The 4th leg of the 5-stage Tour du Val d’Hérens offers an experience of the many faces of the alpine valley, from its riverside meadows up to the highest point along the entire trail. The starting point could not be more picturesque: Evolène, with its beautifully preserved wooden houses and barns adorned with flowers. No wonder this was recently voted the prettiest village in French-speaking Switzerland.
The path leads up through alpine pastures that are home to the stocky black cows of the Herens breed, which take their name from the valley – and have become a symbol of Valais. These combative cows fight naturally in order to establish a hierarchy in the herd; hikers will often see pairs lock horns until one turns tail. Organised fights are a popular attraction for locals and tourists alike; the cows’ Raclette cheese, served melted, is prized throughout Switzerland.
Beyond the pastures, the trail climbs through forests of larch to reach the Pas de Lona (2,787 m), which links the Val d’Hérens with the Val d’Anniviers. The view from the summit is bewitching: over a wide plateau of flower-filled alpine meadows, scattered with lakes. The pass makes an ideal refreshment stop before the final climb.
This leads up to the Cabane des Becs de Bosson, a welcoming mountain refuge at the highest point of the whole 5-day tour (2,985 m). The views, too, are the finest along the whole route, taking in Mont Blanc along with many of the 4,000-metre peaks of Valais.
- Evolène – picturesque village of wooden houses adorned with flowers
- Pas de Lona – high pass overlooking a plateau scattered with lakes
- Cabane des Becs de Bosson – friendly refuge, highest point of tour, sensational views
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 Evolène.
ParkingAt Evolène or one of the other villages in the Val d’Anniviers or Val d’Hérens, depending on itinerary the following day. All are connected by postal bus.
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: