Hike to Aiguille Croche & Mont Joly

During summer, I went on a hike to Aiguille Croche and Mont Joly, in the Beaufortain mountains above Saint-Gervais.

Here is a map of the path I walked (download KML):

In the morning, I took a train from Annecy to Saint-Gervais-les-Bains-Le Fayet. From the train station, there was some time before the next bus, so instead of waiting, I walked through the forest until the next bus stop in the village of Saint-Gervais. From there, I took a LIHSA bus to the center of Les Contamines-Montjoie, a ski resort further in the valley. I switched to a free summer shuttle that got me to the Télécabine de la Gorge. I boarded the gondola then switched to another cable car, Télécabine du Signal, which arrived at Le Signal and the start of the hiking trail. The trail went through the Col du Joly on the way to the Aiguille Croche. There was a great view from up there with the Aravis, the Mont Blanc and the Beaufortain well visible. I then followed the ridge to Mont Joly, passing through Tête du Véleray and Tête de la Combaz on the way. There was also a great view from Mont Joly. I soon started on the steep descent and reached a dirt road after a while, which I followed until Mont d’Arbois. I arrived just in time to board the Téléphérique du Bettex before it closed. I needed to switch gondola at Le Bettex to get back to Saint-Gervais. Finally, I took a LIHSA bus to the train station and then a train to Annecy.

Above, Saint-Gervais train station in the morning.

Above, Le Bon Nant.

Above, I walked next to the tracks of Tramway du Mont Blanc in the beginning, before reaching the forest.

Above, bridge above Le Bon Nant. The bus stop was there.

Above, Mont Joly seen from the bridge.

Above, waiting for the shuttle at Les Contamines-Montjoie.

Above, near the Télécabine de la Gorge, still in the valley.

Above, on the Télécabine du Signal.

Above, at Le Signal.

Above, Aiguille Croche.

Above, dirt road to Col du Joly.

Above, Mont Joly.

Above, ridge between Aiguille Croche and Mont Joly.

Above, at Col du Joly, looking towards Beaufort.

Above, lake for artificial snow.

Above, Mont de Vorès.

Above, Mont Blanc.

Above, Col du Joly.

Above, snow cannon.

Above, Lac de la Girotte.

Above, ridge to Mont Joly.

Above, antenna at the summit of Aiguille Croche.

Above, looking towards Megève and the Aravis.

Above, Pointe Percée.

Above, Désert de Platé.

Above, Mont Mirantin.

Above, Col des Aravis.

Above, Mont Charvin in the background.

Above, clouds have covered the Mont Blanc.

Above, looking back at Aiguille Croche.

Above, Tête du Véleray.

Above, Aravis.

Above, Tête de la Combaz.

Above, Mont Joly.

Above, summit of Mont Joly.

Above, panorama to the north.

Above, on the way down.

Above, Mont Géroux.

Above, Saint-Gervais.

Aboe, Mont Joly.

Above, cross at Mont Joux.

Aboe, Aiguille Croche.

Above, Mont D’Arbois.

Above, on the Télécabine du Bettex.

Above, back in Saint-Gervais.

Above, on the train.


Hike to Crêt des Mouches

Last summer, I went on a hike to Crêt des Mouches, a mountain in the Bornes next to La Tournette.

Here is a map of the path I walked (download KML):

In the morning, I took a LIHSA bus from Annecy to Talloires. While I waited for the summer shuttle to Montmin, I walked next to the lake. Once in Montmin, I started on the path. I reached the Cabane d’Arclosan after a while. By then, the fog had covered the summits of Crêt des Mouches and La Tournette but I kept going up. Once at the summit, the view was limited but the clouds lifted a little while I was there. On the way down, I first walked a loop to get back to the Cabane then took the same trail as on the way up, until Pointe de Chauriande. There, I went down towards Chalets du Solliet then took a dirt road to Saint-Ferréol in the valley, where I waited for the LIHSA bus back to Annecy.

Above, Baie de Talloires.

Above, Semnoz.

Above, Petit Lac and Bauges.

Above, Roc de Chère.

Above, in Montmin looking towards Col de l’Aulp.

Above, on the trail.

Above, Col de la Forclaz.

Above, Pointe de la Bajulaz.

