Vallorcine to Loriaz and Lac Emosson
Elevation + / -
1022m / 1022m
When to go
Start Jun - Start Oct
4.0 - 6.0 Hours
1150m / 2090m
Very Nice (4/5)
2.5 - 4.0 Hours
12+ Years old
A very nice big loop route above Vallorcine in the Montagne de Loriaz and the Montagne de Barberine. The trail starts off in Valorcine and climbs to the Refuge de Loriaz. A beautiful location with a great refuge that offers accommodation and meals. It sits in a fantastic alpine pasture with amazing views to the other side of the valley and beyond to the Aguille Verte above the Chamonix valley. From there its a fairly flat and beautiful traverse over to Lac d'Emosson and the border with Switzerland. Lac d'Emosson is a very big lake with a very big dam. You can visit the lake and spend some time there before heading down the mountain towards the hamlet of Barberine. About half way to Barberine you can make a small detour and visit the Grande Cascade de Barberine waterfall. The hamlet of Barberine has a small museum that is open in July and August which you can also visit. Once back on the valley floor, you cross the main road and take the forest path back to Vallorcine.
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
When to Go
Start Jun - Start Oct
Risk Considerations & Difficulty Assessment
This route reaches an altitude of 2090 meters. The best to time to go would be early June to early October but you need to check on snow cover to make sure the route is reasonably doable. The route is not difficult to navigate with clear signs leading you to the main waypoints of Refuge de Loriaz, Lac d'Emosson, Barberine and Vallorcine. We did not experience any points along the route where we doubted where to go next. The trails themselves are not overly difficult. The steepest part is the descent from Lac d'Emosson. The rest of the trail is pretty standard with some rocky areas which is pretty standard for trails reaching 2000 meters of altitude in and around the Chamonix Valley
Trail Starting Point
You can start the trail at the Vallorcine train station. There is a big parking lot here too. You could also take the train and there is a bus stop nearby too.
From the Vallorcine train station you need to cross the bridge and head towards the main road. Turn right on the main road. After 190 meters you can turn left to go up towards Le Siseray. Take the first left and meet up with the trail towards Refuge de Loriaz. From here the trail to Loriaz is clearly marked and you will do a number of switchbacks till you reach the open alpine meadows before Loriaz. After you are done looking around the Refuge you can take the trail on the right side of the refuge towards Barrage d'Emmosson. This trail leads you straight to a view of the lake and the dam. Once you are done there head back and take the trail heading towards Barberine. Along the way down to Barberine you can take a slight detour and visit the Cascade de Barberine waterfall. After that stay to your left and head for the hamlet of Barberine. There is a small museum that you can visit there in July and August. After Barberine, take the bridge and cross the main road and get onto the trail that runs parallel all the way back to Vallorcine.
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.