Le Belvedere circular walk

This is a variation on the Sentier Le Belvedere walk which is described in the Pays du St-Bernard tourist booklet.

Technical sheet
No. 24700194
A Orsières walk posted on 31/07/22 by Alwayswiththehills. Update : 01/08/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 3h50[?]
Distance Distance : 7.29km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 619m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 613m
Highest point Highest point : 1833m
Lowest point Lowest point : 1341m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Alps
Location Location : Orsières
Starting point Starting point : N 46.030415° / E 7.113653°
Download : -
Champex Lac and Val Ferret Li Blanche Grand Combin The walking man signpost

Description

(D/A) From Champex Lac parking, walk back to the road (Tour du Lac) that runs through the village. Turn left (West-North-West) and walk along the pavement, passing the bakery. Just before the hotel 'En Plein Air' look out for a path on the opposite side of the road which starts as a set of steps beside a small concrete building.

(1) Cross the road and take the steps and path leading up with chalets on the right until another set of steps leads onto a road (Route de l'Adray) in front of the alpine botanical garden. Turn right (East) and walk along the road to where it ends at a parking place for residents cars.

A small path leads up on the left, at the junction of paths turn left and take the path which ascends to the top right corner of the alpine botanical garden. (Wooden fence with wire top) Now turn right and take the path leading uphill. Cross a wide track (sign post Chemin Emile Lovey) and take the path marked by the red circle with a symbol of a man walking. Ascend to a further two more, red circle, sign posts a few metres apart with another post that has yellow direction markers in between.

(2) Just after the first sign post turn left (North) to follow the yellow direction arrow on the post; take the path that heads uphill, you will be following white-red-white paint flashes. This is the start of the steeper section of the ascent. The path zig-zags uphill through the forest until it arrives at another sign post and T junction.

(3) At the sign post turn right (Le Belvedere) and take the flat then gradually ascending path to the ridge that runs up towards Catogne, further sign post for Le Belvedere. Now take the path along the ridge and down to Le Belvedere.

(4) From Le Belvedere take the path that zig-zags downhill it joins another path at a bench, sign post and brass plaque. (You can cut the walk short at this point by taking the path on the right back to Champex Lac)

(5) For the full walk; turn left (North) at the bench and take the path (Champex Lac par Le Devin), it leads to a view point. Then take further, easy angled zig-zags down hill to another view point over the smooth sweeping slabs of Li Blanche and an information board. Ignore the path on the right (part of the Sentier di Devin circuit) and continue down hill to a junction with a track for vehicles.

(6) At the junction turn right (South-West) and descend the track, almost to the road. With the bend of the road in sight, take a track on the right leading uphill, it will bring you out at a building on the edge of the village. (Ignore the first path on the right as you near the village as it will take you back along the Sentier du Devin circuit to the viewpoint and information board)

(7) Walk along the road to the first drive on the right. Walk up the drive (it looks private but is not), passing a chalet on the left and around two bends (passing another chalet on the right) to where the drive ends and a path starts. (This is the Sentier du Lac / Sentier Emilie Lovey) Now take this path which heads gently uphill and across scree slopes below Le Belvedere. The path will bring you back to the sign posts at (2).

(2) Now reverse the route back to (1) and then Champex Lac parking. (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 1468m - Champex Lac parking - Lac de Champex
1 : km 0.18 - alt. 1482m - Route du lac
2 : km 1.14 - alt. 1595m - Yellow direction arrow
3 : km 1.51 - alt. 1779m - Sign post Le Belvedere
4 : km 2.01 - alt. 1801m - Le Belvedere
5 : km 2.44 - alt. 1640m - Brass plaque - Shortcut option
6 : km 4.47 - alt. 1341m - Junction
7 : km 5.14 - alt. 1473m - Route du Signal
D/A : km 7.28 - alt. 1469m - Champex Lac parking

Useful Information

Parking : Park in Champex Lac at the parking beside the lake opposite the Hotel du Glacier. If full, there is plenty of parking at the ski lift and if you park there, you can take the alternative description to get to waypoint (2).

If you park at the chairlift take the following route.
On the side of the road opposite the chairlift, take the path beside the ski shop sign posted 'jardin alpin'. This leads around to the road beside the campsite. Turn left and tale the road which will lead past chalets and the alpine garden to the resident parking at the end of the road and the path.

Note : There is plenty of shade from the trees on this walk despite it taking southerly facing slopes. Take water with you as there is no place for refreshments and in summer streams may be dry.

This walk is possible in approach shoes or boots. After rain the steep section may be slippery in places. As it passes through a forest the path an be covered in pine needles and pine cones in places which can act like ball bearings and make slip easier.

The walk has been described in the opposite direction to that suggested in order to ascend the steeper part of the walk and descend the gentler slopes, this easier on the knees. However, the walk can be completed in either direction; it is well signposted and takes in part of the Sentier du Devin walk which has information boards.

The slopes of Catogne are crossed with many way marked paths so it is easy to cut the walk short if you wish (as described) or make it longer. For example instead of taking the Sentier du Lac at point 7 you can walk along the road into the village and back to your car.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

There is plenty to do in and around Champex Lac; the small village has a supermarket, a bakery and cafes.

Completing this walk and adding a visit to the excellent Alpine Garden makes for a worthwhile day out. I can also recommend paddle boarding on the lake.

If you are on holiday for a week or more and staying in the area you can buy a St-Bernard Pass for 29 CHF (2022 price). This give you free use of the chair lifts, 30 mins paddle boarding each day, free entry into the Alpine Garden, and many more free or discounted activities.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.