Above, Pointe de Vélan.

Above, Chapelle des Sept Fontaines.

Above, Pointe de la Sambuy.

Above, Mont Trélod and Montagne du Charbon.

Above, start of the forest trail.

Above, Faverges and Col de Tamié.

Above, Pointe d’Arcalod.

Above, Pointe de Chauriande.

Above, Dent de Cons.

Above, Col de Tamié.

Above, Aravis and Mont Charvin.

Above, Rocher d’Arclosan.

Above, Crêt des Mouches in view.

Above, Cabane d’Arclosan below the Crêt des Mouches.

Above, Bonverday.

Above, Lake Annecy and Col de la Forclaz on the other side.

Above, Pointe de la Beccaz and La Tournette in the clouds.

Above, final ascent.

Above, Pointe de Banc Fleury.

Above, at the summit of Crêt des Mouches.

Above, ridge to Pointe de la Beccaz.

Above, Bauges in the background.

Above, on the way down.

Above, Mont Charvin.

Above, at that point, the trail was no longer visible.

Above, pack of alpine ibexes running away.

Above, back on the trail.

Above, Croix d’Arclosan above the Cabane.

Above, Saint-Ferréol.

Above, back at Pointe de Chauriande.

Above, chalet at Plan du Chouet.

Above, Chalets du Solliet.

Above, dirt road to Saint-Ferréol.

Above, Faverges.

Above, watermill in Saint-Ferréol.

Above, LIHSA bus stop.

Hike to Roc des Boeufs

During summer, I went on a hike to Roc des Boeufs in the Bauges mountains near Annecy.

Here is a map of the path I walked (download KML):

In the morning, I took the Sibra summer shuttle (Ligne d’été) from Annecy to the summit of Semnoz, taking my bike with me. From there, I went down to Col de Leschaux then went slightly up on the other side of the pass and parked at La Chapelle-Saint-Maurice. I started walking on the path to Chalets du Sollier, through a paved road at first, then a trail in the forest and finally an access road. The steep ascent to Roc des Boeufs starts at the Chalet. There was a great view from the summit. I then went down using the same path. I returned to Annecy through the Route du Col de Leschaux and the Voie Verte du Lac d’Annecy.

Above, Plateau du Semnoz.

Above, Pays de l’Albanais.

Above, Crêt de Chatillon, the summit of Semnoz.

Above, Bauges mountains.

Above, Mont Colombier on the way down to Col de Leschaux.

Above, Roc des Boeufs.

Above, cross in Leschaux.

Above, at Col de Leschaux.

Above, church at La Chapelle-Saint-Maurice.

Above, the local wildlife.

Above, Semnoz on the other side.

Above, forest trail on the way to Chalets du Sollier.

Above, Chalets in view.

Above, cows huddling together.

Above, at the Chalets, looking towards Mont Julioz.

Above, Mont Trélod.

Above, path to the summit of Roc des Boeufs.

Above, Plateau du Semnoz.

Above, cow on the path.

Above, Montagne de Bange.

Above, Mont Margeriaz.

Above, at the summit of Roc des Boeufs, looking at the other side towards Montagne du Charbon.

Above, Petit Lac and La Tournette.

Above, Mont Trélod.

Above, Mont Blanc.

Above, “Le Grimpeur” sculpture.

Above, Semnoz.

Above, Pointe de Banc Plat.

Above, the true summit, slightly higher than the “Grimpeur” sculpture. It is a bit harder to access.

Above, Bauges valley.

Above, Mont Julioz and Mont Colombier.

Above, Col de Leschaux.

Above, Mont Charvin.

Above, on the way down.

Above, Col du Plane.

Above, back at Chalets du Sollier.

Above, Sun slightly hidden by clouds.

Above, back at La Chapelle-Saint-Maurice.

Above, Roc des Boeufs seen from Route du Col de Leschaux.

Above, La Tournette.

Above, Dents de Lanfon.

Above, at the lake on the Voie Verte.

Above, Parmelan, back in Annecy.

Hike to Roc des Tours & Aiguille Verte (Le Grand-Bornand)

Last summer, I went on a hike to Roc des Tours and Aiguille Verte in Le Grand-Bornand.

