Top 5 Easy Hikes Around Morzine in Summer
Hiking in Morzine during the summer months is fantastic, with stunning scenery and an incredibly extensive trail network, you truly are spoilt for choice. Whether you’re looking to get high up into the mountains and off the beaten track or simply just wanting to explore the local area, there’s no shortage of options. To give you an idea of how to get started we have put together a list of our favourite easy hikes around Morzine.
Hiking is also one of the most economically friendly activities and can be enjoyed as part of your holiday for little to no cost. Some of the trails start right in the centre of town and some require a short drive. During the peak summer months (late June to early September) the chair lifts and gondolas can be used making light work of the elevation gain offering stunning views in exchange for very little effort.
There are over 200kms of signposted hiking trails in the Morzine area ranging from gentle strolls across beautiful alpine meadows through to high altitude multi day hikes. With so many options to choose from we thought we’d give you our recommendations for our favourite five easy hikes around Morzine to get you started.
So What Do We Mean By “Easy”
When it comes to Hiking the term “easy” will mean different things to different people. So to ensure we’re all on the same page and to help you decide if these hikes are for you, here’s what we mean by “easy hikes around Morzine”:
- All the hikes listed are doable in half a day (3-4hours)
- The terrain to be crossed is not to steep or extreme
- Little to no exposure on the routes
- There are no technical sections requiring additional equipment
- There will be less than 500m elevation gain
A Quick Safety Note To Help You Enjoy The Easy Hikes Around Morzine
Even with a short easy hike it’s important to be prepared and ensure you take everything you might need with you. Things can still go wrong and the weather can change particularly quickly in the mountains.
With this in mind we recommend you take plenty of water and food for the hike. Extra layers, hats, gloves and waterproofs could come in very handy. Check the weather forecast before you set off and plan accordingly. During thunderstorms or on windy days the lifts can close so extra planning is required if you are hiking a route that uses a lift. Hiking maps are easily available in the town, the tourist office, Intersport and Carrefour all keep these in stock.
Our Pick of The Bunch
Below you’ll find our favourite 5 easy hikes around Morzine, starting with the easiest and steadily getting more adventurous.
1) La Bourgeoise – An easy short hike with a stunning view
The hike to La Bourgeoise viewpoint is best accessed by driving up the Col du Joux Plane along Route des Nants. This spectacular mountain road has hosted a stage of the Tour de France cycle race and climbs steadily up the mountain with bends and hairpin turns.
At the summit there is ample parking at the lake and restaurant. Great views can be enjoyed from the car park but trust us, the reward for completing the hike is worth the effort.
The start of the route is a clearly defined trail which rises from the road at the first right hand corner where the road begins to descend beyond the restaurant.
The trail bends round to the right and follows the route of the road before climbing steadily and turning left. Simply follow this trail all the way to the cross at the viewpoint where you’ll be rewarded with a simply breathtaking view.
To get back to the carpark simply retrace your steps and the round trip should take no more than an hour and a half.
2) Lac de Montriond Circuit – A flat relaxing hike around a beautiful alpine lake
Lac de Montriond is easily accessible by car or public bus during the summer months. With its crystal clear waters and stunning alpine back drop it really is a must visit destination.
There is parking at either end of the lake so you can choose which direction to do the hike and there are eateries at both ends.
The lake walk simply circles the lake, is very flat and about 3.5kms in distance. Steep sided cliffs border one side of the lake and a large waterfall can be seen from the opposite shore of the lake.
Lac de Montriond is a wonderful spot for a swim should you fancy it and a range of watersports equipment can be rented at the lake.
From the far end of the lake, the more adventurous hikers can double the length of the hike to the Cascade d’Ardent (waterfall) and back
3) Cascade du Nyon – One of the most popular easy hikes around Morzine, a beautiful river walk to a stunning waterfall.
This hike starts right in the centre of town and follows the beautiful river Dranse up the beginning of Vallee de la Manche to the stunning Nyon Waterfall.
The hike is mostly flat with some elevation gain required to get the best view of the waterfall from the bridge above. The hike can be completed in about an hour and a half.
Starting at the Marie cross the old bridge opposite and pass in front of the library before turning left onto Rue Bidon. Follow the road until it turns into a narrow footpath and follow this, passing under a bridge and then passing the fire station on your right. The path then follows the river through lovely tranquil forest before reaching the car park for the Nyon lift.
Take the track up to your right just before you reach the car park which will take you up to the waterfall.
At the first viewpoint, after taking in the power and beauty of the falls, take the path to the right which skirts the rock up to the restaurant. Stop for refreshment if you wish, then follow the path round to the left at the restaurant back into the forest and across the bridge above the falls.
After the bridge continue along the trail until you reach a wooden ladder path and take the left fork (before you reach the house in the meadow). This will take you back down to the car park where you can retrace your steps back into town.
For the more adventurous hikers, this route can be extended significantly by turning right through the car park and following the trail all the way up to the stunning Lac des Mines d’Or and back (additional 3 to 4 hour round trip but worth every step).
4) Mont Chery to Mont Caly in Les Gets – Undulating mountain path with stunning views of Mont Blanc
Les Gets is a short 10 minute drive from Morzine and this easy hike has fantastic views so make sure to go on a bright sunny day.
We recommend parking in the centre of Les Gets and taking the Mont Chery lift up the mountain (free if you have the multipass). There is an upper chair lift after the gondola which goes to the summit. For this walk you only need to take the first gondola.
As you exit the lift station turn left and head down to the view point where you’ll be met with one of the best views in the Portes du Soleil with the dramatic Mont Blanc mountain range in all its glory in the distance.
Taking the top fire track to your right (as you look down the hill) will lead you through a mixture of forest and alpine meadow all the way to the picturesque hamlet of Mont Caly. The trail undulates along the route with ups and downs but there is nothing too strenuous and it is a fire track the whole way.
When you reach Mont Caly, you’ll find the fantastic restaurant Les Chevrelles where you can take a break on their lovely terrace to sample some hearty Savoyard cuisine and a well deserved drink before heading back on the lower fire road back to the lift station.
Each leg of the walk will take you around an hour to complete so ensure you leave enough time to get back before the lift closes (take the same fire track back if you prefer).
5) Lac des Mines d’Or to Col de Cou – Historic smuggling route starting at a beautiful alpine lake and ascending to the French / Swiss border with stunning views
This hike follows a historic smuggling route that was used extensively during the second world war. French resistance fighters used the trail to smuggle weapons into the country and to get refugees fleeing the Nazis oppressive rule out into the relative safety of un-occupied Switzerland.
This hike is the longest and most physically demanding of our “easy” hikes. It takes around 3.5 to 4 hours to complete and does require about 500m of ascent. However, if you’re up for the challenge, the views from both the lake at the bottom and the border crossing at the top are breathtaking.
The route starts at Lac des Mines d’Or, a beautiful old gold mining lake which sits at the far end of Vallee de la Manche. During the summer there is a free bus which services the lake from the town centre or you can drive along Route de la Manche which ends at the car park for the lake.
The trail ascends from the lake following signs for Ferme des Freterolles which is a farm restaurant that you will reach within about twenty minutes. Here you can stop for refreshments if you wish before taking the left hand trail from the walking sign up towards the cross. At the cross, make sure to turn back and take in the views of the Morzine valley.
The trail now steadily snakes its way up through the boulder strewn valley to the Col. From the Col you will be met with stunning views of the Dents Blanche and Dents du Midi mountain ranges. For the return journey you can either retrace your steps along the same path or turn left (as you look back down towards Morzine) and follow this trail down through beautiful alpine forest. You will come to a crossroads at Le Epingly where you should bear right which will take you back down past Ferme des Freteroles to the lake.
Should you wish to extend your walk by around an hour, take the left fork at the crossroads and follow signs for Chardonniere. This route will take you along a lovely trail which traverses along the foot of the intimidating rock face of the Terre Maudite and along to the farm restaurant at Chardonniere. From here you join the road back up to the car park at the lake.
Click here to view the route map and itinerary. After clicking the link, on the new window, click on the ‘enlarge’ button of the map in order to view the path. You’ll need to sign up (which is free and easy to do).”
Planning Your Stay In Morzine?
We hope this list inspires you to get out and explore the incredible landscape surrounding our beautiful town. We have barely scratched the surface with this list and as well as these easy hikes around Morzine there is a whole plethora of more challenging hikes and scrambles to explore if you require more of a challenge.
If you’re looking for an unforgettable place to stay for your visit, we at The Farmhouse have just the ticket. Click here to see more information on Morzine’s most unique hotel.