This scenic circuit loops around the turquoise waters of the Lac de Moiry – not at the level of the lake, but a couple of hundred metres higher up, at an altitude of roughly 2,500 m. Hikers may encounter various different names for the trail including «Tour du Lac 2500», «Haut Tour du Lac» and «Chemin 2500».
At the far end of the lake, the trail drops down to cross the river La Gougra, which feeds the reservoir – and which is in turn fed by the Glacier de Moiry higher up the valley. The path snakes past the glacial lake of Lac de Châteaupré before scaling an impressive glacial moraine to return to the 2,500-metre level – this time on the western side of the valley.
The start and finish point of the circuit is the crest of the Moiry dam. The reservoir it has created also collects water from neighbouring valleys via a network of tunnels before channelling it down to the Rhône valley, 1,722 vertical metres below. On the way the water passes through three hydroelectric power stations, which produce enough electricity to meet the annual needs of more than 120,000 homes.
Visitors can join guided tours of the interior of the dam with its network of tunnels through the concrete and rock. Close to the crest, the dam restaurant has a large sunny terrace looking out over the lake. Climbing enthusiasts can tackle the via ferrata (fixed-cable climb) that scales the cliffs just below the dam, revealing dramatic views of the lower valley and the arched curtain of concrete, 148 m high.
NB. Tours of the Moiry dam are free with the Pass Anniviers Liberté, which also covers gondola, funicular and cable car rides, sports facilities, guided tours of the Mottec hydro plant, St-Luc observatory and Zinal copper mine and travel on postal buses.
- Panoramic high trail through a dramatic alpine landscape sculpted by glaciers
- Moiry dam – guided visits, restaurant with sun terrace, via ferrata
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 destinations:
Getting thereTake the exit 29 (Sierre-Est) of the A9 highway and continue to the Val d'Anniviers. In the village of Vissoie, turn right on the «Route de Grimentz» and continue to the village of Grimentz. Cross the village and continue on the «Route de Moiry» until you arrive at the dam.
ParkingCar park at crest of Moiry 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: