This walk from Morgins up to the sources of the River Vièze explores the many ways in which water has shaped the landscape. Along the way, it passes mineral-rich springs, a waterfall, alpine lakes – and some charming restaurants and refuges at which to admire the scenery.
Starting in the centre of the resort, the trail leads upstream along the banks of the Vièze. Soon it passes a curiosity: the “red spring”, whose iron-rich waters brought the first tourists to Morgins back in 1820 to “take the waters”.
The trail continues upriver, passing the welcoming Cantine de They restaurant, until it reaches the upper sections of the valley. Here it zig-zags steeply uphill to the right to the top of a waterfall, the Fontaine Blanche – whose waters appear to emerge from the bare rock.
This is one of several features characteristic of a karst landscape: streams that disappear underground into sinkholes only to re-emerge downhill in the form of a spring, sinkholes and bizarre shapes sculptured in the rock by water.
Beyond, the trail climbs higher to the Lac de Chésery (whose waters feed the Fontaine Blanche via underground streams), and higher again to the Lac Vert. Here, the Refuge de Chésery (1,985 m) is a stable built in the mid-19th century and converted into a refuge in 1987. Attractions include delicious mountain cuisine and the chance to fish in the lake for brown and rainbow trout.
The trail then leads by two passes – including the Portes du Soleil, which gave its name to the whole holiday region – before descending again to La Tovassière, an alpine dairy farm and restaurant where specialities include dishes made from the local cheese.
After dropping back to the floor of the valley, the trail follows the Vièze once again into Morgins.
- Vallon de They – idyllic, unspoilt mountain valley
- Variety of landscapes: woodland, open pastures, alpine lakes, waterfalls and high passes
- Multiple refreshment stops en route
NB The Refuge de Chésery is open until the end of September.
Use of the trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. Valais/Wallis Promotion accepts no liability for the accuracy and completeness of information on this website.
For all hikes:
- Bring a map. Download full description of this route including large-scale map by clicking on “Print” icon, top right of this page.
- Use marked trails only, and observe all signposting – for your own safety, to safeguard grazing animals and to avoid disturbing wildlife.
- Close gates after passing through.
- Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals.
- Do not leave any waste in nature.
For mountain hikes:
- Take extra care protecting yourself from the sun at altitude. UV radiation can be exceptionally strong, even in cloudy weather.
- Plan hike carefully: take into consideration fitness level of each participant, weather forecast and season.
- Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains, without warning. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.
For high-altitude hikes:
- Inform others of the route you plan to take. Whenever possible, avoid going alone.
- Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
- Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs: water levels may rise rapidly without warning.
Tips, hints and links
More information about the destination:
Getting thereA9 motorway, exit 18 (St-Triphon) if driving from north or exit 19 (Bex) if approaching from south. Follow signs to Monthey and then Morgins.
ParkingMorgins village, follow the local car-park routeing in Morgins.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
- good footwear
- clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
- hat or cap
- bottle for water, picnic
- hiking poles (optional)
- printout of this hike (click “Print” icon, top right, to download)
For certain hikes: