bike track. There are bikes and helmets for rent.

Above, Pays de l’Albanais seen from the take off area for paragliders.

Above, Lac du Bourget.

Above, on the way to the summit.

Above, summit.

Above, looking towards the Bauges.

Above, La Tournette. The Mont Blanc could not be seen that day.

Above, Roc des Boeufs.

Above, looking towards Mont Trélod (in the clouds).

Above, on the way down.

Above, Dents de Lanfon and Lanfonnet, on the Route du Col de Leschaux to Sévrier.

Above, church of Sévrier.

Above, Mont Veyrier.

Above, Montagne d’Entrevernes.

Above, back in Annecy.

Above, Basilique de la Visitation.


2 thoughts on “Hike to Semnoz

  1. Hi, beautiful photos! Can you remember how long this hike took to get from Saint Jorioz to Semnoz? I have been looking for details online but can only find a route via the road which is 3hrs walking, that’s fine but this looks a much prettier route !
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Looking at the EXIF tags in the pictures, it seems it took me ~4 hours to the summit (although I stopped for a while at the luge track so maybe ~3h without the detour) and ~2h15 to get down. Alternative trails start near the Basilique de la Visitation in Annecy ( https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=14/45.8717/6.1292&layers=C ), for example the GRP Tour du Lac d’Annecy (although not the only one). Check out some pictures of the beginning (I didn’t go all the way to the summit): https://flic.kr/s/aHskoTPXKo https://flic.kr/s/aHsm4JqHgW . I think it should take longer but it is probably easier. Another possibility is to start in Allèves ( https://www.openstreetmap.org/#map=13/45.7672/6.0843&layers=C ) on the other side: https://goo.gl/JAV2h6

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