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Roundtrip Roc Coupé – Bonavau - Champéry

Hikes · Wallis
Responsible for this content
Valais/Wallis Promotion Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Alpine pasture around Champéry
    / Alpine pasture around Champéry
    Photo: David Carlier, CC BY-ND, Valais/Wallis Promotion
  • Dents du Midi hided by clouds
    / Dents du Midi hided by clouds
    Photo: David Carlier, CC BY-ND, Valais/Wallis Promotion
  • Alpine pastures above Champéry
    / Alpine pastures above Champéry
    Photo: David Carlier, CC BY-ND, Valais/Wallis Promotion
  • Parkplatz Grand Paradis, Champéry
    / Parkplatz Grand Paradis, Champéry
    Photo: Heinrich Hennecke
  • Refuge de Bonavau.
    / Refuge de Bonavau.
    Photo: Peter-Lukas Meier, CC BY, Wandermagazin SCHWEIZ
Map / Roundtrip Roc Coupé – Bonavau - Champéry

Circuit offering a taste of the exceptional variety of the Champéry mountains: sparkling rivers, peaceful forests, lush pastures – and the spectacular passage of the Roc Coupé.

moderate
12.1 km
4:15 h
578 m
578 m

A steep climb up one of the side valleys of the Val d’Illiez, just above the resort of Champéry, offers a condensed experience of the exceptional scenic variety of this region.

The ascent begins at the evocatively named expanses of Grand Paradis, a couple of kilometres south of the resort centre. Here our trail leaves the main river of La Vièze to follow a tributary called La Saufla. The name means «breeze» in local dialect, no doubt after the cooling currents of air that the cascading stream conjures along its course.

At Roc Coupé – which translates as «carved rock» – the path traces a dramatic passage hewn into the cliffs. Eventually the trail reaches one of the river’s most picturesque waterfalls at an altitude of 1,494 m. The path crosses the river just upstream – via a graceful suspension footbridge that opened in 2016.

A level stretch of the trail on the far side of the valley leads to a delightful mountain refuge, the Buvette de Bonaveau. All the dishes are cooked on a wood fire, as this traditional chalet has no electricity. The views from the terrace – up to the waterfall, the footbridge and the glaciers on the Mont Ruan above – are gorgeous.

From here, the path drops steeply through the forest to Grand Paradis. To get back to the centre of Champéry and the railway station, it’s worth following a different route to the outward leg.

The resort is full of historical charm, with its wooden chalets and traditional restaurants – plus one of the oldest working bell foundries in the country. Champéry boasts modern attractions, too – not least the Palladium cultural and sports centre, which features ice rinks for championship curling, skating and ice hockey, plus indoor climbing, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and a hotel.

 

Highlights

  • Invigorating climb through lush pastures and fragrant forest
  • Dramatic rock passages, sparkling waterfalls, idyllic mountain refuge
  • Champéry’s lanes of wooden chalets, full of historical charm

Author’s recommendation

The «Multi Pass» for resort guests offers free use of swimming pools, tennis courts, indoor climbing wall and cable car in Champéry plus dozens of other attractions throughout the Portes du Soleil holiday region.

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Bonavau , 1555 m
Lowest point
Champéry , 1018 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

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.

Equipment

We recommend: 

  • good footwear
  • clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
  • hat or cap
  • sunscreen
  • bottle for water
  • picnic
  • camera
  • binoculars (optional)
  • hiking poles (optional)
  • printout of this hike (click “Print” icon, to download) 

For certain walks:

  • Swimwear

Tips, hints and links

More information about the destination:

Start

Champéry, station (1033 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
46.175105, 6.870421
UTM
32T 335624 5115707

Destination

Champéry, station

Turn-by-turn directions

Hikers can reach Grand Paradis either by following the small road along the valley floor, or by picking a route through the pretty lanes of this historical resort. 

From Grand Paradis, the trail is clearly marked: upstream along La Saufla to Roc Coupé and higher to the footbridge across the river, the Passerelle Belle-Etoile. Beyond, the route continues to the Buvette de Bonaveau and across the open meadows beyond before entering the forest and dropping steeply towards the valley floor.

From Grand Paradis, hikers can take a different route back to Champéry by crossing to the left bank of La Vièze and following a footpath through the forest to reach the upper lanes of the village. After passing under the cable car, hikers can take a right turn to drop down to the station.

Motorists can opt for a shorter walk by parking at Grand Paradis.

Public transport

Train connections from Monthey to Champéry. Find full timetable information at sbb.ch

Getting there

A9 motorway, exit 18 (St-Triphon) if approaching from Lake Geneva or exit 19 (Bex) if driving from higher up the Rhône valley. Follow signs for Monthey and then Champéry.

Parking

Large car park by Champéry station; alternatively, park at Grand Paradis for a shorter walk.

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

The tourist office in Champéry has got brochures and information material about hiking in the region.

Author’s map recommendations

SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1304 Val d’Illiez


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
12.1 km
Duration
4:15 h
Ascent
578 m
Descent
578 m
Loop Scenic With refreshment stops Geological highlights

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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