Saint Gervais and Cheminee des Fees
Elevation + / -
1067m / 1067m
When to go
Start May - Mid Nov
4.5 - 7.0 Hours
598m / 1493m
2.5 - 4.0 Hours
12+ Years old
Only in Saint-Gervais
This loop is great for exploring the area around Le Fayet and Saint Gervais-les-Bains. It starts of at the Parc Thermal du Fayet which is very beautiful gorge with a thermal bath and theraphy center, a rock climbing wall, an accro park and a little train for children. There is also a snack bar here. From the parking at the thermal baths we move towards the Cascade de Crepin. At the time of writing the much more spectucular route that brings you close to the waterfall, was closed off for repairs and for securing the terrain after rockfall. So in this version of the trail we move westward and snake around the waterfall and cross the ravine over the bridge heading towards the city center of Saint Gervais. There are plenty of restaurants and bakeries where you can take a break or enjoy a meal. From there we move south deeper into the valley and turn left and start the steep climb up towards Le Vernay. We then visit the little hamlet of Montivon which has a nice chapel and good views into the valley. From there we continue our traverse through pastures and farm houses till we reach the hamlet of Montfort. There we take a small detour to visit the war monument. We then descend and take the detour to the Cheminee des Fees. These type of rock formations are formed when a dense rock sits on top of much more easily corroded material. With time the rock then prevents the material below to erode thereby forming a rock column with a hard rock sitting on top. In English these type of rock formations can be referred to as "Hoodoos". The viewing area around the Cheminee des Fees is pretty spectacular with steep cliffs and some protective wiring to keep you safe. Attend your kids well if you plan to come closer to the edge. From there we simply continue down the hill and make our way down to the Parc Thermal and the start of the trail.
Photos of this Trail
We have a large library of pictures from in and around the Chamonix Valley. All pictures are categorized and geo location tagged. These are the pictures we have for this trail. Click on any picture to view it's details and location.
Trail Directions & Safety Considerations
12+ Years old
We recommend to keep your dog on a leash. Be careful around the drop offs around the Cheminee des Fees.
When to Go
Start May - Mid Nov
Risk Considerations & Difficulty Assessment
The route reaches an altitude of 1493m and should be snow free from the start of May til the middle of November. Check local conditions to make sure. The trail is not difficult to navigate with your main waypoints being Saint Gervais-les-Bains, Montivon, Montfort and the Parc Thermal du Fayet. The trails themselves are not technical or difficult. The initial climb up from Saint Gervais is quite steep. The area around the Cheminee des Fees has steep cliffs and you should mind your children carefully around that area.
Trail Starting Point
The trail stars at the Parc Thermal du Fayet. The infomation sign and the first trail marker are located at the bridge near the Therme at the very end of the ravine. There is a large car park here. If you are coming by train then you can walk from the Le Fayet train station to the thermal park and start the trail. There is a also bus stop right at the Therme.
The trail starts at the parking right in front of the Therme inside the Parc Thermal du Fayet. There will be trail markers and an information sign at the bridge. You will the head towards the Cascade du Crepin. At the time of writing the trail to waterfall was blocked off forcing us to move to the right and take the longer trail up and out of the ravine. If the trail to the waterfall is open then this will definitely be a lot nicer and it is also a shorter way for reaching the city center of Saint Gervais.
Make your way through the city center in the direction of Les Contamines. Take the left turn and go up Chemin du Chouet. This is quite a steep trail that will make its way straight up the hill passing by the houses of Saint Gervais. Follow the trail until it enters the woods and becomes the Chemin de Montivon. Follow this 4x4 track till you reach Montivon. Pass by the chapel and take the trail that turns sharply around the chapel and up the hill in the direction of Col de la Forclaz. Keep following the trail markers in the direction of Col de la Forclaz. We will turn left before reaching the Col in the direction of Montfort. At Monfort, take the trail to the right in the direction of the Stele du Marquis de Montfort. This is the little war monument which you can visit. After your visit head back to Montfort and make your way down the hill using the main road that passes through the Hamlet.
Follow the signs for the Cheminee des Fees till you reach that rock formation. This is a great location for a break and to explore the cliffs around the Cheminee. Once you are ready to move on, head back to the junction right before the Cheminee where you will see the Cheminee des Fees trail marker. Head towards the trail in the direction of La Grand Cote. Take the trail down the hill until you cross the paved road towards Saint Gervais. From there follow the signs for the Parc Thermal and you will be back at your starting point.
Points of Interest for this Trail
We have a large database of all of the points of interests in and around Chamonix. These are the points of interest you will find along this trail:
3D Map & GPS
Trail Route Map & GPS
You can download the GPX file and load this route into your own GPS enabled device or application. If you are on Strava, then you can open this route in Strava and save it to your account.
3D Map of this Trail
FATMAP in an incredible website and mobile application that you can use to view the trail in full 3D, do a fly over of the route and get a detailed vertical profile. You can view the FATMAP of this trail below and use the 'View larger map' link to visit the trail on the FATMAP website.