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Fitness
Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing trail from La Forclaz to the Mayens de Bréona

Snowshoeing · Valais
Responsible for this content
Valais/Wallis Promotion Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Hamlet La Bréona
    / Hamlet La Bréona
    Photo: Pascal Gertschen, CC BY-ND, Valais/Wallis Promotion
  • / Hamlet La Bréona
    Photo: Gabrielle Dayer, CC BY-ND, Val d'Hérens Tourisme
  • / Hamlet La Bréona
    Photo: CC BY-ND, Val d'Hérens Tourisme
  • / Snowshoeing trail in La Forclaz
    Photo: CC BY-ND, Val d'Hérens Tourisme
  • / Snowshoeing trail in La Forclaz
    Photo: CC BY-ND, Val d'Hérens Tourisme
1650 1800 1950 2100 2250 m km 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 La Forclaz VS

High snowshoe walk in the upper Val d’Hérens revealing glorious views of the glaciers and mountains that frame the emblematic Dent Blanche.

moderate
4 km
2:00 h
363 m
351 m

The panoramic walk starts high and aims high, promising fresh mountain air, an invigorating workout and thrilling views. It begins at an altitude of 1,725 metres in the village of La Forclaz, perched on a sunny plateau 300 vertical metres above the floor of the Val d’Hérens.

From here, the loop leads up the easternmost of the two valleys that converge way below. After a gentle ascent across open terrain, the trail climbs more steeply to reach the snow-covered pastures of Mayens de Bréona – at 2,087 metres, the highest point of the walk.

The grandstand view up the valley, towards a crown of dramatic pinnacles festooned with sparkling glaciers, is breathtaking. The valley, dominated by the Dent Blanche (4,357 m), is one of the wildest in the region, promising an experience of blissful tranquillity.

The trail then leads back down the valley at higher level, passing through fragrant pine forest before descending across white snowfields back to La Forclaz.

Author’s recommendation

Take time after the walk to stroll around the well-preserved village of La Forclaz, with its ancient wooden chalets and barns.

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Mayens de Bréona, 2077 m
Lowest point
La Forclaz, 1714 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Exposition
NESW

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.

  • 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.
  • Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals. Do not leave any waste in nature.
  • 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.
  • Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide. Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger, especially the danger of avalanches.

Equipment

We recommend: 

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

Tips, hints and links

More information about the destination: 

Start

La Forclaz (1714 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
46.086178, 7.518512
UTM
32T 385463 5104689

Destination

La Forclaz

Turn-by-turn directions

The circular trail leads in an anticlockwise direction from La Forclaz. The first section is roughly level, heading south-east past the ski lift and the last buildings of the village before beginning to climb more steeply. A series of short zig-zags leads to the Mayens de Bréona, the highest point of the climb. The trail then turns north-west for the descent back down the valley: initially through forest and later across open terrain back to La Forclaz.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Train to Sion, then postal bus to La Forclaz (change at Les Haudères). Find full timetable information at sbb.ch.

Getting there

A9 motorway, exit 27 (Sion-Est), follow signs for Evolène / Les Haudères / La Forclaz.

Parking

Public parkings available in La Forclaz. Follow the local car park routeing. 

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

The official brochure of snowshoe walks in the Val d’Hérens is available from local tourist offices or for download online.

Author’s map recommendations

SwissTopo maps 1:50’000: 283S Arolla


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Photos of others


Difficulty
moderate
Distance
4 km
Duration
2:00 h
Ascent
363 m
Descent
351 m
Loop Scenic
1600 m 1800 m
Morning
1600 m 1800 m
afternoon

Avalanche conditions

·
No recent avalanche report available

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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