The Lac de Tseuzier is an artificial reservoir created by the Rawyl dam, built from 1953 to 1957. Today, framed by forests, pastures and dramatic mountain peaks, the lake offers hikers a wonderfully refreshing experience of nature. The walk leads anti-clockwise around the lake, starting by the dam. Close by, the Restaurant du barrage de Zeuzier (1,777 m) has a large sunny terrace, handy for a refreshment stop before or after the hike.
At the far end of the lake, the trail passes the start of the Bisse de Sion, a historical irrigation channel built from 1901 to 1903 to carry water all the way to the river La Sionne – which eventually flows through the capital of Valais. Soon after its picturesque debut, the bisse crosses another stream via a wooden viaduct.
The setting is magical: the alpine pasture of Rawyl, framed by cliffs and waterfalls. A friendly gîte (Lourantze) with dormitory and tepee serves refreshments. An ancient trail leads from here further still up the valley: to the Rawil Pass (2,425 m) and the Bernese Alps beyond. This crossing was extensively used in Roman times and during the Middle Ages, but today is reserved for hikers.
Our lake trail continues along the western shore of the lake, partly following the bisse – which eventually leaves the valley via a sequence of tunnels and sections cut into the rock. The path, however, continues along the lakeshore back to the dam.
Note for families with young children: the full walk involves a total climb of about 140 vertical metres, so a backpack carrier is more suitable than a buggy. However, the second half of the loop is flatter, so families with buggy can enjoy a walk from the dam to the gîte and back along the western shore of the lake.
- Gentle, idyllic trail framed by mountains, forests and waterfalls
- Alpine pasture at far end with friendly gîte, refreshments
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 27 (Sion-Est). Follow signs for Anzère. At village of Saint-Romain, at crossroads, leave the main road (which turns sharply to the left) and continue straight on, following the sign for “Barrage de Tseuzier”.
ParkingParking is possible by the dam.
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
- binoculars (optional)
- hiking poles (optional)
- printout of this hike (click “Print” icon, to download)
For certain walks: