Trient Valley - Vallorcine

Valais

The Trient Valley (Vallée du Trient) links Martigny in Lower Valais via the border town of Le Châtelard with Chamonix, the well-known French resort at the foot of Mont Blanc. The Trient Valley is an untouched natural paradise with wild gorges, grottos, dinosaur tracks, and one of the Alps’ most beautiful glaciers.

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From Vernayaz in the Rhone Plain, the Trient Valley seems almost unreachable. The narrow-gauge tracks of the cogwheel train “Mont-Blanc Express” Martigny - Châtelard - Chamonix conquer the valley-step in tight bends and ascend the sunny high plateau. Here you will find the small, tradition-rich resorts of Salvan, Les Granges, Les Marécottes and Finhaut. A cable car whisks guests to the hiking and skiing area of La Creusaz (1777 meters). An Alpine zoo and a beautiful swimming pool in the rocks await your visit.

At the entrance to the valley the first highlight of the Trient Valley can be found: a 200-meter deep gorge near Vernayaz that has carved the wild Trient stream’s path through the rocks. A bridge, built at a dizzying height in 1934, links the two rock walls that face each other. Deep below, near the stream, a spectacular footpath leads across wooden footbridges.

Take a side trip to the impressive 114-meter-high waterfall near Vernayaz, it’s well worth your while. In 1779 Goethe wrote: “At last we stood before the waterfall, which had earned its fame before all others.” Shortly before Le Châtelard, the magical Nymph Grotto in the Tête-Noire Gorge (Grotte aux Nymphes / Gorges mystérieuses de Tête-Noire) is reached by foot via an adventure trail.

Summer

Particularly alluring is the hike from the Forclaz Pass to the mighty Trient Glacier, often considered one of the Alps’ most beautiful glaciers. In the 19th century ice blocks were blasted from the glacier and exported by rail to the major French cities. The hiking tour follows the old, restored Suonen (Water conduits).

Near Le Châtelard another adventure beckons: One of the world’s steepest funiculars, with a gradient of over 87%. A narrow gauge railway with tiny panorama wagons and a short open-air lift take guests to the nature and hiking paradise of the Emosson Reservoir Lakes. Here you will enjoy a panoramic view of Mont Blanc and the high mountains along the Trient River. Dinosaur hunters will find dinosaur traces at the upper reservoir lake.

Highlights

  • Mont-Blanc Express - spectacular narrow-gauge railway connection from Martigny via the Trient Valley to Chamonix (F).
  • Emosson Reservoir Lake and narrow-gauge train - an extremely steep funicular and a very narrow-gauge train climb up to the reservoir lake located at 1930 meters. A beautiful view opens up to the Mont-Blanc.
  • Trient Gorge - a 200-meter-deep canyon near Vernayaz that the wild Trient stream has carved into the rocks. Concrete suspension bridge built in 1934 at a height of 187 meters; a spectacular trail runs along the water below, a true climbing paradise.
  • Trient Glacier - fabulously beautiful glacier on the northern slope of the Mont-Blanc Massif. It is 4.5 kilometers long and covers an area of 6 square kilometers.
  • Rock pool Les Marécottes - the natural swimming pool is surrounded by granite rocks.
  • Alpine Zoo Les Marécottes-Salvan - local wild animals, wolves, foxes, black bears, boars, ibex and rare birds call this home.

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