The Best Trails visiting Waterfalls around Chamonix
This is our personal selection of the best hikes and trail running trails in and around the Chamonix Valley that visit a waterfall. Chamonix is surrounded by high mountains and water is making its way down the valley floor to the Arve river on a continuous basis. Especially in spring, as the winter snow melts at a rapid rate, you will see small mountain streams turn into torrents that bring down large amounts of water from the mountain. So it is a bit surprising that Chamonix does not feature a lot more large waterfalls than it actually does. There are a lot of smaller unnamed waterfalls but bigger named waterfalls are rare. The waterfalls that are to be found are very nice though and definitely worth a visit. Most of these waterfalls are located at relatively low altitudes so they are a lot easier to access than the high altitude lakes and glaciers around Chamonix.
A big, violent waterfall with a viewing deck at its biggest drop. Also a nearby cave and a very nice snack bar
This trail is one of our favorite short loops and its scores very high as well in our Best Family Friendly Hikes category. The Cascade de Berard is the biggest and most dramatic waterfall in the direct vicinity of the Chamonix Valley. It's a short and beautiful walk from the hamlet of Le Buet in the Vallorcine valley. They have built a metal bridgeway that ends right at the mouth of the waterfall and you will be able to see and feel the tremendous power of the water at the very end of the bridge. The view from the bridge into the valley below is gorgeous too. In 2022, they installed a via ferrata course in the same gorge which is nice if you are into via ferrata but in our opinion it has kind of diminished the natural beauty of the waterfall and the gorge below. Regardless, it is still a spectacular waterfall. The Buvette de Berard is located above the waterfall and has a nice deck right above it. This is a great place for a snack or light meal. In 2023, the Grotte a Farinet cave was added as an added attraction. Overall, this is just an excellent trail that won't disappoint. We can't recommend it enough!
A beautiful gorge, with bridgeways mounted on the cliff side, leads to waterfall that drops into an accessible cave
This family friendly trail which leads to the Gorge Mysterieuses and the Cascade and Grotte aux Nymphes was a very close contender for the #1 spot in the Waterfalls category! Our main problem is that it is located in Switzerland and practially speaking will require a car to reach. And even if you have a car then it is still a 35 minute drive from Chamonix to get there. If you are willing to make your way over, then you will not be disappointed. The Gorge Mysterieuse is a deep gorge where they have mounted a wooden walkway on the side of the cliff that leads to a viewing deck for a multi-level waterfall that drops into a cave. Furthermore, this cave is accesible through a staircase and walkways that are mounted from the rock above and from there you can view the next two levels of the waterfall as it finally hits the bottom of the gorge. All in all, its a pretty spectacular area and this little loop trail is short and family friendly.
A beautiful gorge with wooden bridgeways running deep into gorge with a river and with multiple waterfalls along the way
We love the Gorges de Diosaz as a family outing. We would have ranked it higher in this category if it were not for the fact that the waterfalls themselves inside the Gorges de Diosaz are not as spectacular as the ones we listed above. Secondly, this is not a public access trail and you will need to buy a ticket to enter the gorge. This money goes towards the maintainance of the more than 1 kilometer of wooden walkways and bridgeways that have been installed on the cliff sides of this ravine to enable access deep into the ravine. The walkways are similar to those of the Gorges Mysterieuses in Switzerland but they are just much longer and more dramatic. The Diosaz river runs through the bottom of the ravine and has multiple smaller and larger waterfalls along the way. The trail ends at the Cascade du Voire. This is a larger waterfall but the views of it are a bit restricted. In terms of general fun and natural beauty, this is an absolutely wonderful outing. Strictly in terms of waterfall quality, it is still pretty great just not as spectacular as the once listed above.
A big waterfall with a nice snack bar located very near to the city center of Chamonix
The Cascade de Dard is the biggest waterfall near the center of Chamonix and easily accessible through the short trail we have listed on our website. You can even skip the trail and park very near the waterfall at a parking located on a side street of the highway going up to the Mont Blanc tunnel. The waterfall itself is the largest waterfall within the Chamonix Valley. There is a bridge over the stream that flows from the waterfall that provides a nice view. There is also a little trail that runs next to the stream for even closer access. The excellent Buvette de la Cascade de Dard is located very nearby and makes for an excellent spot for a snack and a drink. If you are looking for a quick outing near Chamonix without the complications of cars or public transport then this is a great option.
Two waterfalls on this fantastic discovery trail of the beautiful scenery around the Notre Dame de la Gorge in Les Contamines
This is a wonderful loop trail around the beautifull Chapelle Notre Dame de la Gorge at the far southern end of the Montjoie Valley near Les Contamines. It has two named waterfalls: the Cascade de Pont Romain and the Cascade de Combe Noir. The streams in that area have cut out deep gorges in the stone and besides these two waterfalls there are a number of other view points where you can see these gorges. The waterfalls themselves don't have a huge drop but their setting is very beautiful. Besides these two waterfalls, this trail also includes the Notre Dame de la Gorge chapel and the Sainte Chapelle, a tiny chapel perched against the cliff above the river. There are also a number of bridges over fast moving streams. All in all, a fantastic trail with a lot of water features in one our favorite areas.
Looking for more trails featuring waterfalls around Chamonix?
The trails we have presented above as the best hikes and trails featuring a waterfall, are only a few of the many trails we have on our website. You can use our detailed search function to find trails based on a large number of variables, including length, elevation gain and loss, technical difficulty level and much more. We also have a tagging system where we can tag trails for specific points of interests or other characteristics. One of those tags is "Waterfall". So by using this tag you can find all the trails in our database that feature a waterfall.
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