Puy de Sancy through the Chaudefour valley

The very secretive and beautiful Chaudefour valley is a classified natural site, closed up by the steep contours of a glacial cirque. Peaks, needles, plumbs are as many natural defences for an intact and preserved valley.

Technical sheet No. 4098522

A Chambon-sur-Lac walk posted on 07/03/15 by Tamtraductions. Last update : 08/12/19
Calculated time Calculated time: 7h15 ?
Distance Distance : 16.34 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 907 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 909 m
Highest point Highest point : 1,849 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 1,143 m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Chambon-sur-Lac (63790)
Starting point Starting point : N 45.540206° / E 2.861082°
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Puy de Sancy


(D/A) Departure from the Natural Reserve House on the D36 between Chambon-sur-Lac and Courbanges.

Follow the discovery path due South-West passing nearby the Perouse cascade (1)do not miss the indications for coming and going on site. Return to the discovery path and head North West towards the cabin and the Sainte Anne spring (old project of a thermal resort) (2).
After the bridge, at the junction, take the left heading South West for about 600m

(3) At the next crossing, leave the path to your right and take the path in front heading South. After a left turn, leave the path toward the Biche (Deer) cascade (4) and continue on a steep climb, first due North East, then South. It leads grassy underwood to a plateau and to the Chambgourdeix volcanic hill (1570m) (5).

Turn due West on the crest line (chemin de crête) bordering the valley (leave the small pathways returning to the main path to your left), walk past the Perdrix (Partridge) volcanic hill or puy, then to Puiy Ferrand. Following this ridge, due North West, go downhill towards the Cabanne pass and then start a steep Puy de Sancy ascent (6).

Go back down the path on the Pas de l"Ane (Donkey pass) (7). Turn right, due North, and the telecabin pylons (8) then cross a depression heading North East, then East, on GR4E for about 1.2km

(9) Mât de la Dore: take a perpendicular right turn towards the South on the path to Pan de la Grange 500m away (10). Turn left, follow the GR4 along the Puy crests that mark the separation between the Chaudefour and the Dore valleys

(11) Once you get to the Puy des Crebasses , leave the GR4 to your left, and head due North East towards Chambon-des-Neiges.

(12) At the next crossing, go downhill to the right in the Chaudefour valley direction - don't forget to admire the Liadouze rocks, the Spite peak, the Cock and Monk crests, and other volcanic dikes.

Soon you will reach the same path you came in from at the beginning of the walk. Follow it to the left to Natural Reserve House and your departure point(D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 1,145 m - Car park, departure of the discovery pathway
1 : km 0.81 - alt. 1,192 m - Perouse cascade
2 : km 1.36 - alt. 1,220 m - Saint Ann cabin and spring
3 : km 1.7 - alt. 1,234 m - Go straight ahead at the junction
4 : km 1.99 - alt. 1,256 m
5 : km 4.02 - alt. 1,558 m - Plateau and Chambgourdeix volcanic hill
6 : km 6.86 - alt. 1,772 m - Col de la Cabanne
7 : km 7.2 - alt. 1,839 m - Puy de Sancy
8 : km 7.53 - alt. 1,801 m - Pas de l'Ane (Donkey path)
9 : km 7.82 - alt. 1,755 m
10 : km 8.63 - alt. 1,657 m - Mât de la Dore, 1670m - Cascade de la Dore
11 : km 9.13 - alt. 1,728 m - Mât du Pan de la Grange, 1720m
12 : km 10.85 - alt. 1,742 m - Mât du Puy des Crebasses, 1762m
13 : km 12.45 - alt. 1,428 m - Downhill towards Liazoude and the Chaudefour valle
D/A : km 16.34 - alt. 1,144 m

Useful Information

Dogs forbidden even on a Leach
Stay on the actual paths, some vipers (they don't stay on the path, are slow and flee the slightest vibration).

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

- Perouse cascade
- Saint Ann spring
- Dent de la Rancune and Crête de Coq (Spite and cock crests) : remarkable dikes during the ascent next to the St Ann source
- The Natural Reserve House

Opinions and comments


Global average : 5/5
Number of opinions : 2
Clarity of route description : 5/5
Clarity of route map : 5/5
Walk interest : 5/5

on Mon 20 Jul 2020 12:29:54 EDT

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 19/07/20
Clarity of route description : ★★★★★ Very good
Clarity of route map : ★★★★★ Very good
Walk interest : ★★★★★ Very good

A beautiful walk on a clear sunny day. Avoids the crowds other than on the summit of Sancy. We really enjoyed this walk and would recommend it.

The car park was full at 10.00am so get there early!

on Wed 11 Jul 2018 03:30:25 EDT

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 07/07/18
Clarity of route description : ★★★★★ Very good
Clarity of route map : ★★★★★ Very good
Walk interest : ★★★★★ Very good

Great walk. Plenty of variety FANTASTIC views.It was a sunny Sunday so certainly plenty of people at the top (cable car access) but possible to walk to quieter places to picnic. A shame about all the erosion but understandable given the obvious footfall, good to see that they are tackling the problem.
Directions and map easy to follow, much appreciated.

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