Here is a map of the path I walked (download KML):

I arrived in Le Grand-Bornand by LIHSA bus from Annecy. I missed the summer shuttle to Le Chinaillon so I started walking instead. On the way, I made a detour to Cascade Mystérieuse. Once in Le Chinaillon, I took a trail to Roc des Tours. It was pretty steep at some point but I made it to the cross at the summit. I then walked through the limestone plateau on the way to the Aiguille Verte, the highest point of the day. There was a great view from there. I then went down to join with the trail I took on the way up and made it back to Le Chinaillon. I boarded the summer shuttle to the village and, from there, took the bus back to Annecy.

Above, Le Buclon and Pic de Jallouvre.

Above, Roc des Tours.

Above, Cascade Mystérieuse.

Above, Aiguille Verte.

Above, chalets in Le Chinaillon.

Above, Mont Lachat de Châtillon.

Above, in Samance.

Above, La Tournette.

Above, Pointe de Grande Combe.

Above, Col de la Colombière.

Above, Pic de Jallouvre.

Above, Mont Lachat de Châtillon, from a viewpoint.

Above, Roc des Tours.

Above, Pointe Percée.

Above, Le Chinaillon.

Above, Aiguille Verte.

Above, Aravis.

Above, Roc de Charmieux.

Above, Le Chinaillon.

Above, summit of Roc des Tours.

Above, Col de la Buffaz.

Above, Plateau des Glières.

Above, Aiguille Verte.

Above, Montagne de Sous-Dine.

Above, summit cross.

Above, on the way to Aiguille Verte.

Above, Roc des Tours.

Above, ascent to Aiguille Verte.

Above, Pointe Percée.

Above, summit of Aiguille Verte.

Above, Le Buclon.

Above, Lac de Lessy.

Above, Rochers de Leschaux.

Above, Pic de Jallouvre in the clouds.

Above, on the way down.

Above, Aiguille Verte.

Above, Le Buclon.

Above, on Plateau de Samance.

Above, back in Le Chinaillon.

Above, waiting for the shuttle to the village.

Above, Borne river.

Above, LIHSA bus.

Fort l’Écluse

Fort l’Écluse is a fortress near Bellegarde-sur-Valserine. It guards the Rhône valley between the Vuache hills and the Jura Mountains and is a natural entrance into France from Geneva. The fort was founded by the Duchy of Savoy in the 13th century and, after it was ceded to France along with the Pays de Gex during the reign of Louis XIV, completed by Vauban. It was destroyed by the Austrians in 1815, but was rebuilt by the French and considerably strengthened and heightened. The fort is open to visitors during summer.

Above, the fort seen from Rocher de Léaz. It has 2 parts: A lower fort, whose buildings can be visited, and an upper fort, which can be accessed from the lower fort through stairs in an underground gallery. A road from Longeray can also be used to get to the outside of the upper fort.

Above, Porte de France (France Gate) at the lower fort. This is the main entrance for visitors. The courtyard can be entered freely but a ticket is needed to enter the buildings and the underground gallery to the upper fort.

Above, Vuache.

Above, start of the visit.

Above, photo exhibition.

Above, exhibition about bats. The fort is a good habitat for them.

Above, a lot of butterflies.

Above, terrace with a good view.

Above, Rhône and Viaduc de Longeray.

Above, looking towards Geneva.

Above, Rocher de Léaz and Viaduc de Longeray.

Above, Salève in the background.

Above, lizard tail.

Above, in the underground gallery to the upper fort. There are many steps to the top (almost 1,000).

Above, Rhône and Pays de Gex.

Above, first outdoor terrace, almost at the top.

Above, artificial beehives.

Above, at the upper fort. A few rooms with no view are open.

Above, on the way down.

Above, Vuache.

Above, Rhône.

Above, the gallery took many years to build. The year of construction is engraved on a wall in each floor.

Above, back at the lower fort, visiting the barracks built in the cliff.

Above, exhibition of sculptures by Yvon Raisin.

Above, back at the courtyard of the lower fort.

Above, train tracks to Geneva.

Above, Porte de Genève (Geneva Gate).

Above, upper fort seen from the road to Léaz.

Above, outside the upper fort, coming from Longeray.

Above, view of the Fort and Grand Crêt d’Eau from Rocher de Léaz.